Ott European Invasion – Barcelona



After our weekend in Zermatt, I had to go back to school for a few days before we jetted off to Barcelona for a crazy cheap price! (I will forever miss those cheap flights.) Barcelona is one of the coolest cities I have been to. The atmosphere and the culture there are hard to beat. It was so full of life. We enjoyed some of the best meals of our lives there! And sangria too! We saw some of the coolest sights the world has to offer. And we scored the best airbnb!


Three bedrooms, three bathrooms, kitchen, laundry, living room all for the same price per night of one tiny hotel room. You can’t beat that. We cooked breakfast there every morning before exploring the eccentric city. And at the end of the day, it was great to come back to a place that felt more like a home than a hotel. The landlord was the sweetest and so helpful too. We highly recommend that you stay here if you ever find yourself going to Barcelona with a bigger group!


Sagrada Familia is by far the coolest church I have ever seen. Gaudi was a genius and had such incredible talent. The church was lit completely by natural light. The colors were so vibrant. And the architecture was so unique. We were told to get the audio-guided tour and make sure to go up in the towers. We definitely recommend that!








Park Guell was also created by Gaudi. It isn’t your typical open fields of grass with a million trees kind of park. There are lots of trees but also lots of architecture like slanted walls and stairs. We were told that Gaudi didn’t really like straight lines and you can tell because everything was curvy and had movement to it. Make your way up to the top where you can enjoy a fabulous view of the city and a beautiful sunset if you time it right!









It wasn’t quite warm enough when we went to break out our bathing suits and lay on the beach all day. However, we knew we wanted to spend some time near the beach anyway. It is the Mediterranean Sea, after all! We strolled along through some markets and sat and enjoyed the view.




At night time we headed to Montjuic for the magic fountain, lights, and music show! It was pretty cool because the backdrop to the fountain show was this magnificent building/castle.



Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any pictures in the Picasso Museum. But it was a really cool museum because you saw his work starting from when he was twelve years old, when his paintings looked pretty normal, to when he was about ninety years old, when cubism was in full effect! It was so interesting to watch his work evolve into the style we think of today when we hear his name.

We hoped we could make it to a futbol (soccer) game, but unfortunately the team wasn’t playing while we were there. Oh well, I guess that means we have to make it back there again some day!


La Boqueria is one of the reasons why I would be happy to live my life in Barcelona. Of course, it involves food. It’s the coolest food market I have ever been to with just about everything you could possibly want and need like fruit, vegetables, juices, meat, cheese, fish, chocolate, desserts, spices, paella, prepared foods, homemade pastas, bread. And they even have some things you probably never would want like weird lamb heads and stomachs of certain animals. You name it, they’ve got it! We wandered through, tried a little of everything, and even got lost from each other a couple times. This is a cannot miss place!barcelona24




Rosa Negra is a fun, casual atmosphere with lots of bright colors on the walls and decorations. And the best mojitos we’ve ever had! (Did you try out the recipe Emily used to recreate the mojitos?) We ate tacos, nachos, quesadillas, burritos, and guacamole! This place is so much fun and really cheap too!

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Quimet y Quimet is a little secret we will let you in on because we love you so much. It is the best tapas in all of Barcelona. But, hardly anyone will tell you that because it’s a teeny tiny place and they don’t want you to take their spot at their favorite restaurant. Luckily, Hannah’s aunt who used to live in Barcelona was so kind enough to let us in on this secret. You stand around little tables, order a pitcher of sangria (or two), and keep the tapas coming! It is so fresh and so yummy. I could eat that kind of food every single day and not get sick of it! Hannah and her mom were in Barcelona the same time we were so we decided to meet up here for some dinner!





La Flouta was a yummy restaurant just down the street from our apartment that our host told us about. It was the first restaurant we went to on our first night in Barcelona. So, it was the first time we got a taste of how amazing the food is in Barcelona and it set the tone for the rest of the trip. We ordered a little of everything so we could try it all! We even had a game of Ellen’s Heads Up going at the table that you may have seen on Emily’s instagram. We had such a blast.




