Jill, my friend of twenty years, joins me in Barcelona. Our reunion is an immediate return to our twenties; we scream when we see each other outside arrivals then, drive down the serpentine coast to Sitges where the sea blusters and roils, changing hue as if it is one, large, liquid chameleon. It is a town in which it feels as if we have gone backwards in time, backwards within our own selves. The light is soft, painterly, and we take to the skinny, cobblestone streets like teenage girls. Strolling arm-in-arm as we ogle handbags and jewelry; double-fisting gelatos as we follow our noses to one tapas joint after another.

The beach, however, is our favorite haven and we rent 6 loungers for one glorious day until the man shoos us off of them at six o'clock. We stay with our rears and soles and elbows in the sand, chair-less but happy, watching locals chase their dogs and children through the crashing waves until the last of the sun squeezes through the clouds, eventually returning to our tiny seaside apartment where, we sing and howl with laughter. All the while, eating continuously from a hastily-assembled charcuterie board of gas station staples—Iberian ham, goat cheese, berries, crackers and a surprisingly delicious bottle of rioja.


Hot Tip: Tarragona (45 minutes south of Sitges) has a Roman colosseum with killer views ...