After two years, I am returning to Spain. When I came back to the US at the end of 2012, I had no intention of spending this much time away from this beloved place that holds mysterious and deep family connection for me. Yet two years it has been and I believe it was for the best. It will be my first time flying stand-by (yes, your positive thoughts and well-wishes are much appreciated that we get seats) and we will be launching into 2015 from the heart of Spain. Here’s what we have to look forward to:
My boyfriend Eric is going with me and we’re excited to be traveling for our first time together to a place that we both love so much. Once we arrive into Madrid, we’ll spend a couple of nights there and are going to visit El Prado museum, some local great cafes I discovered when last there, and stroll the romantic streets and beautiful paths of El Retiro park. Then we’ll ride the short 40-minute train to Toledo.
This will be the first time either of us have been in Toledo and we’re already registered to run the San Silvestre Toledana. The 8km race is an annual tradition since 1982 and entails over 4,000 people on a route through the ancient center of this hilly town. I do not run often, but since my boyfriend does and even my mother and her boyfriend, I figured I can go my pace and do something memorable and different to celebrate the end of 2014. After all, it’s equivalent to just about 5 miles…yeah…wish me luck!
After the race, we’ll join the thousands of others who will gather in the center square and toast to the New Year with Cava and the traditional eating of the twelve grapes. After a couple of nights in Toledo to explore the town, we will drive up to Avila, another town that I have yet to visit in my Spanish explorations. Although we will not be spending many nights in each of these towns, I’m excited to explore and discover them in preparation for a more extended tour and visit on future trips.
From this central area of Spain, we will then return home with my mother and her boyfriend to their village in Extremadura, Higuera la Real. This will be our “home-base” for most of the trip so we can continue to work on our projects and run our marketing business that we own, while venturing out on afternoon trips to experience the ancient rural villages of that region that are amazing hidden gems. From there, we are keeping our plans open to see what areas of Andalucia we may venture to.
Stay tuned to experience right along with us how our journey unfolds into adventures of meeting new friends, savoring heavenly Spanish foods and wines, and being in places that take us back in time. We’re going to travel and live as locals and I know that it will not leave us the same. Come along with us and if you’re in Spain and want us to feature your way of life there, contact us and we’re there!