But, since it was our first time, we learned a thing or two from the experience. Here is what Barcelona taught me.
1. Plan on spending the year doing a "Playgrounds of Europe" tour. I will seek out the best playground in every city. Let the kids run around. They are, after all, just kids. Set realistic expectations and don't be disappointed when the kids don't want to view yet another gothic cathedral. We found the best playground in Barcelona to be right out in front of the Sagrada Familia.
|La Sagrada Familia|
|Kate with her souvenir fan|
|View from Parc Guell|
5. Know your limitations. Sure, going on a little cruise on the Mediterranean seemed like a good idea at the time. But we should have remembered that one of our children gets extremely motion sick. And freaks out on boats. And cries. And even a pair of sea bands and an old motion sickness lollipop pulled from my emergency mommy kit couldn't salvage a trip like that.
|Amazing market near La Rambla|
7. I'll never have enough time (or enough energy) to see everything in every city. So I will cherish the moments I do have, enjoy spending time as a family, take lots of pictures. Someday my kids will look back at their passports full of stamps and see photos from around the world and I will tell them about all the places we went. They might not remember much of it- but I certainly will.
I loved Barcelona. Next time I'd like to go back with just my hubby and spend the weekend sitting at a sidewalk cafe along La Rambla drinking sangria and people watching in the Spanish sun. Because the last thing I learned from Barcelona is that family trips are great, but sometimes you need to get away without the kids, too!