FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

FFWULIFE

LIFE | End Of An Era

LIFELauren Caron4 Comments
Our apartment in Brooklyn, shot by Claire Esparros of Homepolish,  just months before we moved. 

Our apartment in Brooklyn, shot by Claire Esparros of Homepolish,  just months before we moved. 

Before our move I wrote about how I was planning to keep the blog going but wasn't quite sure if I would be changing the name. It's now been a few months and we finally made the move across the country. While I've been working on both homes trying to make them livable and comfortable, I've also been doing a lot of thinking. This move has forced me to change a lot of aspects of my life, resulting in new beginnings and bittersweet endings. After over 10 years of living New York, I can't really call it my home any longer. Even though we're still planning to keep the apartment as a secondary residence I realize that I have to develop my life in Seattle and push myself to make it more of a home than New York is now. Because of that realization, I've also decided that I have to close out this blog.  

Fourth Floor Walk Up has been a written account of my life in New York since 2009. It was with me through my twenties, my college years, our rental walk ups on the upper east side, our first (owned) apartment in Brooklyn, our relationship from bf + gf to husband + wife, and even my career growth and new business. It's been a great stretch as a personal project that has produced rewarding opportunities, both as a channel for professional and personal growth, and for that I am grateful. Yet as I partake in this new journey west, writing in Fourth Floor Walk Up no longer seems relevant. Not only am I going to shift the majority of my life out of New York, I am also moving into rental cottage that is only one floor.

On a very personal level, moving out of New York is really difficult for me and my identity as a designer and creative. I love New York, I love the inspiration and the drive it has given me over the years. It's a challenging place to live but it has also made developing my career in a sense, feel easy (or at least that's how I perceive it to be). I have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people and to learn from so many wonderful experiences. Being able to have the chance to edit out things to do and events to partake in is definitely a luxury that I understand not many cities can offer. 

My move to Seattle will be a challenge for me in the sense that I'm going to have to learn the lansdscape of the city, in regards to industry and personality. Which means, I will need to be open and present for this new home. Also, I believe in order to move forward I would have to lay the platform that is so centered around my life in New York, to rest. 

So here is it: A Layered Life, a new place to discuss and document my soon to be very complicated life. Complicated I say, because not only am I planning to build a life in the city of Seattle, but I'm also developing a business in both cities on both coasts. Union Adorn is my passion project that allows me to build a career on the work that I love. This new blog, will be a side project also driven by my passions, yet it's going to be a place where the pressure is removed. A method of practice, where I can commit to working on it daily or weekly, or perhaps monthly. Not perfect or print ready, yet it will hopefully as with everything I intend to do, be good. 

A Layered Life Logo - from my personal script. 

A Layered Life Logo - from my personal script. 

The name came about from a play on my style and design aesthetic, which has been characterized as being layered and eclectic. I am not a minimalist. I enjoy pairing contemporary and vintage pieces. I value both the modern ideas and classical school of thought and I can never leave a surface unset or vignette unstyled. 

In a blog it means categories that touch on decor, fashion, travel, shopping, and life's experiences. A format very similar to Fourth Floor Walk Up, just set for the most part, outside of New York City. With this new development I hope you'll follow me as I partake in a new chapter, era, whatever we should call it,  A Layered Life.

Thank you to those who have followed along over the years. I've always enjoyed your comments, feedback and the connections we have made.  It's been really special. 

www.alayeredlife.com

* Quick note: I'm still working out some of the kinks with the new site, so bear with me there may be some minor tweaks and changes that you may notice. And if you want to come back to Fourth Floor Walk Up, it will be here. I'm not planning to dissolve the site or let it completely. 

SPACES | Our Pied à Terre in Brooklyn

SPACES, LIFELauren CaronComment
Image Source: Abkasha.com

Image Source: Abkasha.com

Last week we finally made the big 'move'  by packing up and moving 75% of our furniture and accessories into a POD, which is currently on it's way to Seattle and fingers crossed, everything arrives safe and secured. I have so much anxiety that we're going to open the POD and it'll be a mess of crumbled furniture, glass and boxes or that the door will have been opened and stuff will have been stolen. There's really nothing too valuable, we just have a lot of antiques that we really care about, and basically everything is fragile.

