Sunday, July 26, 2015

Mom and Andie visit

Jose and I have had a sort of rough start to the month of July. We both taught some intensive English courses while also undergoing a pretty serious fertility treatment. Add to that oppressive heat that comes with living in the south of Spain and I was more than ready to see at least part of my family and spend some time with them. Somehow I managed to talk my little sister, Andie, and my mom into a week-long visit.

Overlooking the river in Seville
Our first two days were spent in Seville where we visited all the major sites in the morning and evening when it wasn't so incredibly hot. Midday was spent back at our apartment. It was a pretty relaxing way to see the city.

First lunch at home
My mom has been here several times before but it was Andie's first trip to Europe. I am glad she chose to come here to Spain and I think she enjoyed herself. I know she certainly liked the food, especially patatas bravas.

Plaza de EspaƱa 
We also had dinner in the village where we live, Dos Hermanas with Jose's parents. As you can see Cooper was able to tag along most places we went (at least when we were just walking around and having dinner outside).

In Dos Hermanas
The third day of their visit we made a trip down to Jerez because one of Andie's friends and her husband were there for the summer. I have never been to Jerez and would like to go back on a day when it won't be so hot to actually do a bit of sightseeing. It seemed like a nice city with more touristy things than I expected. We even tried some of their famous sherry wine. We also stopped at the giant mall right outside the city to check out their Primark store (which left me with mixed feelings although I had heard good things from fellow expats).

Jerez with Andie's friends Jen and Andres
We also decided to surprise my mom and sister with a trip to my favorite part of the south of Spain, the dehesa in the sierra of Huelva. My sister just finished up her PhD and my mom recently retired so we wanted to do something nice to celebrate. We ended up staying in the village of Cortegana but visited Almonaster, Fuenteheridos and Aracena.

Restaurant in Almonaster
In Fuenteheridos we had lunch at the same place we have gone to a couple of times before and were not disappointed. We went out to Almonaster during the evening and had dinner at the Rincon de Curro which we have driven past each time we have visited this village in the past but have never stopped. I am convinced that we will repeat the next time we are there because it was great. In Aracena we visited the Jamon museum, walked around the city and enjoyed a parrillada.

Jamon museum in Aracena
Since their flight was out of Madrid fairly early in the morning (as is the case most of the time with returns to the U.S.), we decided to spend a night in Madrid with my sister and mom before they left. We weren't there for much time but were able to do quite a bit of walking around as well as visiting the main plazas and the Retiro Park. Jose and I visited the newly renovated Archaeological Museum the day my family left in the afternoon and it was amazing.

Puerta del Sol in Madrid
Overall it was a really nice visit though short as usual. I think my mom and sister had a good time and I appreciate their willingness to take things slowly due to the heat. I am sure they will both be back soon!