The tickets have been purchased and I'm ready to go. Now. Alas, I must wait until September.
I'm definitely going to Barcelona. Erin and I are landing at Gatwick Airport at the exact same time, and will be flying to Girona, Spain that same day. I'm so excited that she gets to go, too! I expect we'll stay in Girona for a night or two, as we'll be quite travel-weary. Then on to Barcelona. Erin leaves on the 15th, at which point I'll go... somewhere.
I won't know until I get there where I want to go. RyanAir had some plane tickets to Milan that were just silly cheap (€0.99 +tax), but I didn't buy them because I might not want to go to Milan this time around. I've been reading a lot about Spain, so I think I'll maybe head to the south, or to Toledo or wherever strikes my fancy. I'll probably try to spend some time in France, and then two or three nights in London before I return. Mostly, I don't want to go running all over the continent, but would rather spend good quality time in a few different places.
I like it that I have a plan now, and that the plan has huge open gaps in it, ready for me to fill in when I get there. I like that I can just show up at a train station on September 15 and hop on whatever train leaves next, if that's what I feel like doing. Or I could rent a car. Or a bike. Or just go take a nap somewhere.
I'm also excited about the opportunity to practice my Spanish -- I took four years in high school and college and have forgotten quite a bit. Still, hopefully I'll be competent enough in the basics to get rooms and food and whatnot.
I might not get in that much practice in Barcelona, as they primarly speak Catalonian (which is described as a mixture of French and Spanish). The Catalán region is known for being very proud of their independence, both culturally and politically. I just read a travel account of someone who was at a restaurant in Catalonia trying to order in Spanish, and the waiter wouldn't speak Spanish, but switched instead to English.
So much to do before I go! I've got lots of culture and customs to learn about, Spanish to practice, my passport to locate, bags to pack, my wife to murder, and Guilder to frame for it*. I'm swamped.
*I'm not acutally murdering anybody -- it's a reference to The Princess Bride.