What's left in New York is for my pied à terre (or the apartment). I like thinking we are fancy now and have a second home in the city. We technically do, but realistically I'm going to be using it as a home base for my NY projects, and we're splitting it with my parents. We are going to wait until next year to decide if the current situation is working for us financially, or if we should rent it. 

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

Image Source: ABKasha.com

For the time being, I'm taking advantage of the opportunity to redesign the space into a relaxing, yet productive space. I'm greatly inspired by real Parisian Haussmann pied à terres, where the decor is about less furniture, more wall space, no strict direction.  It seems to be very...  je ne sais quoi, let's call it laissez faire in style. You know, very French.  Removing the giant desk Jack built from the living room created a major domino effect, allowing me to test out different layouts and furniture placements (which I don't think is very French - except that I did it IRL not on a computer within CAD). It's so interesting how different you can make one space look by just moving around furniture. I'm breaking my own rules and doing things that I said I would never do. It's fun and it reminds me that you really can't take design too seriously. If you're intrigued to see more of my inspirations, you can find them [here]. So here are the planned ch-ch-ch-changes along with a few images of those that I've already accomplished.....

DINING TABLE

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

First up, we brought in an official dining table. It's for 4 people, I would love to find an extension table or one with a leaf that isn't expensive. For now though, this little french country style table is kind of perfect. We also had these neoclassical empire dining chairs that my mom has had for years, recently reupholstered in a Schumacher leopard print. I'm completely swooning over how they turned out. The table is set where the desk was and fills that space nicely. Also, when I'm not feeling the desk, I can sit here and work, it gives me a change of scenery - even if it's only a few feet away.

FURNITURE PLACEMENT

Next big change, is where the sofa is placed. The room is basically a box shape and is almost as wide as it is long, it's also the space that you pass through to get to the bedroom, so it can present some layout challenges. I always had the sofa set on the back wall opposite the built-ins and placed a coffee table in front with the two accent chairs near the bookcases. This made the seating area wider than the usual, but left room for a walk way. Now I'm trying to break the rules I set, and have moved the sofa several feet closer to the bookshelves. The seating area becomes more intimate. The walk way is yes, a little tighter but when it's just me who will be there most of the time, I don't really care. Behind the sofa I've moved the entry cabinet - which doubles as a desk to the back wall. For nights that I have guests, I can set it up as a dry bar and hide all of the desky things within. I don't have a great photo of the sofa yet, but I will share soon when I have all the elements well set and styled. 

ARTWORK

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

Image: LaurenLCaron Instagram

I love my artwork and gallery walls, but for this new design, I want to keep the artwork to a minimum. I think having the walls a little more clear and open feeling will add to the relaxing mood. With that said, my mom is lending a few beautiful pieces for the apartment. We set this gorgeous Chinese silk tapestry on the back wall above the bar to be the major statement piece. It is the perfect place for this piece too, since it can't be in direct sunlight and that wall, never gets the sun. Other artwork we brought in are some lithographs of Roman ruins for the dining area and two mirrors. We may bring a few other small pieces, but that's about it. 

PAINT

Image: Lauren L Caron

Image: Lauren L Caron

I'm slightly adjusting the paint in one place to tie together the colors. We've decided to draw a color from the silk tapestry to paint within the book shelves. I love the dark interior shelves but I'm now thinking since we have 4 black dining chairs, and a rug with black in it, there's too much black for the space. So a muted yet airy gray green will look really nice as a backdrop, the color I chose is by Ben Moore it's called Paris Rain (how appropriate). 

BEDROOM

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image Source: Paris Perfect

Image Source: Paris Perfect

For the bedroom I was greatly inspired by the image above and wanted to evoke the same mood as closely as I could. The window and room layout are similar, although slightly smaller. Originally I moved my dresser to the wall opposite the bed, but it felt too tight so I ended up moving it back to the wall it was on for the past 5 years. I plan to have a table cloth made to cover the Saarinen table, I haven't figured out what textile yet, something with a pattern would be nice. 

