Hello dear readers – I’m back from a fantastic home swap and trip to Spain. My yard, garden, and email accounts are getting back under control finally. It’s amazing how many weeds can grow in 3-weeks time! There’s still a stack of mail and travel documents that need attending but I’m hoping if I ignore them long enough, someone else will swoop in and handle them.
I’ve got some great pictures and adventures to share. We covered a lot of ground on our trip and really lived it up. Spain is such a beautiful country and the people who live there were so proud to share their country with us. What I love most about traveling is experiencing life as a local, meeting new people, and making new friends. We tried our best to do all of those!
We ate, drank, and cooked our way around Spain. Yes, the beauty of a home exchange is that you get a home – with a kitchen! Our home swap was along the coast, in Alicante, which is south of Valencia. We fell in love with the warm, salty Mediterranean Sea. The seafood available at the local markets was amazing.
It was so fun (especially for my soccer playing kiddos!) to be in Spain for 3 of the Euro Cup games and especially the final one, which Spain won 4-0 over Italy!! Viva Espana! And, my very stylishly frugal cute outfits all worked out well. We had some crazy adventures with camping and our rental car almost needed towing (between Google maps sending us on a very narrow road and our taking a wrong turn) we ended up with a car wheel whirling over a ditch and the other side of the road was a very steep cliff without a guardrail! On another day, I managed to break every “vacation rule” my kids gave me – in about 10 minutes time. Yes, vacation rules, plural. I’m not sure why I was given rules for our trip and not my husband…he must behave more appropriately than I do!
You won’t believe the souvenirs we came home with either. We don’t usually come home with any souvenirs other than spices or salt or something you can eat. I will mention that I usually purchase unmentionables (underwear) in Europe while traveling. It seems to be better quality and a better price (and in the summer is always on sale!) than what I find here. My daughter and I found a store we both loved called Women’s Secret, which we both agreed is a more wholesome version of Victoria’s Secret. I also found a silk scarf that I absolutely adore. Several souvenirs were free, too. It was hard to ignore the dumpsters we came across while in Barcelona. What can I say? I love a dumpster and these were especially good.
My family is compiling our lists of “best of this” and “best of that” and you’ll read it all soon. The weather was beautiful every day without a drop of rain and was very HOT!Thank you so much for reading Go Gingham and for leaving such nice comments for the guest contributors while I was away. A very big thank you to Annie, Liana, Shelley, and Mary for sharing their expertise here. It was nice to have a break and I left my computer at home! It’s wonderful to travel but coming home always feels so good.
I hope your summer is going well and that you’re enjoying a relaxed schedule with friends and family!
Go Gingham related links:
Summer travel plans and guest posts can be found here
Home exchange to Spain is here and our very first home exchange is here
Travel packing tips with a PDF chart is here
Home swapping and how to prepare your home for one
Vacation meal planning and meal planning for campers
When traveling, I love to home exchange because it’s frugal and fun!
Travel tips for a trip or stay-cation around the Northwest and travel packing in a little suitcase and a chart
Getting ready for a home exchange tips and house warming gift ideas
Save money on your before and during your next trip