Costa Ballena. Beautiful beach city. Sun. Sand. And the sea. All things that I love. Everyday we have gone to the beach or the pool. Or both. It’s seriously beautiful here. And so calming and relaxing.
Well…two weeks have come and gone. Costa Ballena, you are wonderful. I’ve seriously enjoyed my time. Some of my favorite parts of this trip were: beach everyday, day trips to see different cities, and seeing the African coastline!
Our daily routine was pretty much the same. We would wake up, eat, then beach it until lunch time. After lunch, siesta, then beach again, pool time, then dinner. Eat. Beach. Eat. Beach. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.
The first venture outside of Costa Ballena was to Rota. The next pueblo over, probably 20 minutes away. We went out for dinner with one of the other families from Madrid, our entire group is made of five families. As our dinner group of 11 walked through the streets towards the restaurant, the small, cobblestone streets reminded me of what is depicted in movies. And it’s pretty accurate. The part of Rota that we walked through was quaint and the buildings were older and so beautiful. Market lights were hung between buildings and there were big canopies of fabric to shield the paths from the intensity of the sun. So picturesque! Our dinner consisted mostly of seafood (heyo Papa Wong!), which I can honestly say that I have tried every single thing that has ever been served at a meal. Granted everything hasn’t been my fav, but I’ve at least tried it. Being in Spain a month now, I think the Spanish have got it right. They know how to dine. It’s so different compared to the States. It’s almost an event. You sit, enjoy the food, enjoy the people you are with. Things are a much slower pace than the States. Our dinner the other night was about 2.5/3 hours! It’s not as rushed, it’s more of a leisurely pace.
The next venture outside of Costa Ballena was to Rota again, but this was a girls’ trip to the mercadillo early in the morning. This was an open street fair/market. Clothes, food, jewelry, swim suits, and shoes were the items most stalls were selling. Moms, daughters, and the nannies were ready for a morning full of shopping. Be still my heart, another love of mine 😉
Perhaps the best trip was to Tarifa, at the southern tip of the country. We were on the beach and directly across the water, you could see the African coastline! I mean what?!?! I was that close to Africa? Yes, it is true. I definitely hope to make it over there within the year. Tarifa was a beautiful little beach town, that had some older parts that I just loved. More views legit straight out of a movie: the old, white buildings and the cobblestone streets. It was all just so beautiful.
Our last day trip adventure was to the city Jerez. It’s known for its wine, so there was a strong wine smell as we walking through the streets. Loved it! I only wish we could have gone wine tasting! We took a tour through the town by a horse drawn carriage and got to see some pretty cool things…including the plaza del torros. Maybe I’ll come back and watch a bull fight there one day in the future.
Our last full day in Costa Ballena was my birthday. It was such a wonderful day. I think that our of my time spent in Spain thus far, I thought my birthday would be a breeze. But I woke up and realized that I wasn’t at home and I wouldn’t see friends or family. I was a bit sad. To my surprise I woke up with a few messages from friends and family and I happy and felt loved. Then my Spanish, went above and beyond in celebrating me. Birthday hugs and kisses and being serenaded by my kiddos in both Spanish and English. They gifted me with a bracelet and pareo (a staple beach/pool wear wrap). Both are so lovely. And it didn’t stop there. We had breakfast and headed down to the beach. Other families from our group were already there and all wished me happy birthday, and two of the little girls gave me a bracelet they had made. Por favor! Too sweet. After the beach we had lunch and my family surprised me with a delish chocolate cake. Mis jefes gifted me with the night off, so I got to enjoy downtown with some girlfriends for shopping, dinner and drinks! Such a great day!
When we got back to Madrid this afternoon, I had a package full of birthday cards…to all of you who sent one…THANK YOU SO MUCH! I so dearly appreciated it and loved reading each one. You are all wonderful and I’m so blessed by each of you! ❤
The two weeks at beach treated me well. Despite religiously applying SPF 50+ I managed to become even darker than when I left for Spain. Surprise, surprise. More stories to come…we’re off to Asturias in the morning. Finishing up vacation time…