#vanlife with baby: Barcelona and France

As we begin our climb towards Barcelona, ​​we decide to visit the largest wine house in Spain, the Torres vineyards. An empire that expands internationally, with members of the Torres family who have moved to the four corners of the globe to grow the best grapes possible. Danielle Morin, you would be proud of me. I finally had some interest in wine (besides drinking it!) and was really impressed with the process of production/fermentation/harvesting etc. The wine cellar of this vineyard is all the more impressive because it is on these lands, the first at the origin of Torres, that the brand's “premium” grape varieties are grown. The cream of the crop, or rather the grape of the grape. Bottles out of reach for #vanlifeux in short. What I liked most about Torres is their 100% organic production in ALL their vineyards. They do not use any pesticides/insecticides and instead use animals/plants to deal with possible parasites. We'll discuss it over a good glass of wine, friends!! MMV, it’s you, among others, that I’m speaking to 😉


We arrive in the big city with 2 new happy vacationers, Krystel and Gabriel, who have come to join us to enjoy a week without their children and to take care of ours. As soon as they arrive, they are promised an authentic Spanish trip with a first meal…. Indian! We will save the tapas for the next day, and the next day, and the other... and then every day in fact consisted of tapas-wine-pintxo-churros-cava-sangria, interspersed with small tourist visits to bring down the everything before leaving, in reverse: sangria-cava-churros-pintxo-wine-tapas… am I forgetting my friends? Oh yes, cheese and charcuterie too... just thinking about everything we ingested in 4 days in the city makes me nauseous, but I would repeat the experience for sure. We decided to do a “Tapas tour” in the Gothic Quarter and the surrounding area, a tourist activity not to be missed to taste everything and gorge on Spanish delights… oops, sorry, Catalans, well done. Our guide, Gabrielo Yomphé, unearthed the most beautiful places in the city for us. After 7 meals this day, we went to bed with an upset stomach but a happy heart.

For a third time for me on this trip, we attended a flamenco performance, to the great joy of my son. It’s re-re-reconfirmed, we love flamenco. Raf is completely absorbed by art (or maybe traumatized?) and personally, it's a new passion! I think I would even be good at dancing it. Firstly I walk with my heel, which is very useful for tapping. Plus when I'm unhappy, I stamp my foot and I frown, 2 other advantages. For the thigh snap on the other hand I will need training. We're thinking of starting a troop. Here we are in rehearsal:

No time to fool around, busy days allowed us to visit the well-known attractions of the Catalan capital, such as the famous Sagrada Familia, the eternal unfinished cathedral of the famous architect Gaudi who left his mark on the city with his works. It is magnificent despite the many cranes. In a burst, we visit: Park Guell, Barceloneta beach, Mont Juic, the Picasso museum, the multiple historic districts and finally the Boqueria market... a very bad place for 4 hungry and irrational epicurean foodies like us... we emptied the market!

Barcelona in photos:

Montserrat and the Costa Brava

Because we didn't just want to focus on the city, because we needed to stretch our legs to burn off 1 or 2 extra tapas, and because it makes for great photos, we left the city to explore the fabulous mountains of Montserrat, approximately 1 hour from Barcelona. We all agree, it's worth the detour! Getting some fresh air and a little exercise feels good. The photos speak for themselves here. We were even able to photograph Krystel's butt but we won't show you that.

Because our friends also wanted to live the #vanlife , because we are never too cramped at 5 in 7 square meters and because we wanted to see the Costa Brava, we are heading towards the Mediterranean coast for one last evening with friends playing Tock. We came across a campsite which overlooks the square, it's officially the most beautiful #vanlife spot we've had so far and we had the chance to share this wonder with friends. Despite the cold night, the CO2 released by 5 pairs of lungs and the additional heating allowed us to sleep very well! A perfect #vanlife experience for 5 with sea views, beach paddles and a quick dip in the frozen ocean for the boys. They came out and they no longer had penises. It’s JP who says it.

The next day, we explore the coast and its small ghost towns out of season, such as Tossa de Mar, and it is here that our paths separate. The lovebirds return to Barcelona to enjoy their child-free trip before flying to Montreal, while we continue our journey north for a little getaway with the French, on the other side of the Pyrenees.

Dip in France

Here we are on French territory and what surprises us the most at first is that we hear French spoken around us. I imagine that doesn't surprise you, we're in France. But for us, it bothers us a little because 1- it's the first time we've traveled to a country that speaks our language and 2- we can no longer say stupid things to people without their knowledge, JP's favorite mischievous hobby. So, we start talking like them, wand in hand, and we seriously enjoy it.

From our meager 4-day getaway to France, we didn't come away any leaner. What are we doing in France? We eat of course! Again… Well, that’s not going well. We can no longer continue like this, eating, eating and eating as if we were in constant nutritional deficiency. My excuse “I'm breastfeeding I have the right” is starting to show in my waistline… but everything is sooo good! It would be fairer to detail our stay in France by what we ate rather than by the places we visited. Fresh oysters, duck breast, a skate wing, cassoulet, bricolettes... cheese, bread, cheese, bread... cold meats, tartare, hot goat's cheese... cheese-bread-wine. There are no more limits, we must leave quickly otherwise we will be devoured by restaurants.

We start by visiting the impressive medieval city of Carcassonne . A truly magnificent place, it feels like the Middle Ages. The interior has been transformed a bit into a tourist attraction with overpriced junk shops but it has still retained a beautiful character.

We don't stay here forever, we hit the road again to visit Toulouse and be received like kings by Gaëlle and Didier, who introduced us to banafi, a dessert with bananas and cream and certainly extra butter. My new reason for living. Really friends, we had a good time at your place and we'll return the favor to you in Montreal as soon as possible, “roteux” and unlimited maple syrup! Bricolettes Quebec version!

Because it is much too cold for Canadians in Toulouse, we head towards the Basque country, towards Biarritz, Bayonne, St-Jean-de-Luz before crossing to the Spanish side at San Sebastian (next post). No need to describe what we did here on the Atlantic coast, it can be summed up in 1 word: eat. Again, and yes. Biarritz , a seaside resort popular with the French, stands out for its rich character, its rocky seaside and its large beach, originally called “La grande plage”, perfect for relaxing. If we were French, this is where we would spend our vacations, after Canada of course. St-Jean-de-Luz owes its charm to its pretty fishing port and Bayonne to its ham.

In photos:


As always, a quick overview of our #vanlife . The hashtag was rare in this article, wasn’t it? We#vanlifed a lot less in fact. The truth is that we get a little cold at night. The humidity there hurts your legs, it's not a myth! And then with a baby, it's better not to risk freezing. Anyway, in Barcelona with friends we had planned to stay in a great Airbnb in the heart of the city. Daily hot shower, cozy and soft bed, pee sitting… it’s joy!! We had to stay in France for a few sleeps but don't worry, we can't wait to find our little house on 4 wheels as soon as we return to Spanish soil. To be continued in the next post!

*Spoiler Alert: change of itinerary ahead!!

Composed and laid out with your thumbs, tolerate bones and shells.