Day 1- Madrid
Day 2- Drive to Mediterranean coast near Malaga
Day 3: Resort/Beach
Day 4- Resort/Beach & shopping in Marbella
Day 5- Puerto de Santa Maria: Church
Day 6- Resort and Beach
Day 7- Ronda
Day 8- Drive back to Madrid and
Fly home to Londres (as the Spaniards would call it)
Day 1: Beautiful Madrid
1. No one's smoking around us?
2. The underground train is clean and seems new
3. We walk up the stairs from the underground to the scene below...hello?!!! Gorgeous! Wish you were here!
4. The architecture: it's so cool, I LOVE IT!
5. People are friendly! They make eye contact, and everything! (that doesn't make London sound too good, does it?)
So those are just some first impressions. We stayed in a great hotel for the night and had a very casual, wonderful day. We were staying just downtown near their "Central Park" (if you will). We left A.J. to hang out, and the rest of us spent a good 3 hours or so at El Parque de Retiro (you can click on it below in green if you want to be linked to it on a map). We played, explored, watched a flamenco dancer, bought some shades: Ray Ban's for 10 euros, or were they Ray Beri's? It was just a beautiful day.
Then we left the little boys with Janae and Emily that evening and we took A.J. to some of the sights that evening. We meandered, and sort of fell upon so many cool sights. It's such a great experience when an evening is not totally scheduled, but turns out amazing. So much better than the opposite, when everything's planned to the T but then nothing works out. We enjoyed Churros con Chocolate! Came across an amazing market where we ate the most amazing mozzarella that resembled a scoop of ice cream cone on a cracker with blueberry compote: who knew? RIght? A perfect night~
to a perfect day.
Days 2,3, & 4
It sure would have been helpful if one of us spoke the language!!!
We were on our journey about an hour and a half when we began to drive through olive orchards. It was so cool. Not like fruit orchards in the U.S. that are all on even on flat ground, these were organized in rows up and down all the hills and mountains! And we were in awe as they continued mile after mile, hour after hour, on our journey. Our summation?
ALL of the world's olives MUST come from Spain!!! It was a beautiful drive!
We made it to our villa!
Marriott's Playa Andaluza
Are you kidding me????? This is why we scheduled this trip! To get away from the London weather and catch some rays before the dreary winter really sets in. We wanted to soak up some Vitamin D before we say good bye to the sun until June 2013.
So the hotel DID look like this, minus the sun, and everything was wet wet wet!!!
Day 3 Resort Day We spent most of our time INDOORS. Luckily there was a great indoor pool. We also figured, we should take advantage of the gym, so we got in a few workouts. Not just Dad and Mom, but all the big kids. A.J., Janae, and Emily all spent many hours in the gym over the course of our week at the resort.
Day 5: Church in Puerto de Santa Maria
We looked out the window and what did we see?????
We SO enjoyed surprising Elder Berrett at church.
It was Testimony Meeting at church that day, so Jason took the opportunity to share his testimony about the blessings of the restored gospel in his life and trying to follow the Savior, and Elder Berrett stood by his side and translated for the congregation. It was a neat church dynamic because it was sort of half Spanish speaking and half English since there is a Naval base real nearby. So there are headphones and lots of interpreters there at church. What a neat experience for our children. And we so love showing off fine examples, like Elder Berrett, to our kiddos. They have known many great youth, young adults, and adults that we hope have helped and will yet help influence them to make righteous choices. That they will enjoy every blessing the Lord has intended for them in this life!
I was standing there in the church and this little boy walked in. He looked super familiar. But I just thought that he was a family here. Then a little girl walked in and she looked so fimiliar as well. But i just thought the same. Then I saw AJ walk in. He is huge now. He looked so familiar but I couldnt think of how I knew him. Haha and after that a bald man walked around the corner. And I couldn't be mistaken with that. It looked like his teenagers have been playing a toll on him. He looked a little older than when I last saw him. haha. It was so great seeing them and catching up with them. I was stunned though. After they left, there were so many things that I wanted to ask them and talk to them about. I love the Tucker family so much!!! They are such a great family. It was weird to just shake sister Tuckers hand haha.
There have been a lot of great men in my life but then there are the men, the leaders who you always think back on. I have always heard stories from my leaders of some men that had a huge impact on them. Brother Tucker is one of those men. He is one of those leaders that I always think back on. Who played a huge role in my life and who made a huge impact on me. His testimony and the things he taught have helped me so much in life and on my mission. He helped me with my testimony in becoming who I am today.
I also hope Jason doesn't get upset that I shared this either.
But like I mentioned earlier, Jason just loves the youth! And this is great to hear that they appreciate him too!