Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Exploring Barcelona

We got to our vacation house and it was everything we were hoping for.  The drive up the side of the mountain was a little intimidating, but it was worth it.  
Here is the master bedroom, the bed is super comfortable and the view is amazing.

This is the view from the upstairs balcony.  The green is astro turf and we have had a lot of fun playing in the yard, the pool is just around the corner.

It is not that warm yet, but warm enough for the kids to have fun playing in and around the pool.

The gorgeous view is wasted on the kids, but Jon and I have enjoyed it.

On our first adventure into the city we headed to the cathedral.  Out front there was a brocante fair going on.  Sites like this make my heart happy.  I am still kind of sad that I didn't leave with any treasures, but just getting to peruse these antique and vintage beauties was a treat.

Barcelona's cathedral is beautiful.

The inside is a masterpiece.  

Garrett has been a little wild lately, but how sweet is this face?

Exploring the streets of Barcelona, everyone needed their shades.

Our afternoon was spent at the Aquarium.

The kids pushed through the afternoon without a nap, until Garrett just couldn't go any more.  

Our afternoon walk included a stroll by the statue of Christopher Columbus.

After A LOT of walking we found a place for dinner.  While we waited the kids enjoyed playing on Daddy's phone.

And then dinner came, Paella.  YUM!

Malachi has been such a good sport.  He has been good about sleeping when he can.

After dinner the kiddos got popsicles we enjoyed the sunset in the Placa de Catalunya.

Love the gorgeous fountains here, the flowers are amazing.

We made it home in time to enjoy the sunset over the mountains.

Spring Break Adventures: Days 1 & 2

For Spring Break this year we decided to head south to Spain.  We chose to drive, it is a two day trip from Paris to Barcelona.  Our first day was 6 hours of travel time.  We stopped at a really nice KFC for lunch, it had free refills and a play area.  For the night I had a hotel booked in Toulouse.  We parked the car, checked in and then headed out to explore the city and get some dinner.

Here is Addie in front of Pont Neuf of Toulouse.

It was a beautiful evening for a walk.

Jon took the kids into an old church, one of many for this trip.

What a beautiful little corner of the city.

Checking out a play ground down below.

Everyone was so happy to be out of the car.

We headed down the hill to the playground.  Addie had fun spinning around.

Ben, our little monkey, loves climbing.

Garrett has no fear of anything.

This sweet boy is getting so big.

Finding dinner is always a challenge for us.  We are usually ready to eat around the usual American dinner time of 5-6.  Most places here in France don't start serving dinner until about 7 or 7:30.  We did find a little place that served burgers and pitas.  The guys were really helpful and we all got some yummy dinner.

This sweet boy did great traveling.

The restaurant we ate at, Swagg Burger, was just off the main square.

Along the wall behind me in this picture are restaurants and ice cream shops.  We all got a yummy treat to finish off the night.  Our hotel was great, Hotel Castellane, and we were ready to continue our adventure the next day.

Driving from Toulouse to Barcelona you can take the shorter, coastal route or you can take the mountainous route that goes straight south.  Jon loves the mountains so our choice was easy.  

The drive was great, we had wonderful weather and the views were fantastic.

We drove through a lot of little towns, they were all so unique.

This waterfall was just pouring down the side of the mountain.

Love the old bridges and buildings.

Here is a picture of a switchback, there were many of these on the roads we traveled.

The main tunnel was closed so we headed up and over the main mountain.  We were a little overwhelmed in the car, and then we saw this guy on his bike.  

We took a tiny little detour so we could add another country to our list of those visited.  I didn't even realize Andorra was its own country until I did a little research for this trip.  We stopped in a little ski town and had lunch.  

Back on the road we had gorgeous views.

Another fun switchback.

If Jon could stop he would explore every old ruin we saw.

This little village was just beautiful.

Our next stop, Spain.

There is something so majestic about a church with snow capped mountains and blue sky.  This was a tiny village in Spain.

Just across the border we stopped to stretch our legs.

As we drove through Spain we spotted a few more castles and ruins.  After another 4 hours of traveling we made it to our rental house.  We were all ready to be done traveling, but I am thankful that we had such beautiful scenery.