A Full House Trumps Nine Trips to the Airport

Between May 22nd and June 9th I made a grand total of nine trips to the airport to pick-up or drop-off family. I loved having everyone here though so I didn't mind at all. The only time I really mind driving is when I'm downtown in my big boat van, which is not made for Europe :P We were able to see quite a bit! I don't think V & S got to see as much as they would have wanted due to the joys of traveling with a baby, but I know they had a good time.

Toledo - We got here late on a Sunday so nothing was open to see, but we looked at the outsides of buildings which were still intriguing and ate a good dinner as the sun was setting. Josh was even able to make it out! I forgot my camera but I knew Vita had one so I didn't mind too much. We got a lot of cute family shots (thanks for the pics, V!). Toledo is a beautiful city and I plan on going again with my camera and more time to see and do :)

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Downtown Madrid - V & S grabbed a hotel in a nice area and we stuck around there for a few hours. We found some amazing little "pastelerias" (bakeries) and stuffed our faces with coffee and delicious French-inspired baked goods.

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We walked around a bit and found a cute park and thought it'd be a great spot to get some family pics. And we were right ;)

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I didn't take very many pictures while V was here because she's also a photobug, but now I feel weird about it. We had a lot of fun out here, despite my lack of photographic proof ;) It was great to see you guys! We'll be here until June of next year so maybe we can all try it again!

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We took a couple days off of traveling to get some errands run thanks to some highly annoying and inconvenient banking issues, but then we were back to planning day trips. Bobby had discussed his intentions to propose to Alex with us prior to flying out and we had formulated a plan. We all got dressed up and headed out to the Templo de Debod for sunset.

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It was awesome!! She said yes of course. Then we went to a place called the Midnight Rose for a celebratory dinner and enjoyed some of Madrid's nightlife. Great night!!! :D Congratulations again you guys. We love you both! :)

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The next day we lazed around until Noah got back from school and then we were off to Avila. The drive there was absolutely stunning. I couldn't handle not stopping at this little cafe we found right on the river. Best find ever! We determined from signs that we were in El Barraco. Gorgeous!!! We stopped caring about time and Avila while we were sipping our coffee and playing on the shore.

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We did eventually head back out (right after Brennan got attacked by ants). It's nice the sun doesn't set until 10pm... gives us a whole lot more time to explore! We didn't make it there in time to walk on the wall, but it was still fun and we had a pretty awesome dinner. Plus the walls look even cooler at night.

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The following day we had a plan to hike to the top of one of the Guadarrama mountains in Navacerrada, Madrid's ski resort town.

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The scenery was gorgeous, we had all of our supplies, everyone was pumped up, we were all doing well... then came the rain. It started off slow and we thought it might pass, but we ended up having to head back down. Our feet were swimming in puddles. By time we got down the sun was coming back out.

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Everything happens for a reason - we had enough time to catch El Escorial and see inside the Valley of the Fallen and the Monastery before they closed for the day. Score!

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I have been to El Escorial at least 4 times and have never been inside of any of the monuments so I was super excited even if we were wet and gross. After that we had a little snack and headed home.

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The next day we woke up early and left for Segovia. The road there was insane! We took the non-highway option, which meant circling up and around the mountains. Pretty, but a little scary since the roads were wet and slick. We made it there alive though and stopped for coffee and tortilla (an egg and potato pie, basically) so we wouldn't be starving. Our first stop was the Catedral de Segovia.

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This cathedral was amazing. We were there for well over an hour... we just couldn't leave. They spent so much time on every tiny little detail and we were noticing all of it. It's impossible to describe it all. It was ginormous and breathtaking. After taking it all in we headed to Alcazar Castle!

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Alcazar looks like a fairytale castle, which was really fun for the kids. All the rooms were very ornate and we couldn't help but notice how short it appears everyone in the past seemed to be. The beds were teeny tiny. They spent a whole lot of time making intricate gold-plated designs on the ceilings. It was very interesting.

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Alex and Bobby climbed the 151 steps to the top of the tower and waved hello to us.

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We had to cut it a bit short so that we could try and see the aqueduct before having to head back and meet Noah at the bus stop. We snapped a couple pictures on the way out... it's just an aqueduct anyway ;) haha.

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So... that was about it! Hope you enjoyed the brief rundown and the pictures. We loved having everyone out and look forward to doing it again soon! :)
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