Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Balearics Bound – Off to Menorca!

It’s been a rough few weeks for me (and the kids).  With an exodus of friends, I’ve been finding myself already in hibernation mode.  I’ve had no desire to leave the house (not to mention it’s a million degrees in Barcelona these days) and so it’s been a bit of a catch-22.  Yes, we’re just chilling and relaxing but we are also totally up each others’ asses.  The kids and I have been at each others throats for weeks and yet, I just haven’t cared enough to do much about it.  I know it’s a mentality that needs to change and I keep telling myself when school starts again things will be better.

But things are already looking up.  On Saturday we left for our family vacation to Menorca, an island just off the coast of Barcelona, a mere 30 minute flight.  I’ve never seen Aidan so excited about a flight – mainly because he couldn’t actually believe that a flight could be that short.  And it was.  I actually dared to turn on my ipod for a moment only for the captain to announce we had to shut off all electronics as we prepared to land – I wasn’t even a full song in… yes, that short of a flight. 

Walking thru Barcelona airport on the way to our gate...

Josh sits with the kids on non trans-Atlantic flights - that's the price you pay for me flying with pukey kid every year by myself....

Waiting for our bags

The owners of the villa we rented seemed to think that it was going to take us 3 hours to get from the airport to them, yet the island is a mere 30 miles (need to confirm this info) long so not sure if they were anticipating that there was going to be that much traffic or what???  We got a better idea of why when we were in baggage claim.  Let’s just say it’s a good thing we rent through Sixt and not Europacar.  The Europacar line had AT LEAST 50 people in it waiting for car rentals.  Ours…none.  Yeah, we were out of there in less than 30 mins and on the road within 45 after securing our little Opel for the week.

Oh and the car gods were shining down on us because we were blessed with an automatic.  Though believe it or not, I was almost hoping for a manual because I knew that Menorca was pretty flat and I thought I might get some practice in.  But in reality, that probably wouldn’t have happened anyways and I’m glad that we got the automatic so I can share (and enjoy) in the driving. 

However, even though it was an automatic, Josh chose to drive on day 1 and given we got lost a few times, I’m thankful for that one.  And I will admit, the first time we got lost was entirely my fault.  You see, on the contract from the owners was an address in bold.  I assumed that was our address because it was the only one in bold on the contract.  Makes sense right?  Odd though because my friend Ignasi, who is from here, could have sworn we were staying Cala Blanca and not in Los Delfines, but no, that’s what the contract said.  So we were off to our villa.  Only we got there and it wasn’t our villa from the pictures we’d seen.  Hmmmm… must look at contract again.  Oh, it’s where it’s not bolded at the bottom that has our actual address.  Of course!!!  Why didn’t I think of that! 

Off again to attempt to find our villa.  We found the neighborhood but couldn’t find the house.  They had the name of the house next door (no where to be seen anywhere) on the contract but not an actual street number – and just as an FYI, the house next door’s name is NOT the one that’s listed on the contract which explains why we couldn’t find it.  I called and they said they were waiting outside.  I even got out and was walking around trying to find it.  Eventually after about another 30-40 minutes we found it.  And yes, it was just before 4 at this point, so I guess the owner was right in the end.  So much for getting there at 2:30! 

It was worth it though.  110% worth it.  The views from our villa are beyond stunning.  And while the views at our villa in Paxos, Greece (reference blog entry here) were equally breathtaking, it was differently so.  We are perched upon a low cliff, on the first line as they call it.  So literally, the pool to our villa, is on the cliff (albeit a good 100 feet from the edge of the cliff thankfully).  We look right out on to the beautiful Mediterranean from the back of the house.  Well worth it! 

Outside of our villa


Inside the villa

Living room with very badly placed IKEA light

And the piece de resistance... the pool with the amazing view of the Mediterranean!

View without Liam :)

Close up with flowers

Back of the villa

Checking out the local plants

I took a walk past the pool towards the water... rocks were porous which was interesting.

Climbing the outdoor shower

Josh went out in hunt of groceries and the kids and I jumped in the pool.  A mellow, chill afternoon after the chaos of trying to find the villa.  We decided that since the Los Delfines area seemed to have a bunch of (touristy) restaurants, we would go back there for dinner and we did.  The restaurant, the Tahiti, was definitely cheesy but the food was actually decent and bonus, they had a big screen tv with kids cartoons playing, old school ones like Snagglepuss, Looney Toons and more – exactly the kind of stuff our kids love and it kept them nicely entertained. 

Loving the pool...notice NO BUBBLE!

Josh with the kids after getting back from the store

About an hour before sunset

Enjoying their chocolate milkshakes

We ended the night early, preparing for a big day on Sunday with my friend Ignasi and his surprise plans for us… I wonder what we are going to do?????


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