Sunday, June 26, 2011

!Hola! From Barcelona

Our flight from New York to Barcelona went smoothly. We departed at 9:00 PM and arrived in Spain at 10:30AM. The kids were exhausted, as was I...sleep on airplanes is impossible. In an attempt to reset all our body clocks, I forced the kids to go to the pool upon arrival at our hotel. It was a beautiful, sunny day - about 85 degrees. I heard a lot of belly aching, but once they were at the pool they enjoyed the refreshing dip. We stayed at the pool for an hour then headed up for a 4 hour nap.

My plan was to take the kids to Montjuic, an historic area that features museums, gardens and even a castle. It was also the site of the 1992 Olympics. We were going to have a leisurely evening walking Montjuic, have a late dinner and then return to the hotel.

As is the case with the best laid plans, everything went wrong. We took the bus into town to the Placa d' Espanya, the recommended entryway to Montjuic. I noticed within 2 minutes that we had left off at the site of the 2011 Pride Espanya celebration. Back in the US this is called Gay Pride Weekend/Celebration. We harbor no bias in our family, so it wasn't a problem per se. Our two biggest problems were 1) trying to keep hold of Josie in the crushing crowd and 2) dealing with the disappointment of Maddie and Hailey who had dressed their best to enjoy their first night in Barcelona, only to realize it was Cousin Liam who was getting all the attention from the handsome men in attendance!

We walked through the festival headed toward the Poble Espanyol. This is a village reconstructed from a mix of famous buildings and street throughout Spain. It features artisans in residence, bars, restaurants and what was supposed to be an impressive array of artisan demonstrations. The information I had stated that the 'village' closed at 2AM. We arrived at 10:30PM and were turned away because they were closing. Oh well. James, Josie and I had no problem with rearranging the evening and began searching for a sidewalk tapas restaurant where we could all enjoy a meal while people watching. Maddie, Liam and Hailey were less thrilled with the change of events - all were eager to see the the beautiful views they were promised at Montjuic.

Hailey and Liam enjoy their first sip of Sangria.

A delicious dinner seem to cheer all. It was after midnight when we finished dinner so we headed to the bus stop to catch our ride back to the hotel. Second big mistake in my planning process was failing to realize that the regular buses stop running at 11:30PM. I figured out which 'night bus' got us closest to the hotel (The airport express) and we would then take a cab from the airport to our hotel which was about 5 mins from the airport. The three oldest looked at me like I was nuts... "Why not just take a cab from downtown to the hotel?" Short answer: "Barcelona cabs, by law, are only permitted to carry 4 passengers at a time. We are a group of 6". We much preferred taking the bus and then paying only for the short trip from the airport to the hotel in two cabs.

Anyway, the plan worked fine . We got back safely and I can hear the older kids laughing in the room next door. So, not so a bad of a start. Tomorrow I expect that everyone's body clocks will be back in order so we can enjoy a full day touring Barcelona. Until then...

1 comment:

  1. Michele, I would travel with you anytime.. Your back up plans beat mine any day.. Tell Hailey I love her shirt... her cousin Maddie who picked it out will be happy... Love you for being such a wonderful host and 2nd Mom to our Hailey... Mama Jane