Traveling Family of 4: Barcelona

I have always found travel to be anxiety-inducing, exhausting, and intimidating. Then I had two children.
 
We traveled to Barcelona last month to hang out with 30+ of our closest family members from around the world in an epic reunion at a villa in the north of Spain, near the city of Girona. Before that, we would be spending 2 days in Barcelona, and then picking up our rental cars and driving to the villa.
 
On the day we were set to board our flight from LAX to London, the kids got their new backpacks filled with wrapped presents perfect for a long, boring voyage. Read about what I packed here.
 
They were also able to take along their favorite creatures – J picked his stormtrooper that he sleeps with every night, and L picked her crocheted Elsa doll from our friend KT. The flight was packed – freezing cold, and crowded. I made the mistake of packing one large carry-on, and with it stowed above us, it was hard to access for snacks and PJ’s and toys. Next time, we’ll go back to our typical 2-backpack mode.
 
The kids were troopers, like always. We arrived in London, and 2.5 hours was barely enough time to make our connecting flight. In Barcelona, we were picked up by our arranged car and driver and made it to our rented apartment by evening time. Exhausted, we all went to bed.
Barcelona is such a cool city! We loved the delicious patatas bravas, fresh juices and big supermarkets everywhere we went. The Basilica Sagrada Familia was an awe-inspiring view, and we also loved the little playground across the street! In 2 days, we combined a lot of walking with a bus tour and managed to see a good portion of the city before venturing off onto the highway and toward Girona.
 
The villa turned out to be two large stone buildings, both overlooking a spacious patio and a lovely in-ground pool. Within an hour of arrival, the kids had jumped in and become fast friends with cousins they were either meeting for the first time or seeing after a long hiatus. We planned out grocery runs, meals and activities as the babies ran wild.
 
We managed to see a few sights while we were there, too!
There are memories I will never forget – watching my kids down an entire bowl of snails, for instance. J also loved mussels!
 
My husband was my rock, as always, delighting in our new experiences just as much as the kiddos.
We ended our beautiful days in Spain with a final 24 hours in Barcelona, and a tour of the Sagrada Familia.
 
I will never take for granted the blessing of having our family all around us. We live spread out across the world, and yet at each one of these reunions we pick things up like we’ve never been apart. We’ve all promised each other that we will not wait another 5 years to do the next one – I hope we stick to that promise!

Daphne Gaghagen

I am a wife and mother of a 4-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl, living in Chula Vista, California! My day job is working from home as a Social Business Manager for IBM. I also maintain my Instagram account, @mommyiloveyousobig. I love weightlifting, yoga, and trying out new recipes. I look forward to traveling the world and experiencing new things with my little family. I spend my free time at the gym, obsessing over Netflix shows, discovering new places and having a beer with the hubby or pals. I love making new mommy friends!
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