Saturday, March 17, 2012


First off, there is no Tony Packos in Toledo, Spain. And while that's a little disappointing, the ancient city had a lot to offer, even if that something does not involve hot dogs.

I actually liked the arts and crafts there a lot. We got some ceramic and a lovely little gold plate specific to the region.

And the cathedral. Holy moly. It made Segovia look like a dinky neighborhood chapel. Although, Carol preferred Segovia, the one in Toledo was truly remarkable.

And that's it for our travels. Perhaps I'll reflect more on our travels, and travels with children, in the future, but for now I'm going to drink my $6 bottle of wine (a pretty steep price in Spain, God bless cheap European wine) and watch this Jackie Chan movie dubbed in Spanish.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Bad habits

We definitely picked up some bad habits in Spain. We eat, like, 10 times a day. We drink beer and wine every time we eat.

Oh... And apparently, Carol picked up smoking. Nice


These blog posts have been lame. Totally lame. I apologize for that. I also apologize for my lack of interest in trying to correct the situation.

Today, we took a metro, a high speed rail and a bus to Segovia, Julia's typical commute. But we loved Segovia. Carol was super interested in praying at the old church. We saw a castle and meandered down the ancient, winding road, which pedestrians shared with cars. Segovia has a working aqueduct, built like 2,000 years ago. And Restaurante Socorro (probably named after my awesome mom-in-law) was a delightful find.

And we ate a tiny, baby pig. Who doesn't love that!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Eating worms

Steve and I ate gulas yesterday during our date night. not exactly worms. More like little eels. Because that's so much better.

We had a bust couple of days. Went to the Museo Del Prado today. Penny really enjoys that sort of thing. She told me when we go home, "I realized I need to do my best and then I can hang my pictures on wall at Home."

A fancy art museum, right in our house at Normal! Still eating and drinking a lot. Perhaps too much drinking last night. But the Cana is so little. And do tasty. An so cheap.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Royal Palace

We spent the day sightseeing today. It was super fun, but tiring. So I'm not going to write anything. But here are some lovely pictures.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tapas and chocolate

I love the tapas culture. Walk around. Eat. Maybe look in a store or two. Eat. Drink. Eat.

And the chocolate. Like melted candy bars.

How to enjoy a boat ride

Have children. Wait several years. Take a nap.

Retiro Park

Here are some pictures of our visit to Retiro Park. Here's a fun fact, you cannot go anywhere on Madrid and not have a cafe in your viewing area. That means there is beer everywhere. The same is true of the policia and graffiti. But the beer part is much more interesting.

Seeing Madrid

Since my phone was dead yesterday, I won't show you photos of the balcony lined streets, the bustling plazas or the fun squares with cafes (serving beer!) on the edge of playgrounds where kids made international friends.

Instead, I'll give you a little weather update. Off for more eating.

Monday, March 12, 2012

First day

I should post more, but jet lag is a both. The girls seemed to tolerate it fine, playing when they were awake, falling asleep soundly once we got a bed. The city is bustling and it appears most people speak no english.

So, in an effort to soak up the culture, we're watching garfield ... In spanish!!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Might I suggest

American Express? Club level kids room. Empty. Kid-friendly computer games. Cartoons?

Free beer? Are you kidding me. Best 6 hour layover ever.

On our way

We made it to the airport. And, I have to say, traveling with older children is proving much easier than the toddler variety.

For starters, we used to set them in front of the television until we were ready to go. This morning, I put those kids to work. Empty the dishwasher. Put your Barbies in this bin. Get an extra water dish for Charlie.

Oh wait! You did that already? Without being asked? Whaaaat?

And our luggage situation is much better. Two checked bags and each of us have a carry on, that we each have to carry. That wouldn't have gotten us through a weekend car trip 5 years ago.

So we leave with optimism, excitement and a belly full of Panera. Not a shabby start.

Edit: Also. Sitting together on the plane. Awesome

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spain countdown

It's almost here (gleeful giggle). The Gardners take on Spain. Madrid, specifically. I intend to blog daily, on my iPhone so good luck reading it, about our adventures. And probably our misadventures.

Monday, March 05, 2012


"Get that camera out of my face."

No ma'am. I will not.