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

Image: Lauren L Caron | Union Adorn © 2016

reflection_ffwu

We purchased a new bed frame (a very inexpensive one for $59 from Amazon, I'll link it at the bottom) and this gorgeous headboard that I've had my eyes on for quite some time from Urban Outfitters. We brought in a few French-y accents like the sunburst for over the headboard and this gorgeous gilt frame mirror. Last but not least, I plan to add some decorative pillows to make the bed feel more finished. 

Image Source: Rue Mag

Image Source: Rue Mag

Margaux Headboard - Urban Outfitters

Sunburst Mirror (similar) - Wisteria

 

Bedframe - Amazon

Bedroom Wall Sconces (similar) - Lamps Plus

 

Thank you to those of you who have been sending us well wishes about our move. It's been long winded to say the least, and I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about this 'move' which doesn't seem like it will ever end. Believe me, I feel you! Check in soon for more updates because things are actually moving forward.  I plan to photograph the living room soon of the apartment updates, and in the next few weeks I'll be in Seattle, where I plan to accomplish a lot of decorating in that home. I'm excited to see how all of our stuff will look in the new place!

LIFE | Move Cross Country - How We're Doing So Far...

LIFELauren CaronComment
On our front stoop with the balloon Jack gave me for my birthday 

On our front stoop with the balloon Jack gave me for my birthday 

SO FAR SO GOOD...

If you have been following my feed or on the blog here, you would know that we moved from New York to Seattle, the day after Christmas! It has been a little over a week and I think we are finally starting to feel as settled as one would after having moved cross country.  Jack started his job yesterday, which is truly what our feeling of settled was hinging on.  The move was entirely because of this job opportunity.

After the first day, he’s confident about the career move and grateful that he took it.  This truly is an amazing opportunity for him in his industry, so I’m just happy it seems like it will all work out. We have a ton more to sort out in regards to me, especially since I’m not planning to move until mid May or June. I have a lot of work still in New York that I can’t leave immediately. I also have no idea how the Seattle design industry will accept me. Not to say that I’m completely out of the ordinary, but I have a specific skill set in a market that isn’t necessarily as relative in Seattle as it is in New York. I love the ability I have right now to switch from retail to residential on the daily. Either way, I’m remaining positive and looking forward to the challenges and the possibilities Seattle has for me.

For the time being I’m working remotely on my New York projects – trying to keep up with the New York time zone, and planning out the changes and improvements I can make on the rental house. Now that we have more concrete and positive feelings about his job, I can comfortably start thinking long term about the house. We decided that renting would be the best choice, considering that we don’t truly know how long we will be living in Seattle. Unlike New York City, the rest of the country’s real estate market is not projected to continue climbing. In Seattle, the buying prices are high, and if you’re not planning to stay longer than 5 years, you are advised not to buy.

Renting does mean that I can only make cosmetic changes to the house, however there are so many cosmetic details that you can do to a home to drastically improve it. I have a running list started, which I will get to soon.  For the right now, I thought I would discuss what are the first steps we made in settling in across the country. 

PRE-ORDER THE NECESSITIES

Special Delivery!

Special Delivery!

The two weeks before Christmas I spent a lot of time online buying from a list of necessities and having them shipped to the house. I believe I was the ONLY person in the country who wanted our goods to arrive the day after Christmas. There were a few mishaps with deliveries, some boxes were delivered before Christmas. Our landlords had warned us that they would also be out of town for the holiday. So we were biting our nails, thinking about how everything was just sitting in the Seattle rain getting ruined, or even worse, stolen (although 48 rolls stolen of toilet paper would mean someone else would need them a lot more than we).  Luckily, our maintenance man picked up the boxes and put them in the house.

I must mention that a few things did go right, our mattress was delivered the morning of our move, so we didn’t have to sleep directly on the floor. Also of the boxes we received included towels, sheets and a blanket!

The greatest annoyance of all the orders was the chair I purchased from One Kings Lane. I was forced to purchase the chair before a specific date, because the deal was going to expire, it didn't seem like it would be an issue since the estimated delivery time frame was 12/26 – 12/31. After I placed the order, the chair ended up shipping early, 14 days early to be exact. I spent several hours on the phone with Fed Ex, with no resolve. They would not put a 10 day vacation hold on the package for me. I called OKL and luckily, after 5 calls and 3 emails with them, they were able to get Fed Ex to hold the chair.

