Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Life Lately {The Daily Dime}

Today I am linking up with my good friend Kerry from XO Kerry (and a few other bloggers) to show you what a typical day looks like for us here in Spain!  So without further ado, our Daily Dime -- 10 pictures to show our day!

8:00am -- our day starts with our lovely house cleaners coming -- and Serafina loves (LOVES) helping!  I basically run around getting us ready for the day while she and the ladies clean upstairs (with lots and lots of laughter occurring).
And this morning Trevor slept through his alarm so I took him to work while the Peanut stayed home with the ladies!

9:00(ish) -- I drop the Peanut off at school -- they play outside for the first part until all the students arrive, so this is her classroom before it gets crazy with kids!
This morning I also had a conversation with another mom -- all in Spanish!

11:00 -- I treat myself to a faux Starbucks (it really is awful actually) after an insanely hard workout at the gym and a little Gossip Girl (how did I not watch this show sooner?) before picking up the Peanut!
I also ran errands before my little break on the couch -- and I also went to the grocery store to pick up salad fixings for dinner tonight before picking up the Peanut.

12:30 -- big girl starting our walk home from school -- she insisted she wear her backpack!

She finally decided she wanted to ride in the stroller.  I love our walks home -- we chat about her morning, say hi to all the birds and dogs we see along the way and then usually play out on our patio before heading inside for lunch....

1:00 - 2:15(ish) -- So.... no pictures from lunch/playtime before nap because we had a massive poop explosion (it was bad) -- so a late nap happened and instead of doing any sort of chores during nap, I quickly caught up on email then watched some more Gossip Girl!
We started potty training recently (only because the school helps and it was Serafina's turn so....) and overall, it has been going well -- but she hadn't pooped in a few days, so finally the extra fruit and water caught up with her and it wasn't pretty.
4:00 -- per the usual, the Peanut woke up super angry so we cuddled on the couch (read some books, watched a TV show) while she slowly became her more usual cheerful self

4:45 -- we made cookie dough -- eggless snickerdoodles because I have a ton of Moroccan cinnamon and also because we both love (LOVE) to eat cookie dough!  Plus Serafina absolutely loves to bake (she calls it "mix" and does a really good job helping!)
So we only brought my hand-held mixer and it requires a transformer -- so she also calls the transformer box "mix!"  Girlfriend is going to be so confused when we return to the states and we don't have to use a transformer when we bake!
she likes to pile up the pillows so she can see out the window better
 5:20(ish) -- now the wait for daddy to arrive home.... sometimes it can be quite painful!  Today, not so bad.  We colored and played... she actually went downstairs to our basement/playroom to play by herself for a full 5 minutes -- it was glorious!

6:00 -- finally daddy is home and thanks to the afternoon's poop explosion, I gave up on our original dinner plans and ordered pizza -- at least we had salad too!

dance party/jumping on the bed with dad
7:00 -- we have eaten dinner and Trevor and Serafina are playing while I run around doing so many chores: laundry, dinner clean up, putting clothes away, making snack for school tomorrow, downstairs clean up, etc..... and then wind down before bed (cuddles, snack, milk, and a TV show).

9:00(ish) -- and finally bed time... yes, she goes to bed late, but well, we have adjusted a little to the Spanish life style and since the sun doesn't set until after 10pm in the summer.... while there are many days I sure wish she would go to sleep earlier, it works for our lives here

And now I am about to hit publish, watch some Gossip Girl and go to bed... it was a long day!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Weekend Adventures {Gran Canaria}

For Memorial Day Weekend we hit the road -- well, air.  We went to the Canary Islands (specifically the island of Gran Canaria) with two other families and it was an absolute blast!  It was insanely kid friendly and relaxing and fun and, well, such an awesome trip!

First, as usaual -- a little information on the Canary Islands. The Canaries are a group of islands off the coast of southern Morocco (about a two hour flight from Sevilla).  There are four main islands that the majority of tourists visit.  Each offers something a little different.... we chose Gran Canaria because it had the cheapest flights that worked for us!  Trevor and I have taken to calling the Canaries -- Spanish Hawaii -- there were SO many similarities it was crazy -- volcanic islands, the weather, the resorts, the beaches..... And since the Canaries are a hot spot for many Germans and norther Europeans, we heard and spoke English way more than Spanish!  Each island has a lot to offer -- Gran Canaria had tons of options for activities: adventure, relaxing, cities, small towns and more!

