The Grandershel’s in Spain

Christmas of 2010 was unlike any other – spent in Spain, away from the Grant’s and the Holden’s for the first time in my life.  It was particularly hard to be away since it was the first Christmas without my Grandma Darlene, who’s perfectly decorated tree, pies, and hugs made you feel like you were hanging out with Mrs. Klaus herself!  Despite missing our Boise traditions, we were happy to welcome Kyle’s parents, sister and brother-in-law to Madrid for the holidays.  They made us feel at home away from home and we had a wonderful Christmas!

Over the two week visit, we came to call ourselves the “Grandershel” family – comprised of the Anderson’s (Kyle’s parents, Ken and Sharon, from Boise, Idaho), the Houdeshel’s (Kyle’s sister, Megan, and her husband, Dasch, from Salt Lake City, Utah) and us – the Granderson’s (Me, Kyle and Abby).

Kyle’s parents flew in a few days before Christmas and got to know Madrid a bit before Megan and Dasch arrived on Christmas day.  We spent a sunny Christmas opening presents, walking through Retiro, taking a light tour on the ‘Navidad Bus’ and ending with a nice Christmas dinner in our cozy little apartment.

The day after Christmas we headed out on a Grandershel roadtrip to the Adalucia region of Spain.  I had rented a ‘7 passenger van’ that wasn’t exactly the mini van I had imagined.  When we first saw the little silver hatchback we were sure we’d been assigned the wrong car and went to the attendant with our concern.  He quickly unfolded two more seats from the floor of the back and suddenly there were in fact 7 seats crammed into a remarkably compact space!  I ended up enjoying the very back seat snuggled up with Abby on my lap and wedged comfortably with my pillow and a pile of suitcases while Kyle did an amazing job driving us safely around the South of Spain.

We made a quick stop in Cordoba for lunch before our first destination – Hacienda Minerva – in Zuheros, Spain.  Some friends had recommended this charming hotel surrounded by olive groves and we absolutely fell in love.  We only spent one night there but could have stayed for a week!  I even wrote about it on the Guiri Guide so other people might enjoy this gem.

Our next stop was in Granada – an unbelievably beautiful, historic town that is home to the Alhambra Palace.  I had booked a 3-bedroom house in the Albacin neighborhood on a hillside overlooking the Alhambra and knew it would either be fantastic or really weird.  I had seen on the online description that it was a ‘cave dwelling’ with the house built into the cliff side, but little did we know that rooms built into caves don’t have doors.  There literally wasn’t a single interior door in the entire place – not even to the bathroom!  There were two ‘cave’ rooms downstairs with a large living room and kitchen and a loft room up a narrow staircase.  Let’s just say that between the stinky old pipes and lack of doors, this was an interesting place to stay for 3 nights.  We all agreed by the end that it was pretty cool that we’d slept in a cave and that it seemed a fitting place to experience the historic city of Granada.  It wasn’t so bad, but I think we all would have traded the house for a room at the Hacienda Minerva in a heartbeat!

The finale of the trip was Ken and Sharon’s last night in Madrid.  Kyle and I had given everyone tickets to see “Mamma Mia” as a Christmas gift and we all loved the impressive performance that left us humming Abba for days!

A big thanks to the Anderson’s and Houdeshel’s for a fantastic Christmas in Spain and memories that will last a lifetime!

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One Response to “The Grandershel’s in Spain”

  1. Nicely done, Anne! You captured the highlights of our once in a lifetime experience. Thank you again for all of your research and planning, which made all the difference. We had a blast and brought back amazing memories. Thank you, Kyle, for taking on the International MBA challenge and giving us the opportunity to share a little of your adventure.

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