Winter exile – part 2

TLDR – Walked into the old part of town. Walked the other direction towards the airport and went shopping. Visited 13 play lands in a single 20km walk.

The full Batch of trip reports

Morning Stuff

Checking the watch, it tells me we are currently experiencing Thursday. If not for a digital device telling me the day and time I’d have no clue what day it is. Kids are not in school, no work to be done, don’t have to care what day it is I guess. Michelle tells me she has this issue from time to time not leaving the house for work.  The watch also indicates it’s going to rain most of the morning, blah. Pulling the blinds back and looking out the window it appears to be raining right now.

Not wanting to walk around in the rain we had a slow morning watching a show, eating breakfast, cleaning up, writing, hanging laundry indoors, and doing home work. The core of the morning was filled with the kids sitting around the table doing some homework with Michelle for an hour or so. Their teachers gave them a list of work to cover while we are in exile. To go along with the list we brought all of their school work books with us. Michelle has everyone guessing how many play parks we will visit today on our walk. I was the lowest guess at 12. Maddex came in at 30 – the real count was about 9 for the first day and 13 for the next. Mila guessed 13 and won the second day.

Home school on holiday
Ultra custom sock drying station 9,000,000

Walking to town

After we finished homework we set out on a walk towards the old part of town to our east along the beach (leave flat, walk to beach, turn left). When the clouds did part the sun felt plenty warm for us. Even with the cloud cover it was a warm 16 degrees or so. Warm enough for us to be in light to no jackets. The locals are all in heavy winter jackets with scarfs, some wearing gloves. Thanks Dublin. We walked with the sand to our side or under our feet until we came to what looks like a river running through the middle of town. At the river we turned left again away from the sea and walked towards the center of town along the river.

River in the middle of town, with grass growing in it

Quickly the river seemed to turn to dirt with drainage ditches to either side. Odd. We found stairs with access to the dirt section next to a bridge. The kids and I walked down and across the river bed? Michelle walked over a bridge with the stroller. The clouds were becoming angry enough we could tell it was going to rain again soon. Michelle found a mall on the map we could hide in and we started walking towards it.

Fun looking slide crowded with school kids

Our walk took us past a massive 6 story department store with a winter play area in front. Ice tube slide thing, ice ring, animals rides ETC. Being the middle of a weekday the area was oddly packed with kids. We guessed maybe school holiday or something as a few groups of kids were in uniforms.  Crossing the street from the department store in the rain on a slippery road; I slipped at a sidewalk between lanes and came down hard on my right knee.

Luckily for Roxi she had buckled herself into the backpack. When I landed she shot forward and hit her lip on the back of my head. Had she not been buckled in she might have fallen out onto the sidewalk and ended up in the road. Took me a good hour to walk off the knee pain. Still hurts the next day if I kneel down onto anything. no bleeding some bruising.

Exploring town

The mall was tiny, only a few shops on two floors. We milked what was there for all of the avoiding rain time we could before we finally went back out to walk some more in the now drizzle. Right next to the mall was a Burger King with a playland in it. We walked into the burger king to try to hide more from the rain. When we arrived at the counter we were told the restaurant was closed for another hour and asked to leave. Not sure why the doors were open, but oh well. The rain was now less of a drizzle; we should be fine.

We walked back over the dry river dirt thing on a bridge into the old part of town. Right across the bridge the road was totally torn up and dug up. Appears to be a major sewer or drainage project going on. Impressive they are dedicating a major effort into saving some massive trees that line the road. Digging around them and propping them up as best as they can.

Major roadway all tore up and fenced off
Large thing over the harbor walk, ferry in the background

First stop for us was the harbor along the water where we took in some of the cruise ships and ferries. Oh an idea, we could go on a cruise and kill a week’s worth of time. Seemed like a good idea, but researching after the kids were in bed we were not able to find anything nearby with enough space, sad face. From the harbor, we walked a palm tree-lined road with portable shops set up on one side. Most of the booths were filled with nativity figurines and such. Massive collections of baby Jesus with buildings and moss.

All of the baby Jesus

From the baby Jesus mega center we stopped at McDonald’s for lunch. I know you are thinking come on can you eat something local or good? We could, but with four kids it is so much safer and simpler to McDonald’s. We pick our battles and reward the kids when they are good. Eating at a local restaurant is not a battle we choose to fight often when there is an option the kids consider a reward. They’ve been great kids so far and deserve a reward. McDonald’s is the reward they have requested. Maddex wants to go for the Pokémon toy in the happy meal, the girls want nuggets and a burger.

Xmas lights over the no car street

Done eating, we finally found the no car roads with shopping to explore. Some of the intersections were so windy the little kids almost blew over. So many little paths between buildings it would be no problem at all to get lost. Fun to walk and explore. We found a few massive churches at the end of tiny alleyways surrounded by massive buildings. We also found a few large open squares and a ton of fun shops. By now the kids are starting to burn out so we started the walk back home.

The face of a megachurch that took a few hundred years to build
I hear you like crisps – some shop we walked past worth a picture

On the way home, we stopped at Lidl for some more milk, and sweets. At home, we had random stuff for dinner. apples, tomatoes, olives, dry cereal, chips, nuts, and yogurt is what we ended up having for dinner. We also baked a pepperoni pizza. By the time it was done the kids were full with the random stuff and not interested. Michelle and I had a few slices of pizza then put the rest in the fridge.

