Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Straight to Seville
(day 2)

It seemed so weird to be starting a second part of our day (we had spent the first part in Moron going the the police station to get our passports stamped and tour that awesome city) at 5:00 pm. Our kids go to bed so early this was the beginning of an awesome vacation of learning that Spain is barely waking up from Siesta and most people don't start eating dinner until 9:00 pm.
Jeff missing the German Autobahn
One of the guys from the front desk loaned this to Jeff and we were devouring it. We were reading as much as we could trying to figure out what we would be doing for the next two weeks. At this point I think I still had stuck in my head we were going to get to Italy (it was no 10 hours, more like 20 hours from where we were)
We drove through Seville on the tiniest streets. I cant' believe I did not take a photo. It was a good thing we were driving in a Geo Metro sized car or else anything bigger would never have fit. Once we parked the car I just could not stop taking looking up and taking photos.
Everything was so beautiful. The colors. The moulding. The tile -- ohh the tile!
We saw lots and lots and polka dots. After all the rickrack in Moron earlier in the day and now the polka dots (check out those shoes) I was in heaven.

The kids were exhausted and cranky. So we decided to get them ice cream ASAP. Caroline had remembered her Mango gelato from France last year (she has seriously talked about it for a year) So that was the first flavor she picked.
We have truly raised a picky child as she licked it and said, "This is not the same kind as France" then handed it back to Jeff. What??
"I just bought you ice cream for dinner on the largest cone I have ever seen and you are 4 years old complaining it is not as good as the kind in France!"
Oh my the therapy she and I will both be in some day.
As we walked out of the ice cream shop I looked up to see this gable like tower coming off the brick building. The beautiful tile and the roof top was breath taking. Seriously if you ever go to Seville, just keep your chin up the best is high in the sky.
This is a close up the top of it. I was falling in love with blue and white everywhere.
Jeff of course was thrilled because of the large cathedral in Seville.
Sally Jane and the other girls were just ready to go to bed. We had only been there 20 minutes and I knew this was going to be a bit crazy. We had probably hit the ground running a day early. It was so HOT! I have no idea what the temperature was but it was just dang hot!
So we got to the front gate of the cathedral. Jeff was beside himself with excitement.
The Cathedral of Seville is a world wonder. It is the largest cathedral in Spain and the third largest (by square footage) in the entire world. If one made comparisons solely by the interior air volume, this cathedral might be the largest in the world.
There was only one problem.
It was closed.
Jeff had to enjoy the view from the front behind the gate. This photo is so great because the look on Caroline's face pretty much sums up how all the girls were feeling.
We realized we were fighting an uphill battle with the heat and so we got a horse and buggy to drive us around the city and get a little tour and see as much as possible without walking. I must admit the heat was crazy hot.
Sally Jane snuggled into her brown pleather seats and enjoyed the ride.
I snuggled into Jeff and thought this would be great to enjoy a nice tour of Seville and hear about the history of this town.
What?our carriage driver was on his cell phone!!! ARGH! Did he not read my post about cell phones a few months ago. I was laughing so hard because last year in Salzburg our carriage driver was also on his cell phone most of the time.
After talking to his buddies about who knows what he would give us a few historical facts in Spanish and Jeff would translate. I don't know what we would have done without Jeff's Spanish skills. (It was fun the see the look on the girls faces when Jeff would speak Spanish - they had never heard him speak it before)
This was a small castle along the river walk - it is
The Torre del Oro (Golden Tower), which dominates the banks of the river Guadalquivir, is a remnant of the Moorish fortified walls which originally enclosed the city. A watchtower designed to protect the docks, it dates from 1220; the 12-sided lower part was built in stone by the Almohades and was originally decorated with golden tiles, while the upper brick mini-tower was added in the 18th century.
and across the street...
McDonald's. How would you love to sit by this why eating warm salted fries
Then on our tour we went by the Plaza de Espana

The Plaza de España is one of Seville's most easily recognised buildings and the epitome of the Moorish Revival in Spanish architecture. In 1929 Seville hosted the Spanish-American Exhibition and numerous buildings were constructed for the exhibition in Maria Luisa Park, among them the Plaza designed by Aníbal Gonzálezpan>. On the Park's edge was built the current Plaza de España to showcase Spain's industry and technology exhibits.

