Monday, May 16, 2011

Trans-Atlantic cruise and Barcelona (part 4)

We're in Barcelona now, after saying goodbye to the cruise ship on Sunday morning. We spent the last day just hanging out on board. Carter wasn't interested in getting off, and so we didn't. He wanted to play with his toys and hang out in the room. We hung out on the balcony and enjoyed the beautiful day.






Here is a cute picture of him trying on my glasses. He looks good in them!


And here is a picture of Carter with our stateroom attendant, Rowena. Every time she saw him, she gave him hugs and kisses, and he adored her!


The next to last day, Doug and I went on an excursion on our own and left Carter on the boat with a sitter. (He wasn't too happy about this, but he would have hated the tour even more.) We went to see the Alhambra, a palace built by the Moors in the 12th century. It's one of the best examples of Muslim architecture in Europe, apparently, and it's really beautiful. It became the residence of the King and Queen of Spain when the Moors were exiled in the 15th century. In fact, this was the palace where the King and Queen of Spain met with Christopher Columbus and agreed to finance his expedition to the "Indies". We all know how that one ended, of course. ;-)






And then on Sunday morning, it was time to say goodbye to the cruise ship. Carter wasn't the least bit upset about this, in fact he seemed really happy to be getting off the ship! Once we got to the hotel, he was nearly giddy with excitement. We aren't sure how much he really liked the cruise. When I ask him if he enjoyed it, he says, "Yes", but when I ask him if he'd like to go on another cruise, he says, "No". I think two weeks was a bit long for him, and he missed be able to play outside and run around.

We headed to the Barcelona Aquarium on Sunday morning.






We then walked down to the waterfront for lunch -- paella, of course!



Barcelona is an amazing city: beautiful, kid-friendly, and there is a lot to do. We're staying in a hotel a couple of blocks from the beach and across the street from a huge shopping center full of great restaurants and shops. There's a big grocery store in the mall too, that wonderful European sort where you can buy good wine for $2 a bottle. There is an entire aisle of just yogurt. Seriously, there are that many kinds of yogurt here! It's fantastic! It makes me want to throw rocks at Whole Foods.

We had dinner in the shopping center at an Argentinian buffet restaurant, and the food was so amazing. After a couple of weeks of cruise ship fare, we were all ready for some fresh and flavorful food. Carter ate more that meal than we'd seen him eat in weeks! The shopping center's plaza had fun stuff going on, like this pool where kids could get in big hamster balls and roll in the water.


Carter didn't want to do that, but he did want to jump on the trampoline.


This morning we headed out to Parque Guell, a park designed by Gaudi. Mimi is on her way to visit her sister in Finland (who just had a baby), so she's hanging out in Barcelona with us for a few days.


These buildings are crazy!


Carter liked the big lizard.


He had fun running around in the big structures in the park.




There is a big terrace about halfway up with an amazing view of the city all the way down to the Mediterranean.


And of course, this is what Carter wanted to do: play in the dirt! This kid misses his sandbox.


We had lunch and went to the toy store in the mall, and then have been hanging out in the room for a little while. It's interesting how much happier Carter is in the hotel than he was on the cruise ship. He spends a lot of time in hotels, so I guess it's partly familiarity, but he's noticeably more content than he was a week ago. He also loves peeing in the bidet. He calls it "the special potty". Heh.

We're heading down to the beach later, and Michelle is going to sit Carter tonight so we can go out for an anniversary dinner! Yesterday was our 16th wedding anniversary. :-D

More from Barcelona later...

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