So I’m onboard the plane, on my way to Madrid to visit my boyfriend. There is this old couple sitting right in front of me who haven’t stopped talking for past 3 hours. I have tried every trick in the book to shut them down – ipads, headphones etc. – but I am not successful. I am hearing these constant gurgling voices in Spanish… blah blah claro.. blah blah mercado… and despite my attempts to drown them out or make them quiet with my death stare, I fail miserably.
I know from my Spaniard boyfriend, Spanish culture is so fueled by emotions, even a discussion of the most mundane tasks can seem like an argument. But that’s the reason I love Spain. I love the passion. I also love the way they pronounce the s or soft c sound as “th.” For example azul, which means blue, is more likely to be pronounced “athul.” and Barcelona is “Barthalona” — you get the idea.
I decided it was time for all my close friends to experience the Spanish culture that I have grown to love so much, and so I invited them and their families to Mallorca for a week. I rented a beautiful house from Balearic Villas in the Port Pollença area of the island.
Mallorca is one of the islands of Spain’s Balearic islands. It was developed by the Romans but got super popular with British and German tourists back in the 50’s. It still brings a lot of Spanish tourists.
I picked different regions of the island to explore every day. The first day I picked the Cala Saint Vincent area. We rented a few canoes to explore the caves you can only get to by canoes or paddling. It took a good 30 minutes each way so we all worked up a good appetite for lunch in the form of Seafood Paella. OMG it was insane. After paella, we headed back to our villa to cook dinner. Since it was a long way for people to get here, it was nice to stay in and eat leftover paella and get our UNO tournament on. Adults teamed with kids and though it got super competitive it was definitely a highlight of my trip. It felt good to have the kids turn off their electronics and interact like normal human beings.
We explored many more beaches, but by far the best beach was Cala Llombards. This is exactly how I imagined a Mallorcan beach. Clear, aqua blue waters with dramatic rock formations that you can jump off, ending on a white sandy beach to lay out on, with an amazing chiringuito, a little local beach bar, serving good but simple seafood. Perfection!
Another day we explored the town called Deia. This is where Chopin and his love interest used to escape, as well as home to many famous poets. The town is amazing. The topography reminded me of the rice fields of Indonesia except instead of rice, there were walls of olive trees planted perfectly making rows and tiers. Super charming city! I found a stand with baskets of lemons for sale and then later had bacon wrapped dates, grilled octopus, and Iberico ham at the most romantic restaurant overlooking the town.
Another great memory was the hike to Cala Boquer. There was this trail literally right next to our house. We embarked on a 1-hour hike to the most beautiful serene Cala where we took a dip in the clear blue water. We had no idea there was jellyfish though and unfortunately my friend Betty got stung by a big jellyfish on her left shoulder. It gave her electric shock that paralyzed her for few minutes! My friends almost repeated the Friends TV show episode when Rachel got stung by a jellyfish and they all peed on her. We went as far as googling it but found out it’s not advised to use urine as the remedy! Ha!
I always find that if you interact with nature, nature will interact with you. One of the kids, Jake stepped on a sea urchin and had 2 splinters on his foot. Note if you ever get a splinter, it’s said you can soak your feet in vinegar for an hour for it to come out naturally. It didn’t really work for us but it was the worth the try.
Other than the mosquito bites and ants attacking our bread, we had no further interference with nature.
The setting was the most amazing vacation setting, but what I loved most about the vacation was playing UNO with kids, ping pong games, BBQ, watching all the kids jump off the cliff bravely, and conversations with my friends who live in 5 different countries. I truly believe the best way to show how much you love somebody is to spend time together. I am grateful for these friends who I have traveled with many times, way before all of us had any offspring. I’m looking forward to many more amazing trips to come with these friends. Who’s bringing a new set of UNO cards next time?