Well as most of you know already, James’ company lost a big project and are sending us home after 6 months instead of 13. We flew back on Nov 30th. James had saved up all of his vacation time to use to visit family at Christmas. Since we would be traveling back before Christmas, we needed to burn 3 weeks of vacation so we decided to take a vacation to the southern part of Spain. We decided to visit four different places: Calpe, Granada, Tarifa, and Estepona. We were hoping Spain would be warmer than Germany and the weather didn’t disappoint.
Calpe is a town on the southeastern coast of Spain where a lot of other Europeans seem to make their way on holiday. We spent our days visiting the beach and hiking around the big rock that rises out of the water. The views here were magnificent. We spent my birthday enjoying the beach and attempting a dinner out which ended with a crying baby and me hurriedly eating by myself and trying to deal with an antsy toddler all while James walked a crying Heidi down the boardwalk. Maybe next year will be more successful. Calpe was a beautiful start to our travels.
The next stop was Granada after about a 4 hour drive with a baby that doesn’t like the car. She didn’t really sleep the whole time but she also didn’t cry as much as I thought she would. Granada is a very old Spanish town full of narrow cobblestone streets. We visited the different plazas, the famous Alhambra, and explored the Albazin neighborhood where we were staying. It was interesting how different of a town Granada was compared to the more resort town of Calpe. It was fun to explore a more traditional old Spanish town.
After a three hour drive from Granada, we arrived in Tarifa which is a small beach town with pretty laid back vibes. It’s known for its kite surfing. It also happens to be the jumping off point to Morocco since it’s the southernmost point in Spain. We had high expectations of making the trip over to Tangiers, Morocco but after a few weeks of faster-paced traveling and busier days with missed naps, we decided we would skip it this time around and just hang around Tarifa. Silas got to have a lot of beach time which he loved and really wore him out (which was great for sleeping!). I took a trip with Heidi to explore the old part of the town in search of an elusive Tuesday morning market that I think might not happen in the low season. It was nice to take it a little slower here.
On our way to our last stop in Estepona, we made a stop in Gibraltar. We took the cable car up to the top and got to see the beautiful views and the monkeys which were Silas’ favorite. The last place we chose to stay was a really nice apartment in Estepona. We specifically wanted this one since it had a heated indoor pool which isn’t very common around here. Silas really wanted to swim but the ocean and outdoor un-heated pools were really cold this time of year. For the first time, we put water wings on Silas and let him swim around the pool. He loved it. While staying in Estepona, we took a day trip to Ronda which was about an hour away. It was a neat little Spanish town built over a giant gorge. It was so pretty – definitely one of my favorite places we visited.
Traveling with two small children is a completely different experience than our previous travels by ourselves. I remember having lots of time, meandering through to see the sights, stopping for relaxing meals and slowly sipping our cafe con leches during our many coffee breaks. With two kids sometimes it felt like we were barely keeping our heads above water, making sure the kids were napped, fed, not running into the street, all while trying to figure out how to get where we were going. In the end I think we did a pretty good job! Now that we’re back home, taking two kids out of the house by myself seems like a piece of cake after traveling Spain. I’m so glad we got the chance to experience another part of Europe while we were over there. It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime trip.