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Winter exile – Part 3 – Malaga

TLDR – Saturday beach day. Sunday mellow day walking looking for parks, eating seafood, and hanging out at the beach. Monday we walked into the city up a mega steep hill to a castle we did not tour – the view was amazing so worth it.

The full Batch of trip reports

Some Planning

We’re planning the next leg of our trip and some of our desires are coming up as complicated. One thing we are having an issue with is getting to the airport. According to GPS It’s about 5k to the airport. 5k is a distance we’re fine walking. I mean we walked 20k yesterday and went out to a park afterward to wear the kids out.  Google and Apple mapping software show you can walk to the airport from here. There are only 2 paths over the river between our flat and the airport. Both routes utilize freeways with no sidewalks. We know they lack sidewalks after being told we could walk on one of the freeways, the M21, yesterday. Reading online a few people have complained that airport hotels are not walkable because there is no walking path to them from the airport. They had to take a taxi across the street. – second world problems I guess.

The two yellow lines over the blue water line are the only reasonable routes to the airport. They are both freeways with no sidewalks

Other than being told we can walk on the freeways lacking sidewalks, the sidewalk situation in the city has been amazing here. It would appear the locals don’t believe in concrete sidewalks. The sidewalks are all made of stone, marble, or tile.  The city itself is very walkable. The other issue we’re running into with planning is the city to city transport. Trains are cheap on a per-user basis, but when you’re shopping for six users the prices add up. We’re looking at 200-300€ for a trips from Malaga to Valencia or Barcelona. It’s cheaper to fly, but way more hassle. It’s looking like we’re going to try rent a car for a week and drive around the country vs taking a few trains.

Saturday morning

Yesterday was a big walking day. We promised the kids today would be more of a beach day with less walking. We finished breakfast and were in swim suits by about 09:30 out the door for adventure. Sad face, it’s a bit windy and only 10 out, brrrr. Michelle came up with the idea of heading to Dealz for some more colouring books and words search’s to wait for the day to warm up.

Mila, having guessed the correct number of play parks we visited yesterday, was award the honor of picking out a treat at Dealz. We found some great colouring books, and a big word search book. Mila picked out a massive face sized root beer gummy for the treat to share. We let Maddex pick out a flavored milk smoothie thing to go along with the gummy. He picked Twix flavored milk. They kids drank it. Michelle tried it and made a funny face mentioning something about cereal flavored super sugary milk – I skipped it.

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Face sized Gummy thing

The Beach

From Dealz we walked towards the beach through a park. By the time we made it to the beach the kids had taken off their pants, and jackets and were in just their swim suits. The kids were getting a few odd looks from locals still in scarfs and winter jackets. Maddex, Roxi, Mila and I went straight for the surf where we played in the water and sand for a bit. Khaleesi stayed up with mom.  Eventually, the girls wore out and went back up to the play area with mom and played on the climbing things

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Kids in the sand ready to play in the water
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Doing Math in the sand

Maddex being in his happy place would never tire of the sand. He and I dug out a large hole in the surf and circled it with walls creating a fortress to resist the waves. The fact that the tide was still slowly going out had nothing to do with our fortresses ability to resist even the largest waves. We played on the beach until about 1330 before we started walking back towards our flat for some lunch and an afternoon siesta.

Back home for a nap

We’re back from the beach for lunch and the girls are out back setting the table for lunch on the patio. Mila comes in and yells “ mommy, Roxi has a huge chunk of sand in her vagina.” She pauses, looks and says “I have some in mine.“ To be part of the gang, Khaleesi chimes in and says” yup some in mine too wanna see?” Things I’ve never had to deal with as a kid. Michelle shares that these things happen when you roll around in the sand.

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Eating lunch outback

While I cooked lunch Michelle hosed the girls out in the shower. No bathtub but we have a moveable shower head. We had a nice lunch on the back patio. After lunch, the kids colored and worked on some word searches then Michelle went down for a nap with Roxi and the kids watched some at kids on Netflix.

Sunday – morning

I was feeling drained this morning. Between all of the walking,  the sun and hearing the news about my aunt Carol passing yesterday. Being drained I went back to bed after dealing with the kids from 5-630. Slept until about 0900. Michelle took over the kids and finished breakfast then played home school. The kids colored, did home work, read and wrote, and had breakfast all while I was sleeping om the couch.

Hunting for parks away from the sand

We’ve hit the beach and turned right and left. Today we are going to walk away from the beach inland and see what there is to find. Turns out, there is not much exciting. Inland a bit from us we found a massive open dirt field about the size of 6 city blocks just begging to be turned into housing or a massive park. After the open dirt zone we came to an industrial zone with businesses and some lower end housing with a few kid parks mixed in.

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We found a four way teeter totter

We tried to stop at Lidl to get some snacks, but it was closed. Oh ya, we are in mainland Europe and most things actually close on Sundays. Good thing we stocked up on food last night otherwise we might be scrounging for dinner. Shops closed and no great kid areas in sight we turned again to head off towards the city center and see what we could find. When we made it to the train station we turned towards the beach and walked over the train tracks at the end of the train station.

As we were walking up the hill to cross over the train tracks we noticed a great looking kid play area hidden below on either side of the bridge. Maddex wanted to run down and check out the play areas. Michelle and I vetoed his request and we kept on keeping on until we ran into a park we’d been too a few days ago with the large rose garden and great kid climbing area.

