Posted by: Dee Andrews | December 16, 2009

The journey continues…

and my writing too. Read more about our adventures living and traveling abroad on my new website, Travel and Travails. While it continues to chronicle our year living in Spain, the unique places we traveled and the lessons and challenges we experienced, Travel and Travails is also about changing it up, finding new paths, designing the life that makes you happy.

Find inspiration, share ideas, seek the unexpected, in traveling and in life.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | July 24, 2009

Home in Boulder, Colorado

Boulder Colorado Flatirons Boulder Colorado We are back home now in Boulder. I had to pull my car over and take in the view from the ridge looking down into town, the Flatirons rising majestically up and the color of the sky, mountains and surrounding green pastures beautiful to behold.

I always did appreciate the view. We are settling in to a new house after a trip to Kansas to celebrate July 4th. It is good to be home.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | June 18, 2009

Trooping the Colour with Queen Elizabeth

London Queen Elizabeth at Trooping of the Colours I’ll hope you’ll be a trooper and link to this post on my new blog, Travel and Travails.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | June 12, 2009

Turkish Delights

There were many delights in Turkey. I finally tasted Turkish Delight, the tempting sweet that I first read about when I was nine and reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. The history, architecture, food and people were delightful too. It was a very diverse trip, with mosques and history in Istanbul, ancient ruins at Ephesus, five heavenly days of sailing the Aegean Sea from Marmaris to Gocek, and three magical days in Cappadocia seeing the fairy houses, caves and monasteries carved in the rocks. The kids said, “Thank you for bringing us to Turkey.” and “Thank you for the boat and the kayak.”

We were thankful too for the opportunity to travel to another new country, experience new cultures, and mostly to share the experience with the Roy family, a delightful family that are now life-long friends. (Steve is also a delightful blogger and apparently has more time and better internet service back in Seville than I do here in Greece! Click here to read all the details of our trip on his blog.

Turkey Istanbul Blue Mosque Turkey Ephesus Great Theater Turkey Sailing Blues of Sea and Mountains
Turkey Sailing Grace in Kayak

Turkey Sailing Four Kids in Kayak Turkey Sailing Dee Grace in Kayak Turkey Cappadocia Moonscape Dee Emma Grace Turkey Cappadocia St George Church Painting Turkey Cappadocia Fairy Chimneys

Posted by: Dee Andrews | May 21, 2009

Our Last Days of Spain

Plaza Mayor in Salamanca If you are considering a move to Spain… to learn Spanish, experience another culture, be in Europe to travel, look no farther… go to Salamanca.

Forget the beach, the warm weather, the international schools… go to Salamanca. It is a wonderful college town, just the right size to balance small town friendliness with big-city activities, full of beautiful architecture, museums, concerts in the Plaza Mayor, inexpensive, one of the most beautiful cathedrals I’ve seen in Europe, and a golden light that reflects off the sandstone buildings at dusk that is magical. We hardly heard English spoken. Time to reflect on our year may change my mind, but today, I’m enjoying and highly recommending Salamanca.

It is our last day in Salamanca today and our last day in Spain. To catch the blog up, we pulled our daughters out of school in Javea after the mid-April term. We decided to homeschool and travel and see more of Spain and Europe before returning to Colorado near the end of June. Last Night in Javea It was bittersweet saying good-bye to Javea and the wonderful friends we had made there. We were truly surprised and appreciative of the heartfelt connections we made with people. We had some wonderful good-bye lunches and days at the beach, and we look forward to seeing those friends again and keeping those connections alive.

We have since been in Barcelona and Salamanca to enjoy more of Spain. I loved Barcelona, like all big cities. Loved the architecture mostly and museums and vibrancy of life. It was less enjoyable for the girls and Scott, who has been battling a stomach bug for over a month. Salamanca has been a wonderful place to complete our time in Spain.

We go on vacation tomorrow to Turkey and Greece, then London and New York and on to home. Some of you may laugh and think, “haven’t you been on vacation for a year?” No, a move like this is challenging and full ups and downs. It’s not all vacation and idyllic days. But it is a journey I highly recommend.

Scott and I enjoyed our last Spanish menu del dia today and laughed and cried remembering what we have been through over the past two years that got us here. It was a year full of growth, some days magical, some days dark. We wouldn’t trade it, good and bad, for anything. We look forward to going home to Colorado and seeing what we make of life next.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | May 4, 2009

Sagrada Familia

Opps, this post has moved. You can read it though in just one click on my new blog, Travel and Travails. This awe-inspiring cathedral, Sagrada Familia, designed by Gaudi, is worth your time! Muchas gracias.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | April 30, 2009


javea-port-beach Goodbye Javea.

barcelona-sagrada-familia1 Hello Barcelona.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | April 17, 2009

There’s No Place Like Home

Ahhh, Kansas! Yes, I can use these familiar lines because I am a Kansas native. And though it’s been twenty years since I lived there, at heart, I am a Kansas farm girl. So it’s been with surprise and delight that I have discovered bits of Kansas here in Spain.

cafeteria-kansas-in-valencia-spain menu-del-dia-at-cafeteria-kansas-in-valencia-spain

No paella, octopus or squid on the menu at Annabelle’s in my hometown of Eudora, Kansas, but here in Valencia, Spain, the Cafeteria Kansas offers them on their menu of the day!


These wheat fields on the plains of Spain near Valladolid made me smile and remember the miles and miles of similar fields in western Kansas. I tried to explain to our good friends Rafael and Sonia how we “wave the wheat” in Kansas when the Jayhawks score a goal. I don’t think my limited Spanish did the tradition justice but maybe they’ll click on this link to watch it on YouTube!


Even Dorothy was here, at my daughters’ school play, uttering her famous line, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore!” It crossed my mind that my husband and I were probably the only two people in the audience who were actually from Kansas. How surreal, I thought, as we chatted in Spanish at intermission, here I am in Spain, at a British International School’s play of the Wizard of Oz, which was a Comic Relief benefit for children in Africa. Dorothy apparently has worldwide appeal.


And then there is Suzanne. