This Tuesday we embark on our 16thCandelaria Design Tour and our 2ndCandelaria Design Tour Spain! Isabel and I are excited to be going on this trip as it was about this time last year, in fact just before our Tour Spain last year, that we found out about her breast cancer diagnosis. Our thought then was, let’s go on the Tour and enjoy ourselves as who knows what lies ahead. And boy was that true – we are so glad we did the tour and now a year later here we are going back to Spain for our second tour this time knowing Isabel is cancer free.
Not only did she get through breast cancer, but just as she was finishing her radiation treatments for that she was diagnosed with brain cancer. On mega radiation zap to the head and we just found out last week that at least for now there is no trace of cancer in her body – AMEN. Thanks to all of your energy, prayers, meals brought to the home, etc., etc. etc. WOW how blessed we are to have such wonderful friends and family such as all of you. Amazing and so powerful.
So you can only imagine how excited we are to be going back to Spain this year and we have an all repeat group of travelers on this Tour so all seasoned veterans and just the best group I could assemble including my two oldest daughters, Tiffany, who is visiting Spain for the first time and will be flying from Denver and meeting us in Miami and Isabella who will be on her second trip to Spain and flying with Isabel and I. This trip is going to be off the charts!
We start with a 1:30 departure from Phoenix today and we will switch planes in Miami this evening. Then its off to Madrid where we arrive around noon local time tomorrow and then switch planes again and we are off to our first venue, San Sebastián where we arrive around 5pm local time – 8 am Arizona time so nearly 22 hours later….. Small price to pay for where we are going to spend two weeks!
After checking into the hotel we will freshen up and then its off for Tapas – Pintxos as they call them in the Basque language. I cannot wait for that very moment!
We have five days in San Sebastián where we will enjoy a Michelin three star preset dinner and wine pairing at Akelare on Thursday, cooking at the San Sebastián School of Cooking, a day trip to Bilbao and the Frank Gehry Guggenheim Museum, amongst other sites and adventures.
From San Sebastián we will return to Madrid by train where we will spend the next five days with our home being the Grand Palace Hotel in the heart of Madrid. So many amazing sites and places to dine in Madrid and during our five days we will take a quick train trip for a day trip to Toledo, followed by another day trip to Segovia.
Finally, we will finish our last five days in Seville and our home the Hotel Alfonso right in the heart of Seville. We will visit the Alcazar, the amazing cathedral – third largest in the world and of course enjoy paella and flamenco. This will be my first time to Seville and Isabel’s second so she will take over as the tour guide.
So this will be my 6thtrip to Spain and my 25thoverall trip to Europe – its hard to believe I have been there now that many times yet I am as excited as anyone….maybe because I know how amazing the experience truly is. I’m probably most excited about watching my travelers and their first experience here – that is always the best part of the trip for me!