We did it. We took the plunge and bought our tickets to Spain this past March. Mixed emotions led up to the trip – excitement, nerves, exhilaration, and a touch of sheer panic knowing that I would be flying for approximately 30 hours [cumulatively] with a 7 month old baby. But certainly excitement trumped all other feelings and the trip was welcomed with much anticipation. I am not going to break down every nitty gritty detail of our 2 week trip because there is one main takeaway that I think most parents need to hear – That it was 100% worth it. Just go for it and you won’t regret it. The rapture and memories that we gained from this trip far outweigh any stress or minor headaches [Remember that late train? Yeah, me neither.] that we may have encountered along the way. The experience was absolutely incredible and certainly one that we will cherish for many years to come.
We had a couple day layover in Lisbon, Portugal and now it is a must on my list for places to return to! I fell in love with its endless charm and delicious pastries.
Next stop, Barcelona! Upon arrival, the culture of this vital city was palpable. We found ourselves strolling through local markets, handpicking pastries, cheeses, and wines before returning home for social hour out on the terrace and capping it with a midday siesta. Mornings and evenings were spent admiring all of Gaudi’s impressive work and sampling local cuisine and cocktails. I can see how tourists find themselves lingering in this lovely city.
Oh, and the baby? Barcelona was extremely family friendly – museums, parks, paths to stroll, and most restaurants were very accommodating for children [if you are ok with their late hours]. The sidewalks were also extremely stroller friendly [we were seriously regretting not bringing ours!] and you can spend days wandering the city and exploring all that it has to offer. We always felt safe but were mindful of petty theft in the touristy spots. Public transportation was clean and efficient, and exceeded California’s standards [which isn’t hard to do]. Another plus was that the locals enjoyed Arlo’s company and he equally enjoyed theirs.
If you happen to have a babysitter on hand, I highly recommend that you check out Barcelona’s nightlife. Fun fact, gin is all the rage in Barcelona! The popular drink of choice for the locals is a simple gin and tonic served in an oversized wine glass. The wine glass enhances the aromas which in return, enhances your tasting experience. Salud!
My two favorite spots: Old Fahsion Gin Tonic & Cocktail Bar and Bobby Gin
Tip: Book your tickets in advance. You must book a guided tour to see the best parts of the park.
Do not leave Barcelona without witnessing this amazing architectural feat. Again, book your tickets in advance! We went during a quieter season for tourists and still needed to buy our tickets a few days in advance.
Cava, cava, and more cava!
While France is known for their champagne, Spain is known for their – yep you guessed it – cava! We decided to rent a car for the day and drive outside of the city and tour some local wineries. Plan ahead and it’ll be well worth the extra effort!
A big shout out to my cousin Kait for joining us on this trip, it wouldn’t have been the same without you! We love you!