Beach Baby Bliss

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It’s no mystery that Jeff and I are deeply entangled in a love affair with the sea, and there is no shortage of beautiful, golden sand beaches in Spain. From the crowded urban oases of the Med, to the plunging emerald green peaks in the north, to the secret surf towns and local hidden gems that dot the coast in between, this country offers something for nearly every “sol” searching appetite. So, when the sunny blue skies and surge in temperatures here in landlocked Madrid sparked an appetite for salty sea air, we set our sights on Andalucia’s Costa del Sol. Served with a side of a mini road trip, this long weekend getaway was made to order.

The tiny whitewashed hill town of Frigiliana was our home over the course of a recent long weekend. Our home away from home was nestled in the valley of the sierras, down a kilometer long dirt path framed end to end, corner to corner, peak to peak with avocado trees. Arriving at La Perla, so appropriately named, was a reward we truly felt we had earned after such a journey. Stepping out onto the breakfast terrace, we found ourselves over looking the unmistakable crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea framed by the surrounding peaks and the coastal town of Nerja down below. This, we thought, is what we live for. This is what has been missing. This is life in beautiful Spain.

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Burriana Beach, Nerja, Costa del Sol

This trip was less about adventure and more about relaxation. Nerja, where we spent most of our time, was the right blend of charming Spanish village mixed with laid back coastal vibes. The town itself was immaculately clean, something that stands out when you’ve spent some time traveling in Spain. In fact, the building facades were so sparkling white in the sun that forgetting your sunglasses would render you nearly blind, incapable of opening your eyes wide enough to get your bearings. The beaches did not disappoint either. Our favorite, Burriana, was a wide sandy beach with plenty of room to pitch our own private beach spread and featured a long boardwalk lined with restaurants and snack stands. Here, on the shores of the Med, is where we reconnected with our love with summertime in Spain.

Baby Girl Kohlhoff must have sensed our beach bliss, too. The first dip in the cool waters of the Med awakened her senses, and she’s been an active little guppy ever since!

Baby Girl K at 18 weeks

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Freedom Has Four Wheels

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The lighthouse of Cudillero

Cudillero – coastal, charming, and fifty shades of green. *sigh*

Settling back into a routine of balancing work, family, and fun has been difficult. Not only does the mercury in Madrid continue to dance above and around 30 degrees (celsius ya’ll!), but my mind is clouded with daydreams of barefoot toes and mojitos. The carefree days of summer may be a couple of weeks behind us, but they’re still visible in the rearview mirror. The temperatures are a reminder of that. But just when I’ve reached my limit of heat and stress, the sun begins to set on the Spanish capital, the temperatures fall, and I remember Cudillero.

Owning a car and living in a major metropolis seems, well, unncessary. It’s true that the public transit system can get you anywhere you need to go. But, where you need to go and where you want to go are quite different. Sure, I need to get to work, but do I want to go to work? *insert Spanish shoulder shrug* When Jeff and I are on our own time, our free time, what we want are wide open spaces – freedom of the open road. We’re willing to go anywhere four wheels and a tank of gas will take us, and Asturias was our first roadtrip destination.

Beautiful, mountainous, chilly, green Asturias; a contradiction of Madrid in every way. Even as I sit here comfortable in my living room, a cool early evening breeze blowing through the open doors, I’m distracted by thoughts of verdant mountains and crisp nights in the little fisherman’s village of Cudillero. We spent little more than forty-eight hours there, and much of that time was spent behind the wheel. Why? Because we wanted to. We zig-zagged up and around forested mountains, visited a bee and blackberry farm, explored a secluded beach, and stumbled upon a locals-only restaurant serving up the most unbelievable BBQ platter one has ever set out to devour in a single sitting. These little discoveries may seem ordinary, but having traded the suburban life for that of a concrete jungle I realize that I crave the connection with all things green and natural each time I assume the role of navigator in the passenger seat. We have to drive a bit further to find it in central Spain, but when we do my senses are once again awakened to what I want, and in this case what I also need.

Cudillero is calling me back…

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