|For our second week of summer, we stayed with
our friends from last year, Joelle
Copty, her husband, Eduardo, and their daughter, Candela. Candela
is my age, and last year we had fun together. They live in Rincón
de la Victoria, a suburb of Málaga,
about an hour from Gibraltar. At their house, I played a lot of computer
games with Candela and slept at the bottom of her bunk bed. Unfortunately,
their swimming pool was broken, so we were inside a lot of the time
instead of playing outside. We ate Joelle's dinners very late (10:00) and
stayed up late, too.
a day at the beach, Playa Calahanda in Nerja. We swam in the ocean, used
nets to try to catch fish, “surfed” on a small inflatable board, and
dug big holes in the sand. Another day we went to a restaurant called
RioSol where there were inflatables to bounce in, clowns, and face
painting. And another day we went to the beach at Rincón
had pizza and gelato.
Candela kept teasing me and making me feel bad. I had a hard time with
that. So we left a day earlier than we had planned and spent a night at
Royal Suites Marbella, in Benahavis; it had a really great swimming pool!
|For our third week of summer, we went to
Holland to visit family. First, Papa and I drove to visit Opa in Benidorm,
Spain, while Mommy flew to Venlo, Holland, to stay for three days with
Tante Lianne and see the Floriade. Then Papa and I flew to Amsterdam and
took the train to Vlissingen. Mommy joined us there, and we had a fun week
visiting aunts, uncles, cousins, and Oma.
Unfortunately, it was very wet and cold during our
visit, not at all like summer. So we didn't do a lot of outside activities
or go to the beach. We did go to the Bambini children’s
play center; visited Tante Bep for her birthday; drove to the
Kermis (fair) in Westkapelle, where I rode on fair rides (and we bought
warm oliebollen); and spent an afternoon exploring Middelburg and
buying books for me to read at home. Our last dinner was at the Pannekoekenbakker
in Oostkapelle. It had 250 kinds of pancakes! Oom Rob had one with
Indonesian food. Oma had one with strawberries and liqueur. Mommy's had
sliced apples, sour cherries, and cinnamon sugar. I had a plain one with a
powdered sugar princess picture on it. Delicious! The restaurant also had
a big kids' play area, and I got to choose a toy to take home before we
More of Spain
|We spent one day on a tour to Morocco. We
took a Baleária
ferry from Algeciras to Ceuta. Then we rode on an air-conditioned bus to
see Morocco with a tour guide named Abdul. I slept on the bus until we arrived
were taken through the Bab
el-Okla, the oldest gate,
into the medina (old
walked through a maze of tight, winding lanes and alleys
among white walls, low ceilings, rounded doorways, and brown and green
doors. We saw lots of small, dark rooms the size of closets containing
cobblers, tailors, thread spinners, jewelers, weavers, leather workers,
and metal workers. Many fruit and vegetable sellers, mostly older women,
lined the lanes, sitting on stoops. We saw lots of cats, and I
wanted to stop and pet each one. Most of the men and women wore long
robes, and some women covered their faces. We stopped at a school to learn
about carpets. I bought a carved stone camel.
we had lunch in a big restaurant with large round tables. We had round,
flat bread called khobz to share; a huge communal dish of yellow couscous; beef kebabs;
and for dessert sweet mint tea and a cookie that was the shaped like a
giant chocolate kiss but tasted like a shortbread. Three men in a band,
played a lap-held drum; a pear-shaped, short-necked lute called an oud;
and a violin (kamanjah). At one
point a drummer and dancer whirled among the tables. Papa and I posed with
the band for photos.
|Next we drove to Tangier (while I slept in
When we arrived, we stopped first at the Grand Socco (souk
) ( “large market”).
banyan tree. Then we walked through
Tangier’s medina, with many of the same sights as in
Tétouan: narrow, dark passages, craftsmen in cramped rooms, traditional
Moroccan clothing, Berber produce sellers squatting in alleyways, mysterious
brown and green doors. Within the medina we stopped at a "traditional
pharmacy," where a white-coated man who spoke English had us small different
Moroccan spices and rub ointments on our hands; he said they were used to
cure snoring, sleeplessness, hair loss, eczema and psoriasis, and prevent
mosquito bites. Then we walked to the Hotel Continental and sat to rest and
Then we drove
through the Rif mountains back to
After the half-hour ferry ride and half-hour drive from
to our place in
, we didn't end our long, adventurous day until 10:00!
|In mid-August we spent a long weekend in
southern Portugal (the Algarve). We stayed at the Colina
Verde Golf and Country Club Resort in Moncarapacho. It had a very nice
pool, but the temperature was so hot that we couldn't even stay in the
pool for long! We were surrounded by orange groves, and one morning Papa
and I went out and picked a couple oranges, then brought them back to our
room and made fresh orange juice for Mommy.
first day we went to Faro. We toured the Cathedral (boring), but I liked
climbing the church tower. We wandered around the old town, had some ice
cream, and played foosball on the street.
night we drove to Tavira. We took a ferry to ride to and from the Ilha de
Tavira. We had dinner in the Plaça da Republica, where my favorite
activity was playing in the fountain. It got dark and we walked along the
river and over the bridges. Fair tents opened up, and we bought ice cream.
next day we returned to Tavira. We climbed the castle walls, walked
through the old town, and had lunch. It was very hot, and I didn't like
climbing uphill. I did like searching for fish by the river and watching
the turtles in the square's gazebo pond. After all that walking in the
heat, looking at buildings and churches, I was tired. We were supposed to
drive right home, but Mommy said we should make one more stop, at Cacela
Velha. It was high up on a bluff looking over the ocean. Sometimes there
is only so much sightseeing a kid can do: "Can we go home yet?!"
|Mommy and I were home from Gibraltar just
four days before we flew again, this time to visit our old neighbors, who
had moved to Arizona. (The 3-hour plane ride sure felt short after flying
from Spain!) It was really hot there—over 100 degrees. Miss Trudy carried
coolers full of water bottles in the car every trip so we'd never run out.
And we couldn't play outside during most of the day, only in the early
morning and late in the day. But they had a pool in the backyard that even
had a slide and a waterfall, and Joseph and I had a great time swimming.
(Really cool: I found a baby scorpion in the hot tub!)
We had a lot of fun over five days. We went with Trudy
and Joseph to the Arizona Sealife Aquarium and the
Arizona Science Center. One afternoon we all went bowling. Another day we
all drove a long way to the cowboy town of Prescott (Joseph and I played
Pokémon on his DS in the car). We had a picnic at Willow Lake Park, went
on a hike and climbed rocks and saw crayfish in the water, and I caught a
Mom and I returned home on Labor Day. I was sad to leave
my old friend.
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