The Plaza is a huge half-circle with buildings continually running around the edge accessible over the moat by numerous beautiful bridges . In the centre is a large fountain. Today the plaza mainly consists of Government buildings, but the beauty remains. A popular way to view the exhibition is by renting out a rowing boat and drifting around the moat. By the walls of the Plaza are many tiled alcoves, each representing a different province of Spain. Tourists can have their photo taken by their own home province.

I thought I was going to jump out of the carriage.
It was the first time we had seen the Spanish flag and we were all excited. The details and again blue and white tile were unbelieveable. I told Jeff we had to drive past here on our way out of the city to take some photos.
again just another photo from taking a glance up off the street.
We then hung out by the fountain in the city center. The girls made new use of their fans. It was so cool because everyone around there was carrying them and using them. I should have got the darling polka dot ones at the store on the other corner.
The girls were hot, hot and hotter.
Sally Jane just loved running on the cobble stone streets
I think Jill is the one who came up with the awesome idea of taking photos of postcards on the street. I wish this one would not have been so blurry and thought it was so funny. I didn't send any postcards from our trip but if I did, I would have bought 20 of these!
As we were sitting at the fountain all of a sudden the bell started ringing. Can you believe the color of that blue sky - the photo does not even do it justice.

We did not do a good job of bringing food with us. We were hoping to find more options for the kids. We actually sat down in a resturant and then got up and left after we got the menu saying "the kids are not going to eat any of this"
This was one of the out door cafe's and you can see the mister's spraying because it was so hot outside.
The tables were next to the window where they had the fresh meat hanging so you can see a before photo of your dinner.
We opted to skip this cafe as well.
But I was glad that we found the cute street to the right of it. This is just an example of skinny the street were that people drove on.
We then got a sandwhich off the street and then started walking through the shopping area. At this point it was about 8:00 pm and the town was so empty. It took us a few days to realized that the cities do not come alive until about 9:00 - 10:00 pm It seemed everywhich way we looked there were these beautiful chidlren clothing stores. Most of the dresses were made with Liberty of London like fabrics only more beautiful - if you can imagine.
Smocking and peter pan colars were everywhere. All the outfits started at about 35 Euros which would be close to 50 US dollars - I was amazed that I resisted the temptation to buy anything along the trip for the girls. (i am sure that Jeff carrying to money had something to do with it)

This store was amazing. I wonder if Pottery Barn kids didn't discover this store and create their store to bring it to the US. It was the real deal and amazing. The website does not even do it justice but great nursery decorating ideas.

beautiful pottery everywhere
By this time the kids were so tired, so hungry(we couldn't find them any food that they would eat). Jeff and I realized our plan to hang out by the river once it got dark (which didn't happen until 10:00) was not going to happen.
Then we turned the corner and the girls seemed to get a second wind. We came across this little plaza with beautiful different designs in each square made out of little stones.
The ground were just beautiful
Me and the girls had races across the square
There were lemon trees everywhere
The girls were spent - and honestly probably so were we. We walked back through the windy streets to find our car. It is just such good thing Jeff has such a great sense of direction, I would never have found our way back.
I saw this building and then I knew we were close.
Yea, we found our little orange nugget that we all squished in for 2 weeks.
Then I had Jeff drive me back to the Plaza de Espana while they sat in the car so I could go take some photos. The sun was setting and it was beautiful.

Every lamp post was just beautiful.
But the tile on the steps, the banisters and pedestals was just amazing!!!

The girls patiently waited while they watched a movie in the car and Sally Jane screamed the entire 30 minute drive home. We all came home to eat Peanut Butter Sandwhiches and will have to come back another time

to enjoy the cafe's and river at night


tootie said...

Wow. Gorgeous photos! I love your recap of your trips - it makes me feel like I was right there with you!

I went to Spain as a kid, but I'd love to go back! Thanks for sharing your trip with us :)

Lauralee said...

amazing.. your pictures are beautiful.. did you get a neck ache. all that looking up?

my sister served in seville.. I am going to send her your blog address so she can see your great pictures!

mimi said...

