Husband

Our Trip to Spain! Part 3

Start with Part 1 and Part 2.

Tuesday:

We headed to Bilbao in the morning to see the famous Guggenheim museum! It was really cool! They had a giant dog made out of flowers in the front and some really good and powerful pieces inside. Then we got lunch at a place called Don Crepes which was delicious! We kept trying to find crepe places because we thought we’d have better luck there with the food, and this one did not disappoint! Afterwards we headed to Castillo de Butron, which is a gorgeous and spooky castle in the middle of a small town in the hills that is completely abandoned. It kind of broke my heart a bit to see it in such terrible condition, but I guess it was too expensive to keep up with due to the wrong building materials for the weather in that area being used when it was first built! Walking around the castle was super spooky because it’s surrounded by a lush green forest and there are no buildings around it. It was beautiful there though, but I totally was nervous we’d be murdered or something ha ha

The Guggenheim Museum!

The Guggenheim Museum!

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One of the live size pieces in the Guggenheim

One of the live size pieces in the Guggenheim

Don Crepe!

Don Crepe!

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Random detail but I wanted to remember this- in Spain they give you your bill on a little dish like this, but even after they give it to you you have to wait until they come to you with a little card machine, like 5 to 10 minutes later. Kinda funny ha ha Takes a little longer to pay than in America and it took us some getting used to but it’s fun seeing how other countries do things!

Random detail but I wanted to remember this- in Spain they give you your bill on a little dish like this, but even after they give it to you you have to wait until they come to you with a little card machine, like 5 to 10 minutes later. Kinda funny ha ha Takes a little longer to pay than in America and it took us some getting used to but it’s fun seeing how other countries do things!

Castillo de Butron!

Castillo de Butron!

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Wednesday:

We headed to San Sebastian but first explored a bit around the tiny town we had been staying for the last two nights called Deba. Both places were gorgeous. There’s just something about overcast, kinda rainy days and beaches that just fill my soul with sheer joy and contentment. Then we headed to and spent the night in Zaragoza!

Deba

Deba

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San Sebastian - such a gorgeous city and beach! We were practically the only ones there

San Sebastian - such a gorgeous city and beach! We were practically the only ones there

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declarations of love from my sweet man

declarations of love from my sweet man

this cute old couple stood there and watched the whole time Kyler was making this for me ha ha it was adorable, and then they clapped for him when he finished

this cute old couple stood there and watched the whole time Kyler was making this for me ha ha it was adorable, and then they clapped for him when he finished

R.I.P. to my adorable blue hat that blew off my head and fell down 20-30 feet with no way to get it :(

R.I.P. to my adorable blue hat that blew off my head and fell down 20-30 feet with no way to get it :(

This is a terrible picture but I wanted to document this about Spain’s parking garages! Instead of paying at a machine when you leave, you stop at these little machines before you get in your car to pay, and then you take that ticket to the little machine to leave the parking garage. A little less convenient, especially if you forget to get your ticket like we often did ha ha Also, if you notice that little red light above the parking stall behind Kyler- I thought this idea was genius! It makes it so easy to find a spot to park in a parking garage! If there is a car in the stall, the light above is red, and if it’s free it’s green! Why don’t we do this in America?!

This is a terrible picture but I wanted to document this about Spain’s parking garages! Instead of paying at a machine when you leave, you stop at these little machines before you get in your car to pay, and then you take that ticket to the little machine to leave the parking garage. A little less convenient, especially if you forget to get your ticket like we often did ha ha Also, if you notice that little red light above the parking stall behind Kyler- I thought this idea was genius! It makes it so easy to find a spot to park in a parking garage! If there is a car in the stall, the light above is red, and if it’s free it’s green! Why don’t we do this in America?!

Thursday:

In the morning we walked around for a bit in Zaragoza, saw their giant cathedral, bought some souveniers for the kids and then ate at a yummy place called Meli del Tubo! It was nice to find a spot with good food! Then we drove back to Barcelona for the rest of the day to spend out last night before our flights left the next morning.

Zaragoza

Zaragoza

Skyping with our precious littles and Eli just woke up at the end! McCarty/Warner family- does he not look so much like a baby Caedance here?!

