February 19, 2012

The best of Barcelona Part 1

Barcelona wasn't exactly on our list of must see cities as we planned our time out here. Fast forward a few weeks, and bitter cold Europe expedited Barcelona to the top of the list. Goggling weather in an 8 hour radius from us, Spain was the only place in the 50's so it became must see territory. Sky scanning airplane tickets it came up at 150 Euros and we were packing our bags.
Before we had even left the Barcelona airport Jeff and I agreed we had made the right choice.
We have enjoyed every place we have been able to see, but after our time living and working in Phoneix, the line between American and Spanish culture has become blurred. You are talking to a lady who cooks Tex-Mex food three out of four times. And for those of us feeling a little homesick after 6 weeks away, the familiariaty of it all could not have come at a better time. And between our stint in Phoenix, the time we have spent studying spanish and portugeese and the countless hours of Dora, the Explorer that we have endured in this lifetime, we loved that we were able to understand about 70% of what was said to us, and read 100% of what we saw. Which is 1 millon percent better than our German batting average. We loved not being confused.
And even more... we loved the sunshine! This is part of the Sagarada Familia and Kaylie playing near a window inside . A cathedral built in Barcelona, by Anthony Gaudi. It was started in the 1880's and they joke that it will never be finished. It is true gothic archetecture.
It is ridiculously ornate and over the top. No wonder it takes hundreds of years to complete. I love this picture of Tiny on Dad's shoulder. The poor little one did not feel good most of the trip. She is teething, which with her, also means her belly is uneasy. I will spare you the details of a very well timed paper bag that apperead and saved us all from distaster on the what was probably the smallest commercial airplane flying the blue skies.
The place was amazing. I am always really disappointed when I look through the pictures I take of an adventure. My camera is acting up. ( For all you photo savy friends - the ISO is turned way up and still most of my pictures are so dark. Any suggestions?) That and every place is so grand I can't fit it in one shot and then I want pictures of the girls at all these places, so I take a picture and they are this tiny invisible dot in the corner. Please help a girl out...any suggestions?
To continue next we went to the Park Guell. Wait. First a stop at Subway, see it really was like home.While we tried to eat authentic while we were in Spain we also went familiar and did Subway and KFC. Oh well. When you have hungry kiddos sometimes you just have to go with what you know.
Now on to the Park
Everyone at the top of the park. Silly us, we brought a stroller. It was beautiful and did I mention sunny. There were people playing music all over the park. There were palm trees. It felt like vacation. That is Kaylie in front of Gaudi's house. He built the park too. She is becoming quite the little traveler. As we were walking up the hill to this park, she was holding my hand and I was telling her all the things we were going to do today. Then she told me "becuase where ever we are...we explore." I love it. She might have some of her Grandpa Anderson or her great Grandma Guernsey in her.
The sloppy child must be an American. Finally awake and feeling okay Audrey wants to explore the park too. I love that little person sitting on such a big seat ckecking things out. Turns out she was also cranky becuase her shoes were hurting her. I packed her shoes, and two pairs of shoes in the size bigger for her from home and the girl has grown out of them all. I went looking for shoes for her this week, but couldn't bring myself to spend $50 on ugly shoes so she will be wearing her Nikes the rest of the trip....yes, she even wore them to church today. She will always be our "Tiny"but perhaps she wont be so tiny much longer.
Our girls are such troopers. Kaylie is starting to be so cooperative and, dare I say it, obedient. I really am so proud of them both. Somedays she acts like something closer to that dragon above ...yes even spitting water...more then a little girl, but mostly she is really wonderfully helpful.
We blindly picked a great hotel. It was right off Las Ramblas and right by the metro station so it was easy to get everywhere. We were able to come back mid-day everyday and let the girls take a break for a minute. Kaylie even had her own little room off of ours and the Disney channel in English so she was all set. After a break we went and saw Colombus.
That is him on top, finger extended. Funny mistake, he is not pointing to his grand discovery as intended....ooppps!
We took a very small elevator to the top for a few Euros. the views were amazing. It was not for those afraid of heights or the claustrophobic. The space at the top was small, and high, and swayed in the wind. It was not my favorite thing although those things typically don't bother me....well perhaps the swaying in the wind, but the girls didn't seem to notice anything unusual.
My favorite thing...Las Ramblas and the Boqueria. So many pretty sights, sounds....tastes.
The girls favorite thing, little natural smoothies...
Mom's favorite thing.....the candy stand. Maybe Audreys too!
Nobodys favorite.
Dad's favortie thing....gelato.
And then four exhausted Carpenters found there way back to the hotel and fell into bed. The girls refused to sleep so we "i tuned" them Ferdinand the Bull and "you tubed" some flaminco dancinng. Fitting in all the Spanish culture we possible could.


Crystal said...

I'm so glad things were fun and exciting but also familiar.

Georgia said...

I am so thrilled for you guys!! WHat an amazing exploration expedition!!! The girls are adorable and seem to be growing up right before my eyes (through pictures of course!!) I love the way you describe things, Amy. Keep having fun! and writing all these awesome entries~!!! Love you guys!