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The day started slow, with a nice sit-down breakfast in the apartment. The children seem so centered in the apartment; their behaviour is much closer to normal and they seem very happy. There were too many adults to coordinate and we got out a bit late.
We found our way to the aquarium and walked through the main fishes-in-tanks part. It is one of the nicest aquariums I’ve been to. Probably 3rd after Baltimore and Newport. C really liked seeing the sea horses, and they both enjoyed the moving walkway through the tunnel-tank. (There is a plexiglass tunnel through a very large water enclosure). There were eels, sharks, and those crazy big sun fish, and we even got to see the keepers feeding them.
After a quick lunch in the aquarium cafeteria, the Grandparents and Lauren went to an IMAX show and we continued through the more interactive part of the aquarium. There were more tanks with tunnels under/through them to crawl in, a little tree fort to climb up in, a penguin enclosure, a large sperm whale replica that you could walk through, and a submarine replica with lots of lights and buttons and such. C loved the submarine and spent 75% of the time in there. He called it a train, though. When I tried to explain it was a submarine, he thought I was saying it was a subway.
After a late and much-needed nap back at the apartment, we set out to Las Ramblas to find the most Barcelona-dining experience we could. Mission accomplished. Big glasses of sangria, a pan of paella, and an assortment of tapas. Yum! On the way home, we strolled through the Barri Gotic and soaked up the old-world ambiance.
Katy(posted on Jul 3, 2006 at 1:38 pm)
It was another slow morning at the apartment. We left late and took another stroll through the Barri Gothic and found a lunch of bocadillos. It rained. We explored Plaza de Pi, which I guess means Plaza of the Pine, names after a pine tree there. There’s a cute church and a nice little market out front. It’s artisany stuff like soap and herbs and honey; there was also a cheese stand and some wooden items. Very cute. We bought some honey pastilles and little unsweetened licorice bites. C liked the licorice.
On the way home, we stopped next to the big gothic cathedral and everyone looked around a bit. C and I weren’t interested so we watched some Chilean harpists instead. And then we lost everyone. We watched them for a long time, and then looked up and down the street and throught the square in front of the cathedral. I don’t know how we missed them because Chris said they were there, looking for us, too. We headed back to the apartment and the rest of the group met us there about ½ hour later. No fun.
C and Ruby napped. Grandma and Grandpa left to go get on their cruise ship around 4. It was a very short visit! I hope we can see them more next time.
After nap we began searching for new accommodations. I didn’t reserve the apartment for the whole time we were in Barcelona. I didn’t think it would be a problem to move, and the apartment was a little pricey. But the children seemed so happy there, and it was nice have a big space, so I called and tried to get our reservation extended. But the apartment was already booked. Apparently there was some kind of music festival. This proved to be a problem.
There were absolutely no hotels/hostals/pensions that could accomodate us in the 5 square blocks we searched in the Gothic Quarter (nothing under $250 a night, that is). I was getting a little worried but also exhausted so we stopped in the lovely Plaza de Pi to have dinner. It was very pleasant. Then we went home to enjoy our last night in the apartment.
Katy(posted on Jul 4, 2006 at 12:35 pm)
Just a picture of Ruby from this day… it was a pretty busy day.
We had to vacate the apartment by 11 am, so Chris and C went out super-early to the Tourist Information hotel finding service. Apparently, C threw up while they were walking there and Chris didn’t notice right away. So C was walking along with a pukey shirt! When Chris did notice, they were almost at the TI. They kept going and C threw up on Chris in the line at the TI. :( They found us a place, though, and we successfully left the apartment and made our way to the new hotel. It was also close to the university. C was sick all day.
We had to wait a bit to get into our room, so we parked ourselves at a nearby cafe. C threw up again. Poor guy. We finally got into the room, and C and Chris napped most of the afternoon while Ruby, Lauren and I went shopping. Girly stuff! I bought some clothes for the children (much cheaper in Spain than in Norway) and new red Converse for Chris. And of course, crazy Spanish tights! We stopped to get some gelato and I got this cute picture of Ruby concentrating so hard on her gelato shovel!
