Archive for September, 2011

The French’s in Espana

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized with tags , on September 25, 2011 by grandersons

In May, our dear friends Amber and Ryan French packed their bags, dropped their adorable daughter, Lily, off with her grandparents in Colorado, and hopped on a plane to visit us in Spain.  It was the longest they had every been away from Lily and they missed her terribly, but we were so thankful to have them visit and to enjoy a relaxing 10 days with them!

They started with a couple of low-key days in Madrid while Kyle finished his final exams of the term and I worked – an exciting welcome, I tell you.  Fortunately we were all able to take a break and kick off their visit over the weekend by taking a trip to Ibiza – the renowned party capital of Spain that we decided to visit before the party started.  We went just as the weather warmed up, but before the multi-story clubs opened up for the summer.  Let’s just say that we were strategic and enjoyed the elderly German tourists that seemed to have the same idea we did and the next-to-empty beaches that welcomed us with open arms.

The highlight of the trip was exploring the island on our scooters.  I’d never been on a scooter before and it was the perfect opportunity – winding island roads with spectacular views and few other cars to be seen.

The beaches were unbelievably gorgeous.

We enjoyed lunches on the beach and leisurely dinners in the old town of Ibiza.

We discovered a cloudier, chillier side of Ibiza on Sunday, but made the most of it with a tour through the old, walled part of the city and checked out one last beach where Amber and I enjoyed some quality time on a quiet little dock.  Amber and I have never struggled for things to talk about and I’m consistently thankful for her patient, thoughtful friendship – This was such a nice moment and I can’t wait for many similar moments when we get home to Seattle!

Back to Madrid we went to enjoy a few more days together.  Kyle went with Amber and Ryan to check out the Reina Sofia modern art museum and it seems they enjoyed the experience…

And we went out to Cava Baja for some typical Spanish tapas with the French’s and our Madrid friends.

Amber and Ryan – thank you for visiting us in Madrid and going on a great adventure to Ibiza with us!  We love you guys and can’t wait to see you and Lily when we’re back in Seattle!

 

 

Cho-Grander Adventure: Part 3 Belgium

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 5, 2011 by grandersons

The final destination on our Cho-Grander spring break adventure was Brussels, Belgium – known for hosting the headquarters of the European Union and for its delicious Belgian beers, chocolates, waffles and pomme frites (aka french fries).

We ate and walked our way through this charming city and were struck by it’s beauty, as well as it’s contradictions.  I had been here before (read more about that trip here) but we all kept talking about the amazing differences between one part of the city and another – modern versus historic, trendy versus run down, and the list goes on…

One of our favorite spots was Place St. Gery where supposedly the oldest and most famous fry stand sits in a small, round hut with a long line at the window and a number of surrounding bars with signs that indicate it’s okay to bring your fries in and have a beer.  We took full advantage of this opportunity!

We were particularly impressed by the views in the evening as the sun was setting – gorgeous lighting, impressive coloring.

Before heading to the airport, we decided to enjoy one last leisurely lounge in the park near where we stayed.  We thought we’d enjoy the white wine we’d bought in Germany since we hadn’t had it yet and it wouldn’t make it home in our carry-on bags, but it turns out that German white wine is not our favorite – it was a nice idea.

We were so thankful to our friend, Adina, for letting us stay at her apartment while she and her husband and daughter were still in Madrid.  At the end of the trip, we were all sad to say goodbye to Brussels and Lalit and Kyle were particularly sad to say goodbye to the rental car we’d enjoyed for the week.