Skyping with our precious littles and Eli just woke up at the end! McCarty/Warner family- does he not look so much like a baby Caedance here?!

ha ha those faces. My big kids with their sitter!

ha ha those faces. My big kids with their sitter!

the place we stayed in Zaragoza! It was a fun, hip and fairly priced hotel. I recommend it!

the place we stayed in Zaragoza! It was a fun, hip and fairly priced hotel. I recommend it!

Another random side note- Spain’s cities are SO CLEAN! They have city workers all throughout the country (seriously, we saw them in every city we visited - which I believe was a total of 9 different cities spread throughout the northern half of Spain) wearing these lime green uniforms. Anyway, thought it was cool how dedicated they were to keeping their country clean and beautiful!     Friday:   We drove to the airport that morning and flew back to NYC! Then our flight from NY to Salt Lake kept getting pushed back but we finally made it in the sky (and the comedian Jim Gaffigan was on our flight!) and pulled into our driveway around Midnight. (after another full 24 hours of travel.) We went right to bed and then woke the kids up the next morning and it was so fun to be with them again! We missed them so much but the break was really needed and so great! I highly recommend you get out Parents! Even if it’s just a weekend. :) (Also PS- forgot to mention why we went to Spain! Ever seen the Cheetah Girls movies? In the second one, they go to Barcelona. I remember being a little girl and seeing them singing and dancing in the street in Barcelona and I was like I WANT TO GO THERE ONE DAY! ha ha it wasn’t because the cheetah girls had been there, but because they showed me the magic of it at a young age! ha ha so grateful I got to fulfill that preteen girl’s dream!)

Another random side note- Spain’s cities are SO CLEAN! They have city workers all throughout the country (seriously, we saw them in every city we visited - which I believe was a total of 9 different cities spread throughout the northern half of Spain) wearing these lime green uniforms. Anyway, thought it was cool how dedicated they were to keeping their country clean and beautiful!

Friday:

We drove to the airport that morning and flew back to NYC! Then our flight from NY to Salt Lake kept getting pushed back but we finally made it in the sky (and the comedian Jim Gaffigan was on our flight!) and pulled into our driveway around Midnight. (after another full 24 hours of travel.) We went right to bed and then woke the kids up the next morning and it was so fun to be with them again! We missed them so much but the break was really needed and so great! I highly recommend you get out Parents! Even if it’s just a weekend. :) (Also PS- forgot to mention why we went to Spain! Ever seen the Cheetah Girls movies? In the second one, they go to Barcelona. I remember being a little girl and seeing them singing and dancing in the street in Barcelona and I was like I WANT TO GO THERE ONE DAY! ha ha it wasn’t because the cheetah girls had been there, but because they showed me the magic of it at a young age! ha ha so grateful I got to fulfill that preteen girl’s dream!)

Looking down one of Barcelona’s streets! Also- note the blue and red street sign on the right side- all of their street signs were really far off to the side of the road, and often hard to see, especially on major and busy roads. Took some getting used to! And yes, both of us drove while there ha ha I felt real brave! And their roads were interesting, often GPS would tell us to take a road that seemed just like a walk way, but then we’d see another car on it. it was interesting- sometimes in the cities it seemed that walk ways and roads were interchangeable in some areas!

Looking down one of Barcelona’s streets! Also- note the blue and red street sign on the right side- all of their street signs were really far off to the side of the road, and often hard to see, especially on major and busy roads. Took some getting used to! And yes, both of us drove while there ha ha I felt real brave! And their roads were interesting, often GPS would tell us to take a road that seemed just like a walk way, but then we’d see another car on it. it was interesting- sometimes in the cities it seemed that walk ways and roads were interchangeable in some areas!

hello there delicious pastry!

hello there delicious pastry!

I thought the Meli del Tubo restaurant was decorated so cute!

I thought the Meli del Tubo restaurant was decorated so cute!

Heading back to America!

Heading back to America!

Oh hey Jim Gaffigan! I am ashamed to say I am that person that tries to photograph celebrities if I see them. ha ha ha Couldn’t even help it! Just pulled my phone out and tried to hide it from him as if it was a natural instinct! so sorry Jim!

Oh hey Jim Gaffigan! I am ashamed to say I am that person that tries to photograph celebrities if I see them. ha ha ha Couldn’t even help it! Just pulled my phone out and tried to hide it from him as if it was a natural instinct! so sorry Jim!

And before I end- here are the details as to why Spanish food was hard for us!

