Another whirlwind week of touring

We had a quick weekend between visitors before our cousins, the Beckers arrived. They'd sent an envoy a few months ahead of them to test out whether or not this would be a good vacation spot. Do you remember Flat Stanley? They said he was a school project but we figured it out. We seemed to pass the Flat Stanley test because they arrived early on Monday morning slightly jetlagged but no worse for the wear. The first order of business was the bus tour...

We got off to explore Park Guell....

Alexa finally bought one of those signs with her name on it written in pictures. She was very excited. We shopped our way back to the bus and then had to wait forever to get back on...and we were on the bottom. Note to self...do not get off the bus...ever.
Our second day we walked around the Barri Gottic and Born. We took in the Museo de Xocolate. Alex attempting to eat the chocolate sculpture.

We walked back down to Port Vell and the kids all took turns on this trampoline thing.

Our next day we went to Casteldefells beach. It was a glorious day and the sun was up until late in the afternoon.

Nick took them all to Tibdabo after our relaxing day on the beach. The sun wasn't cooperating this day but that didn't stop them from having a great time!

And a quick picture in front of the Cathedral

Our next stop on the whirlind tour of Barcelona was Montjuic. We walked by the Olympic Stadium.

And we did some shopping at Poble Espanyol before leaving to the Olympic Diving Pool.

The pool is on the side of Montjuic with amazing views of the city. From the pool it looks as if you are swimming in the clouds.
We couldn't use the diving boards though because there was a competition going on so we stayed in the swimming section.

We did a quick change back into our street clothes and hopped on the cable cars up to the Castel.
Steve took a turn manning the cannons.

View of the port. It truly was a glorious day.

Our last day we spent walking the Ramblas, and down by the Aquarium.

Alexa and the scary chick.
Steve's turn

A new performer we hadn't seen before.

We ended teh day at Port Olympic and had a great dinner at Carpe Deum, a restaurant on the beach run by a Dutch football player. The food is very good and very eclectic.
Early the next morning the Beckers were packed and ready to move on to the next leg of their journey, Italy.
Joe ended the night before with a fever and woke up getting sick. We've been praying that he hasn't passed it beyond this house.

We finally got out today to go to the Museo d' Maritime. They were sponsering the King Tut exhibition, which turns out is all replicas but very educational and pretty cool to see, even if they aren't the real ones, which are in Cairo and in the British Museum in London. We went through the Eygpt section of that Museum when we were in London so I know we must have seen some of it. Time to plan a trip to Cairo to see the rest. ;)
Love to all,


A week with friends...

Egads! I uploaded all the pics and then went to sleep one night...then promptly forgot to add the commentary and post. *smacking self in the forehead* I'm getting old folks.

The day after we dropped Maureen and Bambi at the airport, I was back to pick up Joe's friend Mitchell. The following week we spent doing a little touring, going to the movies and generally letting the boys spend time together.

They don't call them the dog days of summer for nothing...

Dad sitting on the porch playing fetch with the dogs.

On July 4th the rest of the Toran clan showed up. We were so happy to see them. The boys of course wanted to jump right into the pool. Joe and Zack share the same fashion sense...or it could be their Mom's shop in the same stores.

Our neighbors behind us called over the fence the week before and offered us this raft. They'd just had a pool built and the raft was too big for it. So, Mitchell, Joe and I had carried around the block to our pool, it was just right.

That night Steve, Karen, Nick and I went into Barcelona for Tappas. (Mom, Thom and Kim this is where we ate Tappas in the Borne district with Alexa)

The next day we rose, oh so not early for a day at the beach. The great thing about Barcelona is that the sun doesn't set until about 9:30 and it's still warm and toasty on the beach well into the early evening here.

Alexa and Logan building sand creations...

A game of American football on the beach

Joe with too much sunscreen on his face.
We ventured to Park Guell on the second day.

Took some quick samari lessons again.
We arrived at the top of the steps and walked onto the plaa. Apparently I should have paid more attention during the samuri lessons so I could defend myself from the attacking pigeon that winged me in the head. I was fine but for having a bit of trouble catching my breath from laughing so hard.

Cool Dudes

The next day the Torans went on the bus tour and Nick's Mom, Alexa, Jessica and I took a trip up to Tibidabo. I think I've mentioned before that Tibidabo comes from the latin phrase in the bible
from when the devil is tempting Jesus during his 40 days in the dessert, when he says, "I give you all this" (meaning all the cities of the world)....that is Tibidabo. And the stained glass from the Cathedral at Tibidabo that depicts the scene. It was raining and generally gloomy so we didn't go to any of the rides, only the church and ducked into a very nice restaurant for lunch. They didn't mind our casual clothes and the food was awesome. They brought out our bread with a plate with bread and fish on it. Jess had ordered an apetizer with bread and tuna and since we didn't really know what that looked like there was speculation that this could be Jess' lunch.

I was skeptical but Alexa kept insisting so Jess was trying to choke it down. We couldn't determine if it was tuna on the fish. It wasn't bad. I tried one. I kept telling her to wait until we got our lunch because then we'd know. But she was determined to eat it with Alexa egging her on. Jess' Real lunch was the first on the table....
Jess was a good sport about it and managed to eat most of this plate as well. It was really tasty...more like pizza then tuna on bread. There was sliced tomato under the tuna.
The stinker...Alexa, she said she knew all along it wasn't her lunch because she saw the waiter bringing the same thing to the other tables. She just wanted to see Jess eat it.
I had to treat the girls to dessert after that. Jess earned it. Then we hopped back on the Tram, which looks like a Trolley car to me, to get to the trains.

Grandma and her girls.

The next day we were sad to see Grandma and Grandpa go. We had to do something to cheer the kids up so we were back at Tibidabo and this time took in the amusements. The kids waiting for the bumper cars.
Karen getting in on the action
Mitchell and Jess

Joe and Zack Zack, Karen, Jess and Alexa after taking a second turn on the coaster.

The week flew by quickly and it wasn't long before we were saying goodbye again. The boys and their secret handshake.

One last shot of Joe and Mitchell....til next year.

And looking for an adequate way to end our post for this week, I searched for a quote and since I never do anything in a small way. I have two I thought fit well...
" Every goodbye is the birth of a memory." (Dutch proverb)
"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes, a farewell is necessary before you can meet again and meeting again, after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends." Richard Bach...no idea who he is but...he's right.
And as Tigger says, Ta Ta for now...TTFN
Love you all!