Michelle gave the family a trip to Barcelona for xmass this year. Today we’re on a plane ready to collect her gift. We’ve learned a bit from previous holidays. We booked a flight later in the day vs our normal early morning bookings requiring us to be out the door before 6am. Today we left the house around 9am after a leisurely breakfast. From the house w took the LUAS to O’Connell station, hoped on the air coach to the airport, and were wondering around the airport by 1030 – not bad.
Our US passports allow travel to the EU without a obtaining a visa before flight, but they need to be checked and our tickets must be stamped before airport security will let us pass. Ryanair dropped a new check in policy this week – no over head bags without payment. You can gate check or pay money. They also added a 40€ charge to print your tickets at the airport if you don’t check in online. Result of the new rule was almost zero people at the ticket check-in counter where we needed to go to for our ticket stamps; brilliant!
Security was a breeze, we took the family queue with a dedicated scanner and we were past the check point free to explore the airport by 1100. Bathroom and Burger King for food then off to find gate 109 to gaze out the window at our plane for 20 minutes before boarding. We’re in seats 22D,E,F for the girls and 23 E, F for Maddex and I. Maddex took the window and Michelle took Roxi on her lap. My sleep was broken last night and I only managed about an hour and a half of sleep. Michelle offered to take Roxi and give me a nap.
Barcelona airport was a quick security check, followed by a bus ride near the apartment we rented. Michelle found us a 2 bedroom place near a metro stop. We met the owner on the street. She took us up took some money, gave us keys and showed us around. After we unpacked we found a market down the street and picked up some food and explored the area a bit. Today is mostly shot and a travel day.
Asking the kids what they wanted to do with our first day in Barcelona before bed they all said “go to the beach”. Michelle loves going to the beach and feeling the ocean; we better walk to the beach. Maddex woke up around 5:40, he slept in a bit. He was quite and played games on his phone laying next to me on some couch coushins for half hour before Roxi woke up and we turned the tv on and watched an episodes of stargate SG1.
Maddex and Roxi and mom had eggs, I had left over kebab, Khaleesi and Mila are jello and not much else. It was only 8c out so we bundled up and packed light jackets for later when it warms up. We managed to start the adventure around 8. GPS says 40 minute walk to the beach. We took our normal “look shiny object” route and walked it in about an hour and a half.
Along the way we explored a large open square covered in graffiti. Turns out, looking later, the open area is a skate park. As we were leaving the park we found a kids play ground where Roxi fell in love with a slide. From there we walked around stone Columbus on top of a stone column, explored a marina board walk around the mall of Spain and an aquarium, slide on some brick mounds around trees and let Roxi out of the stroller or backpack to walk whenever possible. She’s working hard to prove her independence right now and is not happy being strapped in at all
We didn’t pack beach clothing or plan well for our kids desire to cover them selves in sand and jump in the ocean. The girls are in footy tights, and we don’t have anything to change into after they destroy their current outfits. Not caring at all our kids took off their shoes and ran in the sand right into the water. Then Maddex put his shoes on and ran back into the water again, then took his shoes off and back in the water again; kids are fun.
Michelle and I collect some beach glass while the kids got wet and dug holes in the sand. Then we started walking along the beach to some odd wavy brown roof in the distance I wanted to see. Checking later, it’s a brown fish, I did not see the fish untill I looked it up online. As we’re walking Maddex runs ahead as far and fast as he can, stops and builds a sad castle. He says he wishes we’d walk slower so he has more time to build. Love his logic and acceptance. Eventually we make it to the roof thing then decide to start walking back and find some food on the way. Maddex has wet shoes and we lost one his socks somewhere so he’s going bare foot.
According to GPS the direct route back home is 3 miles. We made it a bit longer and walked down Ronda De Saint Pau, a wide people only road lined with trees and shops. We snacked and shoped a bit along the walk home. We picked up some socks for Maddex, sunglasses for me and the older kids, apples, some noodles, baklava and other sweets, and some orange soda, cookies and crisps – we are mega super nutritious.
Now we are in the apartment having a rest before heading back out. We watched the sandlot while Roxi took her nap. After nap time we took the subway to Arch of Trimpf and walked around the park there untill dark. The kids are worn out and hungry by now, so we took the subway back to our apartment, where the kids ate some pizza and cereal for dinner followed by pop corn and ice lollies. Michelle and I had kebabs from the same place we ate last night. Four tired kids are too much to deal with at a restaurant.