here's a little video i made of our trip to valencia. it's 100% just the kids playing & i kind of love it for that. they are seriously adorable together & i'm glad i have a little video to look back on in future years to come & to show cedar when he's older! i love watching these two play, they are so energetic it is amazing. also, i made this with my iphone, sooooo it looks a lot better when you watch it in HD. so if you're interested in that you can watch it here.


last week my friend aimee (who happens to be from utah) asked if cedar & i would want to go with her & her two kids, evie & wells, on a little trip. her husband had a job interview in the states & was going to be gone most of the week & austin had finals going on & was constantly at school studying so it sounded was perfect timing for everyone. we settled on going to valencia, a beach town that's an hour & forty five minutes away by train. aimee found us a really great apartment that was a short walk to the beach & the boardwalk. valencia has so much to offer, amazing museums, animal parks, awesome architecture & it is over all just a really cool looking city, but i'd be lying if i told you we did any of that. we parked ourselves at the beach on day one & didn't change gears the rest of the trip, which was pretty great.

the little babes looooooooved the beach. the more i go to the beach with cedar the more i'm convinced that it's the perfect place for kids to be, which you'd think i would've already known since i grew up going to the beach, but it's a lot different going with your own kids. it was cute watching cedar & evie play with eachother, they have so much fun & are such good little playmates & cedar adores her, which is so sweet to watch. they ran around the entire beach after each other, built sand castles, chased after the beach ball, they wore themselves out on the daily.

valencia is in catalonia, which is an autonomous community within spain that is made up of 4 different areas, one being barcelona. even though it's in spain going somewhere that is in catalonia has a pretty different feel from traditional spain & i felt that pretty strongly in valencia. besides the slight language differences (spelling & some pronunciation is different) the entire vibe is different & seems to be more laid back. at least that's what i've gathered from going to valencia & barcelona.. haha.i'm instantly drawn into most places that have a beach but i really fell more in love with valencia on our last evening there. we took it easy & just walked around our little neighborhood taking it all in & it was all so cute, the walls are so many different, bright colors, strings of laundry across the alley ways, kids playing & small local cafes on all the corners. it reminded me so much of south america & nothing like the traditonal spanish of madrid, it seemed a little more lively & laid back & i loved it. valencia is known for being the birthplace of paella & orxata (horchata) so we obviously had to try both & neither disappointed, especially the orxata. aimee, the kids & i probably drank a gallon or two of the orxata in our three day stay & then we brought some home to share with our husbands because it was that good. it tastes pretty different from the horchata in mexico which is a rice/milk drink. the valencian orxata is made from tigers nut milk (i'd never before heard of tigers nut, ever) & sugar. it tastes nutty but in such a good way. i'm drooling just thinking about it right now.
we were all bummed when it was time to leave, which is always a sign of a good trip, but cedar & i were both ready to see austin again. plus, we'll have to go back so he can check it out too, so it really just works in my favor :)


since austin is in the midst of finals he's been leaving early for school & coming back late, so i've been working hard on keeping cedar & i busy. it's pretty easy for us to stay home & play, especially with how hot it's been here, but we both get tired of being inside all the time. this weekend was no different, we were out & about as much as we could manage & it was a really fun weekend. cedar & i spent friday running around retiro, going to as many playgrounds as he could find & going to the rose garden which is amazing & deserves it's own post. that night after cedar was asleep & austin was studying in the kitchen i watched one of my favorite movies in the world: legends of the fall. have you seen it? if not, you definitely need to. it's gut-wrenching & makes me cry every. single. time. it's amazing. saturday we went to brunch at this cute little spot called the toast & then austin went to school to study while cedar & i met our friends to play & for some ice-cream which is always a good combination.

