Thursday, September 18, 2014

Montserrat "The Birth Place of Catalonia"

Montserrat located just an hour out of Barcelona is a perfect day trip and well worth the visit.  You will need to either take the Metro, Tram, or Bus to Espanya Square where you will follow the orange metro sign down below.  There you will purchase a ticket for the R5 train to Montserrat.  When you purchase your ticket you want to pick either cable car or funiculars.  The tickets will cost you between 20 Euros to 27 Euros depending where you purchase them.  You can also purchase them outside Espanya Square from the ticket booth selling city passes.  Montserrat or serrated mountain is the birth place of Catalonia the region in which Barcelona sits.  The monastery  located at the top of the mountain was burned down and all the monks were killed when Napoleon came through with his troops. The location and event is equivalent to our Alamo.  Once you get to the top you can take the challenge of climbing higher to some of the crosses located even higher up on the mountains, have lunch, go to the museum located there, or see the black virgin located inside the church.  I should also explain that Catalonia is more than just a region because the people who live within Catalonia have there own language that is a mix between French and Spanish.  Don't worry if you want to come to Barcelona to practice your Spanish you will be able to do that because everyone speaks Spanish too. The signs here are both in Spanish and in Catalonia.  The people of this region would love to separate from Spain if they could.  This was our last trip in this area as we are moving on to Madrid.  See you soon.


While it is not my style of art, my husband loves Salvador Dali.  We hopped on a train and headed 2 hours north to go to his museum in his hometown of Figures.  Super Easy to find.  Once you arrive you just grab a city map or follow the line of tourist.  You really can't get to lost.  A word of suggest is that  you do not want to visit during the summer month (you will need to buy tickets in advance). We had no problem getting in, but it was crowded and at times we were knocking elbows with fellow visitors.  It was interesting to see his body of work.  What I found sweet was to learn of his love for his wife Gala.  He was so in love!  The main statue you see when coming into the museum was a tribute to her upon her death.  Afterwards we celebrated my birthday by getting some great food at the Imperial Restaurant located adjacent  to the museum.  Frank had schnitzel and I had lamb chops. Avery was not thrilled by either of our choice and we ended up getting her some yogurt later at a supermarket.  She is not so thrilled with the food choices, but does seem to like the ham.  Then it was back to Barcelona.  I went and did a little shopping at a near by mall and Frank went to a soccer game.   He was in heaven to see some of the greatest soccer players of today play.

Happy Birthday to Me!  "43"

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In The Trail of Gaudi "contrast cv"

Today we were on the trail of Gaudi. Who is Gaudi! He is a famous architect that lived here in Barcelona around the 1900’s. He was a pioneer of his time much like Frank Gehry today. A little mad man a little genius. What is also interesting about him is that in his younger years he was very rebellious, but as he got older he was commissioned by the church to do some work for them and through his day to day relationship with the monks grew closer to God. Our first stop was La Peddera a building that was designed for family living. When visiting these attractions here in Barcelona give yourself plenty of time as the lines are long and it does take some time to get through each attraction. The building is divided into three stops: the roof top or terraza as it is called here, the attic, and the apartment. I didn’t show any photos of the apartment, but it was very beautiful. Next was the cathedral or Sagra da Famillie . It is about a 20 minute walk from La Pederra or you can hop on the metro. We did not go inside as we did not purchase tickets in advance and the line was pretty long. Also, the ticket prices are pretty steep. This church is still under construction and will not be finished until 2050. It is like looking at something constructed out of Star Wars. The building showcases Gaudi’s love for nature. When completed it will be adorned with a giant statue of Jesus. Then it was on to Park Guell. This park was designed to be a private family living community, but the idea never took off. The Gardens are beautiful, but once again be prepared to wait a long time to get in as we waited 2 hours. I would buy tickets on-line and then you just need to show up at your time given slot. Today was certainly a dream come true for me as I have wanted to see his works for 17 years now. Avery has been a dream. She is such a good traveler. After the park, we headed back to our hotel with a stop for dinner and a stop for diapers and a curling iron. My adapter didn’t work here as I didn’t have the right number of prongs. Well, by the time you read this it will be my birthday and we are off to see the works of Salavador Dahli. It is a 2 hour train ride north. That should be fun!

A contrast from your typical architecture!

Monday, September 15, 2014

I heart Barcelona!

I heart Barcelona.  We arrived in Barcelona on Monday morning, but not being a spring chicken we headed to the hotel for check-in and after getting a quick bite to eat we took a little nap.  We woke up around 4 and headed into the city center.  Since it was so late in the day, we opted to ride on the Hop on Hop Off bus as a way to get our bearings of the city.   We choose to get off at the harbor where we walked along the boardwalk, saw the statue of Columbus, and walk up the Ramblas (a pedestrian footpath with shops and cafes).   What is nice about the Ramblas is that it is not over commercialized and the side streets bring amazing shops around every corner.  We took a peek into a local church and then it was time for dinner.  Tapas did the trick for Frank and I and Avery was happy with some cheese and crackers.  Afterwards a little gelato and waffles for dessert.  Yummy!  I think I could live in this city for forever.  The blue sky, amazing architecture, palm trees and the smell of the ocean are heaven!  What has surprised me the most is how clean the city is and while like every European city it has a problem with graffiti, it does not have a problem with liter like Italy.  Well, it is time for bed.  Tomorrow we are off to see some of the architectural works of Gaudi.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Winston Learns to Dive

Last weekend, Frank took Winston to become scuba certified.  W have aother scuba diver in the house.  Yahoo.  They had so much fun in the Keys.  Well, I may or may not be able to get back on-line week.  We leave for Spain.  Nana is watching the children in while we are gone.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Another One or Two Bite the Dust

Yep, you are seeing right.  Winston broke his arm.  He was playing soccer and fell on the wet grass as it had been raining prior to our going.  It looks like he will be sporting that sling for 3 weeks until his clavicle has healed.  While I was in there I ask the doctor what he thought I should do in-regards to my wrist.  Let's back up a week, I was standing in the drive-way and Addy rode right between my legs causing them to buckle and my wrist to hit the ground.  
Another one or two bite the dust.  Yep, it is another broken bone!  This time Winston has broken his clavicle.  He was playing soccer and 30 minute on the field he fell; however,  it wasn't until the next morning when it told us he thought he should go to the doctor.  He said he was in a lot of pain.  While the pediatrician wan't positive what was going on, he sent us to the orthopedic doctor to get it checked out!  They did an x-ray and sure enough it was broken.  Now let's back up a week prior.  I was standing in the yard talking to one of my son's friends mom and Addy rode right in between my legs causing them to buckle.  It was all I could do to catch myself.  My wrist did all the dirty work.  It has been throbing ever since, but I didn't have time to go to the ER.  I asked Winston's doctor what he thought I should do and he was kind enough to x-ray it too.  Not broken, but very badly sprained.  I am notk is g footing my own wrist brace.  3 weeks and he can resume his life as a soccer player and two week for me!  The weekend is coming up?  What do you t