Friday, July 31, 2015

Playgrounds in Barcelona

One of the things we love about Europe is how there are so many playgrounds. Every half mile of walking we would find another one. When you are doing as much walking as we do these "resting" breaks are essential for the kids.

This is a huge climbing structure. This perspective doesn't show it, but it was easily over 12 feet tall. That's a long way to let 4 year olds climb, but they loved it.

Isn't this playground awesome? There is a bucket/pulley on one side.

The other side has a slide to dump sand back down. They spent a long time just rearranging the sand on this playground.

This was just a small random neighborhood playground. It also had this incredible view that looked out over the entire city. It's things like this you don't discover if you decide not to walk everywhere.

Another playground, this one long and skinny, with lots to explore.

Here is Sweet Son on a zipline in one of the parks.

Sweet Daughter's turn on the zipline. She really had some speed going.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Exploring more of Barcelona

As we continue exploring Barcelona we were surrounded by fountains, gorgeous architecture, and hills. Oh the hills we walked.

Beautiful fountain

Walking down a pedestrian street with cafes and shops.

This is about half way up the stairs to the building. We climbed all of them. That's right, our kids are rock stars at being tourists. We didn't carry them, no strollers, and every night they slept so well.

Did I mention the hills? We walked everywhere and there were moments when you could tell the kids were starting to get worn out. Then they would see a playground and be re-energized. I averaged over 20,000 steps per day in Barcelona. I sat down when the kids played on playgrounds and their legs are slightly shorter than mine so I'm sure they averaged at least 25,000 per day. That's a lot of walking.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Our hotel room in Barcelona. It was a bit cozy, but perfect for us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Exploring Barcelona

After arriving in Barcelona we were hungry and just wanted to explore. We had no idea where we were headed or what we were going to do. It was perfect!

We stopped at this tapas restaurant in a tourist area. If you don't know what tapas is, you are going to wish you had some near you. The menu was the papers you see in front of us (they also gave us a book with English translations, but it was fairly obvious even without that). Each item had a name and a photo. You ordered various plates of things to share. Most had 4-5 bites of the food on it. Everything comes out as it is ready and you just keep ordering new things or more of the things you enjoyed. This was a great way to try new foods. We ended up eating here more than once this trip.

This is a really cool looking building. if you see at the top there are people who clearly have a great view of the city. On the left hand side of the photo you can see the elevator set aside. That elevator cost money. We just couldn't justify the price and it looked like on the right those might be stairs which we were hoping would be free. Those aren't stairs they were closed and for maintenance crew only. However after wandering around we noticed inside the building were free escalators. They took you right up to the top. Free.

Just one of the views from the top. You could walk around the entire thing and see all around the city.

From the top we could see this park behind the building. Wonderful Husband loves palm trees and one child was willing to pose for a photo.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Visiting Krakow

Our last stop in Poland was in Krakow. The kids still love dragons and remembered visiting the dragon's den when they were 2, so we had to go back now that they are big 4 year olds.

Exploring inside the dragon's den. (It's underground, dark, and all we had was a cell phone camera.)

My kids with the dragon statue. The little girl in the front center is also a cousin (not exactly, but closer to being a cousin than the others), but she didn't really want to be in the photo.

Every few minutes the dragon breathes fire which is awesome. You can feel the heat coming off it from a fair distance away.

7 of us walking around town together (Wonderful Husband is taking the photo, but he still counts).

The kids were thrilled with the bright colorful plane we would be taking to our next destination: Spain!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Around Wroclaw

Some of the best parts of traveling are the small unexpected moments. No matter how many awesome things you visit, the kids will remember spending time with family. And ice cream. They will always remember ice cream, haha.

A stop on the town square for ice cream.

 Street musicians that we listened to while eating ice cream.

All of us with the street musicians

Random photo of Sweet Son on a goose that didn't fit in anywhere else.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Wroclaw Train to Heaven

This statue is HUGE - it goes up 30 meters into the air and weighs more than 70 tons. Yes, that is a real steam locomotive. You know the kids wanted to get closer to this sculpture.

This gives some idea of the scale.

A selfie so we could actually get all of us into the same photo!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wroclaw Sky Tower

Wroclaw has a Sky Tower that allows for amazing views of the city. This was our first time visiting and we were impressed.

Sculpture outside the building.

Just one of the views from the tower.

They loved looking down and trying to pick out things - mostly playgrounds and parks - that they wanted to go see closer.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Getting around Wroclaw

When we visit Poland we rent a car to take us from one city to the next, but once we are in the cities we usually just travel by walking or taking public transportation.

Walking around the city.

Taking the tram is exciting for kids who live in a city without public transportation.

From the top of this bridge the kids could watch an intersection for cars and trams. Unless you have young kids, you have no idea how exciting this truly is.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wroclaw Gnomes

Wroclaw, Poland has these awesome gnomes around the city. There are web pages and apps to help you locate them. We just stumbled upon some, but this would be a great scavenger hunt. They occasionally move and locals enjoy trying to find a new one that no one has mapped yet.

Sweet Daughter sitting on a tiny bench with a gnome.

Clearly the gnomes needed help moving this ball.

They wanted to help this gnome with his load also.
(Notice the kids are now completely soaked. If you don't know what happened, read yesterday's post.)

Even the gnomes are heavy drinkers in Poland, haha.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wroclaw Fountains

The city center in Wroclaw has a beautiful fountain that the kids love to go see. We also found another fountain as we were walking around town.

Touching the water in the city square fountain.

Posing with family in front of the fountain.

We found this fountain shortly after the first. The kids really wanted to touch the water. They were having so much fun and not hurting anyone so we let them. Fairly quickly they were soaked. Come back tomorrow to see what the after effect of this fountain really was.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Playgrounds aren't just for kids

When you spend as much time as we do at playgrounds, you appreciate when they have something for the adults as well.

 Not exactly what I intended, but father/son seesaw fun is always good.

These are great. Many parks have these ping pong tables. You just bring your own paddles and balls and you are set for a game.

Another day, another game. These were actually both at the same table, but they played at tables in parks around town as we wandered. These are right next to the playground so you can play while you keep an eye on your kids. I wish we had these near us.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Playgrounds around Wroclaw

In every city we visit we make sure to stop at a lot of playgrounds. Here are some of our favorite moments from Wroclaw playgrounds.

Wonderful Husband and the kids having fun.

This seesaw is no joke. Look at the air she is getting!

Here is a different type of merry go round. 

They climb everything so finding something they are supposed to climb on is a win.

Another climbing structure. This one has loose planks on the bridge to make it more exciting.

Sand boxes full of sand toys. Awesome.

Here is a longish video of the kids on the seesaw. This video also answered the question how did she get down? We both turned our backs and suddenly there she was.

Every playground had at least one type of merry go round. Since most playgrounds in the US don't have any, these were always a favorite with our kids.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Inside fun in Wroclaw

While we spend most of our time exploring, active, and trying to wear the kids out. There are also moments of down time when we travel. Here are a few from Wroclaw.

After watching both kids practice driving, they won't be driving any time soon.

Meal time

Two years ago they were fascinated by the decorative ducks. This year it was this pretty kitty that they loved so much.

Just because it is raining, doesn't mean we don't need fresh air. The kids were happy with their "tents" and played on the balcony for an hour.