Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Saturday we headed off to Turetanueva again- that is where Antonio's parents have an apartment right next to the beach.

Sunday Adam and I went to church at the little branch in Montril.

The theme of Sacrament meeting was seminary and institute. After a sister talked the branch president stood and spoke. He then asked ME "Did you go to seminary/institute?"

Uhhhh.... Me, yes, yes I did.

He then asked me if I would bear my testimony and share my experience about seminary and institute for 3 minutes.

The invitation caught me off guard- but I happily accepted. Adam came up with me and interpreted for me.

After church we went to a friends house in the mountains for a barbecue. The rest of Antonio's family joined us. There was a group of about 13 adults 2 kids and 4 dogs.

They had a pool by the house too! We are and played in the water and enjoyed the company.

As soon as the kids: candela (10 yrs old) and Jesús (12 yrs old) found out I was American and that I didn't know very much Spanish they were fascinated by me! Candela kept staring at me and they both really really wanted me to play in the pool with them and they were so happy when I changed into my swimming suit!

Later we all sat around the table and munched on sunflower seeds. Little Jesús was singing along to the American pop music that was playing on the radio. But he didn't know the words- so he faked it and sang along anyway! He asked me if I like music. I told him I do! He loves music! It was obvious!

Olser Jesús (Antonio's brother) asked me to get out my ukulele and play for them.

Candela and younger Jusús were inthralled! They kept saying "que chulo!" Which means "how cool!"
And after I would play and sing a song they would say "Ultra vez! Ultra vez!" Which means Again! Again!"

And adam told me later that while I was playing any time that someone in the group would talk Candela would shush them... Haha
These kids! I love them!

Plus Abuela was So happy! She was loving the music! I am really glad I brought my ukulele along with me!

We all headed down the mountain and back home. We convinced Anto's brother Jesús to stay with us instead of going home to Armilla.

On the way to the apartment we saw that there was a fair happening! We thought it would be fun to go. We got home and had some dinner and sat around the living room trying to decide if we actually wanted to go out- we were all pretty tired.

I stood up and said "ok! Let's go!" And that put everyone else into motion. We walked over to the fair and were welcomed by a barrage of colorful bright lights and blaring music.

SO MUCH STIMULATION coming from all sides!

We walked past rides and stopped dead in front of Tren-Disney

Adam and I stared on- captivated by what we were witnessing.
These are our what-the-heck-is-happening faces:

This ride consisted of a train that went around in a circle, backdropped by all sorts of cartoon characters, and not only Disney:  Peter Pan, some witches, sponge bob, Donald Duck, Micky mouse, the evil witch from Snow White, etc.

Then there was the crazy bullfighter and the clown.

2 men dressed up in very silly colorful costumes - held in their hands what appeared to be small brooms - sticks which had large tassels of straw at the end. (Just in case you don't know what a broom is Haha) They would use these to whack the train riders on the head as they passed by.

They would also dance around to the music and do done crazy stunts. Riding on tip of the train and falling down right before they would get close lined. Standing in front of the train and then spinning out of the way just before they were run over. All the while


Hitting the riders as much as they could.

Around and around and around the train went. With crazy loud music playing. The riders were also pretty crazy. Standing up and trying to steal the brooms they were getting
Hit with. Some were successful.

At one point the train slowed and the crazy bullfighter handed out long balloons to all of the riders (the kind you make balloon animals out of)

Not for anything... Just for them to have a balloon I guess.

Antonio came up to me and said, "What you don't have this ride in the US?!"

HA! Not a chance! It had law suites written all over it!

Antonio told me that this is a very very popular ride here and that he LOVED it when he was younger!

Adam and I could have stood there all night! Watching the train go in circles, the train workers act crazy and the riders and the audience.

At one point Antonio came up to me and took my chin in his hand to physically turn my head so I could see fireworks that were very randomly shooting off in the background of the rides.

I love fireworks!

Even still I had a hard time watching them instead of the Tren-Disney ride in front of me. I was completely fascinated and enthralled by it all.

Adam and I had a hard time pulling ourselves away - but I honk we both figured that we could stop again and watch it more on our way back out.

2 rides over there was another ride that we had to stop and stare at for a while.

A circle that was lined with teenagers and it would spins around and thrash up and down, angle and throw the rides out of their seats and onto one another's laps and into the middle.

The ride conductor was screaming in Spanish. Loud and obnoxious. I could not understand a word he was saying but was told that he was making fun of the riders.

Again liability and lawsuits PLASTERED all over this!

There is NO WAY that it would be allowed in the US.

