Snapshots of Spain: Part 2

Another day trip we took was to the Old Town of Marbella which is really beautiful. It’s full of quirky boutiques and bustling cafes. We had a slow stroll round followed by a rather large half portion of churros served with deliciously thick hot chocolate. Best. Breakfast. Ever.

Pretty flowers in old town MarbellaOld town MarbellaOld Town Marbella SpainBlue in old town MarbellaChurros & hot chocolate in old town Marbella

This required a Londoner-style drippy action shot!

Churros & hot chocolate at Churreria MarbellaDon’t let Huxley’s expression fool you, he wolfed them down!

Hux-eating-churrosBy-the-poolFarmers Market at La Trocha Coin SpainJimmy's Iced Coffee tshirt

T-shirt – Jimmy’s Iced Coffee

Watermelon-headCalamariHux-eating-calamariHux-&-calamariBaby eating calamariHuxley LOVED calamari – almost as much as he loves apples (which keep him quiet for at least half an hour and he chomps right down to the core!)

Me-&-HuxCoin SpainTapas at Cruz de Piedra, Coin SpainGarlic toast in Cartama SpainThis is a popular breakfast dish and one of my absoulte favourite Spanish dishes. You rub the toast with garlic, then if you want, you can chop the remainder up and lay it on top before drizzling it in olive oil and spooning on fresh tomato puree. It is crazy good.

I took lots of video while I was away because for some reason I totally forgot to film any of Huxley’s first holiday to San Francisco which I was a bit sad about so I thought I’d make up for it by filming lots this time so I’ll edit that together soon and post it.

Snapshots of Spain: Part 1

We’ve just come back from a glorious 10 day holiday in southern Spain. It was amazing. The weather was perfect for taking a baby too. Nice and warm without being crazy hot and sunny and with a smattering of clouds so we didn’t have to worry too much about sunstroke and sunburn.

I took quite a few photos so have split this into two posts. We didn’t really do much exploring this time and tended to just stay very local and make the most of the pool. We stayed in the same villa as before, which is completely beautiful and already geared up for kids with highchairs and baby monitors and stuff so it was ideal. (You can view our photos from our 2011 trip here)

Spanish mountainsNick-&-HuxNick-&-Hux-in-the-poolIn-the-pool

Baby swim float: Amazon

Octopus tapasNick,-Hux-&-GrandpaHux-&-NickSunrise over AndalusiaHux-eating-watermelonThe only day we did go exploring was to visit the lakes near Ardales as they are stunning and we thought Huxley might like to have a little paddle. (Note: Don’t eat at El Mirador restaurant. The view is amazing and there’s a play park there but the food is dreadful, as are the ‘juices’ and they tried to charge us for bread)

Lakes near Adales in SpainNick-&-Hux-ArdalesPlaying-in-the-water-at-ArdalesLakes of Ardales National Park, Andalusia, SpainWe’d been to the lakes of Ardales before and I was keen to explore the surrounding area as the scenery is incredible. We took a random windy road and drove for about 15 minutes to see where it would take us. Turns out it took us to the Caminito del Rey at the Gorge of the Gaitanes which was pretty cool.

Caminito del Rey at Gorge of the GaitanesRoad to El ChurroWe spotted this amazing scenery on the drive back to Ardales and couldn’t resist stopping to snap a few photos.

Andalusian landscape near Ardales and El ChorroHux-near-ArdalesBaby wearing TOMs shoesBaby wearing SF Giants cap, Zara buffalo raglan, Sainsburys shorts & TOMsCap: San Francisco Giants | Top: Zara Kids (not online) | Shorts: Sainsburys (similar)| Shoes: TOMs

Me-&-HuxHux-&-ice-creamPlaying-in-the-pool

Spain

(The villa that we stayed in sleeps 10 and is beautiful. If you’re interested in staying there then you can book it by clicking here.)

Hello!

I’m back! Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend and first half of the week. I had an absolutely fantastic time and feel very relaxed and refreshed. It was wonderfully hot and sunny and hopefully I look slightly browner than before! Being away from the internet and the distractions of Facebook and Twitter gave me and my husband some time to consider what we want out of life and we’ve got a few ideas that I’m really excited about getting started on. I’m ready for a challenge in life.

