My friends from home booked their spring break flight to Barcelona in October. We had fairy tale fantasies about how absolutely amazing their week in Barca would be, and it was all we could talk about it. Now the week has come and gone, and it was amazing, but nothing ever goes quite according to plan.

Constancia, Laura, Sarah and McKenzie were supposed to get here on Friday, March 11, but flight delays and cancellations courtesy of American Airlines postponed their arrival until Sunday. Strike number 1. We surprised them at the airport, brought back their bags, and showed our jet-lagged friends around the city. We walked down Passeig de Gracia, through Placa Catalunya, on La Rambla and ended at the beach, where we stayed for most of the day. It was a great start, but it didn’t make up for the two days they missed.

We had big plans for the rest of the week, but the weather rained on our parade, literally. Strike number 2. It never rains in Barcelona. Before this week, it had rained five, maybe six days out of the more than 70 days we’ve been here. But this week it rained Monday, it rained Tuesday, it rained Wednesday AND it even rained a little bit on Thursday. We had fun, but it was hard to see a lot during the day when there was a monsoon outside.

Things turned around by Thursday afternoon, right as our friends from Florence arrived. We celebrated St. Patty’s Day, spent another day at the beach, saw the fountain light show and ate paella at La Fonda. Playing hostess to nine people was beyond stressful, but it was unreal to reunite with 17 of my best friends in Spain.