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looking down at the train tracks from the bridge

Tooth and seafood lunch

Before the train station, Maddex lost his tooth trying to bite my hand off. He left tooth marks and a tooth in my hand. We needed something for him to store his tooth in so we HAD to buy kinder eggs for everyone to get the toy eggs inside to store his tooth in. We found an open mini mart after the park and went in for kinder eggs for the kids and a soda for me.

Back at home, we cooked some seafood surprise for the kids. We bought it last night at the store. About a pound of random seafood bits; crab, octopus, squid, clams, muscles, onions, olives, and fish all mixed together. I fried it up in some butter and dumped it all in a deep plate. It was for Mom and Maddex, but it ended up being for all of they kids, they all fought over it. The seafood was gone in about 4 minutes of frenzied consumption. Guess the kids really do like seafood. When the shops are open tomorrow we’ll have to go back for more.

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Going to town eating seafood
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Almost gone – minutes later

After lunch, we went back to the beach for a few hours of playing in the sand and water. The kids were again all covered in sand so we showered them off. I was planning to make tacos for dinner but Maddex got himself a bowl of cereal while I was showing. The rest of the kids wanted to be like Maddex. Cereal for dinner it is. The kids were still a bit nuts after dinner and in need to exercise.

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Maddex working on our fortress
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Roxi filling our fort in

We went back towards the beach to play in some parks to work out the kids. While the other kids were playing Maddex and I walked down to the sand to check on our fort. It was still there untouched by the water. Must be a weak tide to have not moved on 4 hours. Along the beach were some 10×10 easy up tents with vendors under them we checked out while walking a loop back to the house. After all the exercise and walking and sand the kids are still nuts; must be tired. We’re going to attempt to have them in bed sleeping before 8 tonight.

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Michelle putting out laundry out to dry over night

Monday – castle hill walk

We set off walking for city center as the sun was rising at 0820. We stopped at a few parks along the way to play as the sun came out and the day started to warm up. We walked through the big shopping food market in city center and bought 3€ worth of mixed gummies from a nut and candy vender. We slowly dished them out over the course of the day a few at a time as the kids needed food encouragement – By the time we were home they were all gone.

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Walking into the sunrise
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Maddex and Mila on the same zip line

The main goal for the day is to walk up the hill with the castle is on. We walked through the no car maze of streets like we knew where we were going. We didn’t consult maps or need to back track at all before we made it to the bottom of the hill and started walking up. The walk way up the hill is all slate paved like my parents hallway before they redid it. Unlike their hall way which is level, the hill is STEEP, like real steep. It’s hard to capture how steep it is with words or pictures.

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The view from near the top of the hike
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You can kind of tell how steep it is here

Michelle took on a few sections pushing the stroller. In the end, I did most of the pushing. At the top, we watched a nut vender feed what appeared to be his pet squirrels out of his hands. Then a cat walked up and he feed the cat too. I get the picture this guy has been there for a while and he enjoys animals. We skipped the tour of the castle, and the massive church tour at the bottom, because, well, we are cheap and 5euro a head ends up being more than we want to spend on something the kids will only half remember or enjoy.

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Sitting resting at the top eating gummies drinking some water

Instead of spending 30 euro on a tour we took the kids to Flying Tiger and gave them each 4 euro to spend on what ever they wanted. Maddex came away with a fidget cube that is perfect for him. The girls each picked up a crown and a small hamster stuffy. Not things they will remember long-term, but things that will entertain them in the short-term for longer then the time of a tour.

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Khaleesi showing off her hamster and crown from flying tiger
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Church we toured back in city center for free – well I dropped money in the donation bucket

From the tiger, we went to a small mall for some bathroom visits and Burger King with a play land for lunch. Not sure why, but Burger King does not open until 1230. Spain I guess, no one is in a hurry. We decided to sit and wait for it to open. Michelle and I sat at a table and busted out our keyboards while the kids ran around and played on the coin operated car things that are all over malls.

We stopped at a shop on the walk home and picked up more seafood bits for dinner. At home we let the kids watch some shows while Michelle and I, mostly Michelle, worked out our next stop in Marbella. We had some issues working out the Bus, but worked it out with some team work. After booking everything we took the kids out to a park nearby for a while then home for seafood and bed time.

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Michelle working on a story at the park while the kids play

The Rest of the Pictrures

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Mila looking mega cute for Michelle on the beach
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Michelle showing how she feels about coke with cofee in it

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Michelle and setup writing on our phones mixed in with coloring books

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Maddex found himself a prison
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Maddex and Mila playing in the sand
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Khaleesi trying to give me a cute pose
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Sunrise monday morning
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Millfam at the port entrance
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Maddex Khaleesi and I in the dry river bed again
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The kids trying to hold a bench up
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Bricks covered with fake bricks
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Mila being like her mom and kissing a statue – todays kiss goes to a cow
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First view-point walking up to the castle
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Michelle demonstrating how bull fighting works over the ring
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Bull fighting ring
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Michelle over Malaga
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We found a piece of home in the city – the smallest irish pub
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Xmas lights on the main no car street in city center
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No water in the river again – so odd, I bet there is a story here

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