August 22, 2016

A Sunny Week in Barcelona

We had a lovely visit with my sister and her family in Barcelona. The weather was perfect, and my sister's new home is full of so many amenities that Nathan determined that it was like a "hotel of goodness". Being August, many Spaniards were on vacation, so we had this gorgeous pool mostly to ourselves every day; but there were still enough kids around to participate in soccer matches.

A few highlights from our trip include surprising the boys with a Barca game (Messi scored two goals and Nathan could not have been more excited), an amusement park at Tibidabo, and an evening at a local beach. We also ventured downtown once, although coordinating five little boys can still be a challenge. Mostly, we spent a lot of time by the pool, in my sister's lovely patio, and on one of the many sports fields. I love that this is a trip that my boys will most definitely remember.  

Sooooo cool - a definite highlight of the trip!

There were many games of soccer.

The amusement park was fun...

...and the views were spectacular.

Walking Las Ramblas

Oh! And we managed an adult date-night! We overdid it with a final gin and tonic, but it was a fabulous night.

Lots of reading and relaxing by the pool

This is the view from my sister's patio - so pretty!

Another definite highlight - a visit to this beach followed by a wonderful dinner

August 19, 2016

A Few Cool Days in Dublin

Since we decided to visit my sister in Barcelona for our summer vacation, we wanted to add on a few days in a city that was new to us. We'd have to connect somewhere else anyway, so let's go on an adventure! Flying through Dublin turned out to be cheaper, and I've always wanted to go to Ireland, so we went for it.

It felt like a tease, since we only had a few short days - not long enough to venture out into the Irish countryside, see the Cliffs of Moher, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry... - but it was great nonetheless. We did a Viking tour of the city, took the train out to a seaside town called Howth for pretty views and fish & chips, rode bikes through the enormous Phoenix park, toured the Guinness storehouse, and walked a lot. It also allowed us to start getting adjusted to the time change before heading to Spain. There was a little whining along the way, but all in all, it was a pretty fun time and only makes me look forward to one day going back for the full country tour.

sitting on the shore in Howth

Riding bikes through Phoenix Park

A carriage ride to St. Patrick's cathedral from the Guinness storehouse

August 3, 2016

Newport Folk Festival 2016

Another fabulous weekend at the Newport Folk Festival. This was our 5th year, and we're getting better and better at maximizing the fun (or more likely, the kids are just getting older and easier to hang out with). 

Kevin's sister and brother-in-law joined us on Saturday, and it was a great day in the hot sun. We stayed for Sunday this year too, which was filled with amazing music. We were exhausted by the time we got home Sunday night, but it was a happy exhaustion.  

Here's who we saw:  The Banditos, John Moreland, Rayland Baxter, Amy Helm, Dave Simonett and Dave Carroll, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Ryan Adams, Norah Jones, and Patti Smith. That was just Saturday!

On Sunday: Berklee Gospel and Roots Choir, Ian Fitzgerald, River Whyless, The Oh Hellos, Brian Fallon, Glen Hansard, Middle Brother, Elvis Costello, and Alabama Shakes. Phew! And that doesn't include the surprise artists we saw in the family tent, where we continue to spend a decent amount of time, this time mostly to escape the sun.

Glen Hansard was my absolute favorite. He owned the Fort stage with his beautiful songs and funny stories from Ireland. The Oh Hellos were awesome and loud and fun. And John Moreland was my favorite new-to-me artist. Beautiful, beautiful music.

For a look at our previous years in Newport: 2012, 20132014, 2015

Surprise performance by Spirit Family Reunion in the family tent 

The Oh Hellos on the Fort stage

We submitted a silly picture and made it on the big screen!

The boys spent an inordinate amount of time building forts to escape the sun

The beautiful view, before the crowds filled in

August 1, 2016

New York Friends

Every Summer weekend seems to be filled with travel and fun. A couple weekends ago (I'm still catching up), we visited our friends in New York. They live in the suburbs of New York City, and we hadn't seen them in too long. You know those friends who are always a pleasure to hang out with? The ones with no drama, just easy and fun to hang out with?  These are our friends. They have kids the same ages as ours, and they are all now friends as well, which has only made it that much more rewarding to spend time together. 

Saturday included several hours at their beach club, playing in the pool; and then we ventured into the Bronx to attend a Yankees game that evening. It was all tremendous fun, and the kids were upset to have to leave to go home the next day. I have to admit, I wasn't all that excited about it either. 


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