Thursday, November 9, 2017

Spain Days 9-10 - Malaga

Day 9-Last day in Malaga, another beach day. Unofortunately the weather wasn't quite as nice as our previous beach day, it was overcast and just two or three degrees too low in temperature to be fully, completely comfortable in a swimsuit at the beach. But, we stayed there all day, in our swim suits haha. There were definitely moments when I wished the sun was out and it was a smidge warmer though.

Alice and Jane (and even Claire joined in once she picked up on what they were doing) spent nearly the whole day collecting pebbles, shells and shell fragments, and then making cool designs or "pies" out of them in the sand. And then doing it all again. So we brought some of them home and now we have a jar in Alice's room of shells from Malaga as well as Cornwall. I want to go to another beach so we can collect even more!

A simple day, but wonderful. Here are some pics:

We discovered on this trip that Claire could make a joke by busting out her "serious face" and giving us all the evil eye. It was very funny. 

Once we had eaten and gotten all ready for a day at the beach, we took our picnic lunch the two blocks and, like I said, stayed pretty much the whole day.
Claire was cracking me up with her disregard for the sand all over her chubby lil hands as she stuffed pretzels into her mouth.

Just look at the inside of that hand! So icky icky sandy.
Hand switch, that's better.

Digging for shells and pebbles.


Downward dog?

Jane just loved  frolicking around in the sand. It was hard to catch her holding still, so all my photos of her are action shots!

We had one wave incident during the day - the tide had been creeping up on us slowly slowly and the waves were much bigger on this day than two days previous when we had come to the beach, probably because of the wind I imagine?  One big huge wave totally swamped us, and what's funny is that there were loungers on either side of us, not that far away, and neither of them got wet! There was a perfect semi circle around where we were sitting haha.

We had been sitting in FRONT of the stroller haha. It came out of nowhere!
I guess it's kind of hard to tell in the photo but there was a definite arc around where we were! So weird!

So we gathered our strewn belongings and toys and scooted a good distance back.
Soakin in the rays.

Fun beach selfies!
We struggled just a bit to fit all four of us in the photo.

Here's what Max helped her make with of all her extra shells that we wouldn't let her take home. We left it on the beach wall for others to enjoy. I wonder if it's still there? Haha, doubtful.
She was having a suuuuuper hard time looking up because of the bright sun. So we got some funny expressions from her.

And Jane didn't want to be left out so she made a collage of all the awesome shells and rocks she had collected too.
Goodbye to Antonio Banderas Beach!

Day 10 - We woke up, tidied the apartment, got ourselves to the airport and flew back to London and home to Oxford.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Spain Days 5.9-8 - Malaga


Day 5.9 

After we finished up in Granada we drove the few (3-4?) hours from Granada to Malaga, stopped at the closest Carre4 to buy some groceries, and went to check into our Airbnb where we met with our super friendly Airbnb host Nella and her equally friendly husband. They helped us carry all our baggage up the FOUR flights of stairs to their apartment, there was no elevator in the building! Very, very kind of them, considering the pickle we were in with all our bags, groceries and young daughters haha.

Basically as soon as we got there, while Max and I were settling in and getting some food ready, the girls figured out how to turn the TV on and were watching Spanish cartoons. And Loving it. While they ate apples and peanut butter.

The girls Realllly loved their room at this place with all the pretty butterfly decals on the walls. Especially Alice. I had to take and keep this photo for her.

Day 6 - Church, Easter Sunday

We celebrated Easter very very low-key style while we were in Spain. I had brought a few little doodads, like some tiny plush bunny and chick toys, probably a bit of candy and some stickers or something. I remember watching a couple Easter related videos on my phone, either from youtube or from the website of our church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), which has some really great videos for kids, as well as Bible story videos (You can find some really wonderful videos for kids here and Bible videos here). And then we went to church and enjoyed the service and spirit felt there as much as we could despite it being in Spanish. We were able to take the sacrament (Communion) which was the most important thing, since our church custom is to take it every Sunday.

This is us chilling before church, I think right after we finished watching the Easter videos and talking about why we celebrate Easter,  and the importance of the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We were all feeling the spirit and snuggled up after talking about Jesus Christ.
Requisite after church photo at another international LDS church meetinghouse.

After church we let the girls play on the playground that was literally two steps outside the church building. Just couldn't say no. Spain, it has playgrounds everywhere! So great. After getting back "home" walked the two blocks down from our Airbnb down to the beach promenade. We walked along the beach for a while, really beautiful (although not nearly as pristine and clear as those English beaches we'd seen in Cornwall!). It was fun too because there was a little market going on so there were booths set up with neat crafts and wares all along the promenade.


