Thursday, March 27, 2008

Home, Home, Home

Well, we arrived back in Aber on Tuesday afternoon and have been cleaning and doing laundry since, this is the first chance I have had to sit down and work on photo organization and such. We had a great time, but are glad to be home. We were away the perfect length of time, not so long that we were sick of it but enough that we were glad to be home. So here is a run down on the trip.

Tuesday the 18 we woke up at 1am Aber time and quickly got dressed, finished packing, and loaded the car. We live in the middle of no where, well actually further than no where, like crazy far out in Wales. The nearest airport in three hours away, so to make it to a 7 am flight we had to leave early. So at 7 am we flew from Birmingham to Almaria Spain. Almaria is on the southern tip of Spain, on the Mediterranean side. We arrived in the Almaria airport and proceeded to the bus stop. Our hotel was located in Aguadulce which is about 15 miles from the airport. After two bus rides and a small walk we arrived at our beautiful beach side hotel.

During check in, we discovered that our passports were missing. We are usually very vigilant about keeping them safe but somehow we miss placed them. Not good. Mine and Anya's are USA passports, and Adam's is Canadian, but our visas for our stay in the UK are inside them, plus I did not bring any ID with me except for my passport. We also have all kinds of immigration things going on which would be extremely hard to explain to nice embassy people. We quickly went up to our room and said a quick prayer, then Adam ran off to see if he could find them. The last bus station we had been to was the place to look. Adam had taken out all the passports as ID when he changed money at a bank. He went and searched the bus station while I put Anya down for a nap. Two hours later he returned with no passports. He had searched the station, and asked at all the info desks and such but no luck. He was unable to search the bank however as they were closed for siesta. We tried to relax the rest of the afternoon and decided to go back to the bank the next morning.

Wednesday morning we ate breakfast and made our way back to Almeria to ask at the bank if they had seen our passports. The second we walked in the bank manager pulled our passport case out of drawer. Adam had left them on a desk. The manager noticed the second Adam left but we were gone on the next bus so fast that he could not catch us. Hurray for miracles! We were so worried that our little trip was going to be ruined but thankfully it all worked out and we could start having fun.
Our hotel was half board, so breakfast and dinner were provided which worked out great because then we could find super yummy lunch in town. We had high hopes of finding some Lebanese for Moroccan food, but no luck. We have a hard time finding when the best time to eat lunch is in Spain. Everything closes for 3 or 4 hours in the afternoon for siesta and they eat dinner really late so many times we ended up wanting lunch when everything was already closed. Our other problem was that Thursday and Friday were really big holidays so everything was closed all day. We did find some Argentine food and a great roasted chicken place so eating still turned out OK, even though I did not get my falafel.
Lots of people ask us what kind of traveler Anya is. She loves to travel. Trains, planes, busses are super fun to her. She loves people to look and that give her lots of attention. Often she loves to stand on our laps and look at all the people around her, or play peekaboo with people between seats. She got tons of attention at the hotel also, the wait staff at the hotel loved her. There were tons of old ladies from France, Germany, and Spain who would come and talk to her all the time, which she loves. She was however happy to be home. As soon as we walked into our flat she got all excited and started looking around at our stuff.

This is the view from our balcony, great huh?

Adam and Anya on the beach in front of our hotel.

Relaxing by the beach.

Miss Anya loves strawberries. We found this giant box of beautiful strawberries for super cheap, they were sooooo tasty we gobbled them up in no time.

Adam with a giant cool tree, there were entire boulevards full of trees like this one.

This is one of many shots of a giant Arab ruin which is located in Almaria. It was an early fortress dating back to 955, super cool. It is high up on a hill and you can see the entire town and the Med forever. It had beautiful gardens and water ways all the way through. If you click on this photo it should connect you to my flickr page where there are more of the Alcazaba.

Me and Anya chilling.

Some cool foliage.

There were tons of beautiful flowers all over the place, including my second favorite, the African Daisy. We wanted to get pictures of Anya sitting in the flowers but she would have none of it. We settled for sitting on my knee looking at them.

Anya loves to fly!

Yea for babybel keeping a baby quiet and happy.


Alisa Frakes said...

How fun! It looks like you had a great time and Anya looks so cute and content (how lucky to have such a good little traveler)!

I know the anxiety you felt with the passport thing. When I was living in Russia, we went on vacation to Finland, Sweden, Denmark & Estonia. The second to last day of our 10 day trip, I lost my purse which had my passport, visa, all ID and all money (not very smart of me to keep it all together). I realized it as we were getting on the boat to cross from Finland to Estonia and went back to everywhere we had been. Unfortunately the church we had visited was closed, so we had to stay overnight in a hostel. We went to the US Embassy before we went to the hostel and they told me that if I didn't find my visa, I would have to stay there for about 6 weeks until they could get things arranged with a new visa. I was supposed to go home (to the US) in less than 4 weeks, so that would have been a nightmare. Anyway, we found my purse the next morning in a church we had been to and all was well, but that was an awful 12 hours. So I know how you felt. I'm so glad you found them!

Emily G said...

I love the pics and the story stuff. I'm glad everything worked out (the power of prayer!), and that you had a nice time. I love the picture of the beach, the pretty flowers with pretty gals, the amazing tree roots, the stone walls with green life growing. Everything looks so rich with history! David also loves strawberries, but he gets an awful diaper rash after eating. :/ Also, I think Anya is a good traveler partly because you've done plenty since the moment she was born. I think adventures help kids to be more flexible (though I know people would say it depends on the kid)! Thanks for letting us be a part of your trip (Christopher was especially fascinated).

Kip said...

omg, adam and anya are both making the same ridiculous face in that second picture. I'm imagining you flipped them off right as you took it

Blake & Catherine Potter said...

im SO glad you messaged me cause I lost all my blog addresses, and forgot to addyours back! Anya is soooooo stinkin' cute, i loove her hair especially.