Thursday, February 21, 2013

Barcelona with the kiddos

Last year after our conference in Nerja, we took a train to Madrid and spent a few days there. This year we decided to go to Barcelona. We ended up spending longer in Barcelona and thankfully the weather was so much warmer than it was last year in Madrid.
We had some good moments and some hard moments, but I think that's just how it goes when you go on vacation with young kids.
We did a lot of walking.
We went to the science center which was really cool.

indoor Rain forest and aquarium

We had McDonald's! Actually we ate quite a bit of McDonald's. I think this is in large part to being kid-friendly and we've been in Africa for a year and a half. 

I think this probably qualifies as some of the worst parents. Feeding your 4 month old McDonald's. Sheesh.

My favourite day was our stroll along La Rambla. It's a street that's got a huge walkway down the middle where vendors sell delicious smelling ice-cream and candies or small pets or typical kitschy souvenirs.
Blaise happily slept in the carrier for the entire time and the boys enjoyed looking at everything we passed.
We went into La Boquieria {a really cool market} and drooled over all the delicious produce and chocolate.

They even have these people that pretend to be statues and if you put money into their bucket they do something funny and let you take their picture. I wanted the boys to come and do it but they were a bit apprehensive so I showed them with this guy:

Babywearin' and shooting a gun. That's how we roll around here.

I really wanted to take the boys for churros and hot chocolate. We walked down these incredibly narrow alley ways and went around a corner and stumbled upon this huge, old church with gorgeous stained glass windows. Amazing. I love Europe!

So let me tell you; this hot chocolate was exactly that. Melted chocolate with a bit of hot milk. It was incredibly thick. So thick and sweet that my boy with the sweet tooth {Noah. He takes after me.} couldn't even finish his!

We walked around Parc Guell and got some great views of the city:

We had a really good time even though we were all sick and made the most of our time in Spain.
As we plan our travels back to Canada we are still debating if we'll take some vacation days on the way - somewhere in the UK or Europe. Jamie and I dream of a vacation with just the two of us but for now, we plan our vacations to be kid-friendly. For the most part.

Suggestions for traveling with kids:

Consider renting an apartment instead of staying at a hotel. It's often cheaper, comes with all the amenities and you get the feeling of actually living in the city, instead of just visiting. You will also be able to save money by purchasing groceries and making at least one of your meals every day {for us it was breakfasts and often dinners}.

Find some indoor and outdoor activities so you can plan your days according to the weather. We had a really windy day which made it seem colder than it was (around 10 degrees). We spent most of that day walking around the Science Center.

Don't be so driven to complete your agenda of "SEEING ALL THE THINGS" that you all end up miserable and tired. We had many meltdowns and the stroller that was intended for Blaise, ended up being used by Jude while I wore Blaise in the carrier. Everyone wins!

Be flexible. And then laugh a lot and do things you wouldn't normally do {like eat McDonalds almost every day or let your kids stay up later than usual}.

What are your tips for traveling with kids to places that aren't specifically geared towards kids? {ie. Not a resort with kids program, Disney World, etc.}


  1. Feeding the baby McDonalds? All I could think was, "must be a third child" ;)

    Love that the baby carrier is getting some good use!

    1. Haha. So true about the third child.

      Yes. Thank you a million times over for that carrier. Absolutely priceless!

  2. Love seeing this post about Barcelona.

    My tips for travelling with kids are pretty much what you said, especially the part about letting go of the expectation to see & do everything.

    I would add, do a mix of things that you will enjoy & things the kids will enjoy. Mix fuller days with slower, more relaxed days.

    1. I was hoping you'd weigh in, Miss Europe-Travelin' Mama! :)
      Love it. Great advice with mixing up days with slower or fuller days.

  3. One more thing, try to be enthusiastic about everything you are doing, point out interesting things around you that the kids would find cool.

  4. No worries about McD overload...I will fix that when you're back :D I do love the old church too - maybe we can go back someday? It also seems that the 'heads together boys' will be a family trademark?? love it! and churros with hot chocolate?? wow! amazing memory for the boys!
    xo Mom

  5. Reading this post makes me think we did pretty well on that trip. We saw a fair amount in our time there, and all had a good time and fun memories. It wasnt easy but it was worth it. Great post!

    1. You're right, babe. It was a good, full vacation. Lots of good memories. At least for us. :) Who knows what the boys will remember when they're 20...

  6. Your trip looks so fun! I love your tips on traveling with kids. I used to think it would get easier as they are older, and in some ways it is, but now they have very strong opinions about what they would and would not like to do! :) We are planning a big trip to somewhere very special to us and close to you right now so I read the travel tips with great interest! :)

    1. MC! This is so exciting! When is your trip!?
      And you're very right. They definitely have their own opinions on what they want to do. And if they don't want to do something you can just put them in a carrier and make them come. Like Jude flopping on the floor of the science center for a good 20 minutes having a full-on tantrum.

    2. Oh, dear...20 minutes is long for a parent! It gets easier in some ways and harder in others as they grow, doesn't it? Our trip is in May! Just put tickets on hold today. I can hardly believe it!


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