Valencia for Christmas

At Christmas I went to visit some very special people- the family who hosted me on my high school exchange program….17 years later. 

I haven’t been to Europe in ages, so it was an awesome treat. And since Christmas in Spain isn’t over until the three kings arrive on the 7th, it was Christmas THE WHOLE TIME I WAS THERE! Magical Christmas extension!

   
Christmas tree in El Puerto del Sol.

Meat cones. Yesssssssss.

    

The glass palace. I wouldn’t mind a greenhouse like this.

My lovely host sister in Retiro Park.

      

Fish mouth tennis stadium.

Pretending to make paella in “tio’s” farm kitchen.

  

Architecture details in my favorite neighborhood in Valencia. (El Cabanyal is worth googling.)

Riding the Ferris wheel.  

 

Lovely church in Valencia. The belief is that babies baptized here won’t die in car accidents. Very specific.

 
…..and Valencia oranges. 

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Myrtle Beach!

This Spring I moved SOUTH!  More SOUTH than I have ever lived.  Winter in New England this year was absolutely brutal and I knew that I’d have a VERY busy summer, so I took a few days out on Myrtle Beach and it was just what the doctor ordered.  I can’t wait to go back!

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I let Rocket drive part of the way – he’s almost 4, so in human years he should have his license by now.

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First stop was Huntington Beach State Park to set up camp.  I prefer my tent to be invisible…just kidding…it’s a hammock.  I love not sleeping on the ground and my Warbonnet Blackbird is my favorite ticket to fly!

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The dogs aren’t the hugest fan of the hammock – Piglet is a little more used to it because she’s been around longer, my little baby is going to be 9 this year!  But once they settle, it’s actually a very comfy sleep.  I have a Big Agnes bag like this one and I love it.  I also use a generic REI sleeping pad for insulation, but I’m still working on that part…I could use another layer of something.  Last year out on the Appalachian Trail (I hiked through a bunch of the New Hampshire section of the trail) I was a little chilly.

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I needed the sun and the ocean….the up-close-and-personal alligator encounters I could definitely have done without though. 😉