7 Portes is a restaurant down by the water with delicious paella. We knew we couldn’t leave Barcelona without trying paella and this place didn’t disappoint. We got a couple different kinds and ate until we were stuffed. Then, we waddled all the way home!



Okay so, Ristorante Eden, isn’t a Spanish style restaurant. It’s Italian. So you’re probably wondering why we decided to stop here of all places…well we were walking back towards the center of town after visiting the Sagrada Familia and looking for some lunch because we were starving. We came across this little restaurant with the cutest owner in the entire world. She is seriously an angel and the brightest light. So, when she asked us if “we have hungry” we couldn’t say no. And we couldn’t resist asking to have our picture taken with her. Besides, who can say no to pizza no matter what country you’re in?! So, go stop by Vanessa’s restaurant if you are ever in Barcelona!



And here is a video of our time in Barcelona!

We loved this city so much and we hope that each and every one of you make it over there at some point in your lifetime!

Ott European Invasion – Zermatt


I don’t mean to be super cliché, but skiing the Swiss Alps is a dream come true. Once I was accepted into the international program and I was officially going to Switzerland, my family planned to come visit me and the first place on our list to visit together was Zermatt – the home of the famous Matterhorn. We hadn’t been skiing together in years. So, we were all really excited to cross this item off of our bucket lists. (Although that excitement may have turned into a bit of weariness after telling my family about my first encounter with the Swiss Alps. But, their courage prevailed and we went skiing despite any fear!) I finished classes on Thursday evening and Friday morning we jumped on the train to Zermatt. It’s about a 2 hour train ride, but a beautiful one at that. I really never get sick of Switzerland’s landscapes.



Once we arrived, we dropped off our bags at Hotel Firefly (which we highly recommend – it’s absolutely beautiful and they have the best customer service), grabbed some lunch in town, and rented our ski gear so that we were ready for the next day.








We got up early the next morning so that we could get a full day of skiing in. Once we got to the top of the ski lift and skied around the corner, I saw the Matterhorn for the first time up on the slopes and I seriously could not believe it. It was breathtaking. After we soaked it all in, I mainly kept my eyes down on the slope making sure I wasn’t going to fall. Steve is a pro and was so patient with us. He gave us all some lessons and tips and skied with us a couple times down the slope. Then once we all felt pretty comfortable going down ourselves, Em and Steve went skiing on some crazy black slopes!

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After skiing until our legs were shaking, we all met up at the end of  the day for dinner in town and games back at the hotel. Have you ever played Ellen’s “Heads Up” game? We played it continuously during our trip, even at restaurants! We really had the best time! Thanks family for coming to visit me in Switzerland! I had fun showing you around.

Zermatt from The Milly & Grace Girls on Vimeo.

(Making this video made me miss Switzerland so much. I cannot wait until I return again!)

Stay tuned for the Barcelona part of the Ott European Invasion…it’s coming up next!

Ott European Invasion – Lausanne


I don’t know if you heard, but I had a major scare with all of my pictures. First, I lost all of the pictures from when my family came to visit me in Switzerland and our trip to Barcelona. Then, somehow I managed to get those back after some research online. But, when I got those back, the rest of my pictures disappeared. Luckily, I have Apple Care and was able to call them up once I got back to the states and they saved my life. It’s not the first time they’ve saved my life. Seriously, they are amazing. Anyway, now that I have all of them back I can post about the Ott European Invasion! Yay!

I was so excited to finally be able to show my family the town that I had called home for months. I remember walking to dinner the night before they came thinking ‘wait, they are going to walking these streets tomorrow’. I could not believe it was going to happen…but it did!

My sisters both sent me identical pictures when the Swiss boarder control let them in:


I showed them all around, gave them a tour of my house (you can see a tour here), took them to the Cathedral and to get the best swiss hot chocolate in town. We had picnics down by the lake, they visited the Olympic Museum while I was in class, and of course we had to have some fondue!











Then, we were off to Zermatt! Stay tuned for that post and more of the Ott European Invasion xo