Archive for the ‘Parts Unknown’ Category

Lazy Days

The kids are exhausted. Turns out swimming three plus hours a day will wear you out. To avoid spending the whole day listening to them whinge and whine we spent the day sitting around the house. They spent way too much time on their screens and were sent to bed early. I got to spend a bit of time alone in the beach though so it wasn’t a total loss.

We did learn that we perhaps aren’t giving the kids the worldly education we thought. They asked me if I made the coffee all by myself, “like from scratch” when they saw this contraption.

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Morning beaches

We made a home-schooling deal and decided we would work hard on Tuesdays and Fridays while Jacob also has to work and less on Wednesdays and Thursdays. This means we have the chance to go to the beach in the morning on Wednesdays.

We headed down around 10 this morning and finally figured out that we aren’t the only people using the beach club. It seems our 2pm start was way too late in the day. We got ourselves settled the kids started sand castling then one or the other took turns whining.

I managed to put up with the constant complaints for a couple of hours before we packed it in. Two hours at the beach is a pitiful performance from this crew. A few days of above average doses of vitamin D and exercise in the pool have left the kids exhausted. We headed back, grabbed a quick bite to eat before cooling off in the pool again.

The kids finally finished their schoolwork, with much prompting. As a reward, Charlie and Jacob went to scope out the resort that we are going to opt-in to for a couple of days. The girls and I used our pool loungers and floated around before they settled in in front of the TV. Charlie returned to give his report (two thumbs up) and then got his butt kicked in our swimming races.

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Villa schooling

Tuesday is always a busy day for Jacob – he doesn’t ever completely stop working so the kids have decided that Tuesday would be one of their main school days. It’s still vacation though so school doesn’t start before a quick dip in the pool. We can call it gym class.

After we finished off our studies Jacob headed out to the grocery store with a very long list and a time limit. He managed to overflow one cart worth before he ran out of time. The kids and I played in the pool, had lunch and sunbathed. We also fashioned a water pump out of a coke bottle, a ball needle and a leaf to make it water tight. That counts as science right?

Once Jacob got home we headed down for a couple of hours on the beach before supper. The kids had new buckets and shovels to try out so while they buried each other I went for a walk down the beach. At some point we are going to opt in to the all-inclusive package at one of the resorts so I took the opportunity to scope out the different options. The one with everyone on spring break probably isn’t for us. I’ll continue my research.

We got supper together and decided to eat outside. There’s always a nice breeze so it’s quite nice in the evenings. Plus eating outside seems so novel in February. As we were wrapping up eating jacob noticed the bats were coming out. Apparently our roof houses dozens of bats. I quickly decided to give up our table to let them eat in peace.

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Piscina o playa?

We have been soaking up the sun for two days now. To be honest, we haven’t done much else. We don’t have a car here, a first for us on vacation. We also have a pool in our backyard and a beach down the street so we aren’t sure if we need a car. It does mean that we get up to very little during the day

Monday we took the morning and relaxed poolside. The kids jumped in and out 3 bajillion times. Jacob and I tentatively waded in once.

After lunch we decided to head down and check out the beach club. We lounged under some umbrellas, had a few drinks, the kids played in the water. We grabbed some supper went for a little walk up the beach and called it a night.

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2021 was the first year we did not have a family vacation. It was the first time in our marriage that Jacob and I spent a full winter on PEI. The kids were seriously unimpressed with February weather. We are super excited to be back on the road and escape the mountains of snow being created at home.

Thankfully a year off has not affected the kids ability to travel. While this was a relatively easy trek for us the kids still did incredibly. A 4am start into the freezing cold straight out of bed would put anyone in a bad mood but they never batted an eye. They were super patient at all the airports. Did exactly as they were told, were perfect on the airplanes – I watched two whole movies. They even got a personalized tour of the cockpit.

We took advantage of a slow tourism season in the DR and got an amazing deal on an incredible place. We have a villa booked in the Dominican Republic for the month of February. This will be one of the most laid back vacations to date. It’s exactly what we all need. This house is hands down the nicest place we have stayed. It has 4 bedrooms – each the size of a hotel room. Each has its own ensuite most have a sitting area and a king size bed. The kids are sleeping like royalty. We have our own in ground pool, golf cart and dedicated beach club about 900m away.

After we landed everyone was pretty tired and rather hot. Nothing like a 60 degree temperature increase in an N95 to make you sweaty. We caught our transfer to our house, which completely lived up to expectations, the kids went for a swim. We ordered in pizza went for a quick tour of the beach and called it a day.

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Another adventure is over and we’re all pretty sad it is. This trip was exactly what we needed. Time together, a relaxing pace, cheap wine, sunshine, some beaches and a bit of exploring.

Portugal wowed us. Lisbon blew our expectations out of the water. We hesitated on booking 8 full days in a city but in the end I still feel like there was so much more to see , we could have spent at least another week there. The beaches on the south coast were spectacular. It wasn’t quite warm enough to lie out on the beach but it was great weather for roaming around, visiting parks, or sitting out in the sun.

Morocco was a fun little change from Portugal. Winding our way through the Médina and kasbah was exciting and something new for all of us. The kids took all of it in stride and it was a fun little adventure.

Seville, Madrid and Marbella were relaxing and warm and fun to wander around and explore.

The mark was pretty low after family vacation 2019 but 2020 more than made up for it. We’d go back in a flash and are already looking forward to next years adventure.

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Short but sweet

Our final stop on our adventure is Seville. It comes highly recommended for m anyone who has visited so we were excited to see the city. We only had a day and a half before we had to drive back to Madrid and fly home but we made the most of it.

We arrived at our AirBnB, dropped our bags and then headed for the bus to take us downtown. First up was the Plaza de España and Parque Marie Luisa. We wandered around both impressive areas before we started our search for a restaurant. Apparently we either waited too long or not long enough and nothing was open. I mean nothing. We walked blocks and blocks to find restaurants either completely closed or just serving drinks. Eventually we gave up and headed back to the transportation hub near our AirBnB where we had McDonald’s. The kids were not disappointed.

Day two we spent wandering around the Real Alcazar de Seville, eating tapas and taking the very touristy and expensive but still worth it horse and carriage ride. We tried to see the bullring but were too late to get tickets. It was a jam packed day, the kids were exhausted by the end of it, but it was a great way to wrap up the trip.

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Since we bailed a couple of days early on Morocco we needed to find a place in Spain so that we wouldn’t have to sleep in the car. Unfortunately our place in Seville wasn’t available any earlier than our original plan so we decided to book in to a nice looking apartment in the seaside town of Marbella. We really just wanted a place to relax. This place was a 5 minute walk to the beach and came with a Nintendo Wii and that’s exactly what we did for the day and a half we were there. I think everyone would agree it was perfect.

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