Spain Day 2 - Day at the beach ...
Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
77Trip End Sep 01, 2008
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Janice woke up and cooked us a huge breakfast. Big breakfasts are unheard of in Spain. They do coffee and bread in the morning, a gut-busting lunch, and a small, very late dinner (10pmish). After breakfast, we clean up and jump in the car for our first family outing ... with all the technical problems I've had getting connected to the internet, I need to figure something out soon so I can get some work done. My GPS unit has failed me twice so far, but we decide to try a third time ... there is supposed to be a hotel near our house, close to Santillana Del Mar, known as "the prettiest village in all of Spain" by all notable tourist guides. Its a thirty minute drive to the internet spot, and we end up in a town called Miengo. A seaside village with a big ol' fancy hotel on the beachfront
Miango is PERFECT for us. Gorgeous beaches with a shallow area for the kids to swim in (they could walk for half a mile without it getting higher than their chest!). A large play area for kids. Plenty of good food and snack stands (ice cream too!). ... Just ideal. This will be a frequent destination for sure.
I get some work done. We go in the ocean. We frolic. We play. We forget sunscreen and Ella gets badly burnt. Oh well. She is tough. Live and learn.
After checking all our emails and such, we head off to Santillana Del Mar with much excitement. Afterall, its the prettiest village in Spain, no? ... Major disappointment. Cool buildings, sure. But tons of tourists, hotels in every building, overpriced food ... perhaps thirty years ago it would have been cool, now its just a tourist trap. Janice and I decide we both love our Pie de Concha MUCH better ... and so after ten minutes in Santillana Del Mar, we hit the road again. Oh, also I should mention they have the very famous caves nearby ... Caves of Altamira, location of the oldest (or nearly oldest) human drawings. We drove to the museum, but it was closed ..
Around 6:30pm, we are at the NEED TO EAT stage and head out looking for some grub. I had read that Spaniards don't eat until late. ... They aren't joking. We couldn't find a single restaurant that opened before 9pm. CRAZY. Finally ended up at a cafeteria that had a really limited menu that we were able to order from. Actually was a good deal. Two slices of thick ham (they LOVE ham here, on everything), a fried egg, salad, french fries, and a drink for 6 euros. We ordered one plate and shared to get us through until the nicer restaurants opened. We ended up driving all around several little towns and let the kids play on the various playgrounds along the way. Finally find a place famous for paella in a town called Suances and treat ourselves to a splurge ... paella for two plus some vino. Total = $45 euros. Again, not horrible for a nice restaurant on the beach, serving fresh paella full of seafood. Turns out, Janice and I still don't like paella. I've had it before in the States, figured it was at least worth a try here ... it was fresh, and good, but I won't be ordering any more.
Drive home. Now have a better sense of the road and direction in general so we make much better time
To bed we go....