We had perfect weather on this day, 17th April, and our only item on the agenda was to go enjoy the sand and the sea. Dark, hot sand, sparkling waters, hazy horizon, warm sun. Beach days are the best days.
I had to have Max get some pictures of me "swimming" in the mediterranean. The water was still really quite cold in late April, so I didn't get all the way in, but had to get in at least part way...

...and I had to drag the girls in with me. They weren't thrilled about it, but someday they'll appreciate me making them to take a dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Alice had quite a bit of fun once the shock of the cold water wore off, she enjoyed being swayed by the waves as they rolled in, as long as I was holding her tight!

Jane didn't enjoy it quite as much, she got pretty nervous about the freezing water and instability and irregularity of the wave pulls. I couldn't get her down into the water any further than this:

More of Jane being intimidated by the tiny waves lapping the sand.

Day 8 - Malaga City

We improvised a little bit to find Claire a booster so she could eat breakfast a bit easier.
It was a perfect fit!

She was also really cute when saying prayers!
On this day of our trip, Tuesday, we decided to explore Malaga a bit and see some of its attractions. 
We drove into the city center and found this petunia tower near our parking garage
First Jane refused to pose for a picture, but then when she saw Alice doing it she couldn't be left out.

Our first stop was the Picasso museum, which was incredible! I have to be honest, while completely respecting his artistic talent and genius, and impact on society and the world, I've never been the hugest Picasso fan on a personal preference level. But I was definitely amazed and entertained, and found some of his paintings extremely emotional and beautiful. One of my favorite things about the museum was being able to see his progression as an artist, which is much more dramatic than many other artists, because he starts out as such a realist and then morphs into such incredible, vibrant, brilliant abstraction. I remember really liking some of his bird paintings, and there was one specific painting of a child that I really really loved. I can't remember really what it looked like, just that I was moved by it, and pleased with myself for being moved by a Picasso piece, since I've never really felt that before, haha. Another interesting thing about the museum was the display of Picasso sculptures and mixed media art. I hadn't realized that he did anything other than painting until going there. Alice really enjoyed looking at his sculptures. I'll have to get her some clay to play around with. She enjoyed the whole museum, the little artist.

This is how we Picasso... (*haha*)
(Jane can't stop her reputation of ending up on the floors in important places! I love so much that she does this. Makes me smile.)
...And this:

We couldn't take any pictures of the paintings (understandably) so the courtyard had to suffice.

Holding the flyer/map.

After the museum we wandered over to the to Catedral de Malaga, another magnificent, beautiful church. Though, like I said, not quite so beautiful in my eyes as the one in Granada. We explored around inside for a bit and enjoyed the peace and spirit of the holy space. 

This was the view as we came closer and closer to the Catedral from the Picasso Museum. It just kept getting better and better!

Lovely, tall apartment buildings with beautiful shuttered windows, with the massive cathedral bell tower as their backdrop.
Heading inside.

Architectural Detail

Beautiful stained glass.

Of course, the requisite double organ. Is this a thing outside of Spain? I feel like this trip to Spain was the first time I ever saw it...

Jane was feeling kind of tired so I sat with her on a bench for a while as we gazed around on the magnificence of the place, listened to the music, and enjoyed the hushed, peaceful atmosphere.

I always love the the ornate, soaring ceilings. It's really easy to pass oblivious underneath them but I always try to make a point to look up. I think they're designed this way to remind us to turn our thoughts upwards and contemplate Him who the church was built to worship. . 

This picture is a good example of how the raw, gray stone creates a more gloomy interior ambience than the brilliantly white interior of the Catedral de Granada. It's just a little bit more somber and dim.

I honestly can't remember if her head was literally stuck or if she was scared to come down the steps for some reason. I'm pretty sure her head got stuck though haha... because she was climbing up and down those stairs the whole time without being scared.
Incredible last supper painting.

After finishing at the Catedral de Malaga we walked around the Catedral and wandered the windy streets of the old city for a while.

Crown topped lamp post with my favorite red geraniums. There's a reason these geraniums are all over Europe. They're the bessssst. So vibrant, so pretty.

The tiny little garden outside the Catedral.

Here's the cathedral's bell tower from another angle. I loved all the amazing colors and lighting in this little alleyway!
Soft orange, vibrant goldenrod, and scarlet.

