This week’s guest post in my Best and Worst Holidays Series here on the blog is from Han-Son who blogs at DaddiLife. Let’s hear where his family’s best and worst holidays were.
As a working dad, time off with the family is so, so precious, and holidays have come to represent so much more than just time away. They’re a chance to reset and reconnect with the family, and a chance for me to bond with my son in a way that just going outside or using our Tuff spot won’t quite do.
In this piece I’d like to tell you more about our best holiday as a family and our worst.
The Best: Barcelona 2016
What can I say about Barcelona. The city, to me, is just magical. In December 2016, when Max was 2 years old, we decided to forego Christmas tradition and my partner and I just decided to go to Barcelona for Christmas with Max! I had never been to the city before, let alone over Christmas, so even though part of me was a little sceptical of doing it over the Christmas period, I knew that getting away for a little time was important.
Why Barcelona was the best family holiday:
- The weather – December in the UK is cold, and unless you’re a fan of waiting for a white Christmas, it’s going to be pretty gloomy (even with all the Christmas lights around). Barcelona averages around 15-16 degrees in December – perfect for a lovely stroll around.
- The pace of life – it’s far from siestas on every corner – it’s lively, but not rushed. It has that lovely balance of being a busy city, but with a charm and tranquility that means you can just easily loose yourself walking down promenades and park ways.
- The food – wowee! We tried the incredible Osmosis taster menu, and to this day it’s still one of the best meals I’ve ever had. A wine paring with every course, and a great wine shop next to it too! If you go, you also can’t miss Boqueira el Quim – the best market restaurant you’ll ever go to.
- The amazing architecture – Whether it’s Sagrada familiar or the Gothic Quarter – there really is something for the whole family that the children will love too. You could easily have neck ache at the end of the holiday because of the time you’ll be looking up!
- The stay – There are so many amazing Air BnBs now that cater for families super well.
- The people – The people in Barcelona are helpful, knowledgeable and friendly without being too in your face.
The stay was so good that we just did it again last Christmas!
The Worst: Legoland, Windsor
Let me start by saying that I’m not putting Legoland down because I necessarily hated every minute, it just didn’t quite live up to expectation.
We went with Max over a half term, which in itself perhaps was part of the problem as the queue times in the drizzly rain didn’t make for an all-round great day.
There are some great features. Max LOVED the fire engine ride where you get to ride a fire engine, put the fire (fake) out, and then back to base, and he really enjoyed the classic model city where at my last count he had watched the trains go past approximately 20 times!
However, there are some significant drawbacks to the day.
Here’s why it’s on my list:
Where am I – Unlike most other theme parks, I found myself lost, very lost. Though it’s not as big as some other theme parks, the ability to get lost is rather vast. An extra sign or two would not go amiss.
Food choices are limited, at best – The food choices I found to be very limited. Who doesn’t love a good hotdog on a day out, but I’d rather that not be the only option. Ok, that’s a little unfair – I think there was a ice cream place and a fish and chip place, but overall there just wasn’t the kid of friendly food selection that you’d hope for.
The car park – it’s a good distance from the park itself, and seems to have a real lack of 2 way system about it
The upsell – ok, I know you go to Legoland and you really should leave with Lego, but there’s something about the experience that, while in may ways an amazing engineering feat, doesn’t feel as interactive as it could. The magic of lego for me is about making things, and there’s just a real lack of that around the park.
Thanks so much to Han-Son for sharing their best and worst holidays. We are going to Barcelona for the first time in July so it was great to get some hints and tips for our trip. And to be honest, I didn’t enjoy Legoland when we visited either. We went on one ride during the entire day, although we did come away with a good bit of Lego.
And if you would like to feature in my Best and Worst Holidays series on the blog, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.