I’ve got a couple of outfit photos for you from my trip but to be honest, it was so blooming hot out there that I would have been happy to go everywhere in my bikini so my outfit decisions were basically based on ‘what is the most flowing, loose-fitting piece of clothing I can get away with today?’

We arrived on Friday to glorious sunshine and were picked up by my in-laws. I was forced to tackle the awkward issue of it being a freezing cold 4am start in the UK to a 30 degree sunny end in Spain. I opted for a ¾ sleeve Breton striped top and shorts because my arms always seem to get colder than my legs. After landing at Malaga, we headed straight for this amazing place in Cartama which serves garlic toast with olive oil. Best. Thing. Ever. Following a relaxing afternoon, we all went out for dinner to a charming place in Coin called La Bohemia. The owner is a really sweet guy who loves tapestry and you can wander round the inside of the restaurant admiring his work. His tapestry is kind of 3D though and is unlike anything I’ve seen before. We ate outside in a beautiful courtyard with a big olive tree in the middle surrounded by candles. It looked like a magical fairy land and the food was delicious.

french connection breton top, hollister shorts, zara sandals

The next day, we dropped the in-laws off at the airport and continued to Granada to visit The Alhambra. Unfortunately I hadn’t really planned the visit very well. I didn’t realise that the visiting hours were split into a morning session and an afternoon session and you were given an entrance time to the main palace on purchase of a ticket. We arrived just in time for the start of the afternoon session at 2pm and were given an entrance time to the main palace of 5pm. At first, we thought nothing of this, but once we had visited the rest of the gardens and buildings and it was only 3.30pm, we soon realised our error. I was in no mood to wait around for an hour and a half in the blistering heat, still tired from the 3am start the previous morning so we decided to cut our losses and return to Coin. I was a little bit gutted because ultimately I missed out on what I wanted to see but the tickets were only about 13 euros each. The rest of the gardens and buildings were beautiful and took us about an hour and half to walk around so I felt we’d got our moneys worth. And it’s only Spain. We’ll definitely be going back. Next time, I would stay over in Granada and buy my ticket the day before and try and get an early morning slot to the palace. There is a gorgeous little hotel in the middle of the Alhambra called Hotel America which has a beautiful vine-covered courtyard in the middle.

Hollister shorts, miso top, havianas

The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

On Sunday we drove to Ronda. The drive is fantastic – long, winding roads through the mountains, up and up, and the view back towards Marbella looking over the sea is incredible. It took about an hour to get to Ronda and the main attraction is the enormous bridge that was built there a very long time ago. There’s not really anything else there. It was worth going once to see the breathtaking bridge, but I don’t think I’ll be rushing back. I spent the evening sitting in the courtyard, reading my book and feeling more relaxed than I have in a long time. Absolute bliss.

H&M top, Hollister shorts, Roxy Quiksilver sandals

Monday was spent lounging around by the pool and generally getting burnt, despite generous and frequent applications of sunscreen. The temperature gauge by the pool goes up to 50 degrees – it had gone past that and was off the chart. We spent the evening bar hopping in Coin, sampling numerous tapas bars and finishing the evening with a Kinder Egg ice-cream. Yes, you read correctly. Kinder-Egg, as an ice-cream. Genius.

H&M yellow maxi dress, zara leopard print sandals

Yesterday morning we sat by the pool for a little while and then cleaned the villa before departing for the airport mid-afternoon. I started reading Richard Branson’s biography and it’s captivating. Such an amazing life! Because I was born at the height of Virgin’s popularity, I had always viewed them as a big corporate company and had never really considered where it all started. The story is crazy. He achieved so much before he was my age that my jaw was dropping on every page. I definitely recommend it. I’m about 200 pages in now and just can’t put it down. (This hasn’t helped my excitement to take on the new ideas and projects that I mentioned earlier!) We nearly missed our flight home yesterday but all was well in the end. (We thought the flight was at 8.30pm but this was the landing time in the UK and it actually left at 7.10pm – luckily we had arrived early to look around the shops!)

Now, to get stuck into the 650 blog posts that have built up on my Bloglovin’ over the past 6 days! Eek!

Have a good evening!

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