Adam loves fair rides - so do I! Adam and Jesús on the other hand do not. Adam asked if I would like to go on a ride with him- the others
were perfectly content to watch.

We got our tickets and got on! The worker came around and strapped us in... Then we sat there....
And waited....
And waited...
And waited a little longer.

Apparently there needed to be more riders before we went.

After about 10 minutes and more riders that came on the worker came in and un-strapped us and then made us move to a different chair.
...more adjustments...more waiting... Let's get this ride goin!

When we finally did was a blast!

The ride went around in a circle and bounced up and down in random spurts.

My favorite part of the ride was hearing Adam gleefully laughing next to me... Which made me laugh and enjoy the ride all the more!

It was a good time!

Or course these 2 chickens didn't want to join us...

But Antonio and Jusús found ways to entertain themselves while Adam and I were on the ride...

sooooooo Many Selfies! for me to love and cherish! 

We stopped again and watched the Tren-Disney ride some more on our way out. HAHA!! 

I am really glad we went!


We slept in, hung around the apartment, read our books, and then later in the afternoon met up with some friends at a beach where we could bring the dogs!

Buddy was LOVING it! We would throw a frisbee and he would swim out to get it... He would even dive for rocks. He loves the water!

The only problem with this water is it is sea water... Which means it is full of salt! Which resulted in some pretty explosive diareah for buddy. Luckily he got it all out of his system before we got into the car and went home for the night.


We went to a new beach that is a little hike away from our apartment.

Yes we have a beach just down the block from us- but it is more fun to go beach hopping!

We walked up the road a little further than we needed to because the sign to the beach trail was missing. But that's ok cause we ended up walking up to the lighthouse...

I love lighthouses! I saw the light from this one a couple of nights ago... I thought it was a search light from a party or a festival. Antonio told me there was a light house on that side of he hill so I was excited to see it.

We made it to the beach! And had a good time!


The beach hopping continues! I liked this one!

Adam finally decided to swim with us today!

Adam is from Florida and so he has been spoiled with warm water beaches growing up... And so he has refused to get into the water to swim. Until today!!

Growing up the beaches that I knew were in northern California. And usually not in the warmest of months. My dad would challenge the kids to play chicken and see who would go out the furthest before chickening out and running back to the sand out of the cold water.

I was reminded of that as Adam got into the water, he was making all kinds of hilarious faces and sounds and I laughed really hard! 

When we got home Adam and I took the dogs for a walk and hiked up a little mountain. There were some pretty spectacular views!


We went to Almuñecr which is a beach town (very touristy) that is about 20 minutes drive.

Beautiful beaches, a tower that we climbed to see the views, a park with ancient roman ruins

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and then decided to go to put our toes into the water. At this point the sun was already setting and the weather was the perfect temperature.

The water was surprisingly warmer
than we thought it would be. This past week there have been days where I just just got a little wet and other days that I went all in and swam in the sea.

The water has not been unbearable - a little chilly on some days yes, but not bad.

We decides that we wanted to come back the next day so that we could enjoy this beach and the warmer water.


We returned to Almuñecr! Got a nice spot on the beach. There were less people than I had expected, but I think it is cause we arrived to the beach around prime lunch hour. We had packed our lunch with us in the cooler.

Sadly the water today was colder than it was yesterday. So I didn’t expect we would be swimming. After being on the beach for a few hours Adam and I decided to try out the water. Once again it was VERY cold for Adam and I laughed and laughed at the faces and sounds he was making as he slowly waded deeper into the sea.

We ended up swimming out to this floating pad in the water. While we were out there we even saw a Manta-ray in the water! That was really cool! I have never seen one in the wild like that before.

After the beach we wandered around town for a while.  Almuñecr is really pretty! I like it a lot! 


After Spending a week in the sun I guess I got a little complacent with the sun screen – I got a little bit of a splotchy sun burn on the back of my legs. Because of this I had a hard time sleeping Friday night and didn’t feel like doing much Saturday.

We mostly hung out at home. I read a lot. We took the doggies for a walk and sat on a bench ad watched the waves roll in.

Adams little brother Evan got his mission call and we were able to skype his family and see when he opened it! He is going to Santa Rosa California Spanish speaking.

 Tonight there was a special procession. Apparently they take the virgin Mary out of the church and float it on the water... 
its hard to see cause its far away... but thats what is going on in this picture. 


Adam and I went to church. The members in Montril are so happy every Sunday to see us and are so very sweet!

After church our friends Sara and Antonio (and another friend of theirs) came to visit. We went to the beach and there were big waves today! We stood for a long watching the waves as the waves rolled in.

