weekend warriors // four days in mallorca

theromanticAbout a month ago, as the days were getting shorter but just before we officially turned back our clocks, I packed up my carry on and jetted off with Ana for four days in Mallorca, full of sun, rioja, and mucho, mucho gambas. But we’ll get to those babies in a sec.

There were plenty of reasons to be excited — our gorgeous Mallorca Farmhouses villa, getting schooled in the local seafood, traveling with a fellow winelover — but seriously? I was mainly looking forward to some pool time and increasing my freckle count. This summer was not remotely bad! But once we left the states at the end of July, it was never particularly summery. France sent us off with mostly rain, and once we arrived in London, we pretty much hit the ground running.

I’m aware that I am in no position to complain here, but still! A girl needs some Vitamin D! Luckily, in just five short days and with the help of Mrs. O, we recaptured some summertime magic during my introduction to Mallorca.

Get yourself some status. // Our weekend started with a very, very early flight from Heathrow. After, I had a quick lesson on why status matters.

Before this trip, I had some vague idea of Mrs. O’s life as a BA traveler and her love for the ever-coveted Gold Status. We moved to London, and I quickly learned why sticking with one airline is important. But until now, none of it was very tangible.

Flying the BA SkiesPhoto via Mrs O

Yes, well, this early morning flight taught me everything I’ll ever need to know. We arrived at the airport with about 75 minutes to spare, and checked in without a problem. Part of this might have been because when people talk about the crack of dawn, this flight is what they’re talking about. Not many other nutbags were traveling, anyway. Even so, there were a few, and as Mrs. O’s +1, I didn’t need to deal with those plebeians. No, no, I could breeze right on through check in… and the people who handed me my ticket even smiled! IT WASN’T A SNEER!

(Clearly, there were just too many EasyJet flights in my 2014.)

Anyway, after we checked in, we zipped off to the lounge. Here, we had our choice of bottles and bottles of Taittinger, endless Nespresso, and a full breakfast. Unfortunately for everyone, it was way too early to drink champagne. I KNOW, there is such an hour! Because we wanted to sleep a bit on our first flight, we were forced to go uncaffeinated, too. Life is hard. Instead, we had a few bites of their signature breakfast sandwiches, and hopped onto the plane. Obviously, we once again needed not worry about queuing, because queuing is NOT FOR THE GOLD, kids.

After a quick stop in Madrid (and more lounging, though this time we did opt for coffee), one more tiny flight, and a lot of smiling along to misunderstood Spanish on my part, we arrived.

Gambas are prawns and prawns are just giant shrimp and Europe is a continent of confusion // When we were in Puglia, I learned all about Mrs. O’s love of prawns — to the extent that I tried not to recoil when she went so far as to eat the meat from INSIDE the HEADS. Then, when the hubs and I went to Portugal, pretty much all of her restaurant recommendations included “must have!” prawn dishes. Obviously, her answer shouldn’t have surprised me when finally, after the fifth mention of “gambas,” I had to ask what the eff even is a gambas anyway.

“Prawns, darling!”

Of course.

As we arrived at our lunch spot, the confusion over Mallorca’s reputation of beauty melted away. We got out of the car, turned the corner, and literally soaked in the sun as we walked down to Flanigan to find ourselves seated in front of this view:

Flanigans - MallorcaI left the ordering up to Ana, because, well, my Spanish no es bueno. After the first gamba, however, I admitted that, though delicious, they were just a lot of messy work. And that is when I got SCHOOLED on how to properly peel my gambas with a fork! No mess!

Gambas - MallorcaPhoto via Mrs O

It involves some major finger dexterity, jabbing your fork into the meat just above the tail, using your knife to rip off all the legs, and then sliding the knife in between the shell and the meat until it comes loose.

Et voilà! Or, you know. Whatever the Spanish equivalent is. Either way: life cha-ay-nging.

Make friends with the neighbors // Unsurprisingly, our villa was perfection. It was cozy — two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a huge kitchen, and a comfortable living room. Each time we got home, I thought to myself how adorable and welcoming the entire place was, with its traditional Spanish architecture, understated decor, and seriously inviting pool and backyard area.

Mallorca FarmhousesWe ended each day with G+Ts on the back patio (Gin Mare + Fever Tree, specifically, because when you’re in Spain, you drink Gin Mare and Fever Tree out of goblets the size of your face), and it was all perfection.

Who made it extra special, though? The locals. Especially this guy:

El Gato - MallorcaHe stopped by each evening to check out the scene and make sure we shared our manchego. He did NOT want us to share our strawberries, and trust me, I tried, because we had plenty of those to spare.

If you were to drive without a valid license, Mallorca is not the place to do it // So, backing up a bit here, but when we picked up our GoldCar rental at the airport, we were faced with a few issues. Aside from an enraged screaming German and the “Express Service” for people without reservations, I also apparently needed an international drivers permit? To be fair, I do have one, but it wasn’t WITH me because literally no one has ever asked me for this. This means two out of the last two trips I’ve taken with Ana, we’ve had some majorly weird rental car experiences. My last trip with her even inspired this post, so… does this mean we’re the problem?

I don’t know, but I can tell you that GoldCar’s idea of “gold” is much different than British Airways. Gold plated, maybe.

Anyway. Hypothetically, if you haven’t driven in, say, 8 months, and you didn’t bring the correct paperwork so that you may legally drive your rental car, then, hypothetically, it would be a bad idea to drive on roads that look like this:

Sa Colabra - MallorcaThe road to Sa Colabra is not for the faint of heart and yes, I am the faint of heart.