The day we were finally able to pick the chair up, we rented a U-Haul (more money spent there), brought the chair home to discover it was damaged (from the packing materials denting the foam of the arm – it would not go away after 24 hours of waiting also). That meant that we had to rent another vehicle to return the package to Fed Ex (more $$$), only to discover the boxed up chair wouldn’t fit through our door from the living room (had to un-box the damn thing, then re-box it outside – don’t ask me out we got it in the house in the first place), the box also didn’t fit into the SUV (un-box again, to then re-box at Fed Ex). When we finally brought it into the Fed Ex location, the entire staff complained that the giant box was back! Good riddance chair! 

IMG_1828_2.jpg

RESEARCH TRANSPORTATION OPPORTUNITIES

Since I’m not permanently moving here immediately, we decided that shipping the car out now would not make a lot of sense. We also took into consideration that our new town is a big city with public transportation and other amenities, like Uber, Lyft, Zip Car and Car 2 Go.

We did a little research upfront regarding how to get around, the easiest solution from the start has been to use Uber. However, Uber in Seattle is different from Uber in NYC. The biggest difference is that drivers in Seattle are not expected to accept tips. Uber does not provide the option through the app, so as a passenger you have to pay tip in cash. For passengers this no tip policy makes the service more affordable, but also a little uncomfortable when leaving the car. I’m just so used to tipping in NY, but I also never have cash on hand. I guess this no tip policy and Uber in general is causing unrest amongst the city. Seattle is trying to unionize rideshare services. Uber drivers after expenses are only making about $3/hour… you can read more about it [here].

The first company I looked into for accessible transportation was Zip Car, our neighbors in NYC use it and love it. So we thought we’d give it a chance. After doing the math, with the introductory rate of $15/first year as an occasional driver, we thought this would actually be the best solution.  With Zip Car, you don’t have to pay for gas and there aren’t any monthly premiums. There are also 3 Zip Car parking lots within ½ mile from our new home. We booked Zip Car to pick up our Ikea furniture and have also used it for errands. We are also considering Car 2 Go, since Zip Car does not have any one way driving at this time, but the best thing about Zip Car is the amount vehicles to choose from. 

LOCATE THE BEST NEIGHBORHOOD EATS

Oddfellows  Cafe | Not directly around the corner but a 12 min walk from the house.

Oddfellows  Cafe | Not directly around the corner but a 12 min walk from the house.

The first thing we did after opening the doors to our home and dropping our bags down was head over to our neighborhood strip. One thing I think us New Yorker's are good at is understanding what's important in regards to a new home in a new city. 1. Location 2. Location 3. The type of home it is & it's amenities. I have to thank the interweb for providing me with the opportunity to find this house. Without it, I have no idea how would have found such a great home. Specifically, I would like to thank Google Earth, I GE'ed the hell out of the neighborhood. I "drove" around the the front and back of the house, I went over to the main street and canvased the stores and restaurants, took a "drive" up to the park and scoped out the area houses. It was the closest I could come to this place without physically being there, so I'm really grateful I was able to do that. The restaurants around the corner from our house are great. We have two grocery stores, 5 coffee shops (a little excessive), upwards of 10 different good restaurants, a yoga studio, nail salon, a few banks, hardware store and a hospital! It's probably the most convenient neighborhood we've lived in ever. Even more than when we lived in the Upper East Side. I will admit though, that the one downside is Jack's commute. Which I did take into consideration, however I was waylaid by the subtle differences between the shuttles he is allowed to take. The one ConnectOR bus that is one block from our house (the one I was banking on) is not for vendors (Jack is technically a vendor in the division he is working), the Connect (no OR) that he can take is in South Lake Union...

BUY THE GLAMOUR NECESSITIES

10Things.jpg

Finally for the fun part! After moving in I realized immediately that there were certain items that one can not consider necessary on the survival front, but in regards to every day life, and for the sake of our sanity, are considered very important. I wouldn't say it's a stretch to call them necessary,  but to not be totally vain, I'll instead call them glamour necessities. Some of these items I knew I would need before moving, so I actually purchased them ahead of time, while others I thought I could do without for a short while. That is until reality struck and I realized all of our clothes are wrinkled, (not good for husband's first day of work) and I had no idea what the bottom half of my body looked like for the past 7 days.... 

