Thursday, February 27, 2014

Wordy wordy! Look who's 30!

Hi all!

Back again after a short little jaunt to see some friends and celebrate a milestone b-day.

My 30th b-day, that is!

I am so blessed to have family and friends in my life. 

I know, I know, 30 is pretty young.
Or pretty old.
It really just depends on which side of the bed I wake up on.

No seriously! Our bed can be, shall I put it...difficult?
Yeah. We'll go with that.
It has an amazing ability to make us feel like we've spent the entire night doing twist jumps and back lifts on occasion.

But I digress.

To celebrate, Mr. K and I decided to go to Spain and visit some good friends of ours, Mr. and Mrs. F. You might remember this lovely duo from back in September when I did a whirlwind visit of family and friends in the USA.

We said adios to the rain and gloom of France by taking a flight from Paris to Malaga and then once we got over the shock of how warm it was we went for some lunch. Thankfully Mr. K knew enough Spanish from his high school classes that he was able to order for us. He got a burger and I had to get the Gambas al pil pil (Shrimp with garlic).

Served sizzling in a clay bowl with a side of bread, it was mighty tasty.
My advice: Always go with the server's suggestion when it's Friday in a Catholic country.

After our lunch, we took a bus from Malaga to Almeria. What I didn't know was that the bus would drive on the highway which was next to the Mediterranean Sea the entire time. This made for a very happy passenger with views like this one every time you looked out the window:

Just beautiful!

A few hours later, we pulled into the bus stop in Almeria, Spain.

My dear friend, Mrs. F, met us and I think we may have squealed. On second thought, I'm quite certain it was only me who did. Mr. K's not the squealing type.

She took us back to their home and we met their cute little westie, Rosa (who by the way, understands only Spanish, but the language of love ruled and we got along just dandy). And we went out for tapas when her hubby got home from his class.

I'm only going to say a few things about tapas.

First and foremost, if you are in Spain, you MUST go and have them.

MUST. This is not an option.

Secondly, the tostas de tomate are simply the best tapas around- and very simple (toasted bread with tomato or ratatouille spread on it- think bruschetta, but better).  They were so delicious I did not take a picture.

Thirdly, and lastly, tapas are free when you order a drink. Alcoholic or non- alcoholic, it doesn't matter.

There, I'll stop now. (Go have tapas!)

The next morning was my birthday, and I nearly had a heart attack opening my little sister's card in our bedroom at seven thirty in the morning as it started shouting at me!
Fully awake and well prepared, I attempted to read the card again and this time I laughed so hard I cried. Miss A, thank you for the premature grey hairs (and also for the best laugh I've gotten from a card in years). But, honestly, I felt so blessed to open all the cards. It was like getting a hug from each person. Thank you.

We were off to explore Almeria that day and have breakfast by the beach. *sigh* Happy me.

Breakfast consisted of CHURROS!

Yup, that large bag had 3 portions of churros. It was very very good. We even had chocolate sauce to go with it.

Good morning, Almeria!
There are worse ways to spend one's time than enjoying chocolate churros on a sunny beach with people you love.

Little Rosa

Mrs. F was such a great tour guide and we lucked out with the weather. I got to finally test the waters, pun intended, with my new camera.

I love a good surf.
What a gorgeous day!

 We walked on the boardwalk as Mrs. F pointed out things of interest along the way. I may have gotten sidetracked a few times by the nice photo ops, but I managed to catch up.

This is Mr. K's favorite shot.

We walked toward the old train tracks where minerals used to be dumped into boats waiting in the harbor at the end of the tracks. It was kinda neat to see a bit of history of the city.
Ye aulde tracks
 Running to catch up again, (this photo business is hard work!) I managed to get the two of them to smile for me.

I love candids.

We reached the center of the town not too long after. The fountains were quite beautiful.

And the monument of Almeria was pretty cool too.
It has all the provinces on the side of it.
 Walking back, I couldn't resist taking more photos of the water (it's a rare sight for us where we live).

Silvery waves

Boats galore!

There was even a lighthouse.

This is one of my favorite shots.

And because I'm a sucker for jetties, I had to take this one too.

You can take the girl out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the girl. I miss beaches...

We went to the university soon after and picked up Mr. F before heading on our way into the mountains.

I love these guys!

 Their university looks very similar to Floridian and Californian ones. And, it's relatively new (established in 1993).
 I say, good job!

And, the view from the main road is the best stress reliever you could have.  Those students are very lucky.

We had a lot of wind and snow and hills in UConn. No beaches. *sad face*

We hopped back into the car and headed on our way, but Abrucena is going to have to wait for another post. (And trust me, it's worth it!)

I'll leave you with a cool shot of what's to come as we traversed the lands going inward, though.

Until next time!

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