Kids eating all kinds of random food

After food, I laid down on the couch to nap for a minute. Then Michelle came to snuggle. Shortly afterward the rest of the kids came to snuggle on top of us. Eventually, Maddex got up and I asked for a picture – see below – The kids seem to be attracted to us when we want to rest. Today we were tired enough to go with it and sleep covered in kids. After food and a rest we went out one last time in the dusk to the pirate ship park near the house for some playing and dance practice then home and to bed for the kids.

Trying to nap covered with kids

Friday – Long walk day

Poor Maddex was attacked by mosquitoes somewhere in the night. Not sure if it happened at the last play park at sunset or if the bugs got in via his open screen-less window. Either way, he has a good four or five bites on each arm and one on the side of his face. He took a shower trying to wash the bites off, but that did not work. He must be a bit allergic because the bites are big and red. Mila has one and it’s a tiny little thing hardly noticeable.

After breakfast we bundled up and headed to the beach where we turned left and started walking on the cold sand, and playing at the play parks. It’s only about 12 out today but the kids don’t seem to mind much at all. We tried to be sensible and not let them in the water. Lucky for us, the spray park we eventually walked too was closed for the winter. The kids did not think it was lucky, but we know it is… No ocean water and no spray park water were the kids big disappointments of the morning.

Ladybug slide in a park at the end of the beach walkway

Eventually, we made it to the end of the beach and had to work out where to go next. Mila only has tights with feet on them which are a bit annoying for the sand. We’d like to get her some pants. Michelle found an outlet mall near the airport. We decided to walk there. Walking there after we passed the stadium of Malaga the side-walk ended at a freeway. Both Apple and Google seemed to think we can walk on the freeway. The lack of sidewalks and signs saying we could not walk on the freeway disagreed. We had to turn back, jump a fence and walk through an industrial park to find a pedestrian bridge over the freeway.

Up a ramp to a bridge over the freeway lacking sidewalks

Mall Shopping

Near the freeway entrance, I saw a headlight lens in the road I wanted to pick up.  I waited for traffic to calm down and darted out into the street to pick it up. Maddex was using the lens to try to burn things when ever we slowed down! Didn’t even need to show him how, he just knew. The outlet mall is a total ghost town bummer, but we did find pants. From the dead mall, we wanted lunch. We have to walk back over the freeway towards the stadium for food. Next to the stadium is the subway station we can take home, so not horrible to have to back track.

Guess where we had lunch? you guessed it Mcdonalds. The McDonald had a large outdoor play land with slide and climbing wall. Not a fan of going to McDonald’s as much as we do, but it just works with the kids. The food is not the best, but the kids eat it. Plus McDonald’s has WiFi, and things for the kids to do which gives us some time to relax for a bit. Oh, and don’t forget, use the bathrooms. No touch screen ordering at this Mcdonalds. I had to use my crappy Spanish to order.

I know the words in spanish, but when people talk to me  they are so fast It’s difficult for me to understand. The gal I ordered from said two minutes in Spanish. I know how to say this but just blank looked at her when she said 2 minutes. Then she said 2 minutes in English – DUH! Need more practice for sure. While playing in the play area Khaleesi somehow found a water balloon that exploded it all over her completely drenching her.

Michelle took off shopping to find her a new outfit. The Mcdonalds is in a large shopping center attached to a Walmart sized store where she was able to pick up a whole outfit socks and all for 15 euro. Across the road from Mcdonalds, according to google earth, is a park about 2 foot ball fields in size with four play areas in it. We walked there and sure enough four play areas all with in seeing distance of each other. We hit three of them and skipped the third.

The first one we hit was on a steep tall hill with a slide all the way down the hill. We spent the most amount of time here. Mom went down the slide too many times to count. Khaleesi was the only kid too afraid to go down. Roxi having no fear could not be stopped. she went down a few times all by herself.

Mila and Roxi on the mega slide

The next play area was meh compared to the first one. The third one we visited had some great slides with all kinds of climbing. Momma sampled the slides. I had to skip these due to the knee still hurting and needing to kneel to climb up to the slides.

More Slides

After the park of play grounds we walked about 2k home stopping along the way for more play areas and some dinner shopping. We ran out of olives and the kids wanted some with dinner. After dinner, Michelle snuck into the girls room to nap. Maddex and Mila suggested we head back out to a park because that was the only way they could be quite enough to allow her to sleep. Ok, off we go to play lands until it’s dark and we need to head back home for sleepy time.

Stats for the day – 20km walked, 30,000 steps for maddex, 13 play areas played in, 6 play areas skiped = total of 19 play areas passed on our walk around town.

And now with more pictures

Khaleesi was showing Roxi how to climb
Maddex crossing over the river when we thought it was a river
Propping up a small tree
Tried to get everyone to look at me for a picture
Roxi is good at looking at the camera with me
Cool looking glass thing used to allow light into a car park
Xmas decorations! and Khaleesi with her jacket on backwards
More baby Jesus parts
No walking street, I mean no car walking street
Massive stained glass wall on a fish market, we walked in then walked out from the smell
some kids swaddeled up for bed
Biggest slide in the city
Example of the tower I wanted build back home in Olalla

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