  1. MOKA POT - Top of the list is coffee, I need good cup of coffee and I hate spending a lot of money on one from the cafe everyday. In order to get myself into the frame of mind to work, I have to pour myself a cup from my favorite coffee maker. 
  2. MONOGRAM MUG - This goes along with the top item. 
  3. A DRESSER - For the two of us. We just receive the hangers for the closet today, but this dresser was so necessary to get settled. Living out of suitcases is so temporary feeling.
  4. A SOFT + WARM BLANKET - Our house is really cold, and we're still adjusting to life out of an apartment in New York City. If you didn't know, NY requires that all apartments be heated and that the tenants do not have to pay for heat or hot water. In Seattle, that is not a requirement, and our heating is electric so we are trying to conserve our electric bill... also, the house is old and not well insulated.
  5. CLASSIC ENGLISH COMFORT - We aren't moving the sofa out here until I move permanently. So Jack needs something comfortable to sit on for the time being. It's also nice to have an english roll arm in any form. PS this is the same chair as the one we ordered from OKL, only $100 less.
  6. FLOOR LENGTH MIRROR - Let's just say I'm not comfortable with not knowing what I look like from top to bottom. I'm a stickler for proportions wen it comes to my outfits. 
  7. PATTERNED RUG - This rug is beautiful and adds warmth to the cold hardwood floors as well as warmth in regards to color. 
  8. SHOWER CAP - I don't wash my hair everyday, and I recently discovered this start up. I purchased two of these, one for NY apartment, and one for Seattle. 
  9. HAND STEAMER - This is so necessary. I rarely use an iron and this little steamer works on practically everything. This is the 4th one I've purchased. I even have one for my parents' home. 
  10. HANDSOME HOOKS - These were on sale in the store.  I'm hanging a bunch around the house for coats, odds and ends, etc. 

There you have it, maybe this post was a lot of words and not a lot of meat. Although, I think after our first week in Seattle, we're doing alright. I'm working on a few DIY projects that I'm planning to post about in the coming days. Did I ever mention how much I hate DIY? Well I do, but at this moment, money is a little tight so I'm going to persevere and re-do a few chairs along with other things around the house. Check back soon... Thanks for reading!

LIFE | The Hotels We Loved and The Ones We Wish We Could Have Experienced

LIFE, SPACESLauren CaronComment
Jack sleeping in at the Hotel du Cloître | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Jack sleeping in at the Hotel du Cloître | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

For the first installment of our mini travel series, I wanted to write about the hotels that we both stayed and did not stay in. There are so many wonderful places to go and sleep in Europe but I wanted to give a shout out to the few that we felt were worth noting. For part of the trip we stayed in two none discript hotels, that I would only note for their cleanliness, very reasonable rates, centralized location and safety (I'll list those at the end of this post for your reference). The hotels I'm most excited to write about are for the ones we stayed in: The Hotel du Clîotre and Idéal Séjour, as well as those that we didn't book with - L'Hôtel Particulier, the Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus and Hôtel Jules Cesar (all three of these were in Arles, France). 

Our favorite hotel of the trip was the Hotel du Clîotre, designed by India Mahdavi, a recently renovated boutique hotel, located in the historic district of Arles, Provence. Outside it looks as though the building were a privately owned Provençal home. Inside the interiors are modern with a strong midcentury vibe. The color palette is playful with bright pops of yellow, turquoise blues and lime greens. What is especially unique is the use of tiles throughout the hotel, creating a mosaic-like pattern on the floors that trails itself up the walls in the bathrooms. Our room, was one of the smaller floor plans, but comfortable in comparison to NYC sized rooms and it only set us back about 110 euros per night. The staff was very friendly and the small restaurant/bar on the terrace open only some of the days (we couldn't really figure out which days though) had a wonderful atmosphere and charm. I took a ton of photos of the space because, quite frankly, I couldn't get enough!

