So many sheep!

Time sure does fly when you have a newborn. It seems like yesterday when I promised you pictures from our trip to Copenhagen and here we are… four months later and the amount I want to share piles up weekly.

Since we last chatted, we visited Marrakech, Yellowstone, Canada and England. Squirms has successfully traveled through three continents and believe it or not, is more of a joy in the air than in a car.

We have briefly paused to catch our breath until the holidays kick into gear. Our next international trip is back to England in a couple of weeks and then a long winters break back home in North America.

In the meantime, we continue to love Spain and all she offers. We are frequently teased and tempted by cheap airfare to exotic lands, but have committed to traveling Spain in 2020. We have only seen bits and pieces of this gorgeous place and it’s a sin that needs rectified.

There are traditions in Spain that we just simply don’t have back home.  A festival to celebrate migration is one of those things.  After verifying in several different places that we would not be watching a parade to the slaughterhouse, we boarded a bus to the center of town to watch Fiesta de la Trashumancia. The annual parade of 2000+ sheep and various other livestock through the center of Madrid. The festival is the kickoff of the north to south migration and a reminder of the importance of animal husbandry.

There just aren’t proper words to describe watching 2000+ sheep and goats walk by you. There were a few goats that wanted to go back where they came from, there were some sheep who were as suspicious as I was about their destination,  a few sheep dogs that didn’t have much to do and there were people! Man, did Madrid come out to watch a parade of sheep!

We even had the pleasure to meet a Norwegian man who had coincidentally drove sheep down a mountain in Norway just two months prior. He couldn’t believe that he stumbled on a sheep parade and stayed to watch it with us, all the while showing us the beautiful pictures of his own sheep drive.

This country and her traditions amaze me when I let it. It’s very easy to allow modern conveniences and the hectic life with an infant to distract us from remembering that we live in SPAIN!  Today was one of those days where we are pinching ourselves and breathing our gratitude (even though the air is a little stinky with the smell of sheep).

Love you,




Okay…I’ll admit that we might have been a bit overzealous when we decided to take our 9 week old on a weekend getaway. :). Between unfamiliar beds, heavy traffic and an uncomfortable car seat, Squirms let us know that she was unhappy to be in Valencia.

We, however, were far from unhappy. The sun was shining, and there was enough of a breeze to make 80 degrees feel like the ideal temperature. Our AirBNB was on the beach in a little town about ten minutes from Valencia. So close to the Mediterranean Sea that we were able to hear the waves from the patio.

Squirms and me by the sea

Our Friday night plans had to be readjusted to accommodate Squirms and our late arrival. But Saturday morning, we hit the town with foolish optimism that a good night sleep made Squirms’ car seat comfortable. I’ll jump ahead enough to tell you that it did not. 🙂

Trying to keep Squirms in her car seat for as little of time as possible this weekend was in vain.  The traffic was heavy and it was because we once again failed to check our Spanish calendar before planning a trip.  Have I mentioned how much the Spanish love festivals? We don’t attend many because we always seem to know about them after the fact.  This weekend was no exception.  We arrived in Valencia on the Valencia Festival Las Fallas or Festival of Fire, the biggest festival of the year.  From what we understood, there were mini-carnivals going on throughout the city all weekend long.  Most of them had a parade with the participants dressed in traditional Spanish attire.  If you have any interest at all, this link tells you about Las Fallas.

Its confession time… Valencia was our choice destination this weekend because I was craving paella.  I still don’t care much for Spanish cuisine on the whole, but really good paella can’t be beat.  Valencia is the birthplace of this incredible rice dish, so surely I can find good paella here, right?  According to my favorite author and lover of all things Spain, Ernest Hemingway, the best place in the world to eat paella is a restaurant called La Pepica on the beach in Valencia.  As always, Hemingway didn’t disappoint.  The paella was absolutely the best HANDS DOWN.  They even peel the shrimp for you here.  So Delicious! 🙂


Sunday, after an awesome brunch, we headed to the Oceanografic.  The largest aquarium in Europe.  We watched sea lions wrestle, Beluga whales and met an ancient turtle who turned his head and smiled to every one’s phone, one at a time 🙂

There are still so many sights to see that we just didn’t get around to this time.  Or maybe its an excuse to eat another pan of Hemingway’s paella. 🙂  Either way, expect to see Valencia again.  A return trip is a must.



We knew that we were going to have to take Squirms on her first “trip” soon. The idea of traveling with an unpredictable newborn is daunting, but we knew postponing would make us lose our nerve.  So, with Grandad and Grammy by our sides, we boarded a train to Segovia with our 19 day old daughter.


Segovia is a town a little less than 100 km from Madrid, an approximate half hour train ride. Even though they are close in distance, the two cities couldn’t feel more different.  Madrid is a modern city that’s still hugging her history while Segovia only allows in modern life by necessity. Segovia knows tourists come to see her past.

And history we saw!  As soon as we entered Segovia, we were smacked in the face with potentially the oldest piece of architecture we may ever encounter… the Roman Aquaduct.


Built in the FIRST century, the Aquaduct runs from the walled castle to the other side of town.  It’s visible throughout most of Segovia and man, is it a sight.  Interesting fact, if you look closely, you will see that this massive, ten story structure that was built 2000 years ago doesn’t even have mortar holding the rocks in place.  Amazing.  And look at how every stone is exactly the same shape and size.  All without modern tools.  Unbelievable.

Like many European cities, Segovia’s cobblestone streets are primarily for foot traffic.  Squirms loves a good cobblestone street and for that reason, so do we.  We took a leisurely stroll to Segovia’s Plaza Mayor, which is charming and idyllic.  It even has  a gazebo in the center.

The most eye-catching building in Plaza Mayor is the huge Segovia Cathedral.  It was built in the mid 1500s and still holds weekly services.  On the inside, there are eight chapels, an ornate ceiling and the grave of Saint Valentine (Jury is still out if it’s that Saint Valentine).  You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the devout details.  This is a place where you stand in awe.

After the cathedral, the moment I had been dreading was upon us.  Segovia is popular for three things…the Aquaduct, the Cathedral and…suckling pig.  Yep, just like the one you dissected in 9th grade Biology class.  We went to the place to have suckling pig, Meson de Candido, owned for decades by the mayor of Segovia.  Apparently he is a bit of a rock star.  Many people were standing in line to have a photo-op with him. Not sure why, but below is a picture of Dan, the mayor and Squirms. So bizarre.  🙂

I promised myself that I would try the poor piggie, which I did, and hated myself afterwards. Not for the reason you would think either.  The pig was delicious.  The meat was super tender and juicy.  I hate the possible consequences that might happen if I say how much I enjoyed it, so I will leave it at this.  There is a reason why this is one of the things Segovia is known for and if you happen to visit Segovia, do yourself a favor.  (Sorry piggies)

We had such a nice day that we will be visiting Segovia again this summer when two of my favorite humans join us for the month of July.  Apparently the Cathedral at night is too gorgeous to miss.

So…are we crazy for traveling with an opinionated infant?  Maybe… but Squirms did so well that we’ve decided to push the envelope.  Next week, we take our first weekend getaway.  The destination?  Valencia!