I think there are a couple of factors that were kind of working against us here - I think the main one is that the Spanish people eat at different times than Americans. Their breakfast was more around 10/11am, lunch was 3/4pm and dinner was 9/10pm. So when we were hungry at typical American times, none of their higher rated restaurants were open. And the only ones that were open were a lot of smaller, cheaper places that didn’t have the best options.

I think the other big struggle was that I’m not sure if Spain has health code food regulations, and if they do, it seemed like they were different than the US, at least from our experiences. Most of their restaurants and cafes we went to would have food already made in their display windows and on their countertops to show what kind of food they offered. But these food items weren’t being refrigerated or heated while on display- they were just sitting out. And when you ordered an item, if it was already in the display, they’d take it from there and just reheat it, which often meant we got luke warm food, and we had no idea when it was created. (could have been a few days ago, could have been that morning, who knows!) So I think that was hard on our stomachs since we’re used to really strict health code laws in America. (we sometimes complain about all of the regulations and “hoops” we have to jump through at times but I see the genius in it now!) The cheaper food places would also advertise really good looking food in their menus, and then the actual meal looked nothing like it ha ha I’m sure some places do that in America too though!

The last thing is that in America, we spice the heck out of things, add all the butter and sugar and have a LOT of options of food to eat -no matter your food budget. It’s totally why we’re all struggling with being chubby ha ha but in Spain, they prefer natural flavors and hardly any spices (not even salt and pepper!) and like to stick to the basics!

I’m sure if we had been able to readjust our meal times we would have had much better luck for sure! Their pastries were definitely yummy, and we loved their gelato. (although I guess the company we loved most is actually Italian ha ha Amorino! The best.) And not every meal we ate was bad either. :) We had some good ones in there!

They are really big on things called Tapas- which is basically just how they serve their food. Everything on the tapas menu is basically like a little appetizer plate of something, and it’s usually customary to order multiples of them for your meal! They are also big on Paella which is kind of like a seafood curry- lots of pieces of seafood in a sauce with rice. We also tried the Tortilla Espanola, an omelet of potatoes and eggs (kinda bland in my opinion- no spices or cheese or sauce with it) and many many other things. My greatest advice to you if you are ever headed to Spain would be to look up the higher rated restaurants in the places you are going before hand and try to plan your meals and day on when they’ll be open and just eat snacks to tide you over until then! In our experience, cheap paella was blech, expensive paella was really really good. I feel a little nervous to share all of this because I don’t want to seem like a spoiled and hard to please American ha ha but most people I’ve talked to who have also been to Spain have said similar things!

One other funny thing about being outside of America is customer service, or the lack thereof ha ha In America, we take that very seriously, (“the customer is always right!”) and we’re afraid of bad reviews but pretty much everywhere I’ve traveled to thus far, no other country seems to care about the customer, and frankly they seem to see you as an annoyance really ha ha (definitely true in Argentina and France, as well as Spain) the people working in the restaurants and cafes especially - they acted as if they were doing us a huge favor by feeding us, and didn’t seem to care if we liked it or not ha ha SO different than America! The overall attitude seemed to be “here’s your food. Be grateful.” ha ha ha we just found it so funny how different our countries were in this manner! I’ll also add that not EVERY restaurant was like this, some servers were incredibly kind and went out of their way to talk with us and be helpful, but I will say that this kind of annoyed attitude seemed to be norm during our time there. And admittedly, as tourists, we could have been doing things oddly or wrong and bugging them! ha ha who knows!

The other funny thing servers did was they’d often stand behind you or in front of you and just silently watch you eat your food! ha ha this was the most awkward in the restaurant in Valencia where I posted those pictures of sea food in part 1. This girl and another waiter stood in front of us, LOUDLY talking so we couldn’t even hear each other, and just watched us eat our food. We were the only people in the section of the restaurant too so it felt extra awkward. And really most restaurant employees did this all throughout the country! So so funny. In America we are so big on privacy and convenience and being professional, and they just have different priorities in Spain. :) Not wrong at all! Just different than what we were used to and documenting here so I don’t forget!

But truly we loved our time in Spain. Their country is gorgeous and so dang clean, their people are beautiful, their architecture is heartbreakingly beautiful and it was so fun and inspiring to be in a land so rich with history. It is definitely a place you need to visit!

Our little Spanish princess and Knight!

Our little Spanish princess and Knight!

