Towards the end of June 2016, Scott and I took our first transatlantic flight as a couple and traveled to the Southern coast of Spain. We met his mother, grandmother and little sister there for a week of exploring El Costa del Sol before continuing on to Ibiza, Paris and London just the two of us. While in Southern Spain we visited several cities including Málaga, Gibraltar, Ronda, and Cádiz. Since Málaga was our home base during this portion of the trip, it seemed only fitting to start the “Spain Series” here.
After a full day of travel, Scott and I were the first to arrive in Málaga. We disembarked from our plane, painstakingly collected our rental car without assistance, and drove straight to the beach in our travel clothes. We parked on the side of a crowded city street that bordered the Mediterranean ocean, changed into swimsuits in the back seat of our tiny, black Euro-car, and walked barefoot straight into the ocean. We were exhausted but couldn’t wait another minute to feel the Spanish sun and the spray of the ocean.
During the short time we had to ourselves before our family arrived, Scott managed to burn himself to an extent that I hadn’t yet seen. The picture below hardly does it justice, I guess his Pacific Northwest skin wasn’t prepared for the intensity of the Mediterranean.
After I realized how red he was getting, we decided to cover up and hit a beach cafe. Right next to where we had left our rental car was a cafe with crepes and gofres (Spanish for waffles). We sipped on cafe con leche and fresh orange juice while I attempted to order from the waitress in Spanish. I quickly realized how much work my conversation skills were going to need if I was going to continue to order things at small, authentic establishments such as this one. Something that was most surprising to me, was how much your foreign language skills will improve in just a week.
Finally, the rest of our group arrived and we could see the resort which would become our home for the week to follow. Scott’s grandma had a timeshare with two bedrooms, a kitchen and a TV that played nothing but international news. We were forced to follow the events of Brexit more closely than we wanted to. There was a lovely courtyard and a refreshing swimming pool which would become our favorite place to end a day of touring.
On this first day of exploring our home-for-the-week, we walked to a near by beach called Calahonda. Raynie (Scott’s little sister) and I, were dazzled by bright red flowers that lined the streets leading to the ocean.
We found a rocky beach hidden down a gravel path where locals brought their small children to play.
Twice during our time in Málaga, we drove the short distance to the neighboring town of Marbella to visit the luxurious Puerto Banús. This marina/shopping area was described by our concierge as “a place for the rich and famous”. Sure enough, there were more designer clothing and jewelry stores than I could count and six figure European sports cars everywhere. There was a marina filled with the most impressive yachts I’d ever seen (until visiting Ibiza later in this trip) and women walking around with their men carrying dozens of their shopping bags.
Our first visit to this bustling boardwalk included a meal out to Pizzeria Picasso (recommended by the aforementioned concierge). We ordered rich and delectable drinks and a few unique and exciting pizzas and watched the wealthy stroll by on the streets.
Our second visit to Marbella involved a classic favorite: Hard Rock Cafe. We enjoyed some American food while ordering in Spanish.
Finally, we took Scott’s family back to the beach and the cafe we visited on our first day after our flight. Scott’s mom, sister and grandmother (with a little extra convincing) went swimming in the Mediterranean ocean for the first time.
Stay tuned for posts about our excursions to the other Spanish cities during this week and tales from Ibiza, Paris and London after that. Our 2016 trip to Europe is part of what inspired this blog and I’m so excited to finally be sharing these stories with you all.
Note: About half of these photos were taken by Scott as usual, but the other have were taken by his mother, Tonie Jenkins 🙂