The Allinson South American trip

The Allinsons

The Allinson South American trip

This is our first travel blog to help share our family adventure to South America -Peru and Costa Rica over the next 3 weeks.

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Albufeira March 27th 2019

We took a shuttle to Albufeira today to our next apartment. The company was a bit of a pain as they wouldn’t let us check in early, charged 3% fee for absolutely NOTHING even on the deposit. The apartment was large, 3 bedrooms and a balcony overlooking the old town. However, the new thing for these Airbnb companies is to buy up real estate and start renting them out as self-catered flats. Essentially charging an arm and leg for apartments with nothing in them but furniture. No salt and pepper, no toilet paper (except for rolls in place), no hand soap, no dish soap, no dishwasher soap. It is frustrating as you have to buy a months worth of stuff for a few days rental. It is frustrating to renters ( or at least us, who ... read more

Europe » Portugal » Algarve » Lagos March 15th 2019

Took our flight to Lisbon and Faro Portugal today. It was about 4 hours in total and our driver, Alexendre was waiting for us at the airport He was the landlord at the apartment we will be staying at for the week. It was supposed to be about 45 min drive but I guess he didn't want to pay for the tolls and so it turned into a 1.5-hour commute. Ugh ( I was sitting in the back seat, so not fun). The apartment was huge, on the 4th floor with 2 balconies overlooking the city/marina of Lagos (pronounced Lagoshh). 3 bedrooms and lots of sitting space so all was well for the Allinson's. There is a community center beside the apartment (with a CrossFit and local gym) and a grocery store Pingo Doce, with a ... read more

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria March 15th 2019

Birthday weekend in the mountains for Hayden. We rented a cabin on Mountain Negro. About a 30min drive into the center of the island. After some road closures and a nail-biting turn around on a very steep mountain hillside, we finally made it to Teror for lunch. A quaint little city with tons of character ..pretty much every city on the island. We had a snack at one of the restaurants and some Pappas arrugadas (Canarian potatoes) before taking a tour of the town and looking for some groceries for the weekend. We found a great little waffle shop our way out that we decided to celebrate with candles and all for Hayden, as we were not able to find the groceries we had hoped to find for his birthday dessert and breakfast. Back on the ... read more

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria March 3rd 2019

It has been a while since my last post, SORRY, I will do my best to remember our journey since last. Another week just filled with work, sun and play. My coworking space is great, Rafael (the owner) has been very helpful and given me a space in the office area with him (I think he likes to have company). He has 2 kids, 15 & 18 (the oldest is in London at College) He has tried to help me find things for Sarah to do. Not much luck, but the fact he tried was so nice. He knows a lot of English and likes to speak to me in English. I try to speak in Spanish, but usually, make a ton of mistakes. He would like to come to Canada some day, but needs to ... read more

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria February 17th 2019

The weather has been spectacular the past few days. Not unheard of in February, but definitely a bonus for me! Hayden, on the other hand, would prefer rain and cold...or SNOW! Which I hear is still coming down in Canada :) Saturday we finally talked Hayden into a surf lesson with Sarah. He was a good sport and managed to get up a few times. Seeing as it is their winter season, the wind is much stronger this time of year, and that makes for more waves. The waves are short and fast, so it also means a lot more work on the surfers part. Hayden says it was enjoyable for the 2 min he actually got up, and it was more work than he thought. Sarah did MUY BIEN, but she too is not as ... read more

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria February 9th 2019

We arrived in Las Palmas around 11 am and quickly made out way thru the airport and out to the taxis. Still overwhelmed by the number of smokers in this Country, it is the first thing you smell once leaving the airport. Hayden wasn’t feeling so well on the second flight ( it was a little bumpy) mixed in with no sleep, so we were happy to finally be on land. A quick trip to the city center but still had 1 hour until our apartment was available, so we headed to a cafe and had a drink and fries! Our landlord brought his friend Diego to translate for us (very thoughtful I thought). The apartment was very clean and only one line from the beach. Our patio actually looks right across into the very 1st ... read more
Our View from apartment
Beach fun
Dad's work out spot

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto February 2nd 2019

Long filled day catching up on work and organizing the family for our departure. Said our goodbyes to the baby, Cleo that is, and took a final trip to Boston Pizza to visit Julia at work before we left. Going to miss her :) We arrived safely at the airport, had a quick check-in but realized once thru security that I had Sean's phone in my bag. OMG, panic set in.... knew it was too good to be true. Kids waited for me as I returned to the departures and hoped Sean didn't drive too far before he realized he didn't have his phone. Thankfully, he was there waiting, hoping I too had made the discovery! Reunited again, and I got another quick goodbye :) (Lucky me) before setting off to the gate again. Well, almost ... read more

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria January 7th 2018

It's been a while since my last entry, I guess I have been busy, but mostly just life. I will try and keep it short.... So what have we been doing for the past 4 weeks? Well let's see..... We completed our intensive Spanish Lessons (except Lindsay she is returning for another month of sessions). I think we learned a lot, how to ask questions, order food, return something...all the basics needed when out shopping or at a restaurant. We learned more grammar but that is all out the window now for me. We try to speak what we can, but find most of the time locals just try and figure out English for you instead. Sarah has continued at her surf lessons. She leveled up and now gets to hit the bigger waves. She has ... read more
Santa Catalina Park
Rock Nublo

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria November 28th 2017

This past week we started Spanish lessons. Laura (our teacher) is very helpful and has a great community of people that she teaches, works with and simply just knows in the city. This is what drew me to her and why I had no problem paying her for lessons ( carisimo ). Similar to CrossFit I guess really. She has invited us to several events already and helped us fit in. Our first couple lessons were pretty basic. We are learning mostly things to help us get by, so for instance: how to order food, greet people and understand some basic conversations. The language is pretty straightforward. In most cases consonants sound as they are printed. As in English there are a few exceptions: H is silent (or ignored). K is non existent, J sounds like ... read more
International lunch with friends
cool back yard

Europe » Spain » Canary Islands » Gran Canaria November 19th 2017

Surf lessons...working lots of walking about sums up the week. Sean and I have started to settle into our daily routines here. Sean gets up around 6 and heads to beach for his early morning workouts ( they have a great set of work out apparatus for pull ups , core and dips ) so we joke he is working on his Prison workout physique. He gets back just in time for Sarah and then eventually me waking up getting ready to start our day. He typically trades until 11:30 or so and then gets ready for the day- which as of now has been walks on the beach and working on the gym stuff in the afternoons. Sarah gets up pretty early (not sure why) but I think typically she tries to play some ... read more

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