August 23, 2014

A Beautiful Time in Spain

Gorgeous beaches

The view from our front door

Observations and reflections on a wonderful vacation in Catalonia, Spain:

Jet lag is tough, but the transition is easier when you embrace the typical Spanish schedule.  Late wake-up, lunch at 2, dinner at 9.

Traveling with kids is getting easier.  Hooray!  Having a pool is imperative, though.

The set-up at the place we stayed was absolutely perfect for our group.  We could linger a bit longer at lunch while the kids played in the pool.  We could enjoy a late dinner at the restaurant while the kids slept or watched a movie.  It was great.

The beaches were close by and gorgeous.  Green water, cliffs, and lots of rocks to collect.  The sandy beaches meant building sand volcanoes.

The food.  Oh my gosh the food.  Patatas bravas.  Mussels ("moos clues") every day.  Paella that takes hours to prepare but is so worth the wait.  Crisp rose.  Butifarra.  Fresh tomatoes from the garden.

My two-year-old nephews, moving and laughing and talking non-stop, in all three languages.  "Ding-dong!"  "Open close?"  "Agua"  "Piscina" ...

Although traveling with kids is absolutely getting easier, we still had five boys with us, including twin two-year-olds.  My sister and her husband had to leave the beaches early in order to get back for naps, and pool-time was fun but definitely not relaxing while the twins were in the mix.  The older boys were relatively easy during the day but proved difficult at times at night, when we were attempting our kid-free dinners down in the restaurant.  One of my favorite and also most exasperating memories of the trip was our visit to Paratellada.  It is a really beautiful town, and we had envisioned being able to sit and enjoy a mojito while the boys ran around the square.  Unfortunately, the boys disagreed with our plan and proceeded to run in every direction.  We did get the mojitos, but I'm not sure I remember drinking it and I'm positive none of us ever sat down.

So the trip was not without its challenges.  I found myself looking enviously at people lingering over long lunches at the beachside restaurants, reading newspapers and drinking their wine and leisurely enjoying the views.  This is my confession.  That said, it was a fabulous week of family vacation, with all that that entails.  And if you're going to have to deal with parenting, how nice to be able to do it in the gorgeous Spanish countryside.  I did relax, and I even finished a book!  I deliberately took time to take in my surroundings and be grateful for being there.  It was wonderful.

Lots of pool fun

Here's the whole group, with the pool to ourselves

Synchronized pool jumping

Lots of time spent wandering around medieval Spanish villages

I had to include this one of me and my handsome boy, relaxed and sun-kissed

A view of Sa Tuna from the cliffs

1 comment:

  1. Spain sounds gorgeous....and exhausting!

    I really admire you for travelling to Europe with young children in the summer, it isn't easy that's for will get easier though, as I can see you already seeing....and then you will have even more fun :)


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