The Brits "Invade" Barcelona…. The Cousins Come to Visit!

The last 6 1/2 months have been anything but easy for our family.  But for the next few months, we have a lot to look forward to.  Aside from spring having made it’s arrival in Barcelona, and there is little better than spring in Barcelona, we have a lot of visitors lined up for the next 6 weeks.  And while it means less travel for us, after traveling at the pace we have been for the last 4 1/2 years, it’s a welcome relief to have visitors coming our way.  First up, our cousins from England!

For a family who hasn’t been able to get our shit together to visit each other during the first four years of our time living in Europe, we’ve now managed to see our British cousins, not once, not twice, but now three Continue reading

Mom and Dad’s Visit to Barcelona

With only about 10 days to work with and a lot of territory to cover, and being the uptight person that I am, I came up with a schedule for my parents and I for their visit.  However, given this was their first real vacation in more years than I can count, I also wanted to keep things relatively low key and fun without feeling the pressure of going from one place immediately to another.  Plus, my dad had surgery on his knee this spring and has had a difficult recovery from the surgery and so we had his limited mobility to work with. Continue reading

The Reverse of the Curse of Collioure!

So my last 2 attempts to go to Collioure have not gone so well.  Last year when Meghan was visiting, the one day we had to go up to France, it was downpouring rain – I’d even go as far as calling it torrential.  The normal 2 hour journey took us closer to 4.  And it was pouring when we got there and somehow NOT ONE THING was open.  We had to opt for pizza and a quick run thru the rain and then less than an hour after we had arrived, we headed back to Barcelona.  Total fail.  But at least I was able to say that I took Meghan to France. Continue reading

Managing the Unexpected

Anyone who has ever lived abroad will agree that there is always something challenging, some times on a daily basis.  It’s not to say that things at home aren’t challenging too, just differently so.   The unexpected can come in all different forms – medical emergencies, stolen wallets, towed cars… and car accidents.  Take my car accident in France 2 weeks ago.  It wasn’t just the accident that had me freaked, it was that here I am in France, I don’t speak French and I have no idea what the process is for European insurance.

The Curse of Collioure

Collioure, France is one of my favorite “go to” places when we have company.  With France only about a 2 hour drive, it’s kind of like going to New Hampshire or Maine for us but at the same time… it’s France.  Really, can you beat that?

And so for the last 2 years (once we discovered it), it has been on the list of must see places when we have company for more than a few days.  We’ve taken Josh’s sister and brother-in-law Continue reading

Meghan Visits Barcelona!!

There is no rest for the weary… less than 12 hours after my return to Barcelona I was off and running again to pick up my cousin Meghan from the airport.  This is a visit that I’ve been looking forward to for more than 6 months and it’s hard to believe that she was finally arriving!  Now under normal circumstances this would be a piece of cake picking her up.  But I was already running on empty from the previous few days of little sleep and lots of travel.  And I had hit the ground running early that morning to take the kids to their parent/teacher conferences so that I wouldn’t need to disrupt our time together to have to run to school for them.  Continue reading

More Visitors!! Kyle and Kelly come to visit us in Barcelona!

We were super excited when Kyle and Kelly emailed us a few months ago to see if we would be up for some visitors.  Are you kidding me?  We were thrilled!  We haven’t had a lot of people visit for varying reasons – vacation time, expense of travelling with a family, fear of flying… all totally valid.  So when someone tells us they are coming, we do a happy dance! Continue reading

Road trip to Collioure, France!

As I mentioned in my last entry, we were supposed to rent a car last weekend and head up to France to this little seaside town called Collioure.  However, it was pouring rain last Sunday morning and so we decided to reschedule to this Sunday.  In the end, that Sunday was spectacularly gorgeous though I’d like to think it was raining in France so the 20 euro change fee for the car wouldn’t make me feel guilty about changing the date.  However, in the end, we made it there just the same, just a week later.  And it was worth the wait. Continue reading