Dear Friends, I have just returned from another cruise, this time to Mexico. So I feel compelled to finish posting of my Mediterranean Cruise last summer.
This is the last day of our Mediterranean Cruise. Disembarkation is remarkably well organized, and passes quickly. Our luggage was collected last night, and we have only our carry-on’s with our morning necessities. We are assigned a disembarkation location and time, and all goes well. We enter the taxi queue at the Port of Barcelona and are pleasantly surprised with the efficiency.
Our planned excursion had been cancelled by the cruise line, so we found ourselves without a plan. Upon checking in to our hotel, my sister-in-law and I briefly review our guidebooks and the maps available. We plan to meet the grandparents at La Famila Sagrada in the afternoon, but we are on our own until then. So we decide to take cabs to this aerial gondola/ tram which they call a “cable car.” After some confusion at the drop-off, (our taxis dropped us off at different points) we embarked on the cable car. This was a wonderful opportunity to view the Barceloneta Beach and all its glory. The weather is gorgeously sunny, and yet not hellish-humid hot (as it had been for the duration of our trip thus far).
We delight in the Barceloneta Beach drop-off, strolling along the paved sidewalk as we admire beachcomers and the area’s sculptures. We decide to stop at Tapa Tapa, where we enjoy Sangria and salami baguettes. This is the most relaxed we parents have felt the entire vacation. I don’t know whether it is the weather, having wifi, being free of the ship, not having grandparents around, or maybe the Sangria– but we are thoroughly enjoying this afternoon.
We taxi to La Famila Sagrada and enjoy a little shopping at the kiosks before meeting up with the grandparents. This is the famous cathedral designed by Gaudi. It really is impressive. We designate a meeting point for after 45 minutes, and my niece and nephew GO STRAIGHT THERE. Seriously, they don’t even look around inside this beautiful, famous cathedral. Too Cool for School. My husband and I take too long, as we have found the museum and gift shop, below the church. As we return to the meeting point with our apologies, we see that only my father-in-law remains with our children, the matriarch is shopping, and my sister-in-law and her kids have long gone. Thankfully, there is some brilliant entrepreneur selling chilled bottles of water for One Euro at the gate. The boys decided to adventure on the subway, whilst we girls taxi back to the hotel. The front desk has our keys ready, now, and so my daughter and I take all of our family’s luggage to both of our rooms. That’s just how they do it in Europe. There’s only two allowed to a room. So our family of four is always separated. Here again, as in Rome, we are not even next door. Though this time, we are on the same floor at least. Of course, there are also air conditioner issues, so my daughter and I switch rooms with my husband and son, after all.
We start walking to dinner and it is starting to rain! How wonderful! We are making our way to a Tapas place recommended by the hotel. But we are dining at 6pm, and the restaurant is not even open yet! So we head to an Italian restaurant, here in Barcelona, and we are seated at a large table upstairs. It is fabulous fun, with views. The four cheese pizza seems to include blue cheese, which is not to my niece’s liking, so we trade. On the way back to our hotel, we stop at a grocery store and are at once impressed and frightened by the crazy crowd within. We cannot believe that the bottled water is so cheap! Then it is back to the hotel. We journey home tomorrow.
Unfortunately our pre-paid airport transfer now wants us to be ready a half-hour earlier, and have all our luggage at the Hard Rock Café, which is a fifteen minute walk. We are struggling, toting all our luggage as fast as we can through the sprinkling rain in the pre-dawn busy city. This is the worst of our trip for me, somehow I got the largest, heaviest suitcase to roll, and so I am half a block behind my young daughter, who is starting to cry because she can’t see me. (I can see her, of course, and she can see my hubby and son ahead of her.) Stupid airport transfers. I think the travel agent gets a cut for booking these. There’s no reason to not just call a cab. Now we share a small bus with strangers. It’s not bad, but this part, but the hurried walk with our luggage, I could have definitely done without.
Happily, we board our flight without any delays. The kids are seasoned travelers by this point! We have a brief layover in NYC, but not long enough to visit anyone. The flights pass without problem. We watch the movies: Theory of Everything, The Longest Ride, Godzilla. The boys watch Guardian of the Galaxy, but we girls do not. Dear Daughter has done so well this whole trip, I give her the “emergency comfort device” as a reward. She is smitten with Joy (from the movie Inside Out). (Be sure to read of our vacation to the island of Guam, and use of her emergency comfort device then!)
I love that feeling when you are waiting for your family to pick up from the airport, and you see them pull up! We are so happy to be home! Thankfully I have a day or two before I have to return to work. I am so grateful for this opportunity to have finally gone to Europe!
❤ Blessed be.
If you enjoyed this journal entry, be sure to read the rest of my travel posts!
Coming Soon: Mexico!