This was a wonderful recap of Spain, and you pictured the things I would have loved to see too. The faces of the girls were so revealing and telling, but they know you and Jeff by now, and probably secretly loved it all--some day!

I love you in that cute green blouse and skirt. Hot maybe, but you looked hot, hot, hot too! (I mean like Paris Hilton hot).

Fun trip.

Kristy said...

Wow!!! I loved the pictures and the buildings so pretty and colorful.

You are a good tour guide!!! Thanks

Jill said...

I had no idea wanted to go to Spain so badly, but after seeing your stunning photos I'm dying to go!!

You did such a good job of capturing the feel of your day. It was cool to be able to click on the video and hear the bells after seeing that gorgeous photos of the church. Wow, wow, wow!

I love the picture of you running on the squares with the girls!

Heather said...

Beautiful Kristi! Thanks for sharing your adventures with all of us. The most beautiful pic of the post has to be that of you running with your girls. You are such an amazing Mom...amazing and fun!

Dana said...

I have looked through your pictures 3 times now...LOL!

I am loving that white and blue combo everywere...oh my ever lovin' goodness! :)

Cannot wait to see more of your trip and to find out if you liked this trip as well as last year.

HEY! We are taking our kids to Italy next fall. Maybe we will see you there! :)

Janiece said...

How beautiful!
Thank you for sharing the pictures

Emily and Jeremy said...

BEAUTIFUL! loved every photo.

Mary Elizabeth said...

GREAT PICTURES!!!! What a beautiful trip you have had! AM so jealous.

Natasha said...

I love them all, esp the pic of you running with the girls!

LJ and DC said...

Ooooh so jealous in the very best way possible. LOVE these pics Kristi! I can't imagine being squished in that mini car, that alone is a story I'm sure!

Amy said...

Sigh! Gorgeous photos--especially the ones as the sun was setting. Mediterranean sunsets can't be beat! They warm up everything. Keep it coming--I can't wait to see more.

Liz said...

Unbelievable photos! After taking my kids once to Europe, I think it is fair to say that I don't want to do it again until they are much, much older. I think you are so brave to do it again. If we lived closer, I would totally kid swap with you, so that you and Jeff could go alone...and then Ben and I could go alone! :)

Nikki said...

Thanks for sharing! It all just looks dreamy!! Now I have to long to go there someday.
That picture of you and the girls running- priceless!

Staffieri Family said...

You and your girls are so dang cute! You look so good! I love the picture of Sally jane on Jeff's back! Keep the pictures coming!

Marisa said...

Oh I love this post and I feel like I am stepping back again. You have some wonderful pictures and I hope to return to Sevilla someday!

Melissa said...

I loved reading this post. I loved even more the beautiful pictures. Oh what a wonderful adventure! I can't wait to read more.

sockiepuppetsmom said...

Just beautiful, I feel like I was there too! Thanks for sharing all your pictures.

dani said...

I LOVE IT! You always have the most DARLING pictures of your girls! So fun to read!!

The Trammell's said...

I want to go on a trip w/ you guys!

Claudissima said...

oh Kristi you made me home sick. Although I lived in Barcelona and was constatntly in Madrid, we did have a chance to go to Seville like 7 times during my stay in Spain, and there is no other city like it. Too bad about the Cathedral, I think they have Cristopher Columbus TOMB there...although I have head that 4 places claim it. I love the tile it is awesome, and thank thank you for the beautiful video...ohhhhhhh wished we had that down in the states. Also Spain is well known for childrens clothing and shoes, specially. They have the best selection and style. Wow beautiful fotos just beautiful.

michelle said...

Kristi, these photos are amazing!! What an incredible day. I loved seeing the kids' faces, too -- that SJ is going to be such a heartbreaker... You racing with the girls is going to be treasured for a long time.

Michelle A. said...

What a wonderful time! Your photos are beautiful and fun! I forsee, lots of framed photos! Cute haircut too Kristi!

melanie said...

Every photo is amazing Kristi! I love seeing your trip through the these, I feel like I was there too. Your girls are so cute and you look darling running with them.