My wife wrote a book - The Mystery of the Cursed Elves (The Magic Cube Book 1) -

Winter exile – part 1

TLDR – Flew to Malaga Spain, went to the beach, found about 20 play parks.

The full Batch of trip reports

Getting to Malaga

We’re on the air coach headed to the airport. Woke the kids up at 0400 to walk to the Clayton and catch the bus for our 0740 flight to Malaga Spain. Today’s wake up was gently shaking the kids saying “booga booga booga” – Mila said “gently daddy you said you were going to snuggle me and whisper – wake up honey” we agreed to both the night before. I went with the booga because well that’s me. Maddex is in front of me on the bus sitting with mom and Roxi, he’s writing a story. Khaleesi is laying my lap sleeping, and Mila is across the aisle from mom sounding out the fasten your seatbelt sign showing off her budding reading skills. In a few hours we’ll be on a beach in Malaga Spain. We’ll be in immigrations exile from Ireland until we get a new work permit from Oracle.

We’ve been coming to the Dublin airport for a while now and never noticed the food court on the floor above the Ryanair check-in desk. It has a McDonald’s with a play place for the kids. Kind of annoying/confusing why this is not after security since security is the big time consumption question at the airport. Today the lines are short and we have plenty of time, so pancakes and play place for the kids. The food court before security appears to be larger than the food court after security.

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Mila in the boxing zone at the Mcdonalds play area

Oh snap! Michelle read our plane tickets wrong. She read boarding starts at 0720 and plane leaves at 750. What the ticket actually said was boarding at 0650 and plane leaves at 0720. We finished through security at 0650 and the departure board read final call. We started running. Next departure board we passed read gate closing. I started running faster with Roxi on my back, and Maddex and Mila Trying to keep up. We made it to the gate at 0705 and they let us on the plane. The gate agent looked us up and tagged our bags while Michelle and Khaleesi caught up running after us with the tickets.

Somehow we were not the last people on the plane. The stairs up the plane were packed to the ground and there was another couple behind us. When we got to our seats someone was in one of our seats. How you can read seat numbers wrong is beyond me. He had to make another couple move who had to make another couple move because not one but three people read their seats wrong in our area. Or maybe they all thought our seats were empty and moved into them with hope in their eyes. Hope that we crushed!!

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Momma showing off her cross stitch
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Khaleesi and Mila playing on their phones

Made it to Malaga

Kids were great on the flight. Between napping, colouring, and phones they were entertained and lacking in whining or crying; unlike the infant behind us crying most of the flight. Do not miss those days. Our luggage was last on and first off (LOFO) making baggage claim quick. We hired a car to take us from the airport to our flat. He was waiting right outside the baggage area with a sign saying “Michelle” it’s a quick ride to our flat, we might walk back to the airport when we leave here for our next trip. Maps says an hour and a half walk and we can do part of it on a subway.

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Waiting at our front door – beach in the background

Once the guy met us and let us into our flat the kids quickly claimed beds and set up their rooms. Impressive how good the kids are at making a new space their own. They make nests in their beds, put their clothing away in closets, lay out blankets, and setup0 toys around their spaces. First outing after unpacking was a supermarket for some food. Picked up some basics. Meat, cheese, milk, cereal, and some snacks. Back home to eat then off to the beach.

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Cereal for dinner

Document madness

Michelle and the kids went to the beach, and I am in the flat doing homework. I asked KPMG if they needed any paperwork yesterday while we were at home and had access to everything. Today they emailed saying I needed to print 10 pages in colour, sign them, scan them and send them back. We have no printer or scanner with us. The nearest big hotel that might have a business center is nowhere nearby. After going back and forth they agreed to let me digitally sign the documents. Which sounds easy until you start trying to find an application capable of signing a digital PDF with a password on it.

KPMG refuses to remove the password from the PDF  for “security reasons” first step I had to complete was remove the password. Then I had to find the right software to add a digital signature. Which turned out to be DocuSign. Then I had to work out how to make the signatures the correct size for the document. An hour later, after threatening to go buy a printer scanner, the docs were back in KPMGs hands ready to submit. Sure hope they went out in the mail yesterday. The clock for us returning to Ireland does not start until the documents are in Irish immigration hands and processing starts.

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Waiting for me – Momma was using her xmass keyboard, and phone stand to write on her phone

Beach time

Michelle and the kids hung out at a play area about 45 seconds from our house while I was wrangling documents. Once I made it down there we walked another 20 seconds and had our feet in the sand and the ocean. Not a bad way to end a long travel day. Watching the sun slowly go down over the ocean listening to the kids have fun. We went for a walk along the beach south or west back towards the airport. Michelle and I were pushing the stroller on the tile and the kids were running and digging in the sand.

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Momma taking her first picture of the kids on the beach

We turned back around about 1.5 kilometers away at a 96-meter tall smokestack tower thing and walked back to our flat. Dinner was a few frozen pizzas we picked up at the supermarket. One was ham and onion, the kids kind of ate that, the other was tuna and cheese, no one really liked that one. – In the end, the kids had cereal and I had half a small pizza. Shopping around atun/tuna seems to be in most everything.

