30 June 2013

Mala(aaahhhhhhhhh!!!)ga - Sundays in My City

The Costa del Sol really lived up to its name last week!  The weather was absolutely perfect...warm but not hot.

Whenever I go to a new place the architecture and people scream at me to look, pay attention and take lots of pictures. In Malaga, I couldn't hear those screams over the even louder call to be outside. I usually look up and map out all the things that I want to see.  I didn't look up or map out anything. This was a very different vacation.

I rented a bicycle.  Spent my early mornings jogging or doing yoga at the beach. After breakfast I'd spend a few (3-6) hours riding along the coast (the ride to the east is much nicer than to the west, just in case you're wondering) before retiring to a lounge chair under an umbrella at the beach (which were available to rent for 4 euro).  I'm not normally a beach person (in fact, I've never enjoyed spending time on the beach) but something about this place made it so easy to just lie there and relax (with copious amounts of sunblock and shade, of course!).  I usually yawn at least 100 times/day but I can honestly say that I was not tired the whole week, despite lots of activity and sun and not eating dinner until past my usual bed time (the Spanish eat late and restaurants don't open for dinner until at least 2000 (8pm).  I don't remember ever feeling so relaxed and stress-free. The only time I spent indoors was to sleep, shower and eat breakfast (I stayed at a B&B so breakfast was included).  I didn't see any museums or exhibits and barely even noticed the beautiful Spanish architecture. I spent every other waking minute outdoors in the wonderful fresh air and sunshine. It was the perfect vacation!

The view each morning

Yoga on the beach
The view from the bike
The view each afternoon (that's the bike I rented)
All along the coast are little huts where they cook fresh sardines on open coals in these little boats

A little bit late to be eating dinner?  Not in Spain!  That's Andalusian gazpacho...a cold almond and garlic soup with grapes.  The grapes were a surprise.  It all sounds odd but it's actually really good. Even better once I found the grapes.
This is where I ate lunch my last day! Aaaaahhhhhhh!!

Unknown Mami hosts the always-wonderful Sundays in My City link-up.  Head over there and check it out!

Unknown Mami

29 June 2013

As Usual

I went to Malaga, Spain last week. 

The Netherlands during departure

Malaga on arrival

Return to The Netherlands

16 June 2013

Father's Day - Sundays in My City

I'm a lucky girl! I have one of those dads who told his little girl she could do anything and who encouraged her to pursue her dreams, even if those dreams meant his little girl going to far corners of the world, and continues to do so.  I'm also lucky that he's willing to visit me in those far corners. [Note: my mom is equally as great as my dad and somehow I missed doing this same post on mother's day but I couldn't not tell you how lucky I am to have the mom that I have as well!]

My dad used to take us to the museum or some other educational-type place on a school day.  The next day he'd send us to school with a note explaining why we had missed the previous day.  The school did not approve of our absence to go to the museum.  My father didn't understand their opposition.  He did understand that there are many ways to learn and that not everything is learned in school.  He instilled that love of learning in me and I'm so grateful! 

My love of learning is just one of the many things I got from my dad and I hope he knows what a great man he is!

My Daddy
Are you as lucky as I am? Do you have a super fantabulously awesome dad as well?  Tell me about it.

Unknown Mami

15 June 2013

It's STILL Light Out

A little while back I posted about how the longer hours of daylight here affected my sleep (here also).  In the middle of winter I walk the dogs in the dark, go to work in the dark and come home in the dark (there's just under 8 hours of light at the winter solstice).  Now, as we approach the summer solstice I don't see the dark at all (consequently I have a perpetual feeling of being late when I'm walking the dogs in the morning since it's light out).  The official sunrise is at 0518 but it begins to get light out at 0431.  Official sunset is 2148 (948pm) but it isn't dark until 2234 (1034pm).  That's 16.5 hours of light.

I'm usually in bed at 2100 (9pm) and up at 0500 (5am) during the week.  Last night at 2200 (10pm) as I was letting the dogs out one last time it was still rather light out.

My back yard at 2200 (10pm)
We'll gain another couple minutes of light until around the 25th (so ten days from now) when the days will slowly (although it feels like it happens very quickly) start getting shorter :( 

09 June 2013

Bubbles - Sundays in My City

I took the train to Amsterdam yesterday (yes, again, I know...you can't imagine how wonderful that city is!) to meet up with a photography group for a photography walk.  While strolling through the Vondel Park (walking park) we came upon a man making huge bubbles.

There's bubbles and more over at Unknown Mami (Imagine my surprise when I saw that Mami also posted about a bubble man)!  Go check it out.

Unknown Mami

01 June 2013

Run for the Border - Sundays in My City

No, I'm not on the run from the law (the open borders of the EU make running for the border pointless anyway) and this is not a Taco Bell commercial (I'm happy to say Taco Bell doesn't exist in this country).

I live less than 2 miles from the German border although there really isn't much difference from one side to the other.  I'm not a runner and running isn't my favorite activity so I have to set specific goals when I train.  If I just head out without a plan I won't go very far.  But when you're training for a 12 mile obstacle course, running needs to be part of the training.  So today I decided to run to the border...just because I can.

I headed out the back and took the dirt road through the fields.

Directly behind my house
The dirt road that the dogs and I take most often. Lots of slugs to dodge this time of year.
In the spring the farmers feed their sheep here. They install electric fencing to keep them where they want.  There were no sheep when I left but when I went back out with the dogs they were there. Of course, I didn't have the camera with me then.
This house is at the end of the dirt road (0.75 miles from my house).  The house is very old but the Limburg flag is a new addition.
The view running towards Germany. I ran on the bike path because there are no sidewalks here.
A couple times I had to move to the grassy area to make way for cycling teams.
The German region bordering Limburg.
I couldn't find the Netherlands sign going the other direction.
Speed limits are usually higher in Germany (Deutchland...thus the "D").
The view doesn't change much once you cross the border.
Apparently they've raised the highway speed limit in the Netherlands.  It used to be 120.

Then this happened...I'm used to getting out of the way of cyclists and horses but this?  I don't know what this was. I briefly felt like I was in some sort of sci-fi episode.
Walk, jog, run over to Unknown Mami for more SIMC posts.

Unknown Mami