Sunday, April 12, 2015

Pretty Much the Best Vacation Ever

This spring break we went big. European vacation BIG!

My brother and his family have been stationed in Rota, Spain for the past three years. We've always planned on visiting and since they are preparing to return stateside this summer it was now or never. So off to Spain we went!

We started on a plane...

Then switched to a train...

We had 10 days of action packed adventures and the best part we got to share it all with my brother, sis-in-law, nieces, nephews!!

The day after we arrived in Spain, we jumped on a ferry and actually headed to Africa. My sister-in-law had booked us a trip to visit Tangier, Morocco. We had an amazing time with Jamal our tour guide showing us around. We got to take a camel ride along the beach which was incredible. We got to enjoy mint tea and a delicious cake with argon oil as well as a lamb tangine. The rug shops and markets were interesting as we bartered our way through purchases. I don't know what I expected Morocco to be like, but it was different than expected. My sis-in-law wrote a great blog post about our experience visiting Morocco and she shares some great pictures too so check it out!

One day we went in to the town of Sevilla, Spain to hang out at Isla Magica, an amusement park. Anybody who knows our family, knows we LOVE amusement parks. Every spring break we hit some type of park so we searched to see if one would be anywhere near where we were staying and voila, there was. The best part was the amusement park had different "lands" and we got to visit the land of America. Too funny!

On Easter, we headed to Arcos, Spain for the annual Running of the Bulls. WOW! What an experience. My brother was the only one brave enough to actually run. The rest of us sat behind a nice metal fence that was bolted into the ground. The streets were crowded and boy do the people know how to party! After the bull run we climbed the steepest hill I've ever seen to reach the castle at the top. The views were incredible! We also found some birds to hang out with way up there.

We took one day and made the trek to Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory. It was nice to hear people speaking in English. We had a fabulous lunch of fish and chips before heading up the rock. Of course the monkeys that live at the top of the rock were a huge hit. One friend tried to steal my glasses!

After Gibraltar, we headed to Portugal to spend two days in Lagos. It was spectacular! We rented a house since we had a party of 10 and spent the time exploring in the old city. The shops and restaurants were adorable and everything was so clean. Unfortunately, it was very windy and gray while we were there so we weren't able to check out the beautiful water that we saw in pictures. According to Dave though we are going back one day so hopefully we can see it then!

Finally, we ended the vacation actually exploring Rota, Spain where my brother and sis-in-law live. We braved the streets on our own without my SIL who had played tour guide all week. It was another lovely day of exploring castles, churches, and quaint restaurants and shops.

How's that for a vacation?
Four countries...Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, Morocco!
Two continents...Europe and Africa!

The whole family now has an itch to travel more. We're already thinking of where we should go next. Everybody was so friendly and helpful. I felt very safe traveling and making our way through all the towns. Now that we have our passports, watch out world!

So now after many planes, trains, and automobiles rides, oh and a ferry boat ride too we are back home getting ready to head back to school tomorrow.

We went, we conquered, and we made incredible memories!!

We took lots of pictures so check out my facebook page to see the albums.
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