A flight cancellation by American Airlines changed our original plans putting us on a red eye flight to JFK from Los Angeles with a nine hour layover followed by a second red eye trip to Barcelona. We decided to make lemonade with the bowl of lemons we were handed and I located "Family in New York", a tour company that offered layover tours into New York City. I am so glad that we did.
Scott, the owner, was our guide. He was there waiting when we landed and whisked us off for coffee and bagels before we could blink. For the next six hours we weaved our way throughout the city as Scott shared a bit of the history of the area and we visited the "must see" sights. I would love to return for a longer visit. He had us back at the airport in plenty of time and we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.
We arrived in Barcelona at 8:00 am local time and took a taxi from the airport to our hotel, the Barcelona Universal. Luckily for us the hotel had one room available so we were able to check in early and take a nap before heading out to enjoy the city. That evening found us participating in a wine and tapas walking tour led by Daniel from the "Spanish Trails" tour company. Even the light rain couldn't keep us from having wonderful time. I highly recommend this tour if luck finds you in Barcelona. The next morning we purchased tickets for the blue Hop On Hop Off bus. This turned out to be a perfect option for us. We were able to tour the city stopping at places of interest to us, walk and explore, and then get back on to head for a new area. It is worth noting that the narration was available in 8 languages heard through headphones included with the ticket.