We did not know that May 15th was a major holiday in Spain when we planned the start of our European '08 Odyssey. Shades of our arrival on November 1st, 2006 when we did not realize that was a major holiday. Grin. It is hard to keep track of all the holidays in Europe, although we are often affected by them as there is an impact on our travel when the Spanish have a bank and/or school holiday or even the Germans, Dutch, French or English...who sometimes suddenly take over an area.
It did add a little fun to our dramatic start with my newly pulled tooth and ice pack on my cheek as we observed some fanciful festivities as we drove along. Luckily, not everything was closed as we had a few stops to make, wounded mom or not. First we dropped off one more box to our dear friends on the outskirts of Malaga and then tried to find a violin store down some very narrow, crowded streets in downtown Malaga.
Not an easy feat with a camper and we even stopped traffic at one point when we ran into a dead end. Swollen jaw and all, I got out to help DaVinci maneuver out of a tight spot and luckily before too long some young men literally picked up and moved a parked van, so we could turn around. After circling in this nightmare pattern for a while in our boxy camper, we found a place to double park and DaVinci and Mozart took off while I watched our RV. We are not thrilled with the violin and may buy another one in Ireland, but Mozart really needed to move up to the next size and this was the place her teacher recommended. This is her fourth violin and she is in the 1/4 size now.
Then we went onto our next errand of getting a new bike for Mozart and me and picking up a few more sports things like tennis rackets.We got a very late start with my afternoon dental appointment,so by the time we completed this it was very late. Too late it seemed to even make it to the nearest campground as most lock up by midnight.This was not the kind of day we wanted, but things had to get done. I still did not feel very good, but managed to make some sandwiches in the dark (since we had no electricity) because we were all hungry.Some times, one has to just keep plugging through a rough day.
It was a lovely evening, so the three of us, scraggly and tired campers, sat down on a little wall outside the empty large store under the stars and had a magical moment. Suddenly, out of the blue, the most glorious fireworks display above the nearby trees, entertained us as we ate. We took it as a sign of approval from above, that we were being rewarded for our hard work and reminded us that the joy of simple pleasures will light up our journey on this new '08 odyssey. We headed to bed after the fireworks, content and happy after a very long day, grateful for the Grace in our lives.
The next morning we headed to Marbella which is not so far away, about an hour. We needed to do some more shopping there before leaving, but our main purpose was just to relax, enjoy the beach and get into our travel groove. We did not do any touring to speak of, just biked, rested, went to the beach, homeschooled, played board games, read and took a vacation from our vacation.
We stayed at Marbella Playa campsite which happened to be very close to and on the same beach that we stayed at last year with DaVinci's family. It was just perfect for our needs and nice and quiet in the off season. It was a great place to ride bikes which was terrific for Mozart who does not get much chance to do that in our very hilly village and about a block away from the beach. Family life goes on in our timeless extended travel and sometimes we need time to just be. It is one of the rewards of slow travel.
Life in our RV is slower and close to nature, so very soothing. Part of
that is because we carry a lot in a small space, so each of us needs to
be mindful of space and how we move in it and how we handle things from dishes to cooking. I
had not finished organizing clothes so I did it leisurely as well as a
little laundry and some how these things are quite pleasurable in our mini
home. To give you an idea, I will enclose a picture of our closet that
contains all of our clothes that we will wear for the next seven
months. We pack quite a lot in that very small space with a "drawer"
for each of us. Everything has its place, but we must be mindful when
getting anything or replacing it. I find I enjoy the mindful aspects of
living like this as well as being in nature. Funny, how I use to enjoy the pleasures of a large home, but can also see the advantages of a small mobile home. It is good to be happy where ever you are and see those particular advantages.
We are all so happy to be homeschooling full time again and have a nice rhythm in the morning, part of it is when all three of us are on our laptops doing our work in peaceful harmony. We juggle places, sometimes outside in our comfy chairs, sometimes at the table inside and sometimes one or two of us " downstairs" and another "upstairs" in our loft bedroom. It still amazes me how comfortable we can be in such tight quarters as I never would have guessed it or that we could find ways to have privacy and personal time so easily. We are usually quite cuddly in the mornings and before bed "upstairs" together & have found a great set up for laying in bed while watching dvd's for entertainment nights. We even have getting the piano out for practice down to a science. Before going the small space was one of my biggest worries, but it has worked like a charm much to my surprise.
Some of the campsites were quite elaborate like Mozart's favorite that was filled with gardens and a fountain. Some northern Europeans spend the winter here and others use their spaces as summer get-away cottages. The weather was divine and it was the perfect place to unwind, barbeque, make homemade orange juice and castles in the sand!
Don't forget that if you click on the photos here that you can enlarge them. We are going to try to keep up with additional photos in Flickr if we can, depending on internet connection.