With summer in full swing, it’s been a huge change to not be in Sarasota right now. This is the first summer since 2001 that I haven’t spent all or a good portion of my summer on my beloved island of Siesta Key. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved spending my summer in Spain but alas, I am a creature of habit. Growing up, I have never spent my summers at home (wherever that was at the time being), before Sarasota and even when I lived in Sarasota, I would spend my entire summer (apart from that month or so at camp) at my cabin near Calloway Gardens. We’ve since bought a place on Siesta Key and it’s where we currently still go. Even though I’ve moved a lot, I’ve literally grown up in these two locations and have created lasting memories in these “homes”.
The earlier (or awkward) days at the cabin
Well, right now, I’m really missing Sarasota.
I’m missing the small things like spending the day at the pool and the beach, being able to stay in my swimsuit all day
. I would say that I miss taking the time to get lost in a dozen or so books but I do that year round. In particular, I miss this time with my mom and brother. During the year, we get caught up in school and our own groups of friends, but our little place on Siesta Key allows us to spend time together and make the sweetest of memories that I will carry with me until I die.
Siesta Key again.... I promise Cliff didn't grow up to be this awkward.
Oh how I miss that beautiful sunset...
Sorry I haven’t blogged since I left Madrid, there wasn’t been a lot of time when I was traveling and there’s almost no wifi since I’ve been in Salamanca.
Andalucía was incredible, it was exhausting but definitely worth it. We went Córdoba, Sevilla, Rock of Gibraltar, Torremolinos, and Granada. I loved every minute of it but there were definitely some highlights of the trip…
1. La Mancha
This is where Cervantes got his inspiration for Don Quixote. We were able to see the windmills that Don Quixote thought were monsters he needed to fight, we ate lunch at the inn that in the novel Don Quixote thought was a castle, spent the night, and became a “knight”.
2. Rock of Gibraltar
Perfect day. I got to spend the day in a colony of Great Britain, which was so amazing but it was a little confusing trying to decide which language to speak to them. We took vans to the top of the rock, where we were able to see the coast of Africa (which probably would have been a little bit more amazing if my heart wasn’t already on that beloved continent). The Mediterranean Sea is gorgeous, the monkeys are very friendly (probably a little too friendly…), the history is incredible. We took a tour of a cave that was used during a war and there were three of us who almost got left behind because there was just so much to see. Unfortunately we were able to take a tour of a cave that served a large purpose during WWII, which is probably best because I probably still be there. Plus, in The Living Daylight, a James Bond movie, there’s a scene where Bond is driving a hijacked Land Rover down the side of the Rock of Gibraltar and flys into the sea. Even though we didn’t end up the water, not many can say they’ve driven on the same side of a large rock of James Bond.
Lazy day at the beach on the Mediterranean Sea, need I say more? That was cloudy for the majority of the day which worked out really well because we would have been absolute lobsters. We spent the day playing cards, napping, and doing absolutely nothing. It was wonderful.
It was so amazing that I have no idea how to preface it…. I saw the caskets of King Fernando and Queen Isabella. Literally, I was feet away from their caskets and the caskets of their daughter and son-in-law. I was able to see their robes, her crown, her jewelry. It was incredible. In my culture class right now, we’re learning about them and it’s an indescribable feeling know that I’ve been so close to their remains. After that, we went in probably the most beautiful church I’ve ever been in. Ever. Gabi and I had to sit down just to take it all in.
All in all, it was a perfect week and I was able to see so much history and culture while having fun with friends… Doesn’t get much better than that.
La Mezquita de Córdoba
Sevilla. Plaza de España. Featured in both Lawrence of Arabia and Star Wars.
There’s no way it’s been four weeks, I feel like I just arrived in Madrid. But, unfortunately, my time in Madrid has come to a close. I’d come to the conclusion that while it was a nice city, Madrid wasn’t my favorite city in the world. But on a walk about a week ago with our madre, I really fell in love with Madrid- the sun had just set, the sky was a dark purple, we were walking along the river in the perfect temperature and I suddenly realized how magical this city truly is. Beneath the metropolitan, large city is a historical Madrid filled with culture and wonderful people.
How we spent our last night in Madrid, going for a wonderful walk with our madre and roommates
Hello Andalucía, Salamanca, and adventures that await me.
Goodbye Madrid, I’ll always keep these memories close to my heart.
Happy Father’s Day to a wonderful dad! I hope you have a long overdue, relaxing day, sorry I pretty much haven’t been able to spend this day with you since probably 9th grade!
I love you so much, butterfly kisses!
No matter where I am in the world, I am always missing Kenya. I miss the land, the people, the laughter, the children, the way I feel when I’m there. Without a doubt, I’m truly my happiest when I’m in that beautiful country.
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” -James 1:27
My heart is forever yours, Kenya.
Photo courtesy of Pinterest
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11