Just a few more pics from the villa. Sevilla is up next!
Thursday, June 13, 2013
So... Now that I have your attention... After we arrived in Malaga, we picked up the cars and bike and drove to our beautiful villa, which was about 50 minutes away, close to the small town of Salobrena. We made our way down the tiny narrow street to the villa. Malcolm, the caretaker, was there to greet us and show us around. It was a HUGE property. Three bedrooms, three baths, large dining room, adequate kitchen (minus the very low fan over the stove, which everyone kept banging their heads on), and an amazing garden, multiple decks, and, of course, the swimming pool. There were a few bugs to get worked out as we were apparently the first guests of the season and the owners, who had been there the week previous, had switched EVERYTHING off before they left, i.e., the toilet for my and Brad's room and a few other necessities. Malcolm had done his best to get everything back up and running, but for the first few days we had no hot water in the kitchen (or dishwasher), and there was limited hot water upstairs and down. In the end, everything got worked out and we had a lovely time there, cooking at home every night. From here we went to Grenada for the day and visited the Alhambra, which was amazing. Don and Mary did an amazing job driving - with the exeption of Mary almost backing over an embankment/hill (?) in one of the small towns we visited. Yikes! That was quite the moment. Unfortunately, no one thought to take a pic of our car dangling over the precipice. Thankfully, there were a couple of nice Spanish dudes hanging about who, after some deliberation, helped us push the car up and over the edge. Just another drive in the country, according to Mary! Ha! I saw my life flash before me! LOL! Just kidding, but I was very relieved once we were back on the road and headed back to our villa overlooking the Med. The only downside was that it was here that we learned of Oliver's passing. That was very hard for us, especially for Brad. He was very, very close to returning to Canada the next Tuesday. Thankfully, he decided to stay, but there will always be a very sad part on the south coast of Spain where dear old dogs go to die. (Cue the tears here - sorry.)
Here are some pics:
Sunday, June 09, 2013
Well, finally. Here's a little on our recent trip to Spain! We very nearly didn't make it, as our flight from Bangor to Philadelphia was delayed by approximately 1 hour. We had just taxied away from the gate when the captain announced that there was a stop on all flights into Philly, apparently owing to some wind storm or something. So there was sat, on the runway, for just about an hour. That was bad news for us, as we only had about an hour and a half in Philly to make our connection on to Madrid! We all hoped and prayed that no flights were leaving from there as well. We finally took off and, after an uneventful flight, arrived in Philly, which was sunny and warm with a very modest breeze. Go figure. We arrived at the F terminal, I believe, and had to go all the way to the A terminal by bus. Thankfully, we didn't have to go through security again. When we arrived at the A terminal, we all started running, Brad and Marlene in front and me a short ways behind them. We ran for what seemed like forever and finally made it to our departure gate where they were holding the flight just for us! They knew we were on our way, as we had been issued our boarding passes for Madrid in Bangor. At last, we all made it onto the plane (hot and sweaty and with everyone else looking a little peeved at us for causing the delay), they shut the door and off we went! Phew! We had made it! And a good thing, too, as one of the flight attendants said he was so glad we had boarded as the flights to Madrid for the next few days were booked solid! After a very smooth 7.5 hour flight, we landed in Madrid. We had all just packed carry-ons, so we breezed through through Spanish Customs, took the subway into Madrid, and with Brad's internal GPS working well, we were at our apartment in no time. Since no one had been staying there the night before, we were able to check in upon arrival, around 1:00 p.m. or so. The place was very well appointed: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with a large dining room and living room and an ample deck. Shaun promptly fell asleep in one of the comfortable chairs and I was a bit tired and jet-lagged, so Brad, Mary and Don and Marlene went off to find a grocery store to pick up food for dinner and breakfast the next morning and some wine! Shaun continued to sleep and I took a shower. Ahhh. Soon enough, the four others were back with plenty of food and drink. We then all went out and walked around a bit to get our bearings and then it was back to the apartment for a great meal and a fairly early night. After a good night's sleep, we were all ready to start our one-day exploration of Spain's capital! It was cool (as in see your breath cool!). Brad and I had decided that we were going to check out the new Dali exhibition at the Reina Sophia museum, while the rest of the gang went to The Prado. After waiting in line for over an hour to get tickets for the Dali exhibition, we got to the ticket booth just as they changed the time for the viewing from 3:00 p.m. to 3:30, which was when we had arranged to hook up with the others. Crap! We decided to just visit the part of the remainder of the museum and forgo Dali. By this time it had started to rain, so we spent an hour or so wandering around the museum before we made our way back to The Prado. We explored the area a bit as we did so, and a gal from a tapas restaurant stopped us on the street and told us about their specials. We promised to return, as so we did, in the pouring rain and with everyone in tow. We had a cheese plate, fried potatoes with a mayo sauce, and calamari (I think). Everything was very good and we had a chance to dry off before going out to explore more of Madrid. The rain had stopped and we walked around and finally made our way to the Retiero Park, which is a huge and gorgeous park in the middle of the capital. After one more night in our beautiful apartment, we arose fairly early the next morning to take the subway to the train station where we boarded our fast train to Malaga, which took us there in just over 3 hours. Once there, Brad went off to pick up his rented bike and Don and Mary (as our designated drivers) sorted out our car rentals. Before too long, we were wending our way out of Malaga en route to our villa, close to Salobrena. More on that soon! In the meantime, here are some pics of our digs in Madrid. Those umbrellas there by the doorway sure would have come in handy if any of us had thought to take them along during our museum day! Oh, and that narrow table with the lamp on it in the hallway - I walked smack dab into it, knocking over the lamp (which thankfully didn't break), during a nightime, no-lights visit to the bathroom. The air turned a very hushed shade of blue, as I was trying not to wake up everyone else in the building! Hasta pronto!
Saturday, June 01, 2013
Hi all. We are back from Spain, but we had some very sad news while were were there. Our beloved Oliver (Oli-Dog) died on May 18, just 3 days into our trip. We were hesitant to leave him, as he had been sick for a while, off and on, but we never dreamed that his condition would deterioriate so quickly. He was a member of our family for about a year and a half, and he was a smart, loving, and affectionate dog. Whenever we returned home, even if we had been gone for just 15 minutes, he would be at the door to greet us, tail wagging and a smile on his face. We shall miss him forever.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Was just looking through old photos on the computer and came across this one. It reminded me of one of my favourite Robert Frost poems. I'm looking out at this very tree right now, but it is just budding out at present. This pic was, of course, taken in the early fall. In any case, here's the poem:
Tree at My Window
Tree at my window, window tree,
My sash is lowered when night comes on;
But let there never be curtain drawn
Between you and me.
Vague dream-head lifted out of the ground,
And thing next most diffuse to cloud,
Not all your light tongues talking aloud
Could be profound.
But tree, I have seen you taken and tossed,
And if you have seen me when I slept,
You have seen me when I was taken and swept
And all but lost.
That day she put our heads together,
Fate had her imagination about her,
Your head so much concerned with outer,
Mine with inner, weather.
Hope everyone has a good weekend! Two week's from now, we'll be at our villa in the south of Spain! Can't wait for that!