L’aquarium BARCELONA

7/31/13

You cannot go to Barcelona and not see the Barcelona aquarium if you have children. It is a must! You have sharks swimming on top of your heads, literally. And all you hear are the laughter, giggles, and delight of the children around you.  They are mesmerized by the sea life. You get on this slow moving walkway that takes you through a tunnel in which you are separated from marine life by just a few inches of glass.  You appreciate the feeling of being so close, but yet feel secure in your safety. Of course, the signs said not to touch. You know my son wanted to bang on the glass.

I do have a couple negative comments.

Shortest visit ever! Still worth seeing! The aquarium is really not that big. You spend a small fortune and just when the excitement is really building, it’s over. You are at the end. It seemed as if it only took us 45 minutes to go around. Jordan and Alex do not move fast when they’re intrigued. They have to stop at every exhibit, ask a lot of questions, and try to see what they can touch (which is usually not many exhibits). They will try to touch anyway. Jordan is the ring leader. Alex will follow suit. I will fuss at them to no avail. I say all of that to explain that we could have been done with the aquarium in less than 20 minutes. Again, it is still worth seeing! Jordan talked about that aquarium for hours after leaving it. He was going to become an architect just so he could design a house for his Dad with a huge aquarium with sharks and other fish floating above our heads in the bedroom. He thought that seeing the sharks above and around him was the coolest thing ever. He was even concerned about the foundation of the house just in case there was a natural disaster like an earthquake, tornado, flood, etc. He would not be able to save Christopher from the sharks. He kept saying that the house had to be very strong to protect his Dad. Now I know you’re wondering, what about me? I guess, I’m included in the plans…..somewhere. Perhaps Alexandra will design some fabulous mansion just for me. I don’t need sharks floating above.

We had a fabulous lunch right after. I forgot to mention that we actually made it out of the apt. by 11 a.m. We walked to Plaça Espanya, where we once again got on the tour bus. Our destinations were L’aquarium Barcelona, Las Ramblas, and Anella Olimpica (which is an Olympic Park located in the hill of Montjuïc, Barcelona that was the main site for the 1992 Summer Olympics). Now ask, Did we make it to three sights in one day even we were out earlier than usual? Of course NOT!!!!

I was so impressed with all of us for getting out early. I did not want the children to be out late yet again. I also needed to start packing for our next stop, London. After the aquarium, Jordan noticed trampoline nearby. We had to try them. You were basically strapped to bungee cables. Then you had to see how high you can jump on the trampoline. I couldn’t let my Baby do it alone. So I had to do it also since no one volunteered. That was exhularating, but I don’t need to do it again.  Minutes after getting, back on the tour bus to go to Anella Olimpica, Alex fell asleep. The only thing to do was go back to the apt. Christopher made dinner and I started packing. Children were in bed by 8:30 p.m. Making Progress! We had one more day to visit Las Ramblas.

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Las Ramblas……

La Rambla is the most famous street in Barcelona. The wide boulevard connects the Plaça de Catalunya, a busy square, with the Columbus Monument and the city’s waterfront. We had to go to Las Ramblas today. Janel and I wanted to see it, be in it. We wanted to know why it was famous. Las Ramblas did not disappoint.

Christopher made a lavish breakfast for all of us. He made a dish specific for each individual taste. He does that sometimes. You have to love him. He does the sweetest, most thoughtful gestures. He made all members of his family happy this morning. More importantly, the children ate very well. We still made it out by 11:30 a.m. We took the metro from the Tarragona stop and then we walked for hours. The children were tired but enjoyed the walk. We purchased a few little souvenirs on side streets. We eventually had to take a cab home because the children had nothing left in them. We were home by 5 p.m., so they had plenty of time to play. Let me tell you how good I am getting. My beautiful children were in bed by 7:30 p.m. after calling their Grandma to say good night and give an account of their day. They also made sure she knew that they were flying to London tomorrow to be with Jibril and Noe.  Granted it was not all of my doing. They had an incentive. They wanted tomorrow to come quickly so that they can be with Jibril and Noe. The sooner they go to go sleep…….

I will be spending the night packing. Our flight is not so early as before. But, I can’t get anything done in the morning. We have to be out by 8:30 a.m. I will see you all in London.

Pictures to come:

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Tour Day…

Very Casual Day!!!!!

On Tuesday, we took a Barcelona Tour Bus. The tour was about 2 hours long. We intended to hop on & off to see one to two sights. You guessed it! Both children fell asleep minutes after getting on the bus. Janel even dozed off. The sun was extremely hot and they played before we got on the tour bus.  Christopher and I enjoyed the tour immensely. We listened to the audio. We admired different scenic attractions. It was great. Rarely do we get an opportunity to just talk to one another with no interruptions. We wanted to get out and explore, but that was not possible with two sleeping children.

