Barcelona Travel Diary

Islie enjoying the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona rooftop wading pool.

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!

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Travel Diary, Seville

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….

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Portugal Travel Diary, Algarve Part 2

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

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Portugal Travel Diary, Heading South to Comporta and Algarve

Luella in her best model pose.

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. 

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Portugal Travel Diary, Lisbon and Sintra

Colorful Lisbon.

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!!

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Meanwhile, in Portugal

Managed to get a decent family pic in Sintra although Isla is fast asleep!

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.

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Stockholm Travel Diary, Part 1

Isla enjoying the lobby at the Nobis Hotel.

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.

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Copenhagen Travel Diary, Part 1

Lu smelling the Hyacinths at Tivoli.

It’s been back to reality over here after our whirlwind trip to Copenhagen and Stockholm last month with seven kiddies in tow! Reentry back into real life is always a bummer and as  usual I found myself having a bit of the post-vacation blues upon our return. I almost avoided it this time due to the beautiful sun and warmth we returned to, but that was short-lived as a long string of grey and rainy days followed here in Amagansett. Now that it’s mid May summer weather can’t be too far away!!!

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Seven in Tow is no Joke!

    Isla trying out the Local Treats in Copenhagen.

We have been on the go for several days now, and are more than half way through our mini Scandinavian journey, I’m very sad to say. It has been a whirlwind of fun times, crazy frustrating kiddie moments, and everything imaginable in between. Our first stop was Copenhagen, such a vibrant and interesting city; definitely as child and family friendly as you are led to believe, although I did see only one baby- inhabited pram outside a restaurant the entire time we were there, I had thought they would be everywhere ha ha!

Luella by the Tulips in Tivoli, Copenhagen:
Colorful Nyhavn.
Sienna holding a Butterfly at Den Bla Planet, Copenhagen.
So Many Pretty Faces!
Isla in Nyhavn, Copenhagen.

We are currently in Stockholm, a city I absolutely love and one that is much more regal and beaitiful than I had imagined. Those are our stops on this particular journey, although I am definitely bitten by the Scandinavian bug and look forward to future visits, to further explore these cities and venture on to other countries as well. The design and cuisine are so singular and unique, and fit my aesthetic to a T!

As I mentioned I’m traveling with my kiddies and Karen, sister in law Crystalyn and friend Ashley who have two kids apiece, and my sister in law’s sitter Jackie as well. Definitely a large crew and with seven kids we are totally outnumbered!  Still, we have managed to fit in quite a bit! There have been amazing all-day outings for the littles;  and ladies nights, museums, and the requisite shopping excursions for the mamas.

Sienna in Skansen, Stockholm.
Isla painting at the Modern Museet in Stockholm.
LuLu was so in love with her Swedish Meatballs!

 

The Littles Meeting the Little Mermaid.

Once I’m home and have time to breathe, as I currently have both Lu and Isla jumping on me as I write this in our hotel room, I will share our travel diary and how we survived, what worked and what didn’t (wine always helps), but for now here are just a few of many pics so far, on the fly! We are still waiting for the elusive group pic of all of us!!!