3 Weeks in Spain!

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.

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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.

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Views from our rental house didn’t disappoint!

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Silas loved all the beach time

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Heidi loved the beach too

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A hike up to the rock in Calpe

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Heidi’s favorite place (close to me that is!)

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Beautiful sunset

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Rooftop deck in Calpe.

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It was truly spectacular!

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Cute Heidi!

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.

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I remember when I used to do this without a baby

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We pretty much never used the stroller for the whole trip. Silas was a trooper and walked most of the time. James was a trooper and carried him the rest!

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Enjoying Sangria in a square in Granada

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View from our terrace in Granada. We rented every place through VRBO and averaged less than 100 Euros a night. Every place was fantastic and had at least 2 bedrooms!

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This is how we spent our evenings. Doesn’t get much better!

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Churros and hot chocolate. yum!

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Super crowded tapas bar. We got a lot of strange looks since we brought two small kids in there but hey, when in Spain!

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This is how we roll

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Granada

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We took two small children to the Alhambra in Granada. They did pretty well!

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Beautiful palaces in the Alhambra

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More Alhambra

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Silas is always up for a stop at a playground

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.

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Every place we stayed had amazing views from the terrace.

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Fun in the sand

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He had some great naps with all this play and sun!

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Empty Tarifa beaches

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My family!

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They’re so cute! (except that mustache 🙂 )

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He’s getting so fast on his strider bike!

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Heading out to the Southern tip of Spain

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.

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Heading up in the cable car to the rock of Gibraltar

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Up and up we go!

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Monkeys at the top of Gibraltar. Silas loved it!

 

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More Monkeys

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Gibraltar

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Views from Gibraltar

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Beaches of Estepona

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We took a day trip to Ronda. It’s hard to capture how deep the gorge is with the phone on my camera.

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Ronda was so beautiful. One of my favorite places in Spain.

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“Cover me up!”

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Heidi loved sitting up. Silas thought her hand was getting a little too close to his chair.

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The place we rented had a rare heated indoor pool. Silas loves just floating around!

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Heidi loved it too!

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.

 

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One thought on “3 Weeks in Spain!

  1. Dear Kirsten and JamesAbsolutely outstanding pictures and the corresponding writing a pleasure to read. The kids musthave had a wonderful experience. Not many children have such an adventure.If James think he is like Clark Gable with that mustache, he is doing a good job. Best wishesGrandparents

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