Monday, February 20, 2012

Semana Blanca 2012

It's here... again... February vacation.  Last year Josh was gone for a chunk of it travelling to the US.  This year, he's around, however, it means that he's got some travel to do next week.  So the kids are all mine ALL DAY LONG and then for an extra 4 days next week.  The plus of Josh at least being in town this week is that I can hit the gym at 7 before I start my 12 hour day with the boys. 

Regardless, as with last year, we've chosen the month of February to be travel free.  Last year we travelled at least every 6 weeks if not more frequently.  And while this year we haven't planned such an aggressive itinerary, I still like the idea of taking a month to do not much of anything.  However, Aidan, who is always asking us to not go on "another vacation" (this poor kid right???) is suddenly realizing that all his friends go away for Semana Blanca and perhaps he wouldn't be so lonely if we'd gone somewhere else at least. 

We kept this week pretty low key overall.  The boys had tennis as usual on Saturday which Josh took them to.  Then Liam had his friend Logan over for the afternoon.  Sunday was a day of absolutely nothing and it was just nice to lay low and not do much of anything - I still like that nothing is open here on Sunday, it really forces you to just chill out.  We took Aidan out to skateboard, but it was still chilly here so we didn't stay out long - I will say, he's getting good at it!

On Monday Liam had a playdate up in Sant Cugat while Aidan and I had a Mommy/son day.  We went in search of Batman legos that he'd seen at El Corte Ingles a few weeks ago.  Of course, they didn't have them on Monday so we ended up having to go down to Diagonal Mar (shopping mall) to hunt them down.  We finally found the one and only set at a random toy shop.  Then it was off to Hard Rock for my special date with the most handsome guy....

My "date" at Hard Rock on Monday

On Tuesday I still had Spanish class so Gina's son Adam watched the boys for a few hours.  Both kids really enjoyed having a guy to hang out with and after he left they said they couldn't wait til Thurs when he was coming back again.  The afternoon was still mellow since I had to get some work done.  These are the days where I feel torn between work and home life - I want to spend more time with these guys but I'm not ready to give up my career yet either.

Wednesday was really our only spontaneous day of the week with nothing specifically planned.  I had my training session at 7 and then the kids and I went to the Aquarium.  We haven't been in ages so it was a nice treat.  We almost didn't make it since Aidan flipped off a school group on our way there.  Yes, he did.  And he lost all electronics for the rest of the day for it (and in the end, I'm the one who suffered because I heard "I'm so bored, this is the worst day of my life, and if I were in the US, I wouldn't be so bored" over and over and over again).  But once we got to the aquarium he brightened up.  Aidan gets more and more into it every time we go and has so much more patience than Liam, not surprising there.  The best part was the divers that were feeding all the fish and sharks - we just sat and watched them for a good 20 minutes.  After the aquarium was lunch at my fave - Creps a Barcelona... yum!!  And in typical Aidan fashion, there was no chocolate crepe or something sweet - the kid gets exactly what I got - spinich and goat cheese.  Who's kid is this???  Liam on the other hand went right for strawberries with sugar, like he needed a sugar boost!!!  By the end of the day on Wednesday though I was ready to call it a week.  Since Aidan lost all his electronics (which we apparently rely too much on), he was sooooo bored and it was the worst day ever!!!!  At least according to him.  Bedtime couldn't come soon enough.

In Barceloneta on the way to the Aquarium

Liam can't wait to see all the fish!!!

He's too cute for words, isn't he?

There's actually a sign that says not to take pictures here, but who am I to pay attention to the rules???

OMG, I can't take any more learning...

Drawing fish in his journal



We spent a good 1/2 hr on the bench just watching the divers feeding the sharks and fish

Look at me!!!

Navigating the sub

Everything should be climbed...

Aidan taking pictures.  Liam wants nothing to do with it...

Outside the sub

Thursday brought Spanish class and Adam over again.  The kids were psyched to see him and we're finally getting a break from the super cold weather (by super cold I mean it's been in the early 40s which might as well be well below freezing as far as I'm concerned these days... oh and this super cold weather lasted less than 3 weeks.  I know... you probably want to punch me right now for complaining about this) and it's starting to feel like spring as it should, after all it's Feb in Barcelona :) 

Friday I had another Mommy/son day with Aidan which was nice.  We ran some errands including a trip to the American store where he filled up on lots of (unhealthy) goodies from home.  After stopping at the gym to make some changes to my membership, we came home for lunch.  However, as promised before to him, we also hit Starbucks for a coffee frappuchino.  Yes, this kid had his fill of Americana despite being in Spain this week - Hard Rock, the American store and Starbucks.  What a week!!!  On our way home from Starbucks we ran into a Carnaval parade, two actually, that were from some of the local schools - it was fun to watch on our way back home...

Josh and I had a much needed date night on Friday night at our fave restaurant, Specchio Magico.  We were saddened by the news that once again, we have friends leaving.  Two of the owners (the only two we really know of the 4 that own it) are moving north towards Bilbao at the end of April.  They are not only some of the nicest people we know, but they aren't sure what's going to happen to the restaurant.  So chalk that up to a major bummer on Friday night. 

While out on date night, we talked about our long term plans here.  Josh needs to let work know a year in advance what his plan is for our return to the US.  Our contract technically ends in June/July 2013, next summer.  But as I've mentioned before, we've been toying with the idea of staying longer.  So being at Specchio was the perfect place to chat about what we are doing going forward - after all, it's the place where on our first date night (6 weeks into our time in BCN) that he asked me if we could extend, much to my tears that night.  It was the place where we made the decision to extend by a year and a half to the 2013 mark.  And so it felt like the right place to have the conversation about our future.  However, I'm not going to share that decision with you since nothing is official at this point about what we are doing... you'll just have to wait.  Sorry!!! 

The weekend was uneventful as well though nice having Josh home to help manage the boys.  After tennis lessons on Saturday we hit Hard Rock...again.  I am tired of Hard Rock.  Again, talk about your super American week this week!!  And with a low key Saturday afternoon and evening planned, we just chilled out at home.  Sunday was much the same but with a friend over for Aidan (finally). 

This morning it was back to work and back to school for us all.  Whew, what a relief!  But we made it thru yet another school vacation week and everyone seems to be no worse for the wear.  Looking forward to going away for our next school vacation in April - to the Amalfi Coast in Italy!!!!


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