Wednesday, June 27, 2012


This last week felt basically like one big day. Sadie was sick with a fever for 6 straight days so from the time we got home from Toledo till the next Friday we didn't leave the house. Is wasn't as bad as it could've been, Andrew was a trooper but when she was finally not burning up and eating we took the first train out. 
 I remembered Segovia from our friends Lee and Kristen who had been in Spain the year before, ever since their blogs about it I've been excited to visit it myself. Segovia is known for their roman aqueduct and the Alcazar which is rumored to be what Walt Disney modeled the castle in Disneyland after. 

After getting on the wrong train, then missing our train we finally arrived.  In Segovia the train station is about 10 minutes outside of the old city so you either need to take a bus or taxi into town. I had zero cash on me, which is unheard of lately because we hardly have touched our credit cards since being here, I just assumed that there would be an Atm at the station, which there was  but  it was broken or for some reason wasn't taking my card and so we were stranded.  A really nice guy that worked at the travel store was trying to help us out when he had the brilliant idea of asking the next taxi if they took cards. I'd like to think that I would have thought of that but I'm not sure I would have. I was in such a mood about missing our first train and not having cash on me that I wasn't thinking clearly. So thankfully for us the taxi did accpet credit cards and we were on our way.

The first view of the city is breathtaking. The first thing you see is the enormous aqueduct, followed by the cobblestone streets. We were there during some kind of festival, people were dressed up in costumes singing and playing music, it was the perfect way to be greeted into the city. We stopped in a tiny little panaderia and had the best epanadas I've had here in Spain. We walked around town and went in the Alcazar and saw the amazing views and just enjoyed ourselves. We hadn't read up on the city so I'm sure we missed some stuff but with it only being 25 minutes away I'm sure we'll make it back.

Men dressed as bugs playing really loud music

Andrew kept on asking to leave, he didn't like the huge bird people

Because of the festival we couldn't get a great shot of the Cathedral

The prettiest setting for a play ground

The front of the Alcazar

In side the Alcazar

The Monarch room, all the Monarchs of the region are on the ceiling.

View from the tower

View from the tower

view from the tower

View of the aqueduct

Playing on the aqueduct

Sunday, June 24, 2012


On our first day here Carlos told us that Toledo is a must see and ever since then we have been looking forward to it. Toledo is a very charming walled medieval city known for its sword making about an hour from Madrid. There are no specific sites to see other than the obvious cathedral and filling up on marzipan, a regional sweet confection made of almonds,  but it is the perfect place to shop and soak up the charm that is in every street.

My favorite things about Toledo:

The shaded paths. In the majority of the side streets there were canopies made of cloth tied from one balcony to another giving shade to the people below. It was a life saver.

The colorful lamps and garlands of greenery hanging from the canopies and sconces.

The marzipan that we bought from a nun, YUM!

The beautiful Cathedral and the treasury inside where we got to see the past priests' jewels.

At the end of the day when Sadie threw up all over herself and the stroller, when we had an hour bus ride ahead of us. 

The last one if you can believe it wasn't one of my favorites but it at least it didn't ruin our day. Even if it did ruin the dinner of the guys sitting behind us.

Main entrance into the city

Another view of the entrance

In the city, along the wall, looking out onto the surrounding town


The bane of our existence, and the only reason for living for our children

Typical charming street, with a beautiful woman in it

Post-vomit outfit

Sunday, June 17, 2012

June 12th- 15th

We took it easy this week, some park time and a trip to the zoo. The Madrid Zoo/ Aquarium is huge and  really nice. All the animals were out in full force and were all so close! Our favorites were the dinosaurs (yes, you read that right!) and the dolphin show or the dolphin race as Andrew calls it.

Hanging out by the park at our metro station

The only way I could get Andrew to come close to the T-Rex was having him take a picture of me.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


   Friday morning we hop on a train to Barcelona. It was our first experience with the Renfe (Spain's high speed train) with no stops the trip is 2 and a half hours, we were very impressed. It is a smooth ride, the seats are comfortable and come along with feet rests and the kids are free, you can't ask for more. The kids and I headed out first, with Nick following after he got out of work that evening. It was a pain free trip with the kids being entertained the whole way with a movie and we were in Barcelona by 11:15 am.

   We walked around a bit ate lunch and hiked up to Guell Park. It was literately a hike and my Dad was not prepared for it, it was quite funny watching him but I don't think he appreciated our humor. The kids loved climbing on the rock hall wall and running through Gaudi's maze of pillars below the main terrace. It was a great introduction to Barcelona.

The next day with Nick in tow we got out of the apartment quickly to start our day. We went to La Rambla, a pedestrian mall that reminded me of Third Street with all the different kiosks that lined the street. It is also famous for pick pockets, so I held onto my purse as we made our way down the street. At the beginning of La Rambla is the Christopher Columbus monument which is huge and overlooks the port where everyone comes in from their cruise ships. On our walk we saw Palau Güell, Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu, Mercat de la Boqueria, Palau de la Virreina, Plaça de Catalunya, the Catedral, and Església de Santa Maria del Mar.

    After the long day we hung out and watched some street performers on the Plaça de la Barceloneta which is right along the water and is also the place where we found out that my Dad had been pick pocketed. He denied it, he couldn't imagine that they had got him. I felt bad for him but Nick was excited that we got the full Barcelona experience, even if it was at my Dad's expense. After we got the kids down to bed that night, Nick and I went out on a date which was really nice. We found an awesome restaurant and Nick was thrilled with his dinner (he ordered the piglet) but what was really great was my dessert: Pineapple creme brûlée. It was as good as it sounds.

Monument to Christopher Columbus

Really appreciating the city and taking it all in.
If they didn't know we were American before...
La Rambla

Palau Güell
In a small courtyard garden at the Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu

Antic Hospital de la Santa Creu. And Jamie's boyfriend.
Bunny burgers at the Mercat de la Boqueria! (Don't worry, we had the veggie option)

Spain is famous for its ham

Plaça de Catalunya

Terrorizing the pigeons at the Plaça de Catalunya

Barcelona's Catedral

Andrew helping Nick find a geocache near the Catedral. Mission accomplished!

Església de Santa Maria del Mar

     Sunday we walked down Passeig de Gracia and saw Casa Batlló, La Pedrera (both Gaudi), and some more awesome architecture that lined the street. From there we went to Sagrada Familla which was pretty incredible and we only saw the outside, I heard from my parents later how awesome it was inside but we couldn't put the kids through it especially because we were off to take them to the Picasso museum. Right after the museum Nick got on a train back to Madrid and we headed back home; this time my parents went out while I stayed with the kids.

Casa Batlló

In search for a geocache!

Andrew holding up the geocache that we found, right in front of La Pedrera

La Sagrada Familia

The other side of La Sagrada Familia

Inside the Picasso Museum

   Monday was a slower paced day which was really nice after our jam packed weekend. We took the telefonica (a type of tram/cable car) up to Montjuic where there was a beautiful fort that the kids loved and that gave us incredible views of the city. Afterward we headed to the beach with a detour to Parc de Espanya and lunch. The beach was perfect, the weather couldn't have been better and I was able to go in the Mediterranean for the first time. It was a perfect way to end our trip to Barcelona.