We had to rush to get their friend to the ferry by 7:30- she was going to Morocco… after we went home, has dinner, cleaned the apartment and drove back home to Armilla. We made it home around 1 am ish.

It was a good week at many beaches.

Monday, July 21, 2014

I thought my mind was made up...

I am working on updating about this past amazing week that I had in Spain! But its going to take me a minute cause I have a lot of photos to download and edit and then etc. etc.

So I will just post this for now… I wrote this post a while ago:

To my dear future children,

No… you cannot have a pet.


(That is really weird referring to myself as mom! HA! Maybe cause I feel like it is still so far away)

Maaaaaaybe after my children are old enough to handle the responsibility of having a pet that they can take care of it themselves they can have a fish…or a turtle. They can have my turtle! It will be our family mascot (or something). Cause apparently he is going to live forever.

I never wanted a pet in NYC. No-Thank-YOU!

But I had a friend weasel me into “babysitting” Raphael for 5 months while he was gone on his medical rotations out of state. And then he never came back and I ended up permanently adopting him.

The only times I don’t like Raphie is when I have to clean out his stupid tank! Ugh! Otherwise he is such a low maintenance pet – that I am willing to keep him.

Plus he is does yoga! And that’s just fun!

But as far as cats and dogs go…
Not in my house.
I can’t…
I can’t stand the smell.
I can’t stand the hair.
I can’t stand the messes they make. 
I can’t.
I just can’t!

Plus they cost money- you have to feed them and take them to the vet and buy them supplies and wash them… etc.

It is hard enough to keep my house clean with humans that can (key word can) clean up after themselves. Add an animal into the mix that does not clean up after their own messes. No thank you!
Plus you have to let them out… and what happens when you want to go on vacation or a random weekend trip? Who will take care of the pet?! Ugh… too much.

Then today I saw THIS…..

Oh my gosh!!! I want THIS PUPPY!!!

Somtiems I think about the positive aspects of having a pet. But all of the negatives creep back in too…. AHHHHH!!!!!

How do I reconcile this!?

Just thinking ahead…
Cause no! I will not come home with a puppy as my souvenir from Spain… even though I am maybe a little bit sad about that hahaha.

I mean Common!!! Look at this face!!!!

Maybe I just need a stuffed animal to cuddle with?

Who will get me a cute stuffed animal?!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Spanish Day Trips

We had some fun day trips this past week

Wednesday was discovering more of Granada! 

We went to the Alhambra museum and then went on a walk up the hill to a foresty area and had a picnic lunch to “El Carmen de los Martides” which translates to “The Carmen of the Martyr’s” It was BEAUTIFUL!!! The grounds surrounding the Carmen (house) were HUGE! And the gardens were SO SO BEAUTIFUL!!!

Some flamenco dancers in Granada in a plaza. I got a video too! They were great! I love when I am in the right place at the right time to catch things like this!

Antonio freezing in the yogurt isle at the store... Haha 

One of these things is not like the other... 
Look at those eggs! 
Ok they are all candy too... But it's funny.

Dropped by to say hi to Antonio at work 

Beautiful view of Granada 

Love the Arabic architecture all over the city! 

These two were waiting outside of the gates of the gardens with us as we were waiting for them to open. I love the contract of the 2! 

Arabic doorway 

That's part of the Alhambra behind me- so excited to get to go inside soon! 

This is the Alhambra museum 
It was a palace that was built by king Carlos V
It is a big beautiful palace! Unfortunately it was never used as a palace.

Thursday! we took a DAY TRIP! To Seville! 
Such a BEAUTIFUL city! 

We are on summer schedule here in Spain. Which means that we stay up til 2 or 3 am and wake up around 10 or 11. (NOT complaining here.)

The only problem with this schedule is it cuts out all of the morning hours.
And the problem with those hours being lost is that it gets really hot during the day -
So those morning hours are a much nicer temperature.

It also creates minor problems when we need to wake up earlier for something specific. And then there are minor disputes over deciding when to wake up.

We decided that we would go on a day trip to Saville. So last night we had dinner and watched the first ½ of IT.  We have been watching episodes of  “Un Principe Pada Laura. Which translates to “Prince for Laura.” Which is a Spanish version of The Bachelorette. It is actually really funny. Plus it is good for me to listen to the Spanish and Adam translates for me.

But last night Adam really wanted to watch It… and I have actually never seen that move. So that’s what we watched. By the time we were headed to bed at 2ish we decided what time (ish) we would leave and what time we needed to get up to make that happen.

