Viva España: House Family European Vacation

My kids have been studying Spanish and all things Spain in school for several years now and after much planning we finally made it to the land of paella, flamenco dancing and matadors. The trip was scheduled for April 2020 but was canceled due to the pandemic. That delay turned out to be beneficial to adding a new element to the trip.

We hit three major cities during our journey: Madrid, Sevilla and Barcelona. Once in Spain we traveled by train, subway and some taxis and did tons of walking. Nearly 10 miles one day alone.

For Kara, the trip was something of a homecoming. She studied in Sevilla for a semester in college, and one of the highlights of the trip was finding her “familia,” her host family. Kara’s senora and “brother” remembered her and we had a great visit with them in this traditional Spanish city. Sevilla is a must stop if you visit Spain. It has retained its old world charm and it’s a place you can walk for hours and take in so much history.

As it turns out, it was a bit of a homecoming for me too, as I also have some familia in Spain, or had anyway. Thanks for I recently learned I have some Spanish ancestors from nearly a thousand years ago, including three direct ancestors who were counts of Barcelona: Ramon Berenguer I, II, and III. That’s Ramon the third above who has a statue in his honor and a park. He is my 29th great grandfather. More about him here:,_Count_of_Barcelona

Ramon the first, my 27th great-grandfather, is buried in a crypt in the Cathedral of Barcelona, which was being refurbished during our visit, hence the scaffolding in the picture below. Ramon the second is buried out in the country somewhere and he was called Ramon the “Towhead” due to his hair. There are some renderings of him below as well.

The food throughout our trip was great including paella at the “7 Portos,” at 184 years old one of the oldest restaurants in Barcelona. The kids got to use their Spanish, and I did too. I minored it in college and can speak enough to survive but Kara is fluent. We did not see a bull fight, but visited historic sights, a flamenco dance, and took a quick train ride to the beach for a day along the Mediterranean. A week was definitely not enough.

Here’s the story of our first family vacation to Europe to visit family in Abruzzo, Italy

2 replies »

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! Appears to be an INCREDIBLE trip! I also got some history with the photo viewing! Thank you 😊 Beautiful family!!


  2. What a beautiful and memorable trip for your children. The history of such an old country is so fascinating and interesting. So glad you guys had such a great time.


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