Honeymoon Recap: Palma de Mallorca

I’m back with another city recap from my amazing honeymoon adventure. After a relaxing day at sea (I’ll get to a recap from the boat later!), Ian and I arrived in Palma de Mallorca. Palma de Mallorca is located on the southern shores of Mallorca overlooking the Mediterranean. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of the Balearic Islands in Spain and it is a beautiful city.

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We started off our tour visiting a really cool castle. It was a bit of an anachronism because it was a circular Gothic castle and the two styles rarely intertwine. It had a lot of Gothic arches and Roman-style artwork. Notably, the heads were interchangeable on the statues signifying that maybe they’ve had one or two different rulers in their time!

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Next up we headed to a pearl factory where they did the mounting of the pearls. I think it was mostly a tourist trap to get people to buy pearls, but I got lucky and Ian got me a beautiful pearl necklace, bracelet and earring set! I’ve never owned pearls (I wore my Mom’s for the wedding), so I was very excited!

After the pearl factory, we walked across the street to a bull fighting ring. It was built in 1929, but was built to look much older. It actually looked like a little Colosseum. Turns out they only fight bulls now about five times a year during major celebrations. I’m not sure I could stomach watching a bull fight, so I was OK that nothing was going on while we were there. On the downside, there was no toilet paper or soap in  any of the bathrooms – a theme that would continue throughout Spain. I’m worried their financial situation may be even worse than they’re letting on!

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From there we got back on the bus and headed to the center of town to tour the Cathedral. It was one of the coolest Cathedrals I’ve seen. Outside, it had fountains and gardens, which are traditional symbols of Arabic wealth from the time when it was turned into a mosque. There was a giant water spout out front and a manmade lake built recently when a highway was added between the water and the Cathedral because the residents still wanted to see the reflection of the Cathedral in the water.

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The exterior walls are built entirely of sandstone – an unusual building material for a cathedral. It also has the largest rose window in the world – 12 meters across. Twice a year its reflection lines up directly underneath a smaller rose window on the far side of the Cathedral above the entrance at 8:30 a.m. if it’s sunny on February 2 and November 11 – we just missed it!

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It was a ‘living’ Cathedral so they weren’t attempting to keep it in a preserved state. They had new art exhibitions in the Chapels that were very interesting and a bit controversial with some of the older members of our tour group! What was funny about that was the main altar remains unfinished because when the bishop who commissioned it died, the new bishop was uninterested in having it finished because he didn’t like the artist and thought what is now considered a traditional altar was too flashy and an unnecessary use of money. They still hold masses there as well.

Rocking our earbuds for the audio tour so we could hear the tour guide, but still wander on our own!

Rocking our earbuds for the audio tour so we could hear the tour guide, but still wander on our own!

We headed back to the boat for lunch and attempted to go back out to the beautiful beaches since I was determined to put my feet in the Mediterranean, but were thwarted by cruise staff who said they sold out of shuttle tickets even though we were never told that was a possibility. I was none too happy at the time, but we made the best of our afternoon and headed back to the ship hot tub instead and laid in the sun for a little while. All in all, another pretty great day!

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Christmas in Florida

After many years of spending Christmas in Syracuse with one or two years in D.C. we decided to totally mix things up this year and do Christmas in Florida! My uncle was kind enough to loan us his condo near West Palm Beach for the week, so Ian and I met up there with my parents and my brother and his wife.

It was quite the busy year for my family with both my brother and I getting married in August and October, so a quiet, relaxing week in the Florida sunshine was absolutely perfect.

While hot and humid runs may not be the easiest, it felt so incredibly good to head out the door in just shorts and a tank. We’ll be back in DC by 9am today and I’m not looking forward to layering up again for runs this week.

There was a really great Downtown area not far from where we stayed filled with cool shops and restaurants. Seeing as our favorite bar back home is called Mulligans, we made sure to fit in a couple trips to the Mulligans here!

On Christmas Eve we went to a great Italian spot called 18 Seminole Street Italian Bistro. It was an old house converted into a restaurant and the food was amazing. I went with the classic spaghetti and meatballs and it was delicious. I also loved a chain pizza place called Anthony’s just around the corner from us – amazing coal-fired pizza!

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We also checked out a sports bar called Duffy’s and found a great ice cream spot one night! One of my favorite evenings was spent sitting outside at a restaurant/bar called Pelican Cafe. The picnic table outside each had an umbrella and sat on a sandy beach overlooking the water and boats. We spent a few hours drinking some beers and reveling in the fact that we were sitting outside in December!

In addition to eating out we enjoyed some great home-cooked meals as well including steaks on Christmas Day and a turducken over the weekend!

We also fit in a few trips to the movies for The Imitation Game and Unbroken. Both were based on true stories and both were incredible movies. Imitation Game was a really interesting story I didn’t know much about going into it, but really enjoyed. One of my favorite quotes from the movie was: “Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine.” Unbroken was absolutely incredible and probably the best movie I’ve seen all year. Louis Zamperini’s story of courage and refusing to give up in the face of unbelievable adversity was incredibly moving and inspiring.

All in all it was a great week and such a fun way to spend Christmas!