I got up at 8 a.m. And proceeded to get ready. Our projected departure time was 9ish. There was a question in the back of my mind if my 2 compadres would get up and we would make it today. There were some doubts! But we made it! By 10:30 we were in the car with the cooler packed and ready to take our day trip to Saville.

The supposed 3 hour drive was actually only a little over 2 hours. So it was nice to find that the drive was not as long as we thought it would be.

We got into Saville and drive toward the city center. We ended up turning down a road that we were not sure if we were supposed to be on.

There are some little streets in Spain that barley fit a car - sometimes you have to have a special pass to go down certain little streets. As we drove along Adam was fairly certain that we were not supposed to be on this road. And we were not sure where he road was leading either. Because of he layout of this specific street there were no turn offs - so we had to just keep going. We were right in the center of the city. The building were beautiful and ad commented that it looked like we were about to drive right up to the presidents palace.

(No the president does not live in Sevilla, nor does he live in a palace)

So the joke of the day became
Remember when we drove through the palace, and through the cathedral and into the kings home, etc.

We were able to score an amazing parking space right next to the city center for only 1€!! Because parkin in the space we found was free for the afternoon - so we only had to pay for 30 minutes! Yeah!! Thank you parking fairy!

We walked by the bus station which the back of was covered by my favorite graffiti artist:

 Then we walked along the river and found a place to stop and have some lunch.

We then walked around Saville

What a BEAUTIFUL city!

We walked through some beautiful gardens and went to the

Plaza de Espania

This was an incredible sight to see! Such amazing architecture! It's only about 100 years old - and the 4 bridges in the plaza represent the 4 kingdoms of Spain.

Fun fact: This is also a place that was used In the filming of Star Wars episode 1

Plaza De Americana

We stopped and rested on the grass in some shade of a while - today was REALLY hot! Around 95 degrees and we were in the sun a lot! (No worries I had sunscreen on!) and I tried my darnedest to stay hydrated!

We got popsicles from a vendor in the park and it was just about the most delicious icy treat I have ever had in my life! I would jut like to reiterate that today was REALLY HOT!!!

The cathedral ___________

This is the largest gothic cathedral on the world and is the 3rd largest church in the world.

As we walked to out next destination  we ran into this little gem:

And of course we had to go in!
American cereal, marshmallows, cake mixes, frosting, brown sugar, Hershey's chocolate, American soda, pop tarts, bagels, animal crackers, etc. All kinds of American things for Adam and Antonio to be excited over.

I had to drag the boys out of that store so that we could continue on our way.

Next we saw THIS:

photo below

This is the largest wooden structure in the world.

We discovered that there were some ancient roman ruins underneath it as well.

We decided to go and get some dinner and head back to the car. As we walked along we saw a church that Antonio guesses might be open. We crossed the street to see. Not only was the cathedral open - there was a concert in progress. We snuck into the back and sat for a while and listened to a young woman choir from England sing.

It was beautiful! The acoustics of the cathedral echoed The sweet notes of the angelic chorus. I am really glad that we stepped in and were able to feel the spirit from the music!

We got dinner and then hit the road.

I will now ask the chicos their favorite thing from today:

"Adam what is your favorite thing from today?"
"I laughed out loud 3 times at plaza Espania - which means it was really beautifu!...
I also really liked sitting on the floor under the big wooden structure!
...and Taking a nap...
And looking up things in google and Wikipedia to learn more about Saville....
Oh!...and I really enjoyed listening the the choir in the church!

"My favorite thing was Plaza Espania - it's beautiful! I love that place!"

I (like Adam) have lots of favorite things about today! I am really excited to see and share all of the photos that I took today of this BEAUTIFUL place!

Today a friend of mine texted me and asked me why I am traveling so much. My answer boiled down to 3 simple words: "because I can"

Of course there are many reasons that I find myself in Spain this summer-
Because I want to see and spend time with 2 of my very best friends!
Because I want to learn and grow and stretch in ways that only traveling can make possible for a person
Because I don't have a reason not to- I have nothing tying me to a certain place or time frame
Because... Well again it Really it all boils down to
 Because I can!

I was told a long time ago-
There is never enough time and never enough money!

I think that this is so true! Concerning so many aspects of life! Which is why I have decided that I am going to decide the things that I want and the places I want to go an the things I want to do and see and make them happen - despite all of the thing that could possible hold me back.

And I feel SO BLESSED that I can!
And So So happy that I do!



One of the many fountains in the gardens 


Loved this gazebo! Such a romantic place!

Mapping out our next destination 

Enjoying he fountain 

This place was INCREDIBLE! 

This is some kind of monument for Columbus