I am very happy to report that we have solved the wi-fi problem and now all of our various devices are connected!  Well, that's true only if you are sitting at the rooftop pool.  Slightly frustrating, yes, but at least I can do everything on my computer for the blog and then just take the elevator up to post it.  You take wi-fi for granted nowadays, and without it I feel totally lost.  Google is our best friend, and especially so when travelling.  There aren't any reference guides or maps here in this apartment so we were counting on looking most things up.  Thankfully I bought a great little pop-up Barcelona map in the London airport and it's been very useful.

We are in such a great area, and today we took the opportunity to explore our surroundings a little bit more.  We stayed in Barcelona for a short 3 nights 4 years ago, and one of the afternoons was spent in this very area where we are staying.  We are so close to the beach and marina and there is so much going on.  In fact there is a world swimming championship going on right across the street and we spent part of the afternoon watching high divers while we relaxed at the rooftop pool.  (Yes, we have an amazing little pool that we share with the other apartment guests.  We overlook so much of the city and it's amazing!) We could also hear music for synchronized swimmers and every now and then you could hear a giant cheer from the crowd.  We walked by it tonight (after the competitions were done for the day) and couldn't believe how high the diving boards are - and an unusual aspect of it is that they are diving into open water!  It's just a marina with boats parked all around and they have buoys cordoning off the dive area.  Cool.

One other  interesting thing happened today when we went to pay the balance on our apartment rental - both Jeff and my credit cards were declined.  We looked at our online banking and all looked fine, so Jeff made a very expensive cell phone call to Visa and found out that someone had stolen my credit card number and was making fraudulent transactions.  It's actually pretty great that they have security measures that realize it's impossible for me to simultaneously buy something from a Walmart in Ohio and a restaurant in Barcelona.  So my credit card is now in little pieces in the bottom of a garbage can, Jeff's has been re-activated, and by the time I get home there should be a new card waiting for me in our mailbox.  That's the first time that has ever happened to either of us and it makes me wonder how they stole the information.  Luckily they caught it quickly and no harm was done aside from a slightly uneasy feeling when we both had our cards declined!

The kids have been using their Spanish and it's been so fun to hear (and so helpful to us!).  At least 3 times today we've had waiters tell the girls how great their Spanish is, or ask why their parents can't speak it.  We just smile and nod at people and throw out the occasional gracias or hola.  This Spanish bilingual education has been the most helpful thing and I know the girls will be extra happy to be able to speak a foreign language when they get a bit older and hit the workforce or travel solo.  (As long as they don' t use it to talk to Spanish boys on foreign websites and leave us forever!)

Tomorrow we are looking forward to getting together with some friends; my friend Mónica and her daughters Danielle and Ashley are in Spain for the summer and are staying about an hour from Barcelona.  They haven't been into Barcelona yet so this is a great opportunity for them to see the city and for us to have a visit!  Chloë is beside herself with excitement as her and Danielle have been best friends since grade 1 and they haven't seen each other in almost a month.  We're planning on hitting the tourist sights, and perhaps the adults will drink a little sangria while the kids catch up.  :)

As a final note, we have figured out how to manage the mosquito situation while staying cool.  Last night we were chomped on and have some nice red bumps to show for it, but the A/C is now on and the windows shut firmly against those little pests.  I say this every single year, but why oh why do they not put screens on their windows in most of Europe??  Boggling.  It must be some kind of law passed with funding from the company that makes OFF.  Here`s to sweet (mosquito free) dreams!


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