en I was a kid, I remember having a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese. We were in Barcelona for #KidGoodwin’s 4th birthday so we decided to celebrate by taking him to Tibidabo.
What’s makes taking him to a huge amusement park so funny is the fact that I remember having a conversation with Tommy when he was little, maybe even before he was born, where we discussed taking him anywhere Disney-related. Both of our families used to live in Florida, so a trip to the mouse was inevitable, but we swore we wouldn’t put ourselves through a trip to Disney until the kid was old enough to enjoy it – and remember it.
Fast forward to just before the kid’s 2nd birthday and we were at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Tibidabo wasn’t even his first amusement park… and we still haven’t made it to the most magical place on earth. (Yet.)
Anyway, while he might not remember much of his trip to Copenhagen, he certainly remembers his trip to Barcelona, especially our visit to Tibidabo.
Unlike our visit to Tivoli Gardens, Jacob was now big enough to ride a LOT of the rides. (At Tivoli he could only do the cars and a train, and that was fine. We still walked around and took in the sights and had a lovely time. And rode those cars many, many times.)
We did a bit of a stroll through park and stopped in their LEGO play area. Then we went on the ferris wheel. It was a beautiful day, sunny and bright, and then as we got to the top of the ferris wheel, the rain blew in. When we got off the ferris wheel, Tommy ran under cover with the stroller and Jacob and I hurried to the two-story carousel to get out of the rain.
It cleared up shortly afterwards, so we resumed our walk through the park, towards the kid-friendly rides. The first thing that Jacob got really excited about was the kid-sized bumper cars. He really wanted to do it. I wasn’t even sure he would be able to handle the wait in line. But he waited. And waited. I was terrified that once he got to climb into a car he would change his mind, or bail at the last minute. Nope. He LOVED IT.
After getting off the bumper cars, he wanted to know what was next. We rode a Viking boat ride, he hopped on a train that he rode all by himself, and then we discovered a ride called “Alaska.” He climbed into the little seal boat and went around in the water, up a little hill and down – with a big splash. And as soon as he got off, he wanted to go on it again. There were people in line so he had to get out and wait his turn. He got on at the end of the line with some other kids and went for another ride. When the ride ended, there was nobody else in line. The park employee asked if the kids wanted to go again. Some of the parents egged the kids on, getting them to clap and chant, “Otra vez! Otra vez!” / “Again! “Again!” Off they went! I think he rode the thing 5 or 6 times in a row, and he declared the “Arctic ride with the seals and penguins” his favorite.
In addition to all the rides, we of course had a lot to eat. We sang happy birthday to Jacob while eating ham and cheese sandwiches. We finally had churros! And Jacob double-fisted a lollipop and ice cream! Hey, it was the his birthday! And look at that smile!
We enjoyed our desserts and watched the sun set over the city. From Tibidabo you can see La Sagrada Familia, the Torre Glories, and the W hotel.
We Facetimed both sets of grandparents so they could wish Jacob a happy birthday. Then we did one final ride, Avio, the airplane. As the sky grew darker and the twinkly lights in the park came on, it was definitely a magical sight. We were all tired and it was getting late for Jacob. But looking out at the park, and seeing Jacob’s happy smile as he pressed his face to the airplane window, made the long day worth it. I still can’t believe our kid got to celebrate his birthday there.
It’s fun to hear him talk about Barcelona. Months later, he’s still talking about our apartment there, the Magic Fountain, the mall, and the beach, all the ice cream he had, and all the rides at Tibidabo. It’s cool to know that these are some of his earliest memories. I know I’ll always remember this trip, too.
I guess now we have to start planning that trip to Magic Kingdom.