Tuesday, June 28, 2011

From Paris to Catalunya

I never want to forget this.spainmayablog

Toby, Lucía and I snuck off to France and Spain last week, while our beautiful boy spent quality time with my parents. It was such a tough decision to make, but I felt sound in knowing he would be in the arms of the two most loving and tender people I've ever known. My Mom and Dad were very eager to have him to themselves for a whole week :) On the way to the airport, my heart felt like it had been ripped out of my chest, and I wanted to turn the car around and just squeeze him so tight. I wondered how in the world I thought I would be strong enough to do it, but you know what? We called my parents the minute we got to the airport, and somehow, a sense of peace washed over me. I felt calm about our decision, and so excited to get to Paris.

In the week we were abroad, we walked about 25 miles, visited 10 different markets, shared too many baguettes, became addicted to French macarons, attempted to speak French, stayed up until 3 in the morning drinking wine with friends, picnicked in parks and the beach, ate the most delicious fruit we've ever tasted, layed on the beautiful beaches of the Costa del Maresme in Catalunya, walked the streets of Barcelona, ate tapas, drank Sangria...

Every inch of Paris intrigued me - the language, the delicious food, the incredible mix of people who live there. Toby and I walked around, hand in hand (with Lucía on Toby's back in her Ergo, mesmerized by the commotion of the city). I will never forget some of the things I saw and felt in our time there.

We flew to Barcelona on Thursday. Spain felt like home, in a way I never imagined. Every little thing about it was comforting, and reminded me of my Mother. Her family came from the Gran Canarías (Spanish islands off the west coast of Morocco), and while she grew up in the U.S., her Spanish culture was very preserved. That culture is such a huge part of who I am today, and going there reminded me of all the reasons I am so proud of it.

As the sun was setting on our time there, I was sad to leave, but longed to hold my sweet boy in my arms again. As we waited to board our flight from Barcelona to New York, we were offered $1,600 vouchers to stay another night in Barcelona (the flight was way oversold), but no amount of money could have kept me from seeing Andreas that night. Once we were home, I held him tighter than I ever have before, and realized that our time apart was healthy for both of us.

I can't wait to share some recipes for some of the wonderful things we ate! I'm trying to get back into my routine here at home (and a normal sleeping pattern), but should have a recipe or two up for you toward the end of the week ;)


Aura said...

These are so beautiful, Megan! Think about how much Lucia will treasure these photos, when she is older.

PS, I'm sorry I disappeared in the middle of our conversation before you left on your trip. It was the night of the storm that we were talking and our phones lost reception. I knew you were leaving after that, so I didn't want to bug you while you were on vacation. I get borderline annoyed even hearing my phone beep when I'm on vacation :)

Also, love the adorable Saltwater sandals.

Kathleen said...

what a hard decision to leave your sweet boy behind. I am curious how Lucia did on the plane? Jake and I have started to talk about when the right time is to have another one. I said I will absolutely not have a baby until I travel to europe (or at least another country excluding canada-we have family there). We are thinking next spring or summer a trip abroad and I can't imagine not taking violet with us. I know she would be in great hands with my parents- but I'd love to experience that sort of travel with her. She will be three next summer so I am guessing we have to buy her a seat on the plane. how did lucia adjust to the time change, both there and back. so many questions!!
such wonderful, beautiful pictures, I can only imagine how great it felt to experience that part of the world!

a little black cloud in a dress said...

Lucia looks so adorable in her little red & white striped shirt. What an exciting time! I love all of these pictures.

We left our little one behind last year when we went to the UK and while it was certainly one of the hardest things I've ever done, I'm glad that we did it, because she had so much fun with her grandparents & we got some much needed alone time.

We just took her on her first real vacation last week and it was so amazing to see a new (to her) place through her eyes.

Katyha said...

looks like a wonderful time away & I can imagine how hard the first few hours and days must have been without your boy :( gorgeous photos como siempre!

Ramona said...

your pictures are truly beautiful! Isn't it amazing what a trip away can do for us and how we see things. It always leaves and impact and makes us grow personally in a way.

Megan Joy said...

A - Thank you so much :) My cousin is in town, but I want to have lunch as soon as she leaves next week.

Kathleen - It was really tough, but once we got to Paris, we knew that it would not have been a trip for him. My Mom had begged me for weeks to let him stay with her, and I eventually decided to trust her intuition (she's almost always right ;). and she was. We walked or rode the metro and train everywhere, and barely rested. It was a really fast paced trip, especially in Paris. Lucía is still nursing a lot, and able to sleep in her Ergo carrier on the go, so it worked out very well with her.

She was wonderful on both flights, and overall, but HATED the subway. She ended up crying most of the time we were on it, but would stop once we got her out of the carrier and I nursed her :) I nursed her at the beginning of each flight, and she would immediately fall asleep for 2-3 hours. The flight over (from Dallas to Paris) was overnight, and she ended up sleeping about 6 of the 9 hours. It was so nice! Our secret weapon the whole trip was nursing :) I nursed her as much as she wanted, anywhere that we were. Toby and I both agree that it would probably be very hard to take a baby her age that wasn't nursing.

We are going to start saving for another trip over (maybe Italy or Greece and Spain) in a couple years, but this time we will be doing a lot more relaxing, and bringing both kids :) I am so anxious to get back there!

Hollie- Thank you so much :) I really agree with you, I ended up feeling very happy with our decision. Toby and I had so many sweet times together, ones that I will never forget. Since he was born, we've never really left Andreas with anyone, for any reason. We've always loved to take him everywhere we are going, so it was hard to think about him not experiencing it with us, but then I realized that he will be 5 in a few years, and actually have memories of a trip, you know?

Kathya- You are so sweet :) Thank you!

Ramona - I completely agree :)

Gaby said...

You are such a good photographer! I loved taking a peek at your dreamy vacation :)

Charis said...

Absolutely stunning photographs x

AbbyJoeJames said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog. You trip sounds like it was amazing. I went to Paris and London, almost 6 yrs ago. I wish to go back soon.

You're baby girl is adorable and love her name. How old is your son and why wasn't he able to go along?

Amber said...

Oh my! These are gorgeous pictures! I've been meaning to ask -- what kind of camera do you use? I've been thinking about finally investing in a DSLR.

I can only imagine traveling with a toddler was no easy task. We flew from Australia to the US when Eva was 8 months old and that was hell! 14 hours plus another 3 hour flight and then another hour!

I'm insanely jealous though. I hope to return to France and Spain some day...

Amber xxx

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan, I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and love the photos and recipes. I have a 7 month old and my hubby and I talk about traveling but wonder how our little one would do. Your post was very helpful. May I ask how you handled night times? Did Lucia go to sleep later?
Happy that you enjoyed your travels...ohhh...how I love Paris:)

Cris said...

just came across your blog from Aurajoon and I like this place

Diana Twiss said...

Beautiful descriptions of your adventure. Your post ignited that good old wanderlust ache in my guts. Thank you!

amy said...

these photos are so amazing! the first shot is entirely breathtaking.

Nadejda said...

beautiful photos!
Paris is my number one city too, me and my husband are in love with it for many years now, I always want to come back :) Catalunya though we have never visited, but it looks lovely, will have to consider it :)

Nadia @natureinsider

Lauren Jamison said...

Oh I love love love your little girl eating the baguette!

A Wanderers Soul said...

You have the most beautiful photos on your blog! Your trip looks like it was amazing and beautiful.

I love that sling you're using, do you have a favorite brand? I'm in search of a ring sling and would love a recommendation.

I love coming here for food inspiration.

MrBenBlue said...

A BIG SMILE after seeing this post :)