If it rains, you go to Palma // Find the perfect place for your morning coffee, scout out somewhere for afternoon paella, and most importantly, bring your wallet, because the shopping is absurd. And, if it DOES rain, seriously, don’t be that sad! Palma is an adorable place, and it’s very likely we would have limited our time there if the sun were shining.

PalmaAnd if we hadn’t spent much time in Palma, I wouldn’t have come home with new boots. And if I hadn’t come home with new boots, I’d still be wearing old boots, and who needs that? Not me, that’s for sure. What I’m saying is, sometimes a rainy vaca day isn’t the worst thing in the world.

So there you have it, mis pequeñas gambas <<– I had to google that. The perfect intro to Mallorca, and you can bet your bottom dollar I’m figuring out how to return in 2015, because Spain is officially working her way into my heart.

xo!

the romantic

– Thank you to Mallorca Farmhouses for hosting us for my very first visit to Mallorca, and to Mrs. O for inviting me along to shadow her life of luxury. Rates for the Pepi villa are as low as £828 for a week in the off season, and, in my humble opinion, it’s perfect for a girls getaway or a family trip (two couples might be more difficult, as one bedroom has two beds, but I don’t know your life.)

All opinions are my own, and I want to be Gold Status when I grow up.

Follow:
Share:

22 Comments

  1. November 11, 2014 / 08:39

    hahahahah you were a very good student and I am delighted that you LOVED the gambas!! I have a lot of love for Spain, and Mallorca in particular and loved our little getaway together. And yes, getting that Gold card is heavenly (that is the equivalent of American Airlines Executive Platinum – fancy name, huh? Or one world emerald (consistent across all one world carriers). Here’s to many more trips together!!
    @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..A lux weekend in Venice, ItalyMy Profile

        • November 11, 2014 / 08:53

          oh oh, i misread and thought you were trying to get me in some other club and i mean, we just got me off easy jet. it’s a lot to handle.
          Lazy Travelers recently posted..misadventures in mallorcaMy Profile

          • @mrsoaroundworld
            November 11, 2014 / 09:22

            Oh no no no!! I only have 1 airline card as you know. And when and if I fly with Iberia or AA (or another one world carrier), I have the same benefits (despite the name of the card. The green dot is what counts). I love the differences in the names. AA’s lowest tier is Gold, ours is the top one (except for the secret status card which I do not have, sadly).

    • November 11, 2014 / 08:54

      if it makes it easier, i can take one of the other cards off your hands for awhile?? just let me know, i’m always happy to help.
      Lazy Travelers recently posted..misadventures in mallorcaMy Profile

    • November 11, 2014 / 09:21

      See, this is why you Americans are lucky. We really only get status if we actually fly enough. The credit cards only give us miles… which isn’t bad.
      @mrsoaroundworld recently posted..A lux weekend in Venice, ItalyMy Profile

  2. Solveig McNeill
    November 11, 2014 / 12:06

    @GoMallorca are delighted you had such an educational and fun time at Pepi and your descriptions made us smile. Hope we can tempt you back to the lovely island next year…

  3. November 13, 2014 / 06:59

    I’ve heard that the BA gold card is magical and am hitting myself that I still haven’t got one after a year in the UK… I’ve been in that lounge once and it is AMAZING. Good tip about the rental cars – I’ve been renting them for years and never had an issue. I’m pretty sure my international license has expired by now! Did they let you rent the car none-the-less?
    Jess (Jess-On-Thames) recently posted..Re: Why haven’t you been to Windsor?My Profile

  4. Simon OReilly
    November 13, 2014 / 14:44

    The meat in the gambas head is the best! And Mallorca is special, sun, sand and sea food! And as for Gold BA it is now a life style one can’t be without. I am glad the student has learnt from Mrs O.

  5. November 16, 2014 / 15:02

    Looks like an amazing trip, plus thanks for the BA and shellfish tips – something for everyone here. P.S. I would not drive on that road either!

  6. November 16, 2014 / 19:43

    Looks like a lovely getaway. I can relate to the difficulty in eating prawns served that way. I had something similar in Singapore and it was like a black pepper sauce, so it was quite a mess. Definitely don’t want to wear white eating that.
    Traveling Ted recently posted..Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore rocks photo essayMy Profile

  7. November 18, 2014 / 00:00

    Getting to a good status level really is the best thing ever. You don’t realize what you’re missing until you have it. And then… Well, I don’t really have it, but my husband does. And that’s nearly as good 😉
    Laura recently posted..Southern Living: Keswick Hall at MonticelloMy Profile

  8. November 18, 2014 / 11:09

    Sign us up! What a beautiful destination. We have some friends that have a place there. We are going to have to find a time to visit.

  9. November 18, 2014 / 11:58

    “Misadventures” don’t often start when you turn down champagne?

    As for the Gambas two questions… 1) is there any video tutorial on how to eat such a shrimp with a fork? StayLuxurious needs to learn this skill.
    2) what happened with the eyes, I’ve seen things in Spain…

    Also, I missed Mallorca on my last trip to Spain, I’ll need to make this place happen on my next adventure there.

    StayLovingSpain, Craig
    Craig Zabransky recently posted..Get the Sunset Mindset – The 2015 Sunset Sunday CalendarMy Profile

  10. November 18, 2014 / 16:10

    I’ve had prawns many years ago in England. This reminds me of eating crawfish in the South, which includes sucking the heads for the flavor. And this good Southerner would never use a fork to peel a crawfish, which I assume is a bit like gamba.
    Lance | Trips By Lance recently posted..Traverse City Wine and Beer FunMy Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge