Darlene Foster's Blog

Family Fun and Fiesta

Posted on: May 18, 2016

At the beginning of this month we were blessed with a visit from home! My Aunt (mom’s sister) and her husband from Taber, Alberta and my cousin from Parksville, BC had been visiting my uncle’s relatives in Holland and took a side trip to Spain just to see us. We packed in as much as we could in four days. Since this was the first time for all of them to visit Spain, we tried to give them a good taste of our Spanish life. We ate churros, tapas, Spanish chocolate and paella, took a bus to an historic Roman/Carthaginian city, a boat trip around the bay of Cartagena, drove into the country, walked along the Mediterranean, enjoyed a family barbecue and attended a May Fiesta. My cousin couldn’t stop taking pictures.

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Happy to be with  family and show them around my corner of Spain


Dinner at The Nautilus overlooking the Mediterranean. Every one enjoyed their meal and first view of the Med.

We had an enjoyable visit to the two thousand year old city of Cartagena. Evidence of its rich Carthaginian and Roman history is everywhere. Still considered an important naval base and shipyard, it is now also a stop for large cruise ships.We took a boat trip around the harbour to view the old walls of the fortress. The city has amazing architecture and a lovely pedestrian shopping area with many bronze sculptures waiting to be photographed. The bit of rain didn’t dampen our spirits as we explored this interesting place only forty minutes from were we live.

My cousin meeting a friendly sailor

My cousin meeting a friendly sailor

Aunt and Uncle making a freind

Aunt and Uncle making a friend


Croissants filed with strawberries, bananas and chocolate. Yummy!

We stopped for lunch at a Valor Coffee Shop. Valor makes the best chocolate in Spain. You may recall my visit to the Valor Chocolate Factory last fall. Here is the post if you wish to know more. Our meal was delicious and included chocolate, of course! We finished with churros dipped in what else – chocolate, a Spanish tradition which they loved.


My outgoing cousin soon made friends with Romans wandering the streets.


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We also found some Roman ruins including an amphitheatre. An excellent day filled with history, architecture, the sea and chocolate!! My aunt purchased a spoon for her collection and my uncle a hat with Spain on it. Everyone returned happy.

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Another day we took a drive into the country, through traditional Spanish villages, past lemon and orange groves and the occasional flock of sheep. A trip to Spain would not be complete without trying the tradition of tapas, so that’s what we had for lunch.  The quests enjoyed the wide selection of small tasty treats. Something for everyone. That evening we had a barbecue at our place with my in-laws. A nice family gathering which included my home made paella and my mother-in-law’s trifle.

Aunt Peggy at the tapas bar.

Aunt Peggy at the tapas bar.

Their visit coincided with the Torrevieja May Fiesta, called Feria de Sevillanas. We were able to take them to enjoy this very popular fiesta featuring the traditions of Andalucia. My Canadian visitors were delighted to see women of all ages dressed in colourful, flamenco dresses and white mantillas. We strolled through the marquees and fun fair, watched paella being made and enjoyed the parade of dancers, Andalusian horses, riders and horse drawn carriages. My cousin sampled her first sangria with lunch on the esplanade.

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All ages get in the spirit of the fiesta

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My Aunt will return with a report to mom that all is well with me and my new life. She kept saying, “This is so wonderful, I’m so glad we came.” I am so glad they came as well!!

Breakfast at my home in Spain. Love my family!

Breakfast at my home in Spain. Love my family!

34 Responses to "Family Fun and Fiesta"

Glad your folks can give an eyewitness report to Mom! Your post made me hungry, especially for chocolate.

I think mom will be pleased to get the report from her sister. It’s good I decided not to post the other food pictures!

Fun-fill four days. I’m jealous. Maybe your family will come back to visit again.
I have long been smitten with Spain.

We packed a lot into those 4 days. I don’t think my aunt and uncle will be back but my cousin wants to bring her husband next time. I am hoping other family members decide to come. I do miss them.

Darlene, when we were expats it was always so special when family or friends visited. It was a memory of a lifetime for all of them and for us. It helped our stateside folks maybe understand a little bit why we had chosen to be expats. A funny story: when we lived in London my aunt came to visit and as we were wandering around Trafalgar Square, the Queen came by in a carriage with some newly installed African ambassador. It was just part of the perfect package for my aunt, and I was really surprised and said: I’ve been he 3 years and NEVER seen the Queen! ~James

Thanks for sharing that wonderful story, something your aunt will never forget. You are so right, it helps the folks back home understand why we did this when they visit. My aunt can also explain it to mom as she can´t travel. Great to hear from you.

What a treat for you to show them you new life and for them to experience Spain through your eyes and tummy! Every other post has a fiesta in it — remarkable. I’m glad you had such a fun visit.

There is always a fiesta somewhere in Spain! I was so pleased there was one nearby we could take them to. It was fun to show them around.

What a fun visit! And this is what makes fond memories.

Fond memories indeed. These are people who don´t travel much, so this was a major trip for them. We wanted to make it special.

Churros, sangria and tapas…..I miss them all!

Sums up Spanish cuisine quite well!

Looks like such a lovely visit Darlene. That croissant looks amazing!

It was very good. We ate all the churros before I thought of taking a picture!


It was indeed. Thanks for visiting my blog.

What a lovely visit. Family are so precious.

They sure are! This was a most welcome visit.

How wonderful for you to receive your family in Spain and give them a real taste of what your life there is about. I have had quite few of my relatives visiting me here in England. My father came over once and loved it, I have been trying to persuade him to visit again next year…fingers crossed. The food in Spain is delicious, I love paella…yummy.

Having family visit is very special. It is such a long way and expensive so I know it won’t happen often. I hope your father visits again soon.

It looks like you all had a wonderful time and I am so glad your family is leaving Spain with a good taste in their mouth, literally! Your photos are lovely as always, Darlene. Always a pleasure to read about you excursions and adventures. Olé!

I made sure they tried as much Spanish food as possible. My family has always enjoyed good food. They decided I made a good choice moving here. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos.

You did a fantastic job of showing them around and making the most of their stay. That croissant looks divine!

We tried to pick the things we thought they would enjoy as this was a once in a lifetime trip. Also had to keep in mind their age and ability to get around. They really enjoyed those croissants!

A good day enjoyed by all . I think when family come to visit it makes you feel more at home …so lovely to do a bit of showing off 😊🎈🎈

It was so great to have a part of my family here. You are so right, it made me feel more at home. xo

What a lovely visit. I feel desperate for some chocolate now. When you refer to Spanish chocolate do you mean the thick drinking chocolate that’s like melted chocolate in a cup? I had that in Mallorca and I often dream about it. I’ve never had churros but am I right in thinking they’re a sort of dough/pastry treat? I love the idea of them dunked in that chocolate, and as for that croissant filled with fruit and chocolate…… 🙂

The churros are long, thin, deep-fried pastries, perfect for dipping in the famous thick Spanish chocolate. Valor also makes fabulous chocolate bars which my visitors bought to take home as gifts for children and grandchildren. The croissant was to die for. You would love it.

Yay, pictures of the sea, family, chocolate and croissants! Everyone certainly seemed to have had a lot of fun. Even under grey skies, the happiness is infectious.

It wasn´t as sunny as usual in Spain while they were here but we did get some sun and as you say, it didn´t dampen our spirits at all.

What wonderful memories and pictures. I had to take a closer look at those stirrups on the white horse with the man riding it. Those are mammoth to what we’re used to seeing.

Thank you for sharing.

These are great memories and those are huge stirrups. Perhaps they are from the past. They are definitely Andalusian. Glad you enjoyed the post.

You could become a tour guide, your family must have really enjoyed their time spent with you.

They said they had a great time. It was only 4 days and there is so much to see and do around here it was hard to pick. Thanks Karen.

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