Friday, July 31, 2015

Man de la Mancha!

 After horseback riding alllll day we ate at our normal breakfast spot to try their dinner. We got some fried fish as a starter and had a paella mixture for dinner.
 I tried allll sorts of seafood I've never had before!  Fried squid, muscles, prawns, (shrimp I still won't eat)...I was surprised at how it wasn't that bad.  It's still definitely not my first choice of food to eat, but I CAN eat it!
 We were pretty hungry....(Tyler eating a prawn...the wrong way)
 We finished dinner off with creamy, thick, rich, hot chocolate and churros. They were AMAAAAZING!
 We woke up the next morning to drive to the giant windmills!!! On our drive there the scenery was sooo beautiful! There were olive trees EVERYWHERE.  As far as you could see for miles and miles.  It was a sight to take in.

I was so excited to see where Don Quixote and Sancho Panza made their story.  Once a loooong time ago I was in a short play in 7th grade and played the part of Sancho Panza.  Little did I know he was short and fat and his donkey was reaaaaaally short! haha. 

 Trying to stay healthy by eating carrots on our drive
 Here is the first glimpse of the windmills. They are the white things poking up from the hill.  I could sort of see why Don Quixote thought giants were coming to attach his castle.  It was crazy to see just how close they were to his castle...I always pictures them way off in the distance. And a ton of them!  There were just a handful.
 When we got there to take a tour of the castle there was a class field trip going on and it was so fun to watch the kids.  They were playing all sorts of mideval games. Here they are playing tug of war
 Here the main tour guide is giving them a sword fight lesson.  He was sooo animated and sooo great with children.  I was laughing my head off and I didn't even know what he was saying.  Tyler did do a great job translating for me.
 The view from the top was incredible! I loved seeing all the plots of farmland spread across all viewpoints and going as far as you could see.
 There are the Giant Windmills off in the distance behind us!
 Tyler and his rockstar jump! I love how it turned out.
Replaying my past and slaying the Giant! It was a lot of fun. I will always have a special place in my heard for Don Quixote.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Horseback Riding in the Sierra Nevadas

 We woke up early Thursday morning and drove about an hour and a half up the mountains to find some a really small town...There were A LOT of switchbacks as you can see from our GPS.  The road we drove up would barely fit two cars driving side by side.  We saw a few buses coming down and we were heading up and I had to hold my breath that we didn't get pushed over the edge! These drivers are crazy! Crazy Good!

We had to stop and ask for directions a couple of times and then finally reached our destination! Horse Heaven! The horses/barns/stalls we are in one area so as they were saddling up the horses the others that were being left behind were just roaming around us. Pretty cool!  

 I wish we would have taken a picture with our entire group.  We also rode with 3 girls from England.  A mother (Allison), her daughter (Chloe), and stepdaughter (Lucy). They were a fun bunch and we had all sorts of fun conversations about life in England vs. life in Texas. 
 We took a short break in a open field to take in the view.  The horses got to stop and munch for a bit.  My horse's name was Taello. 
 Some of the trail was on gravel road but most of it was on the side of the mountain, walking through rocky and grassy trails.
 It was a BEAUTIFUL sight!  We stopped to eat lunch about 3 hours into the ride.  Our guide packed us some salad with tuna, boiled eggs, bread, olives, canned white asparagus.  And of course some good ol' spanish wine! The people of Spain drink some form of alcohol at every meal and snack time throughout the day. Even breakfast! It's crazy!
 My horse was a full bred Andalusian.  We rode English style which I had never done before.  I wish I had my boots since my feet did tend to slip but it was still a lot of fun! Our entire ride was 6 HOURS LONG!!!
 Poor Tyler! The good thing is you could get off and walk your horse at any time so Tyler took advantage of that a couple times.  

As we neared home the horses got really antsy since they smelled home and started getting a bit mischievous! But we all survived.  Here we are with our guide Dallas(originally from England).  She told us 6 hours in a stroll in the park for these horses.  She usually takes people on a week to two week long trips on horseback!  We were lucky she had a free day to squeeze us in. 

After our long ride we walked around the small town a bit and ended up at a really awesome souvenir shop and bought most of our souvenirs there. They had handmade fruit flavored chocolate that was amazing!  I got to practice my spanish with the owner's wife while Tyler chatted with the owner and I was surprised at how much I could get by with!

We were soooo hungry after riding! And tired! and sore! We ate at our usual breakfast spot for dinner.  Had some fried fish for a starter.

We tried a paella mixture for dinner with fried squid, prawns, muscles, fish,  and chicken! I tried it all.  Seafood isn't my favorite but I did try everything!  

Here is Tyler with his prawn. 

For dessert we had THICK CREAMY hot chocolate with churros. That reaaaaally hit the spot!