We went back to the area near that great park and had dinner at another of the restaurants attached to the mall. Again, it was really great authentic Spanish food! And we tried to visit the park again, but we were only there for about 10 minutes before a public parks employee came and kicked everyone out. I guess it closes at 9 pm. At least we got to visit it a little bit one last time. It cheered C up a bit, after being sick all day. Back at the hotel we had a restful night and prepared for our journey back to Madrid.
Katy(posted on Jul 8, 2006 at 10:32 pm)
Susie gathered her extended family at her home for father’s day this year. Not everyone could be there, but it’s a pretty big family!
Katy(posted on Sep 3, 2006 at 12:08 pm)
We left the hotel early and made it to the train station, with time to spare. So we had breakfast at the cafeteria there. The train stations are becoming much more airport-like, with security guards, and ticket control before you go onto a track.
On the train, it was a little crowded, but it was a pleasant ride. C and I walked around a bit and played in the area between the cars. He was feeling much better. He even got a good nap on the train.
When we arrived in Madrid, we went back to Hostal Helena, having made reservations before we left. When the Señora met us at the door, it was like we were old friends. She hugged C, and pinched Ruby’s cheek. So cute! After settling into our room (#4, same as before) we spent a little time enjoying the balcony and then headed out to find some dinner. We ended up in that alley Calle de Carretas and Calle de Espoz y Mina, off of Puerta del Sol. There were a few nice-looking restaurants in that area with out door seating. Dinner was fabulous, with grilled chicken and potatoes, roasted peppers, and hearty bread. And of course a pitcher of sangria! On the way home we stopped to listen to the classical musicians who play in the Calle de Preciados and Calle de Carmen area. I was glad that C got to see them one last time, because he really enjoyed listening to them. And he loves to run up and drop a couple of coins in the violin case! I’m glad we could make a few good memories.
Unfortunately, there was another round of sickness and sadness this evening. Ruby started throwing up around 2 am and she and Chris were sick all night, and into the morning.
Katy(posted on Jul 8, 2006 at 9:02 pm)
Mom and Dad took these pictures sometime this summer when they were home in Fairbanks; I found them on my mom’s computer when I visited them in Iowa. They are standing in front of the beautiful apple tree we planted when I graduated from high school.
Katy(posted on Sep 28, 2006 at 9:58 am)
Chris and Ruby were still feeling very sick this morning, so C and I went and had breakfast on our own at the cafe down in the street. We left Hostal Helena before noon, after apologizing to Señora for leaving her pukey sheets. We got her a box of chocolates. She was so sweet!
We left our baggage in their lounge and went to kill some time in Madrid. We had some last minute shopping to do: promised gifts and such. And we got 15 cans of salsa from El Corte Ingles; good salsa is a little rare in Oslo! Chris was still feeling pretty bad, so we just settled into a sidewalk restaurant and a couple of beers. It was a place called Las Bravas I think, and everything was slathered with their brava sauce. We got patatas bravas, tortillas bravas, and a bocadillo de calamares (squid ring sandwich).
We made it to the airport with no problems, and plenty of time to spare. Check in went smoothly and we were soon waiting at the gate. C fell asleep as Chris was holding him. When Chris tried to sit down, he jostled C a bit and C said “rabbit…” sleepily. A few minutes later, Chris told the story to Lauren and at the word “rabbit” C bolted up and said “no rabbit!”, very alarmed. The nightmares of a three year old? What a funny little man.
We arrived late into Oslo, but got home with no problems and happily settled into our own beds. C was very happy to be home; but I already missed Spain!
Katy(posted on Jul 8, 2006 at 9:36 pm)
Robert sent around this picture of Justice a while ago. I’m assuming that’s Libby in the background?
Katy(posted on Feb 15, 2007 at 8:37 am)
I’ve been filling in the blanks of Sunday Pictures (years later, now!). This week was our return from our Spain trip, and C’s birthday party.
Katy(posted on Sep 10, 2012 at 10:52 pm)
We had a little get together of our friends to celebrate C’s birthday. The food was inspired by our trip to Spain: paella, tortilla, pan amb tamoquet, olives and pepinillos we brought back with us, a nice salad, and of course sangria (normal and virgin varieties).
C had a lot of fun playing with his adult friends. He played with the car that Chris and Anne Lise gave him, and everyone had fun with the cranked music box thing. We juggled and played catch, also. Anything is a fun party game with sangria!
Katy(posted on Jul 9, 2006 at 8:29 am)