Thursday, October 27, 2011

Costa del Sol

It's the last week of October and I have just returned from a week in Spain's Costa Del Sol with the German. Since it's in the mid 40's here in the Burgh, I welcomed the warm weather and sunshine with open arms. We arrived late at night, and in the morning I woke up to this beautiful view from our balcony. There were birds of paradise in full bloom and it was so great to wake up every day and see the sea right from our room!
We stayed at an H10 hotel, and was one of the nicest hotels I have been to. The resort had one of the most amazing spa's that we enjoyed on one of our rain days, and it was so relaxing.  
View from Hotel
Our hotel included breakfast every day, and the German and I definitely overindulged. Every morning I looked forward to my while chocolate drizzled pancakes and he had milk chocolate croissants. Yum!
The resort had an amazing pool surrounded by palm trees and a private beach.
Pool at sunset
On Thursday we drove to the southern most point of Europe to Tarifa. It was really great to put our toes in the ocean!

The weather was perfect!

And the views were spectacular!  
As you can see from the picture below, the German was jumping for joy to be at the beach!  

We could even see Africa in the distance! It was a beautiful day.  

 Many of the buildings here reminded me of my trip to Morocco. I love this Moorish architecture.

After enjoying a few hours at the beach we headed back towards Estepona, the city where we were staying. We passed the Rock of Gibraltar on the way. The German and I tried to cross over to check it out, but we were denied because we didn't have our passports. I had no idea it was owned by the UK, but next time we will be sure to take our passports so we can explore the Rock.

Then it was time for lunch, and what better thing to have but tapas!  

We also spent the day in Marbella strolling along the promenade.  

We spent a few hours on the beach and then it was time for......

More Tapas and Sangria. I seriously could eat tapas every day!

 After lunch we made our way to Puerto Banus on recommendation from my mom who had been there for her honeymoon.

It was a very posh city with lots of yachts, high end stores, and restaurants.

I think the German was distracted by all of the rich cougars and stubbed his toe. Luckily a lovely spanish waiter gave us some ice for his injury! 
In the evening we spent time enjoying our resort and the sunset.
It was really amazing!  

Night view of our hotel from the beach 

 For dinner we feasted on Paella! It was one of the best dishes we had on our trip, and went back to the same restaurant twice!

 I'm sorry, is there something funny?
Our hotel was about a 15 minute walk along the beach to the port in Estepona. It was so convenient to be able to walk right into town every night for dinner, and the port had so many options for places to eat. I would recommend staying in Estepona if you ever visit the Costa Del Sol. 

On our last day we decided to drive east of Malaga to Nerja.   

 We were so happy to find this beach, because it was our favorite spot for the entire trip. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for us!

 The German and Me
 I knew I had to make my way down to the beach for a swim. The water looked amazing!

I really do love the Medeterranian Sea!  

 The German taking in the views

 I really didn't want to get out of the water! But it was time for our last meal with fresh seafood before our flight.
 The view from our restaurant was also amazing! A great way to end our trip without a doubt.

 View of the Mediterranean Sea
 The week seemed to fly by, and I am so sad the trip is over. But thankfully I can get back to the Costa del Sol in three hours via RyanAir! Gotta love the discount airlines.  I am sure this wont' be our last trip to Spain. 

Until next time, I will see you on the Internet. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Autumn is Here...Again

Hello blog world. It's been a while since my last post, and I must admit I have been suffering from a bit of writer's block. Since August, I have started my second year working at the Univeristy of Edinburgh and have welcomed 165 students into Lee House. This year my house has students representing 40 countries from around the world. Working in an academic environment is something I have always enjoyed because I feel like I get the chance for two New Year's; the traditional one on Janurary 1, but also the start of the new school year. For those of you working in the field of education I think you know what I am talking about. Ever since I was a little girl I loved the beginning of the school year. Buying new school supplies, seeing the new faces of students, and getting a fresh start midway through the calandar year. Because I transitioned from a student into a profession in Higher Education, I am privilaged to enjoy this feeling every year. Fall is in full swing here in the Burgh, and for the first time in my life I have been suffering from a bit of homesickness. This feeling is new to me, but I am glad to experience it so I can relate to my students who often suffer from missing their families who are also half way across the world. When I walk arond the city I sometimes get a gust of wind with the crisp smell of autumn in Virginia, making me miss my favorite parts of the season back home. Pumpkins and fall festivals, apple cider, the changing color of the leaves of the Blueridge Mountains, and watching my Hokies play in Blacksburgh. I do miss it all, but am lucky to have these great memories engraved in my memory forever while gaining new memories of fall as I spend my second autumn in Edinburgh. Since work has been so crazy with the start of the school year, I haven't had much free time to do anything, let alone blog, but this past weekend I was lucky to have a long 4 day weekend. And guess who flew to town? Yep, you guessed it, the German was back in the Burgh. 

Our last meeting was in Cologne at the end of August, and unfortunately I didn't have a chance to get a blog post up about our trip. Edinburgh flies to Cologne on a Friday night and back on Sunday night, so it's perfect for a quick weekend getaway. We enjoyed riding bikes and trying to relax before our long five week break and my crazy season at work. Cologne has an amazing cathedral and a fun scene for stag and hen parties. We enjoyed our time together in a new city, and I was happy to get my last fix of German cuisine.  

The German being German- oompah!

Flash forward five weeks, and we come to this past weekend. The German flew to town on Thursday night and on Friday morning we boarded a train to Glasgow to check out the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. He was super excited because, as you may already know, he is a huge AC/DC fan and the Gallery was holding an exhibition all about the band. 

Let's just say someone was very anxious to visit the exhibition and had been talking about going for a few months. 

The German was kid in a candy store....

And I had a great time too!

For those about to Rock...

We really enjoyed the exhibition, and the entrance fee was only £2. If you are an AC/DC fan, or want to become one, you must check it out!

After the exhibition, I enjoyed the Indian Summer we've been having in Scotland. It was in the 70's last week and felt so great! 

The German and Me

Sunday we had tickets to watch the Edinburgh Football team take on Glasgow. The Hearts of Midlothian  is my new local football team (Soccer for those of you reading at home in the USA). This was my first professional football match, and it was a great time being amongst the die-hard fans and watching Edinburgh beat Glasgow 2-0! 

My friends Jo and Kam joined us too. It's so great to live in a city with so many fun things to do right around the corner. Go Hearts!  

I think that we will definitely check out another match in the future. 

September is finally over, and next on my agenda is a quick trip down to England  for a send off of my friend Tricia who is moving to China followed by a trip to Spain in 2 weeks with the German! Let the good times roll again. 

Until next time, I will see you on the internet.