My adventures into Motherhood
Our most recent holiday was to Barcelona for some late summer sunshine. The flight time was just a little over two hours, so very achievable with a toddler and a baby I felt. Being well-seasoned travellers now, we know how to pack light and make do. It also helps that we chose our accommodation for the baby friendly facilities – high chair, baby bath, stroller – all included in the apartment whose complex had a playground! Bonus 🙂 The weather turned out to be more amazing than we anticipated and I felt sorry that I hadn’t brought more sun dresses and lighter clothes for us all. We were sweating in 28 degree heat when we’d expected not much more than 22. But at least we could paddle in the ocean!
We’d never been to Barcelona before so number one on my list was the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s crazy unfinished church. I pre-booked our tickets so we wouldn’t have to wait in a boring long hot line with our little ones, but then the tour operator was so disorganised that we waited for them to sort out the tickets for entry which probably took as long as the line around the front! Once we were inside though I learnt all sorts of interesting facts about the different facades and the contributing artists and how much the whole thing is costing. It really was amazing and totally worth going to. The girls and Nath were way less interested so they ditched their headsets and played pretend with the turtles that held up the colomns on the nativity facade. My favourite facade was the passion facade, in huge cubist style. It was more dramatic and interesting that the older facades, but then I like modern art. The girls were rewarded for their patience with gelato and sorbet as day one of our holiday came to a close.
Most days we let Mikala have her big morning sleep at the apartment and Nath would take Sofia out to the playground or the beach or exploring our local area. There was a decent shopping mall and supermarket and gardens close by as well as a larger playground close to the beach. Then we’d have lunch and go sightseeing in the afternoon. In the next few days we went to the zoo and the aquarium. The zoo was awesome, beautifully laid out and lots of snack stops and picnic areas, plus a great big playground. The aquarium was not so wow, the state of the art shark tunnel was a little underwhelming and the cafe on there too floor with fab harbour views could have been so amazing, but instead was a greasy, salty, over-priced disappointment. I also attempted to go shopping up Passeig de Gracia on the Thursday and we made it to Imaginarium (epic toy store) but not much else. That night after the kids were asleep I headed out on my own to the Diagonal Mar shopping mall for a couple of hours and found a nice dress at Mango for myself but the best shop was undoubtedly Tuc Tuc for kids. So cute!!
On our last full day, we went up Montjuic, and had a fun time riding the cable cars. The one from the metro was very pleasant and a lot like the cable car in Wellington, the Transborador was not so fun, squashed in like sardines and suspended precariously down the hill and over to the seaside by Barceloneta beach. The castle at the top of the mountain was pretty empty, but Sof still enjoyed running around the turrets and playing on the big guns. I’d recommend taking your own picnic lunch because the view was amazing, but the sad lil cafe was not. However, our best find was the Miramar restaurant by the Transborador – great view and great food. We wanted to stay sitting there for a lot longer but Kala was just getting too tired. This day we pushed lil Miki a bit too hard and she was crotchety and rubbing her eyes so hard she gave herself a bruised swollen eyelid. She looked like she’d been in baby fight club!
Our journey home was lengthy and nowhere near as relaxing as our journey to Barcelona. First Mikala didn’t sleep, so Nath and I had to hold a wriggly squirmy baby intent on destroying everything in the seat pocket in front of her for over two hours, part of which was spent being held on the Tarmac with the ‘fasten seatbelt’ sign illuminated. Sof had valiantly held onto a wee since our descent, but with us getting no closer to the terminal, I broke the rules and unfastened our seatbelts and ran up the aisle holding her outwards to assume the position on the potty while the air hostesses yelled at me to get back in our seats. Like a crazy Mum, I just yelled back “She needs a wee!!” Although I’m sure any other mum would understand that constitutes an emergency for sure. With the late touchdown, we were running late for our airport pickup and arrival home in time for our Sainsbury’s shop. Being super-organised, I’d arranged for fresh milk and bread et al to be delivered upon our arrival home, but now it looked like the groceries were going to beat us there. Five minutes from home I got the call from the delivery guy who kindly waited for us and not long after that our takeaways turned up too. Phew! Everyone was fed, watered and bathed and then put to bed, happy to be home in our own beds.