Our Trip to Spain! Part 2

Start with Part 1.

Friday:

We woke up in Madrid in our conveniently located Airbnb that was right in the middle of the of the busiest part of the city which was awesome! Close to food and all sorts of fun things. Madrid was beautiful- like a really classy version of New York City! (but no disrespect to NYC because I love it there so much too ha ha) It just had so much gorgeous architecture everywhere, it was amazing. We slept in that morning and then headed off to Retiro Park! It was a really cool looking park and it had this fun spot in the middle with a pond where you could rent a little boat! Obviously Kyler was all about that. :) After Retiro, we headed over to Madrid’s famous Museo del Prado. We were lucky to be able to get in for free from 6pm-8pm. We waited in a MASSIVE line, but it started moving pretty quickly so we were able to look around for an hour and half, which was a perfect amount for us.

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Okay- lets talk about these CREEPY AS HECK “street performers.” They had these guys in Argentina too. These people will dress up as some type of statue and will have this tin sitting out for you to give them money because of how good they are at sitting perfectly still like a real statue for hours. But sometimes, if they notice you looking at them, they’ll look at you and follow you with their head and it’s just CREEPY. ha ha so I risked being found by this guy in order to document the strangeness.

Okay- lets talk about these CREEPY AS HECK “street performers.” They had these guys in Argentina too. These people will dress up as some type of statue and will have this tin sitting out for you to give them money because of how good they are at sitting perfectly still like a real statue for hours. But sometimes, if they notice you looking at them, they’ll look at you and follow you with their head and it’s just CREEPY. ha ha so I risked being found by this guy in order to document the strangeness.

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Saturday:

We headed to Toledo, which was such an amazing city! If you’ve ever heard the phrase “Holy Toledo” it’s because there’s literally a holy city called Toledo in Spain ha ha It’s also where the musical “Man of La Macha” is based. it was basically a city within a giant castle which was really fun, and it had a big gorgeous cathedral as well as a monastery with some amazingly talented nuns! We really enjoyed our time there. It was wonderful. While there, in the late afternoon, I took a nap in the car while Kyler did a little bit of exploring on his own and then we were so desperate for delicious food we decided to buy some Dominos. ha ha We usually try hard not to buy American food in foreign countries, but we’d really had bad luck with the food in Spain thus far.

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Tools used by these amazing nuns to make their crafts and tools that they sell!

Tools used by these amazing nuns to make their crafts and tools that they sell!

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yes- these nuns make knives and swords too ha ha they apparently made the swords/knives for the Lord of the Rings movies!

yes- these nuns make knives and swords too ha ha they apparently made the swords/knives for the Lord of the Rings movies!

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Sunday:

We took it easy this day and just headed to church which happened to be right by the Madrid Temple! Then we headed back and hung out at home for the rest of the day- we really needed a day of rest :)

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Monday:

We left Madrid but first grabbed a delicious breakfast at Mimi’s Creperia! It felt heaven sent to have some delicious food again after our bad food streak while there ha ha Afterwards we headed up North but stopped in Segovia to see the Aqueducts and then to see the famous Alcazar of Segovia! A gorgeous princess castle for sure. Definitely one of my favorite spots! And because I had this pretty blue dress, we decided to do a little princess shoot while there- naturally. I felt a little silly with tourists everywhere but I’m so glad I just went for it anyway! Also- you better believe we listened to Ed Sheeran’s “castle on the hill” while we drove away ha ha After Segovia we headed up to our Airbnb in Deba, a really small town in the Basque Country. It was beautiful and rainy and stormy there- we stayed there for two nights.

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You see all the Nutella behind us on the shelves? You just know this place is gonna be good ha ha

You see all the Nutella behind us on the shelves? You just know this place is gonna be good ha ha

You can’t see it as well with our giant heads in the way, but behind us is how they often advertised their food ha ha there was also a giant suckling pig behind us too but we seem to be blocking it

You can’t see it as well with our giant heads in the way, but behind us is how they often advertised their food ha ha there was also a giant suckling pig behind us too but we seem to be blocking it

some last shots of Madrid as we said goodbye

some last shots of Madrid as we said goodbye

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the aqueduct of Segovia

the aqueduct of Segovia

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The Alcazar of Segovia!

The Alcazar of Segovia!

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our cute little airbnb

our cute little airbnb

Read Part 3 next!