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Maddex on a zipline next to the big tower thing

After Dinner Roxi and I walked to Lidl for some more foods. Michelle stayed back at the house and hung out with the kids. Kids were all passed out and sleeping by 730 here time and Michelle and I were passed out on a foldout couch that was actually comfortable a few hours later.

Day two – Walking and Beaching

We slept in until about 0630 when all of the kids slowly emerged from their rooms and came to snuggle with us on the pull out couch bed. We took on a show, had food and we’re out the door by 0830 as the sun was rising. The sun was coming up right over the beach and it’s a bit blinding, plus we want to wait a bit for the day to warm before we hit the sand. We walked away from the beach up a few blocks past one play area to another play area for our first stop. Our destination is Parque del Oeste a few kilometers from our flat.

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Looking at the sun come up over the beach

Making breakfast this morning I had to manually light the gas burners on the stove with a lighter. That was a bit sketchy. The burners have no auto light. Made toast on a flat pan because the toaster thing we have is only one-sided and looks odd. Going to pick up an aim and flame today to make lighting the stove simpler latter. I’d like to keep the hairs and skin on my hand.

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Morning breakfast mess

Morning Walk

On the walk to the park we stopped at two play parks, skipped one play park, then in the park we stopped at two more play areas and skipped another one. Before the park, we stopped at Dealz for some rubbish bags and soap. The park was nice. It had a massive cement pond in the middle we walked along filled with large goldfish and some other fish. It also had a netted off area filled with turtles, There was also a bird-cage, and a penned in area with Emus and a Kangaroo. Like a small zoo but only an open-air park.

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Kids checking out the fish in the park
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Kids looking at some Dinosaur bird thing

The park ended at the huge smoke stack thing we walked to last night. Right next to stack is a play area in the sand. Khaleesi spent some time climbing a rope climbing thing and the other kids went and dug in the sand. They slowly wadded into the water getting their feet wet. A few minutes later Maddex was fully clothed sitting in the water up to his neck. I had him take off his pants and shirt and let him swim in the ocean in his undies

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The ocean is cold, but that does not stop the kids

The girls pulled their dresses up and waded knee-deep into the water. They managed to avoid going much deeper and kept dry clothing. When we finally made it up from the beach to the tile walk we found a shower. The girls washed their legs off. For some reason, Maddex, totally drenched, decided it would be a great idea to lay down in the sand next to the shower and cover his wet body in the sand – Le Sigh. Lucky for him the shower was colder than the ocean.

Took Maddex a while to numb up enough to fully clean off in the shower. He might have screamed a bit, who can tell. He wrapped up in a towel and walked home in his undies and the towel. Back at home the kids showered off and did some homework while I made lunch. Made the kids pasta and sauce with a side of tomatoes, and olives. Khaleesi Michelle and I had grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. Surprisingly the kids ate all of their food and asked for more.

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Lunch!

Evening walk

After lunch, we took a siesta for a few hours. Watched a show, napped, and relaxed for a bit avoiding the hottest sun of the day. Around 1400 we set out to the west for another park. We walked along the beach until we made it to the park. I believe we hit three play areas on the beach, two in the park, and one last one before we made it home. The park had a floating xmass tree, huge rose garden, a few play areas, and a nice water feature. We spent about an hour exploring and playing before heading towards home.

The bazaar with the booths I wanted to stop at was closed, and restaurants were not open yet because it was only 1730. We killed some time at a play area working out what to do next. Maddex found a local kid his age to play with at the play area. It was entertaining watching them play without language in common. Did not slow them down one-bit form having fun. We walked back the way we came from to a supermarket to pick up something for dinner. The kids picked out a pepperoni pizza. When we got home they had yogurt and cereal instead.

The rest of the pictures

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Back patio at our flat – it is all ours not shared with anyone.
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play area next to our flat
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Roxi running in the sand
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Baby, I brought you to a beach again
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Roxi ran along the beach on top of this railing the whole way
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Kids shoes – they keep getting bigger
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Bridge over water feature in a park
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Roxi made it all the way up this wall
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They call this a toaster in spain
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Mila showing off the colouring job the kids did on their cereal box
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A park with a train
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We bought them m&m flavoured. Turned out to be chocolate milk with extra flavour
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Sharing the m&m milk next to a subway stop
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Another park with a massive slide
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Michelle and Khaleesi for massive slide size comparison
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Would be interesting to see this area full of men]
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Roxi has no fear – We try to have fear for her – while letting her have it anything she wants
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well groomed sand
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Momma and Khaleesi climbing
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Maddex and Mila running in the water – Maddex still clothed
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Maddex getting his hair wet
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Michelle writing at the beach while the kids and I play in the water
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Floating Xmas tree
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Mila in front of some Roses. We are supposed to send this to her teacher whose name is Rose
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Yet another play area for the kids
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Roxi coming off of the slide.

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