We got off the bus, ready to head home. Thankfully, my wonderful children woke up full of energy. By 7 p.m, they were ready to eat, play, and see things. So we made an adventure out of the evening. We went to a beautiful mall nearby. We shopped a little. By the way, I finally broke down and bought a make up brush from Flormar for 6.95€.  It was still a bit expensive for my taste, but a far cry from 28.99€.  Children wanted to buy everything. I have one line: “We can’t buy anything because it will not fit in our luggage.” I did not say that “the line” stopped them from asking…..lol. We had dinner (pizza for children). Then we had a whole mess of ‘gelats,’ which is Catalan for ice cream. Delicious! There was a contest. Christopher is always coming up with things. Everybody had to describe the flavor and taste of their ice cream to the rest of us. Jordan only likes vanilla. Alex only likes chocolate. Janel will eat anything with chocolate in it.  Then we had the taste test to see whose ice cream was the best. Mine, of course! I’m doing the writing!!! We had the best evening.

Pictures to come:

FUN AND SUN AT THE BEACH……….

Beautiful day for the BEACH! Monday was made for the beach. We keep trying to get out in the early morning. We’re still working on that. By the time they do a bit of homework; Christopher works a little; I get them dressed and fed; we figure out our best route to the activity; I fuss at the younger children (you know they’re getting into things…i.e. jumping on the bed, toys everywhere), it is nearly 1 p.m. The good news is, we make it happen. We do eventually make it out. Once we do…..fun and adventure, here we come!!!!!

We took a cab to NOVA ICÀRIA beach. Beautiful day!!!! You should have seen the sky. Not a cloud to be seen! It was not too hot, just perfect. We even had a bit of breeze blowing our way every so often. We spend a splendid afternoon simply relaxing. I watched the children play. We met a wonderful family from London. They were so charming that we had to exchange numbers. Janel found that she had a lot in common with Brenda’s 18-year-old daughter, Tasha. They’ve been communicating ever since. I took most of the pictures this time. So far the friends and family members who wanted to see Christopher, he is in the water with the children. You will probably not see him again. As stated previously, Christopher likes to be behind the camera.

We were at the beach until 7 p.m. My son did not want to come home as usual. If it were up to him, he’d live inches from the beach. He would simple fall out of bed and into the ocean. I don’t mind visiting once in a while. We went home to quickly change and go to dinner. The children have no bedtime at all. It will be incredibly hard to restore order and habit come September first. No crises with dinner tonight. We did not order pizza (but he had fries and chicken with absolutely no sauce……just plain chicken).

I’m having some technical difficulties uploading pictures currently. I will post them as soon as Janel and I correct the problem. They are worth seeing.

Problem is fixed

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Pigeons, Pigeons Everywhere……..

It seems no matter where we travel, my children will find pigeons. Why go see sights when you can just go to the nearby park to play with pigeons for hours? When I say it’s time to go,  Jordan reacts in total disbelief.

On Sunday, we intended to do a bus tour of Barcelona. We changed that plan to Tuesday instead. Monday was reserved for the beach.  We just could not get out of the apartment before 2 p.m. It became a more relaxing and fun afternoon. We took the metro to see what we could see.

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Barcelona, Here We Come…….

On Saturday at 8 a.m., we had to be at the airport. Our flight was due to take off at 10 a.m. So long, Rome, Italy….until next time. It was only a two-hour flight. I would not get a chance to sleep. I needed to sleep so badly, since I hadn’t closed my eyes until 3 a.m. What in the world do I do, you wonder? I don’t know. But honestly, there is always something for me to do. I have to do it while the children are sleeping. While they are awake, we’re doing some sort of activity. There’s just not enough time in the day.

LONG DAY!!!!

Children and I dozed off and on. It’s a given that Christopher is going to sleep on the airplane. This morning, we all followed suit. I think I noticed that Janel was reading a book. Unsure if she slept at all.

We landed in Barcelona, Spain. The rest of the day was work for me. Vacation or not, laundry was waiting for me. Once we got to the apartment, I quickly started doing laundry. So far, I’ve noticed that most people put clothes to dry outside on a line. I so dislike doing that. You literally have to wait for hours to dry one load. Who has that kind of time? Days later, more dirty clothes–things we take for granted.  Thank goodness at least for a washing machine. I unpacked and did laundry.

We went out for late lunch. We had to see a bit of the neighborhood. Jordan, you guessed it, had his usual pizza. We had to go grocery shopping because the supermarket would not be open on Sunday. Once we returned, we stayed in for the night.  Christopher made the most spectacular dinner…….. I wish you could have had a taste. It was sooooo good.

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Vatican City……..The world’s smallest country

Thursday’s adventure included a fast pace visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. You can’t possibly enjoy Museums of such magnitude and beauty in a day, let alone 3 hours. It just isn’t possible. If you’re rushing because your six year son is complaining loudly (making his displeasure known to all ), you can forget it. So you don’t really get to appreciate this wonder that is VATICAN CITY. One can always try. It was a long afternoon. Jordan was so unhappy. He wanted to be anywhere else, but the Vatican. He started asking for exits immediately. Unfortunately, once you are inside the Museum, it’s not easy to get out. It was so crowded. You were just moving through people. This is another sight that I will have to come back to see without CHILDREN.

