Thursday, July 29, 2010


One of the drawbacks of living far from grandparents is that there’s no one you trust as much as them to keep your children. In Ireland most of my friends lived near their siblings and parents so had weekends away, last minute babysitters and a dig-out when things got the better of them. I would spend my 10 euro an hour for a date night or to go to Pilates while Paul was away on business trips.

So when Mom planned her trip here this summer she encouraged us to take some time away. Not that it took much encouraging. I’d booked our weekend away as fast as my fingers could fly across We decided on Barcelona.

For a Texan used to driving up to 12 hours to get out of my state, being able to drive three hours to another country was pretty amazing. Three hours from Austin, Texas gets you to Dallas in one direction, nearly to Houston to the East, who knows where in the middle of the desert to the West and not even to the beaches of Corpus Christi to the South.
We couldn’t help comparing the drive to the Austin-Dallas trip we’ve made so many times.

Rest stop--Pyrenees

A:’Now we’d be in Waco.’
P:’Yea, but we’re in Perpignan.’
A:’Look at the Pyrenees!’
P:’Different than Waxahachie, huh?’

And on it went.

Musee Picasso
In no time we were in another country, with another language, food, culture and style. Our hotel was in the thick of it all so we could walk everywhere. Las Ramblas with its bizarre ‘performance art’ and throngs of German and Dutch tourists, down to Colombus’ statue pointing to new worlds to discover, Musee Picasso and the Barri Gothic’s winding streets, shops and countless tapas bars. It was glorious to ramble, stopping to have a quick browse in ceramics shops without worrying about fitting the buggy through or about little fingers touching breakables. We popped into a small bar to have a quick glass of wine and olives and spent hours in front of the Esglesia de St Maria del Mar watching a wedding party arrive and cheering for the bride while drinking cava and eating tapas.

All of this was fabulous but the best part was being together; laughing, talking and reconnecting. And sleeping in until 11 wasn’t bad at all either. We literally whooped with delight when we realized the time!  Merle Haggard's, ‘If we’re not back in love by Monday’ was the soundtrack in my head the whole time.
Placa Cataluyna

My new plan is to find a nanny…maybe an American French language student who wants room and board in exchange for some child minding.
As for my mom, we’re thankful beyond imagining to her that’s for sure. Our first time away together in five years deserves a big shout out, THANKS MOM!

1 comment:

  1. I do the same travel game too... 'If I was in TX where would I be right now'. One time on a flight from Dublin to Paris, my friend asked me if I had flown the same distance in Texas where would I be, I said, "Dallas"


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