This winter I’ve been very sidetracked with life, and so I’m months late on sharing the rest of our summer and all of our fall and winter activities! The good news is we’ve been having a lot of fun, so it makes since that I haven’t been able to keep up with sharing it! I’m hoping to catch up and organize the thousands of 2017 photos before we embark on our European Spring adventure (and take thousands more!) and whatever else the spring will bring. We will be visiting Amsterdam and Antwerp, two places that are new to us, and then wrapping up the trip with our most favorite and magical city, Paris. Time passes so quickly, especially with three kids, and I feel like summer 2018 is right around the corner. Here is a little about the tail end of our 2017 summer trip, spent in Barcelona and accompanied by a lot of pics!
On our Seville travel day we woke up early, and because I had gotten super organized the night before for once we were out on the road by 8:00 am. A quick stop for chocolate croissants and espresso and we headed for Faro airport where we would leave our rental car and take a prearranged taxi across the border. Everything went according to plan, the only caveat being an extra car cleaning charge due to that day we ran out of kiddie Dramamine for Isla….
With all of my girls in matching Marysia swimsuits, yes we are those people! Ha
I’m sure I’ve said this before, and will undoubtedly say it again but our favorite day of every family vacation is a day spent at sea. We love swimming, boating, and exploring all of the coves and secret beach spots you can’t always get to by car. I love the feeling you get all alone in a beautiful and secluded place, which can sometimes be hard to experience with the advent of social media and the wealth of travel information available online, (I see the irony), but if timed right can still happen. After the stressful experience of a poor seasick Isla in France last summer we decided it was best to leave Islie and Karen behind during our boat day on this trip, instead of subjecting her to the possibility of puking all day, no matter how much we wished they could have come. They shared a special solo day at the hotel together, relaxing by the beach and pool
After a few jam packed days in Lisbon, we were beach bound and looking forward to a bit of relaxation and the chance to travel and explore at a slower pace. The morning began with a repacking frenzy (I had packed lightly for all, why was this so tortuous!?), as I had been too tired after an amazing and late dinner date at Alma, (a less fussy take on Michelin dining and highly recommended), to tackle it the night before. Jon and I sent Karen and the girls off to breakfast while we went to pick up the rental car, the process of which is always the absolute worst. This experience was no exception. Despite the fact that we had booked the car months in advance and had everything in order, we still drove out of there two hours later pretty frustrated and eager to get on the road.
We’ve recently returned from our summer adventure to Portugal and Spain, and dove head first into the fall rituals of back to school and the like. I have enjoyed going back, viewing and organizing the hundreds of photos, and doing a mental recap of all of the fun we had! We visited so many different places and I have to say looking back, (because it didn’t always seem this way in the moment), the kids were really amazing. It was so special to see everything through their eyes, because of course everyone is getting a little older each month which is happy and sad at the same time. It really makes such a difference in how they experience travel though! Sienna, who mostly despises being photographed at this point, is very interested in taking photos herself, and has a love of art and architecture. Luella is really taking everything in, being so inquisitive and easy going, and just such a happy girl overall and a delight to be with. Isla is a little parrot, imitating everyone, in every language. She had us laughing hysterically the entire trip; that is when I wasn’t about to cry during one of her utterly unreasonable moments of demanding impossibilities. That lady is really one of a kind with more personality than we know what to do with!!
We are currently about a week into our Portugal and Spain adventure, and I finally have a little time on a cloudy morning to go through all of the photos I’ve taken thus far (so many amazing pics!) and regroup a little bit. The Portuguese landscape is the perfect backdrop for photoshoots, I would say.
The last few days of our trip were rounded out with neighborhood exploration, an amazing photography museum, delicious meals, and some seriously chilly temps. Of course there were also a few tantrums, tired moms, and overflowing suitcases to deal with as well 🙂
The Tuesday journey from Copenhagen to Stockholm was a little shaky, but it ended well when we arrived and found Stockholm to be such a beautiful city, more picturesque than we had anticipated. While the roughly one hour flight was short and the kiddies were fine, during the last ten minutes Isla informed me she was going to “puke” and then promptly did so. The warning was helpful and I was able to mostly contain the situation, but sadly had to trash a favorite dress and do a quick clean up which was a bummer. One thing I won’t miss as they grow is all this getting sick on planes, cars, and boats!! The airport was kind of a disaster from there as the customs line was really slow and the kiddies were anxious and crying, and then a broken elevator left my family lost and apart from the rest of the group, and I was definitely a little flustered as we tried to find the train level. We did get it together eventually, and after a short train ride and a quick taxi arrived at the lovely Nobis Hotel, a Design Hotel, where we would spend the next five nights.
The rest of our Copenhagen days were rounded out by a mix of both kiddie and adult activities. A bright and sunny Sunday morning found us at the highly designed Den Blå Planet, (The Blue Planet), the largest aquarium in Northern Europe. Naturally all of our kids were very excited to spend a morning there gazing at the fish.
The aquarium has a super sleek and modern design, almost like a metal sphere, and it’s situated waterfront so there are beautiful views from the glass – walled restaurant; which also had some of the best food I’ve ever had at an aquarium or the like! Definitely an elevated family outing and dining experience. We spent the morning wandering around and watched a sea otter show, walked through a rainforest with flittering butterflies, and gazed at a highlight for the littles; the shark and ray exhibit, which you enter by walking through a glass tunnel surrounded by tanks on all sides. I would definitely recommend a visit here regardless of the weather as most of the aquarium is indoors, although it was nice to visit on such an exceptionally nice day and take in the sea vistas.
Another busy weekend is behind us!! It’s crazy how fast the days and weeks are flying by…summer has barely started and I feel like I’m going to blink and we’ll be getting the kids ready for back-to-school.