After a full and eventful day in Gibraltar, Thursday was named “relax by the pool” day. While traveling around Spain and seeing new places is fantastic, Matt and I rented this house so that not only we would enjoy it, but so that our friends and family who visit can enjoy the Costa del Sol, as well. My Dad and I had considered a quick trip to Ronda that morning, but when we woke up to another beautiful day, we decided to stick with the girls and relax. And it ended up being a perfect decision.
Our day, in a nutshell, consisted of laying in the lounge chairs by the pool, watching the gardeners trim the bushes; we went on a power walk around the neighborhood, legs burning the entire way up the hill; my Dad and I made a quick trip to the market in the village to get the fixings for Bloody Mary’s (the famous recipe courtesy of my super cool Uncle Mike and Aunt Rhonda); and when Matt got home, we cooked up homemade BLT’s. It was relaxing, it was fun, and it was rejuvenating.
On Friday we made our way back to Gibraltar, but this time to see things we missed while up on the rock. We started our day with coffee with my good friend, Tina. She and I grab a coffee at least one morning every week, so I was looking forward to introducing her to my family and keeping up with tradition. After coffee, we went back to Main Street so that Melissa could exchange a purchase made the previous day. Casemates square was abuzz with people, so we grabbed a table under an umbrella at a delicious Italian restaurant. I’ve been looking for a great salad, and I found it there – a cajun langoustine salad with caesar dressing, yum. After lunch we grabbed a cab and took pictures on the south side of the rock, called Europa Point. Unfortunately, it was hazy, making the view of Africa nearly impossible to see. To finish our Gibraltar excursion, we had a drink on the terrace at the Caleta Hotel and watched the different ships make their way in and out of the Straight of Gibraltar.
Saturday, our last day, was bittersweet. Our plans for the day were awesome, but it was sad knowing that the trip was almost over. The whole gang, Matt included, packed up for a final trip to Marbella. On the way, we stopped at one of my favorite places in the area, Laguna Village. I love to have lunch at an organic restaurant right on the water, so I was happy to share the great food and atmosphere with my family. The wraps at this restaurant are absolutely delicious, but we also tried a couple new items – fried squid, hummus with ground chorizo, and my sister enjoyed quesadillas that I’ll have to go back and try. I couldn’t help but order the same thing I always do, the California wrap.
From Laguna Village we made the short drive up the coast to our hotel in Marbella, the Guadalpin. Matt and I have stayed at this hotel in the past, and we highly recommended it for this trip. Not only is it a beautiful hotel, but it’s right on the beach. We threw on beach clothes and spent the afternoon with loads of spring breakers, drinking tinto veranos at the beach bar in the sand. Following a short siesta, we all dressed up in our nicest and went into the old town for dinner. We stumbled across a beautiful restaurant with an exquisite menu and a gorgeous winter patio set up with heaters. I feel like I’ve talked so much about food, but gosh was this place amazing. Matt and I shared the lobster risotto for our appetizer, while my Mom and Dad enjoyed it as their main dish. They split stuffed mushrooms and Melissa started with bruschetta. My blackened salmon was flaky and delicious, while my taste of Matt’s thai beef skewers left me wanting more. The ambiance and cuisine was the perfect end to the week. Not to mention, Matt was lucky enough to hear hilarious – or slightly embarrassing – stories of our childhood. 🙂
The next day, when Matt and I returned to the house, it felt so quiet. We filled seven and a half days with so much activity and fun that I was at a loss for what to do. While the visit couldn’t have been more different than Dublin the year before, it was just as amazing. I have to thank my parents for basically taking me on a vacation too!