Welcome to With Love, Banke! I hope that you enjoy my posts.





For the past five years, I have yearned to visit Europe. This past September, I finally turned my what at one point felt as if it was an impossible dream into reality. My first stop on my memorable trip was Barcelona. Upon first glance, I was in awe. I could not believe I was actually walking along the paths that I once viewed during my mundane Spanish classes.  I stayed in Las Ramblas, a rather touristy yet familar area for locals. 

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Each night, I seldom slept--50 percent of my insomnia were the unforgiving effects of jet-lag, the remaining 50 percent was due to the noise. Yes, I was warned beforehand of the bustling city. It was as if I were in New York City. 10:00 PM was the the time many started their day. Around 2:00 AM booming voices filled the streets. Many people of what sounded like tourists from all over the world struggled to keep up with tune of different karaoke songs. I heard singing, I heard anger, I heard happiness in everyone's voices. It felt reassuring to have been surrounded by people who were just as happy as me to experience the city.


While in Barcelona, I visited the Picasso museum. Another attraction that I would have never dreamed of being able to experience in real life.  As a kid, many of us learn about different public figures. Whether it be a painter, a politician, a humanitarian, etc. Not knowing that later on in our lives we too would get to experience the mark that that person or persons left behind in the world. 

I unfortunately, do not have paintings from the museum to add to my blog, but the mere experience was wonderful.



A rather funny yet also memorable experience that I had in Las Ramblas was being able to purchase #FentyBeauty with NO yes NO LINE. I remember the day it launched in the States and witnessing many of my friends and Instagram followers alike trying to "cop" the Fenty. My sisters and I on a whim, decided to check out the local Sephora. To our surprise, their was no line for the Fenty Beauty products--in fact we were the only customers in the store! Believe me when I say I was in utter disbelief. I bought two highlighters and pleasantly walked out the door in style.

Despite all of the experiences I had in Barcelona I had some not so pleasant experiences as well. The worst experience was the paella. I tried. I really tried to love it. In fact I tried it three times progressively getting worse each time. I shared my sentiments with others who have traveled to Barcelona in the past and all of whom stated that you N E V E R eat the paella in the tourist spots because it is not authentic. Looking back, a part of me wishes I ventured out of the tourist area but we were crunched on time.

Another experience that I had, I guess it was not really a bad experience just an addiction was the FANTA LIMON. OMG. I was addicted to these suckers but I guess these babies also called for me to have a few unpleasant experiences--unexpected migraines. Your girl was dehydrated!

Next stop was Rome. I am not even sure how to describe my experience with this city except that it was nothing short of ethereal. One of my first stops was the Trevi Fountain where I even made a wish by throwing in a few coins.


While in Rome, I also visited the infamous Coliseum. My experiences entering this ancient monument did not resonate with others. I do not recall a long line, nor did I experience any difficulties roaming around the area. If anything, it was a rather pleasant wait. This visit definitely served as a reminder that I was out of shape--the stairs nearly killed me. I was panting by the time I reached the top. 

My next stop in Rome was the Vatican. As you can see, I am very far from the entrance. This is a result of me sleeping through assigned visiting time to enter the building. Fortunately, I was still able to experience this beautiful monument. 

My next stop in Rome was the Vatican. As you can see, I am very far from the entrance. This is a result of me sleeping through assigned visiting time to enter the building. Fortunately, I was still able to experience this beautiful monument. 


My last stop in Rome was Eatly. I am not exactly sure how to describe this gem. Think of it as Rome's Costco. You could find almost any type of wine, pasta, fish, etc of your liking. The last photo I posted is of me holding a drink that gave me a severe food allergy after I consumed it. But it was all in good fun! 

I definitely recommend traveling to Rome and Barcelona! I made memories that will stick with me for a lifetime. 

With Love Always, Banke 

Quarter of a Century

Quarter of a Century