On street level:

I told Alice to stop at the corner.
The alleyway opened up into this beautiful plaza with  the catedral at the opposite end.

COLORS! I've always been a fan of life in color.

I'm not sure what this golden/red building was, but I couldn't get enough!

Chomping on an apple, feather in hand.

And time for another apple break.
...for everyone. What a pretty setting to relax in the sunshine for a few minutes.

Cathedral through the bars:
Don't let the bars distract from the focus of this one; those massive, ornately carved wooden doors behind them.

It didn't take Jane long to find the little ice cream statue in the plaza. 
That girl loves ice cream! And Spain was hot enough that we wanted to get it all the time. She was totally down with that.

After wandering around for a bit we found some linner (c'mon guys, lunch/dinner) at a really yummy outdoor restaurant, which would have been just about 100% perfect if only we'd had some shade to shield us from the afternoon heat. The sunshine got pretty intense on their outdoor, cobblestoned, alleyway patio.

About the only thing Claire would eat out of all the delicious tapas we ordered for lunch was this basket of "teents" (this is how Claire says teeny) matchstick fries. Ya win some, ya lose some, I guess.
She was definitely winning.
The view from our table during linner:

Once we finished lunch we walked down to the city's hip, new boardwalk, via a very nice park. The park was laid out in a strip kind of right along a road and was filled with huge vegetation and trees and flowers, lots of shade, and even a couple playgrounds! Very nice to walk through for a break from the beautiful, brutal sunshine. At the boardwalk we sat down and got some yummy ice cream (I told you, we had it a lot) while we watched the harbor, then headed back to the park to let the girls play on the playground. During which time Jane sat down on the ground underneath the playground and had herself a nice little accident--a wet one. Whoops, couldn't really clean that one up. Just let it soak into the dirt. If it had been on playground equipment I'd'a whipped out the wipes and made more of an effort, but it wasn't, so I didn't. The rest of the walk back Alice and I were walking behind her giggling about her wet bottom, starkly visible on her bright red-orange shorts. After we made our way back to our rental car, we drove back to the Airbnb, stopping real quick at the local grocery store for a small dinner snack (pizza, fish sticks, and salad), which we whipped up speedy fast at the apartment, and then tucked in for bed. It was another long, exhausting, wonderful day.

Some more photos of the above paragraph:

Walking through beautiful Malaga
This is that long park on the way to the boardwalk.

I loved those majestic palms...

...and the brilliant hibiscus. Seriously. #nofilter
These next few pictures are a really funny memory. The whole day Alice had been trying to teach Jane that "trick" where you hold hands and then kind of twist around backwards while holding hands but end up in the same position - you know, like a swing dance move. Except she didn't understand that you were supposed to keep holding hands all the way through. So finally Max and I demonstrated for them, and immediately Jane shouted that she wanted to do it too. So, without thinking it through first, Max grabbed her little hands, swung around, and then paused for half a second crouched backwards, as if he just realized it wasn't going to work because he was so much taller than her, but then he just went for it and lifted her all the way off the ground to complete the spin. It was so funny. I was dying laughing. Good memories.

Another good memory: Jane ATTACKING the rocker/bouncer horse at the playground (yes they had another playground at the boardwalk, this is different than the one they had at the park leading up to the boardwalk. Spain is where it's at as far as playgrounds go.) 
I mean, look at that posture.
She was serious about getting some action.

Especially juxtaposed with Alice's dainty riding position.
Meanwhile, Claire was passed out in the buggy.

This part of the boardwalk area was cool with the undulating shade overhead. It doesn't come through in the photos but it really looked like a modern-like depiction of ocean waves. We walked right by a fancy-pants looking giant yacht while the passengers were unloading and Max and I were both dreaming about someday taking a vacation like that, sailing the seas and stopping in amazing ports like Malaga. So fun.
Those masts in the distance belong to the yacht/ship/I don't really know what to call it. 

Here's the ship from across the way. Pretty cool.
And the other side of the boardwalk, the more happenin' side, with shops and restaurants.

One of the more aesthetic scenes along the boardwalk:

Trying to get all artsy with the pretty pink flowers.

This is a better view of that cool, undulating shade along the other boardwalk.

And as for Jane's lil accident, the only photo I could find was one downloaded from my instagram! And you can't even see it very well... but it will keep the memory alive haha.

Anyway, like I said above, after this we meandered home back home and that concluded Day 8 here in Malaga! Wonderful times in this city.
Stay tuned for more!