We made it. After 10 hours driving through rain and storms, up mountains and through tunnels we arrived in Barcelona. We lost count of the times only son said “are we going to be in Barcelona in 10 minutes”. We got stuck in a traffic jam in Bordeaux and then near Toulouse, but we were determined not to stop for lunch until we got to a cafe in the mountains which we remembered from our last visit. It does fantastic sausage sandwiches. My partner spotted a pizza place and swore blind that that was the cafe.
He doesn’t trust my sense of direction at all, but in the end my memory was better than his, surprisingly, particularly after the lack of sleep the previous night when daughter three had loomed at my side in the night, scared of being on the top bunk, and had come into our bed, alongside only son. We drew up at the cafe at 3.02pm. Unfortunately, the cafe only serves hot food until 3pm so there were no sausage sandwiches and we got dive bombed by a very persistent wasp so had to bid a hasty retreat.
Due to a tunnel being closed we had to go up a twisty mountain road to about 1,000 feet and then down again. I’m not very good with heights and it didn’t help that daughter three was saying “we’re going to die” in the back. By the time we actually arrived it was around 8pm. We’re staying in a relative’s house which has been recently refurbished. It’s very tidy, but full of toys and has a stand-up swimming pool in the back yard and two free-roaming mini turtles. The kids, bar the teenaged one, were overjoyed and immediately jumped in the pool and started doing synchronised swimming and handstands [daughter two]. Daughters two and three are on turtle watch, ably assisted by ony son. Everyone has already ased several times if we can get a turtle…We couldn’t figure the tv out, but it has internet so we have spent way too much time watching some American girls with green nail polish doing pizza challenges on Youtube.
We fell into bed late the first night and within about two hours only son had joined us, but he couldn’t sleep due to the heat so he ended up lying at the bottom of the bed near the fan. Which, of course, meant I had to lie at the bottom of the bed with one leg raised as a kind of barrier.
It’s very hot already and a heatwave is anticipated. We’ve already had several gatherings with friends and the kids are keen to get to the beach [bar the teenaged one, who has devoted herself to listening to music, complaining about being tired and telling me that lots of people over 40 are “problematic”, including potentially her mother].
Daughter one’s room has a lock on the door, but, fortunately, the wall is also open at the top so I have taken to standing on a stool and lifting only son up to hail her with a hearty “good morning” at around 11.30am. I note that tonight there is some sort of blind thing covering over the hole. This could delay our departure to roam Barcelona for several hours…