saturday night i went out with some of the moms from a playgroup i take cedar to on wednesdays & stayed out far too late. i don't got out a whole lot at night without cedar, so i always forget what "going out" entails here in spain. i figured i'd be back by midnight but these moms had a different idea & we didn't even get home until 2:30, which was an early night for the rest of them, & i was exhausted! i don't know how they do it. they were telling me how they normally would stay out until 4 a.m. & how it's normal for people to stay out going from place to place until 6 a.m. guys, spain really knows how to party. it was fun going out & getting to know these moms some more. most of the time i don't get to chat a whole lot at playgroup cause everyone is chasing their kid, so it was nice to sit down & get to know them a bit more. it's so much fun too cause everyone is from different places, there was someone from germany, uruguay, scotland & england. i love learning about what life is like in each of these different places & how we all connect here in spain through our kids. it's pretty cool when you think about it.
^^you know, for when you want to go to the bathroom with your friend
hope you all had a good weekend!


last thursday was austin's birthday! he is a youngin' & just turned 25. unfortunately for all of us he had to go to school so it wasn't too much of a party, but we made the best of it. cedar & i met him during his break to get a quick lunch before cedar & i set off to bake his birthday brownies & decorate.. to our best extent! our apartment doesn't have a lot of space to decorate, but i did my best! i always make a homemade carrot cake for birthdays cause that's what i grew up with, but austins only request for his birthday was to have brownies. but not just any brownies, "american" brownies made from the box from the u.s.a. only store, that sells what you'd guess... products from the u.s. like dr. pepper & kraft macaroni but for about 5 euros a can or box (they stock some weird stuff that i didn't realize were thought of as being american). austin is a difficult one to get gifts for because he is very particular about what he buys & likes to put a looooooooot of thought into it, which can be hard for anyone wanting to get him anything! i didn't have a gift for him yet cause he hadn't decided what to get but i wanted him to have something, so while we were there i bought austin a bunch of different american candy that he loves. 

after he got home from school we sang happy birthday, had some brownies & headed out on a walk before going to dinner at la máquina, a fish restaurant, with his friends from school. i love how we really haven't been here for that long but we have both made some really good friends. the group we went to dinner with were the people he was in a group with their first semester & they all really bonded with each other. they spent the majority of the night laughing & talking about the first semester & their first impressions of one another. it was so much fun. happy birthday, austin! 


last week we took a quick trip to morocco. it sounds funny to say that, but it was truly quick & when it's only a 1.5 hour flight & you can get roundtrip tickets for 50 euros..... why not? austin & i have both been wanting to get back to morocco since our trip back in january & i'm so happy we did! & it worked out perfectly since austin had a long weekend at school, so we could come back & have a day to re-coop before austin had school again. it's like this trip was meant to be. 

we had a late flight to marrakech so we only had two days there, but it was perfect for us. we spent our first day going through the medina, drinking 100 fresh squeezed o.j.'s, weaving our way through all that it had to offer & checking out the different goods. the medina is really a crazy experience, there is so much stuff everywhere, everyone is trying to get you to buy their stuff which is fun & overwhelming. we were all completely exhausted after our day in the medina & had gotten our fill of it so we spent the evening & next day running around the hotel & swimming which was exactly what each of us needed. 

speaking of our hotel... it was comical. two days before our trip we hadn't booked anywhere to stay (i don't know why....) & one night while austin was at school late he emailed me a link to the most amazing looking resort that was just 10 minutes by taxi to the medina & only 30 euros a night (slow season deals, holla!). talk about score, am i right? the room looked amazing, the pool even more amazing, it all seemed perfect, which definitely should have been a sign, but we were so excited for this greaaaaat deal, so we booked it! yay! fast forward to arriving in marrakech. we get a taxi from the airport, it's 11 pm & we drive for probably 20 minutes, half of which was down a dark road/dirt path & i had legitimate thoughts that we were being kidnapped (i'm a worrier). luckily for us, we were not kidnapped, our hotel was just in the middle of nowhere. we checked in to the hotel & austin & i both kept saying how quiet it was & strange it was.. there were fountains everywhere but none of them working, literally seemed like we were the only ones in the entire hotel, just a little bit funny. so then we go to our hotel room, exhausted & ready for sleep & it was 100% not the room they pictured on the website! they really fooled us. austin & i kept laughing over this. we had been SO excited & thought it was too good to be true, which it apparently was. the room was really ok, just not at all what we had imagined. & seeing the hotel in the daylight, with other guests, was a lot better than in the dark of night. you know how hotels in vegas always have really amazing, cool pools & then the rooms are kind of/really disgusting? that was pretty much what this was. but hey, you can't complain too much for 30 euros a night, right? however, if you went in the middle of busy season, it would be worth complaining for paying 200 euros a night. traveling is always an adventure, especially in different countries :)

