2 December 2015
a holiday in spain
last weekend we swapped grey london skies for azure blue spain skies. we had such a perfect little long thanksgiving weekend with family and exploring a new sensational spot on earth.
my brother jonah, sister-in-law aja and their five kids have been living for the past several months in the little beach town of benicassim, near valencia. we’ve really been looking forward to visiting them in spain! they were the nicest to delay their thanksgiving feast for a whole day and then share it with us.
we flew into madrid because we found a killer deal on plane tickets, hopped in a rental car, and drove four hours to benicassim. after hugs and kisses were exchanged, we immediately sat down and ate a special holiday meal together. it was special for a lot of reasons, one of which being the relative difficulty of finding traditional american foods in spain…(and cooking them with limited supplies in a rental apartment)!
after thanksgiving dinner, we took a few photos. the silly ones turned out quite a bit better than the smiley ones! :)
^^ and i love that aja’s famous and fabulous thanksgiving jello is shown off in these photos! i love that stuff. ^^
and then we walked down the beach. it was such a gorgeous night! we collected treasures from the sand, watched the waves, walked off a bit of our feasting, and enjoyed being together.
the next day, jonah and aja took us on their favourite hike up to a moorish castle with iiiiincredible views of the hills and ocean. it was sooo warm and sunny and beautiful!
it was a pretty fabulous twenty four hours with some of our favourite people. it felt so good to be with family at thanksgivingtime, since we are so far away from most of our dearest loved ones!
we drove back up towards madrid, stopping in the magical little town of toledo. holy toledo, that’s a cool place. (and yes, i made that pun about ten times while we were there). we hit the jackpot with this hotel i randomly found online. it was pretty magical, built right into old castle-y walls, and felt soooo spanish!
after checking in, we rode the nearby escalator (yeah!) up to the old city set on a hill. it was seriously so so so enchanting walking through the narrow, steep, winding streets in the dark night. we came around a corner and bam! there was the jawdropping cathedral, all lit up and spectacular.
the next morning we enjoyed a lovely breakfast (fresh squeezed orange juice - yessssss, and traditional tostada de tomate – yum!) and the charming courtyards around the hotel. then we tried our best to understand as much as we could at church in the small toledo mormon congregation, full of bright and kind people.
after church, we went to mirador del valle to check out an overlook of the city of toledo. there was a restaurant up there where we enjoyed some traditional spanish fare with some pretty stellar views.
we drove back into the old city, which was a fun adventure, and went inside the stunning cathedral. it was pretty mind-blowing.
the charm of toledo’s streets in the early evening light was hard to capture, but sunk right into our bones! we totally fell for this cool spanish town. we took one last peek at the alcazar (royal palace turned army museum) before heading back to the airport in madrid and back home to london.
such a wonderful holiday in spain!