Hi folks. I was only missing for one week but it seems such a long time. This week's post is really a photo story of the week my family were here. It was such a happy time so smiles all the way.
I am starting with a special smile and this photo of myself with my lovely grand-daughter. She is married with two little boys, so we both live in a rather male-oriented world, so a bit of 'girly time' together was special. (She wanted the pink bougainvillea to be in the picture).
All ten of our visitors flew over together and they were due to arrive here on Sunday at teatime. That morning we had a little drama as I found the cats gathered excitedly around the back door where a young bird had managed to trap itself between the perspex that hold the cat flap and extends half way up the outside of the door railings, and the fly screen net that covers the entire inside of the railings. The gap between them is so tiny; goodness knows how it got there. Anyway, no amount of enticing would get it out, and in the end Chris had to unscrew the top of the perspex so I could get a hand in to catch him. I released him over the green zone and he flew away, apparently none the worse for the experience.
Our visitors plane landed at Almeria around 7.30. Chris went to collect some of them, and the rest had a hire car. So by the time they had sorted out children, luggage and cars, and driven home it was gone 9.00 when they arrived. Of course a dip in the pool was essential before they had some food and fell into bed.
Some days they went out together while Chris and I stayed at home, and others we went with them. One afternoon we all went up to the lovely public pool at the top of the village. It is huge, spotlessly clean and lovely and warm, with amazing views of the Cabrera mountains. Unfortunately it is only open in July and August.
All the children are water babies, and they had a lovely time there, stopping only for a brief snack and drink, before jumping in again.
On Thursday, in very uncharacteristic August style, it was forecast 100% chance of rain. So that day we headed out to Mini-Hollywood in Tabernas, with the conviction it wasn't likely to rain in the desert. (Tabernas is the driest region, and the only true desert in Europe, and it is only about an hour and half drive from us). Mini-Hollywood is the set where some of the Spaghetti Westerns were filmed back in the sixties. It is now a theme park where you can see the old buildings, watch a Wild West show and can-can dancers, and then wander around a zoo, and have a cooling dip in a swimming pool.
The scenery is breathtaking, and much of it reminds me of our visit years ago to Arizona. This was the view as we queued to get in.
The set of the township.
We watched the Wild west show, complete with several shootings...
...and even a hanging! The men did all wave at the crowd though to let the children know they hadn't really been shot or hanged!
Then it was time to pose in the Wanted poster...
...or the stocks...
... or to sit on a horse.
My son did his own bit of amateur dramatics.
Next we wandered up to the zoo. We walked under the bridge, but, of course, the boys had to go over it.
My favourite of the wild animals will always be the tigers. Much as I hate to see them confined to a cage, these animals all had big, interesting enclosures, and they did look healthy and content.
But these are the ones that stole everyone's hearts. They are sand foxes; not much bigger than a cat, with honey coloured coats and huge ears, they really were very cute.
We let the boys have a quick dip in the pool, but it was very crowded so we didn't stay long. Then it was a long walk back to the car, but a stop at the cowboy shop made this little man's day. At the main gate we stopped to look at the photos taken as we entered, of the children all in cowboy hats and holding guns, though it was interesting to see that the older ones did not want to handle the guns.
We stopped at a beach café in Mojacar on the way back for some food, where the threat of rain looked far more likely.
In the end we only had a few spots, so we all had our tea and then the children entertained themselves on the beach...
... while we had a few drinks and watched the light fade over the sea.
My grand-daughter passed the time trying to teach me how to get a better angle on a selfie!
We enjoyed a couple of days on the beach, but often there was too much wind and the red flag was flying, so they had to be content playing on the edge of the water. I love this picture of my great-grandsons with their daddy - all in matching swim shorts.
It was good to have some younger company in the house, and we enjoyed watching the 'young adults' having their fun in the pool after the little ones were in bed.
On Saturday night, as it was their last evening, I took some of them down to Garrucha for a walk along the promenade, while the others went to a bar in the village. It was so busy down there. I hadn't expected that. But my great-grandson did manage a fairground ride while his little brother was sleeping in the pushchair.
One thing I need not have been so worried about was our big dog Kim. He has no experience of 'small people' and I was unsure of how he would react. But in fact he was wonderful with all of them, and they loved him to bits. He made lots of new friends..
... and not only with the children.
Foxy was a bit more cautious, but she is a rather nervous dog anyway, but she had her share of cuddles too.
Soon it was their last day. Little Alfie had a sleep and I managed to get a cuddle before he woke up enough to realise every one was having fun in the pool.
We decided to have an early-ish barbecue as they needed to get organised and be at the airport by 6.00.
Then it was time to fill the water bombs - an inspired buy when I spotted them in Lidl's that week. They were in bunches that fitted on to a hose and were so easy to fill.
The ensuing fight was enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Then there was just time for one last photo with everyone in the pool (except the teen who had bleached his hair and didn't want to get chlorine on it!), before they dried off and loaded up the cars.
Phew!! That was quite a week. Thank you for staying with me through the marathon.
I shall now link up with Annie's Friday Smiles and Rocking Your World, and I'll leave you with one last picture of our big bad boy. He has never been on the furniture before, but this week he discovered that it was a perfect fit for his bed, and now I can't keep him off it!