The Entrance Door Knocker | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The Entrance Door Knocker | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The second place we stayed in that we really enjoyed was a hotel that if it weren't for a last minute, necessary booking, we would have never experienced. The Hôtel Idéal Séjour, was very charming and surprisingly well designed. It is a bit kitchy, but the gracious host (who we believe was also the owner) made it a wonderful experience. The design concept of the Hôtel Idéal Séjour reflects inspiration gathered from famous books, stories and films. Each room design is unique to a particular theme. In some rooms, there are characters that actually emerge from the walls. Our room was the L'Instant Poetique, where a mural of Armond Renaud was painted on the wall. Overall the hotel is cozy and the rooms are on the slightly smaller side, but the garden where we had breakfast each morning and the obvious care and passion that went into creating this hotel, makes for it a very special place to stay. 

The library in the Hotel Ideal Sejour | Photograph by: Lauren L Caron  2015

The library in the Hotel Ideal Sejour | Photograph by: Lauren L Caron  2015

We found it humorous that my husband looked strikingly similar to Renaud | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

We found it humorous that my husband looked strikingly similar to Renaud | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The continental breakfast spread | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The continental breakfast spread | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

Lastly, there are a few hotels on our list to visit or stay in for next time. The definite front runner is the L'Hôtel Particulier in Arles. A highend boutique hotel, that oozes luxury. We passed by one evening hoping to have a drink in the bar, however it didn't seem such an opportunity was possible. 

The other two are ones also noted for their elegance and luxury are The Grand Hôtel Nord-Pinus. I find it interesting for it's history.  Apparently has been featured as a backdrop in a lot of fashion photoshoots. It's location is directly across from the cafe that Van Gogh painted, so a great location if you're trying to find something central. The Hôtel Jules Cesar was designed by Christian Lacroix. The interiors are lush and colorful, nothing short of what you would expect from Lacroix. The building is very old dating back to the 17th century. It also seems more like a getaway hotel, as there is a spa and large pool on location. 


The other places we stayed that were safe, convenient and clean:

The Duran Hotel & Restaurant - once a place where Dalí would frequent located in Figures Spain. Address: Carrer Lasauca, 5 Figueres Girona 17600 Spain

The Hotel Barcelona Universal - Easy access to the subway and there's a pool! Address: Del Paral.lel, Del 76-78 Barcelona Barcelona 08001 Spain

 


LIFE | Our Tour de France & Spain

LIFELauren CaronComment
The streets of Nice | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The streets of Nice | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

We're back; full bellied, slightly pink and completely inspired by our wonderful vacation to France and Spain. If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen a lot of the places we visited. I'm not shy about sharing my experiences and if you're wondering there's actually a lot more that I didn't share. I often fall victim to #wanderlust and love to expose others to the amazing places this world has to offer to us. On the blog I thought I would expand on the details about the places we slept, ate, visited and some of things we learned. It will be a quick series - one post regarding hotels and places to stay, one on food and drink, and lastly one detailing a few activities or sights that we found exceptionally special and noteworthy. Hopefully, if any readers are planning a similar trip, our resources will provide you with useful information. 

For a little background behind this vacation. Each year we try to plan a 'big' trip to celebrate our lives together and usually it takes place close to our wedding anniversary (it just happened on Monday, 6/1/15). This year, due to unique opportunity France was the front runner for destinations. Jack's animated thesis film was awesomely accepted into the Cannes Short Film corner (a special thanks to SVA for submitting it)! We may have planned to go somewhere else, but this once in a lifetime opportunity gave us the push to plan to travel through the south of France. Luckily, due to airfare being much more affordable in Spain, we were able to slip that in too!

The carousel in Cannes | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

The carousel in Cannes | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

I'm not a travel writer and I'm definitely not sponsored, so any and all of these experiences were paid for by us. Although, I do really wish I could write it off, R&D anyone? Which means, they're possible for the everyday folks if you plan well and save a little. Overall, I would say this trip was reasonable.  For two people, including airfare, car rental, and hotels for a full 15 days we spent less than $4k. For food, gas and activities, we kept to a pretty strict budget of less than $100 per day. 

For the first installment of this series, I'm going to talk about the places we stayed, the places we didn't stay and lastly, the ones we wished we could have stayed in! Check back soon for the next installment. 

A glimpse of the Casa Batllo by Goudi | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015

A glimpse of the Casa Batllo by Goudi | Photograph by Lauren L Caron © 2015