i also only took a gopro on this trip & we forgot to/how to turn it off the fisheye setting... so there's that. plus, cedar decided the gopro was his & the majority of videos & pictures are of his mouth or a close of up his face cause he kept trying to work it how i work my camera with the lens & all, which was pretty cute & funny.


"it's the freakin' weekend baby i'm about to have me some fun"
remember that song? it seriously comes to my mind EVERY weekend & that line is the only part of the song i know. 
 annnyways! i hope you all had a lovely weekend! one of the really cool things about living in spain is that there are SO many country/city holidays, which means austin gets long weekends pretty often & he happens to have THREE long weekends in may alone, which is really great. the down side to this is that we are here for him to go to school.. so he normally still goes to school on these long weekends & has finals happening in may, but! the upside: the city is pretty much dead on long weekends. it may not sound like an upside but when you live in a really big & busy city, it's pretty cool when you feel like you're one of the few people even there. the parks are empty, the stores are empty (a lot of them are closed too, which can be annoying, but whatevs), the restaurants are empty & the whole city is calm. it's my jam. 

while austin was busy being a responsible & good student on friday cedar & i hit up the parks during the day & austin met us in the afternoon for a picnic. picnics are also my jam lately. when you live in an apartment with absolutely no yard, parks start to feel like your home. saturday we went to brunch at one of the spots we discovered our first week in madrid, panela & co. i absolutely love this place & their brunch, while it doesn't fully compare to an american brunch, is incredibly good. the weather has been amazing here so we took advantage of that & sat outside which cedar loved because he could point to every single bird & shout "biiiiiird!" a million times. we got cedar some baby sunglasses cause he is always squinting in his stroller & i felt bad about it & they are the funniest things. he loves to put them on & off, they never stay on for longer than 5 minutes, but they are cute & funny & entertain him, so it seems like an overall good purchase. 

one weird part about living in a different country that i definitely didn't think about is that holidays are sometimes on different days of the year. for example, they celebrate fathers day in march. i definitely missed the memo on spanish fathers day, sorry austin. & they celebrated mothers day the first sunday of may, yesterday. on our way to church we saw everyone picking up flowers & going to breakfast with their moms & it was really cute. & at church they gave out little pins to all of the moms & at first i kept wondering why they were doing it. but then i remembered, mothers day. spanish version. but since i missed spanish fathers day, i decided to just celebrate on the american days haha. but! i'll consider this as a semi mothers day gift from cedar: this week was the second time in cedars life that he stayed in nursery by himself! it's only taken him 6 months to get use to it & it is a complete game changer for me at church. it's a whole new experience now actually getting to go to sunday school, i don't want to jinx myself or anything, but it was pretty great. 

i've been kind of sporadic in my posts lately & most of them are all travel posts. i've had a couple things i've been working on that have been taking up the majority of my free time lately, so i kinda put my blog on the back burner. i'll tell you soon about my projects, i'm really excited about it but don't want to say too much about it yet, so i'll leave it at that. annoying, i know. we're going back to morocco this weekend & i am really, really excited for this trip! & i'm hoping after the trip my posts will stop being so random... but probably not, cause life is just sort of random!