We stayed at the Gloria Palace San Agustin and it was amazing!  It was such a family friendly resort and I cannot recommend it enough.  They have family rooms (two bedrooms, one bathroom) but we stayed in one their regular hotel rooms.  They had a pack n play for Serafina (but of course she didn't sleep in it) and even had a little bath kit for her -- shampoo, lotion, baby cologne (yes, that is a thing in Spain) and an adorable little bear sponge.  There were kids and families everywhere!  There was a kids club (for kids 4 and older), good kid-friendly choices at the breakfast buffet, a great kids pool and tons of space to run around and play (even some arcade games).  While the resort is all inclusive, we just went with breakfast included (and the food wasn't bad).  They had various activities for the older kids and adults throughout the day and a show each night.  My only complaint was lack of parking for our rental car!

We went into this trip with very little plans as we wanted to see what the resort was like and what we all wanted to do before scheduling each day.... And well, we loved the resort and spent much more time there than originally planned!  Our days were pretty relaxed with late wake ups, big huge breakfasts and then hitting the pool -- which our little water baby just loved.  Every single morning the first words out of her mouth was "go water, go swimming....." closely followed by "go see Wyatt" (one of the boys in another family we came with).  She'd play in the water until she got too cold, then relax on the lounge chairs, then stand on the pool deck and order everyone around (throwing pool toys to all the boys!) and repeat -- I think it is safe to say, our Peanut had an absolute blast!

so most Spanish girls (until usually 7-9 years old), only wear bottoms -- we apparently embrace this as well!

On one afternoon, we tore our baby girl away from the water and went exploring.  We drove up the coast through Las Palmas (the biggest city) and onto a small port town -- Puerto de las Nieves which we loved.  We wish we had brought our bathing suits -- gorgeous black rock beaches, great places to jump into the water and natural swimming pools (and most importantly to the Peanut -- a good ice cream shop)!  Then we continued our adventures into the mountains and went to Teror -- a very cool town with wonderful architecture (specifically the wooden balconies on the main street).  Sadly, we weren't really dressed for mountain weather and were quite cold... and it was a Saturday afternoon so everything was closed, but we had heard great things about the town so we'd love to see it again!
natural swimming pools

And we also went on a hike -- which was gorgeous and breathtaking and totally worth the awful drive and sprained ankle (I'll get to that, promise).  So Gran Canaria is known for some pretty amazing hiking trails so we had a lot of options to choose from... however, we needed to find one that wasn't too hard or too long and kid friendly.  We went with Roque Nublo -- a really big rock (it is thought to be one of the largest natural crag in the world).  The trail is 3 kilometers round trip and worked well for the kids (the younger ones had to be carried at times, but they all did great).  I will warn you that the drive is awful -- over an hour of crazy switch backs and narrow road.  But -- Serafina loved hiking and wanted to walk the whole thing!  I finally put her on my back in the Tula, but she continued to demand where we went yelling at me "go dis way" or "over there momma" -- she loved every minute of it!  And the views from the top were just spectacular.  It was a perfect and we could see for miles -- almost a 360 view of the island and we were even able to see another island (Tenerife).  Then on the way back down (it was a little steep at parts), I slipped when wearing a sleeping Peanut on my back and went down hard.  Thankfully she was okay but my ankle was not.  Adrenaline and a lift from Trevor and our friends helped me down the mountain (and thankfully it ended up just being a sprain and I am on the mend)!
Tenerife in the background

Sadly, our lovely weekend away came to an end.  We spent our last morning hanging at the pool well past check out time (the hotel was wonderful: they held our bags and let us shower at the spa), then we made our way to another cute little town -- Arucas.  Again we came during an "off" time (a holiday for the islands) but the church was gorgeous (even the Peanut was in awe), there was a really fun park at the end of the walking street and we bought some local rum (that was so so tasty).

We had such a wonderful weekend away and would love to get back to the islands, especially exploring a different one!

Just a note on where we ate and other kid friendly activities --
First, the island is FULL of various activities for kids: activity parkswater parkstheme parkszoo/aquarium, beaches, museums (Columbus stopped here on his way to America) and more!  We had every intention of going to some of these places, but our resort was just too much fun for us to venture out too much!

Second, food -- the majority of the food was not Spanish (at all!); the whole area catered much more to the northern European and British crowd.  We typically had a super big breakfast, so lunch was light and often at the resort then dinners out.  We ate at Il Vespino Vecchio the first night and while the food was lovely, it wasn't the most kid friendly place, even if they were extremely nice.  We ate at Greek Taverna and it was wonderful!  We can't get Greek food easily here so it was amazing and they were simply wonderful with all the kids -- even had a play table with coloring and games for the kids and even brought our Peanut a plate full cucumbers!  We also ate at a fun Italian place in Puerto de Mogan -- the port was rows after rows of restaurants and shops by the beach.  While a little touristy for us, it was still fun and the food was good (and again, super kid friendly)!

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