Dan’s 30th in Majorca, Spain

de001a03-bf3b-45e3-9942-7707154ac1b0October was a special month for us this year, not only did Dan turn thirty, but his brother and family were able to hop across the pond to celebrate with us.  And we’re not talking a small hop…they came all the way from LA to London and then we flew on to Majorca, Spain with them!  And they have a one year old baby!  Scott, Christine and baby Henry were major troopers! 

They arrived in London the fd6b8ec9-8b2a-4419-9225-5e0b83a71045weekend before Dan’s birthday and we were able to show them our new London neighborhood as well as explore some of their favourite areas from the last time they visited.  

After a few days in London, we made our way over to Majorca.  We stayed in a fantastic villa up in the cliffs, with sweeping views of the beautiful Spanish island’s coast. The infinity pool was by far the best feature in the home, and where we spent most of our time.  

img_5123

 

We took a day trip up to Valldemossa, which is a quaint historical village lined with shops and restaurants. We had a fun time exploring and enjoyed soaking in some Spanish culture.

snapseed(1)

We celebrated Dan’s 30th on the water at a lovely restaurant in Port d’Andratx. We enjoyed sampling the fresh seafood and we were treated to a beautiful sunset!

snapseed(2)

 

We were able to spend a bit of time at a few of the local beaches.  We visited a popular beach in Palmanova on the southern coast of the island. It had beautiful white sand beaches and we all enjoyed swimming in the sea. Another day we decided to try a “secret” beach. Before long we found ourselves on a two-track winding into the hills. The road eventually became too much for our “mini-van” and so we decided to walk the rest of the way to the beach. After about a 15 minute walk, we were rewarded with a perfectly secluded beach in a small little cove. We spent the afternoon swimming in the crystal clear water and soaking up the sun.

All too soon, our time in Spain was up and Scott, Christine & Henry were headed back to LA.  It was unfortunate timing that one of my big deals at work was closing the week they visited.  It was massively time consuming and kept me occupied much more than I would have liked. As a result I wasn’t able to spend as much time with Scott, Christine and baby Henry as I had hoped, but overall it was a great trip and we love our precious time with family.  It’s so hard not seeing them when we’re living on opposites sides of the world, but we cherished every moment we had together!

24 hours in Madrid, Spain

When we spot a cheap flight, we take it!  Even if it only means we get 24 hours in the destination.  So just a few weeks ago, we spotted a cheap deal to Madrid.  We flew out late Saturday morning and flew back Sunday evening – leaving us with just over 24 hours to explore the city!  Turns out – 24 hours was just the right amount of time to eat and drink our way through the city!

Our journey started, with no surprise, a delay in leaving London.  It wasn’t too bad, but it cut our afternoon time in Madrid a little shorter.  After arriving in Madrid mid-afternoon on Saturday, we quickly dropped our stuff off in the hotel and set off for a late lunch.  We walked over to Plaza Mayor – one of the main squares in the city – to find a bite.  After taking a lap around the square, we found a line of people out a little shop in the corner so we decided to check it out.  Turns out it was “La Campana” a famous little shop for calamari sandwiches!  Dan got the traditional fried calamari sandwich while I opted for the chorizo sandwich.  Both were really good – and we were both shocked they were only €2.70 a piece!

Second stop –> churros and hot chocolate!!! We went to the famous Chocolateria San Gines.  They’ve  been serving  chocolate con churros since 1894!  When we arrived, we couldn’t believe how long the line out the door was!  It was well worth the wait – as we indulged in a massive plate of churros and two large cups of hot chocolate and cappuccinos!  Perfect afternoon snack to prepare us for our Spanish siesta! 🙂

After a bit more wandering we headed back to our hotel to “do as the Spanish do” and take a little siesta.  Work’s been stressful on both of us lately, so it was nice to just relax and take a nap!  We were on the top floor of our hotel, so we were also able to enjoy a beautiful sunset from our room.

After our siesta, we were feeling fresh and relaxed.  It was time to head out for a Spanish date night.  We went back into the town centre to a place called “Tabalo Flamenco Villa Rosa” for a traditional flamenco show!  We went into this with very few expectations – literally not knowing a thing about flamenco.  You guys – this was INCREDIBLE!!! Seriously one of the coolest experiences.  Unfortunately, you can’t take videos in there, so I don’t have any from our show.  The only way to fully appreciate how incredible it is – is to go see it for yourself!

The drama! The passion! The art! The music! The dance! It’s all amazing.  Dan and I were seated front and center (literally our table was pushed up against the front and center of the stage) so we were able to experience everything close up.  The show started with the dancers (3), singer (1) and guitarist (1) sitting in a line on the stage.  They played and sung a song with only the guitar, their feet and hands making the music.  That alone was unbelievably good! The guitarist was so talented!  And the singer was hilarious – a weird mix of singing/shouting/I have no idea what some of the noises were!

Each dancer performed a solo flamenco dance.  The first dancer was so intense.  We felt like he was truly in a trance during his performance – so weird, but so good!  We felt like he was in heartache and was trying to express how much pain he was in.  The second dancer was full of passion.  Her dance felt like a love story as she twirled and stomped across the stage.  The third dancer was the most light-hearted.  His dance felt very prideful; almost like he was a peacock flaring his feathers!

Dan and I kept looking over at each other throughout the performances with huge smiles on our faces.  It was a one of a kind experience, and something I am so grateful to experience with him.

After the show, it was about 9:30, which is standard dinner time for the Spanish.  So we headed over into Plaza Santa Anna to have some tapas and cocktails.  We shared a sampler platter and each had a mojito before calling it a night!

On Sunday, we had until the early afternoon to explore (and eat/drink) a bit more before heading back home to London.  We started the day off with a walk to the Royal Palace and breakfast at the Cafe de Oriente, which had views of the palace and the palace gardens.

We quickly finished up our time in Madrid walking the rest of the streets and popping into a few shops before one last meal.  We were able to enjoy the beautiful sun and sit out in another courtyard enjoying tapas, beer and sangria!  Somehow, we also managed to sneak in another siesta before checking out of our hotel and going back to the airport 🙂  I think I could get used to having a siesta everyday!

24 hours in Madrid was just right for us.  It was the perfect quick getaway from London.  We were able to go back to London feeling relaxed and well fed!

Now Dan is entering his busy season with work.  He’ll be working a lot of long hours and some weekends.  This makes travelling a bit more difficult, so we don’t have anything booked right now. We’re trying to fit in a ski trip in the alps!  TBD!