Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A la playa!


After living in mild England all summer, I was really looking forward to a day at the beach!  We don't go to the beach often, as living in Burbank it isn't exactly right around the corner.  But we do enjoy the sun and swimming pools on a hot day, so I was excited to spend a day soaking up some much needed Vitamin D!

Marie had warned us that the local beaches in Barcelona weren't that great.  In fact, she got some things stolen out of her bag there.  So she suggested we hop on the train and go down the coast to Sitges, a small town about 40 minutes South(west?) from the city.  The train was really easy to get to and get onto, and of course, the kids were free which is always a nice added bonus.  Plus it is entertaining for them.  That is one of the main things about buses and trains in Europe that I like.  They get bored in their carseats; they ride in those everyday.  So getting to sit in a seat like a grown up on a train is fun for an almost 2 and 3 1/2 year old kid!

Sitges was a lovely little town, and it was so beautiful that day.  It was your average, run of the mill beach day.    The kids played in the sand, David got burned because he refuses to use sunscreen...what else is new?  I went to the restaurant on the beach and got sandwiches for David and I to eat.  I tried the local version of grilled cheese, called a Bikini (grilled ham and cheese), and got Dave a pork sandwich.  Maxwell was a little nervous about the waves and water at first, but he ended up loving it.  Darian not so much.  The water in the sea seemed so salty and it made me wonder if it was indeed saltier than the Pacific Ocean.  Something to look up on Wikipedia later, I suppose.  Oh, and it was a topless beach, and since it was the middle of September and most kids are in school, there weren't many children or families.  Mostly older men in speedos and older women in bikinis.  In my one piece, full coverage bathing suit, I was definitely out of place!!

As we were walking back towards the train, Maxwell needed to use the potty so we stopped at a gelato place and had a yummy treat.  I had a nice conversation with the gelato guy about the menu and the differences between Catalan, Spanish and French (see my last blog!).

That night since we got home so late and the kids didn't nap, we decided to just do something easy for dinner.  I went to the restaurant next to our hotel to get a couple pizzas, while David got the kids cleaned up and ready for bed.  I thought I would sit at one of the tables on the sidewalk and wait for Marie to walk by, since she was going to come by out hotel room that night and have a drink with us before going out with her friends.  I ordered "un Sangria, por favor" while I waited for the pizzas.  The bartender said, "Grande?" and I said, "No, no.  Pequeno."  I then proceded to watch him make a PITCHER of Sangria that consisted of sugar, whiskey, vodka, gin and red wine.  A few other things splished and splashed in there that I didn't catch.  Um...okaaaay.  I figured I better get something in my stomach if I was going to drink this concoction, so I ordered a tortilla espanol, which was like an omlette:  eggs and potatoes.  So yummy!  Anyway, I took it all to my table with two glasses and waited for Marie to walk by.  Two glasses later, she still hadn't.  Weird.  She is so punctual.  As I was pouring my third glass, the pizzas came.  I paid the bill.  No Marie.  Now I had been gone for over a half an hour and I knew that the kids were tired and hungry and that David was probably wondering where I was.  I finished off the pitcher, gathered my things, and made my way up to the room.  Wobbly.  I was drunk!  I haven't had enough to drink to feel more than a bit tipsy in ages!

I got up to the room and Marie was sitting on the floor doing a puzzle with Maxwell.  She had gotten to the hotel from the opposite corner, so she never walked by my little Sangria cave.  Oh well.  I felt great and I was on vacation!!!

On Thursday morning I definitely felt my age.  No more pitchers of Sangria for me!

We met Marie at the train station and got our tickets to ride out to Montserrat.  I looked this up on Wikipedia, but Montserrat literally means "jagged mountain" in Catalan.  Perhaps this is why-->>>  The peaks of the mountain were these jagged piece of rock, which created quite a stunning view.  We had a beautiful, clear day up on the mountain and got lots of pretty pictures of the views.  To get up to the part of the mountain that housed the monestary, we took an aerial, which to Maxwell and Darian was the big bucket.  :o)  Strange that I get car/bus/plane/train sickness now, but going up in the aerial I was totally fine.

Once we reached the "level," if you will, with the monestary, we ate lunch and explored a bit.  We waited in line to walk through the basilica, or church.  It was beautiful and our kids were so great waiting in line.  Maxwell kept asking what we were waiting for and we answered that we were waiting to see things.  He looked around and seemed okay with that, which shocked the pants off the Americans (probably in their late 60s) in front of us in line.  They were quite impressed with both kids' behaviour in line and complemented us several times.

There he is, waving from the top!
After the church, we got in another aerial that took us even higher up the mountain.  Here you can hike and rock climb and go to the very top!  We didn't quite do that, but David was the most adventurous of us all (and the only one of us wearing tennis shoes!)

That night, we once again got home late and the kids didn't nap, so we needed something easy (again!) for dinner that we knew the kids would eat.  We stopped at a small bar on the corner by the hotel and I asked the bartender, "Necessito algo para mis ninos a comer. Tiene algo?"  The only thing we saw on the menu was Frankfurt, and when he responded that is what he said, so we went with it.  :o)  That is a huge part of my problem.  Even if I can spit out a question or sentence, there is no way I can catch enough words in the response to know what the heck they are talking about!  But we got a hotdog for the kids.  Dave took them to the hotel to bathe and get in their pjs while I waited for the food.  I felt pretty proud of myself, and David was SERIOUSLY impressed.  ha ha

Another great couple of days in Spain.  If you would like to see more pictures, please do check them out here.


Teresa said...

This is pretty awesome!. Love that you were able to communicate! I got lost walking and enjoying the sites in France, not Paris, a forget the name of the town. Anyways, I was able to spit out"pouvez-vous aide moi"? And the nice day at the shop knew zero english, but somehow she managed to direct me in the right direction and I was able to find the shops I was looking for and my hotel!

Teresa said...

Ugh, lady, not day. I can't type for caca on this iPad.