Monday, April 4, 2011

Visitors!!! Becky and Ray come to visit!

One of the hardest parts of living abroad that I have found is how much we miss our family and friends.  We have a very close knit family on both sides and a great network of amazing and wonderful friends back home.  But being around 4000 miles away makes it tough to see people on a regular basis.  Last year we had just 3 visitors - it's not exactly the cheapest place to visit (though I hope ALL of you know you are welcome ANY TIME!) and so we understand why we haven't had a lot of people here.  So you can imagine how excited we were to have Becky and Ray come visit.

They've been staying with us while they are here and getting a taste for our cramped Spanish living - they've been really good sports about it!  For the last week they've been doing some things on their own but some with us as well.  Last weekend we met up with them for lunch after Aidan's tennis lesson and then wandered around Placa Catalunya for a while and the Ramblas - pushing the kids tolerance as much as we could.  On Sunday we had planned to go to France but it rained... in the end the day was gorgeous and we wandered Gracia for a while and just relaxed. 

Liam trying calcots - he wasn't 100% sure on them.  However, Aidan loved them!

Auntie Becky with Liam

On Wednesday after Aidan's play (see previous post) we headed up to Parc Guell.  I haven't been up here since probably this time last year and I can't honestly say I know why that is.  It's stunningly beautiful.  It's tranquil (with the exception of all the people - but definitely from the traffic) and has amazing views.  And it's only a 20 minute walk from my house.  Why don't I come here more?  However apparently I didn't take any pictures since I can't seem to find them when I did my download.

Thursday Josh took the day off and we headed up to Montjuic where Becky and Ray had spent Monday.  Josh and I hadn't been up to the castle so it was a good time for all of us to do something new.  The castle was built in the 1600s and has been a source of controversy with the Barcelonians as there were many executions held here.  I can't say that I was super impressed with the castle, especially compared to the one we just saw in Lisbon a week ago.  But it was great to see something that we hadn't seen before and might not have gone to if we hadn't had guests.  We spent the afternoon walking around Barceloneta and Villa Olimpica. 

Taking the Teleferic up to the Castle

Castle entrance

Walking around the grounds of the castle

On Friday, another day off for Josh, we arranged for our sitter to get the kids off the bus so we could spend the day out of the city and go out for dinner.  So off we went to Sitges, one of our favorite places to go for a quick day out of town.  And we knew that Becky and Ray would enjoy some time outside the very busy city.  It was such a mellow day which was fantastic and ended with dinner at our favorite restaurant, Specchio Magico, here in Barcelona. 

Taking pictures in Sitges

Never noticed this before but Becky pointed out the bat looked like the Bacardi one...turns out if you read the plaque, the founder of Barcardi was actualy born in Sitges in the 1800s!  Who knew??

Sun dial - saw a lot of these this week - perhaps I wasn't paying close enough attention as they seem to be everywhere!

Josh testing the waters - still a bit tooooo cold!

Josh - Barcelona style!

Sitting by the water ... oh so cute!

The day that Liam has been waiting and waiting for came on Saturday.  It was time for .... TIBIDABO!!!  Any time we've asked him where he wants to take Auntie Becky and Uncle Ray his response is always Tibidabo!  We had tennis for Aidan first and then lunch so we didn't even make it to Tibidabo til mid afternoon.  Not a great time for the kids - meltdown time!  But they loved being there just the least til Liam had a little accident and peed his pants (he made it right to the bathroom door and just couldn't hold it any longer - poor kid!) - that was a sign the time had come to head on home.  Exhausted, we all called it an early night!
On the tram heading up to Tibidabo - sooooo excited!

Bumper cars... seeing a little bit of progress in Liam's ability to make the car actually move this year!

Liam's first time on the flume.  I give him kudos for trying it and can't say it was his favorite - he didn't cry but he made it clear he wouldn't be doing it again!  I don't blame him!  Aidan on the other hand, LOVED it (as always, my thrillseeker!)!

Coming down the big hill... yes I was slightly worried the impact of landing would toss Liam out of the boat but thankfully that didn't happen!

That brings us to Sunday... we finally made it for our trip to France.  But since I took TONS of pictures... we'll save that for the next blog entry.  But suffice it to say, a great time was had by all and it was probably one of the most beautiful towns I've been to so far.  Stay tuned!


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