I am not forgetting Alexandra and Janel. At this point, they are perfect little ladies. They pretty much go with the flow. Alex just wants to be carried when she gets too tired. She has no problem falling asleep on her Daddy’s shoulders. She gets excited about everything. However, she does feed off of Jordan’s emotions at that times. But her crises don’t last. Janel is a typical teenager. You can’t tell whether or not she’s happy, content or miserable most of the time. She’s not rude about it. She’s just quiet. Of course, I can’t say enough about Christopher. He’s our rock. Thank God for him; he keeps me sane. I know you don’t see too many pictures of Christopher. There’s a good reason for that. He’s the family photographer. He’s usually behind the scene……(Between you and me, I think he’s afraid that I may drop or loose his camera. So he hardly lets me hold it. His fears are real possibilities….lol….).

See pictures below:

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COLOSSEUM……

Once again, we went to bed very late Sunday night. That was not the plan. I wanted to get everybody in bed by at least 9:30 p.m. I wanted to go sightseeing all day. Children have no interest in sightseeing all day. Are you kidding me! If you can get one or two events out of them, you’re good.

We did not make it out of the house until 12 p.m. (Monday). We walked 4 minutes to Termini Station. We had lunch. Janel is the only sensible child/teenager when it comes to food with my group. Today Alexandra was unhappy child who did not care for anything that we ordered. I was more than ready to ignore her. However, her father would hear none of that. He cajoled her into eating eventually. SO BEGINS OUR ADVENTURE INTO ROME………

Our first stop was the COLOSSEUM. Gorgeous sunny day!  Janel loved it. Children had a blast running up the hill! We wanted to see the Colosseum. Jordan and Alex only wanted to chase the pigeons.

Pictures below!!

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Saldi…….

Everywhere just about in every shop in Rome, there is a “Saldi” sign. Of course I’m interested because I want to buy. The first thing I needed to buy was a brush for my make up. Understand that I completely over packed as usual. Yet, I  managed to forget the essential brush to help create my divine look…… So this morning, Janel and I were very excited to spot a Sephora store without looking for one. Well, guess what?……the simple brush cost 28.30 Euros which is $37.23. That was one of the cheaper brushes. Do you hear me? That was the sale! I couldn’t believe it.  No, I did not buy the brush. I was outraged. Have they heard of Walmart or Target? With all of that said, ask me again in a few days how long I intend to go without that brush.

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PIZZA Disaster…….Really!

What a day!!!!! Our first official day in Rome! We landed on Sunday morning.

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By the time we arrived in our apartment, everyone was past exhausted. Remember Janel and I never went to sleep. Christopher barely slept for 2 hours. The flight was less than two hours. The lack of sleep and jet lag from before made us feel blahhhhh…..  We couldn’t really appreciate anything about Rome at that time. A good shower and dreamland were priority. Once again, Alex had to be carried inside. She was fast asleep. Well, Jordan was in and out slumber. He needed to be carried also.

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Of course as soon as Christopher laid him down, he was wide awake…..ready for action. No time to waste……They went food shopping. Alex and I had to sleep. Eventually  all of us had a good rest. We are conveniently located near restaurants, shops, lots of pizza for Jordan and plenty of ice cream for me…lol. WELL, someone needs to eat all of that good ice cream. It may as well be me!!!!! Don’t laugh!!!!!  8 p. m., we went out to dinner and to take a closer look at this fabulous city called Rome. We just walked a few blocks. Alexandra had to be carried. She knows her father will never say no. Dinner was great for most of us, except Jordan. Alex will try different things, but not Jordan. We are in Italy….right? Pizza and pasta are without a doubt the best on earth. GUESS AGAIN!!! Jordan wanted pizza. We ordered pizza for the boy. Pizza came, child took one look, and said, “I don’t want that pizza!” “Where’s the cheese?” “Why does it look like that?” Why does it smell like that?” “YACK!!!” We’re trying to keep him calm. He was getting very agitated. He was hungry and was looking forward to eating the best pizza. He’s been told by others and us that Italy would give him the best. Jordan was expecting his favorite pizza from Calabria (Cranford, NJ). The look, shape, and taste were too drastically different for him. He was upset. He did not want anything else to eat. He suggested that we go to Calabria to get him pizza and the rest of us could eat at the restaurant.  We had to order two other pizzas. He still was not happy, but he could tolerate the third. Why 3 pizzas? Because that restaurant did not serve slices. How dare we even ask such a question?  We were all happy to have dinner behind us and move elsewhere for dessert. You know children……..   Once we stepped outside, everything was forgotten. They moved on to bigger and better things.

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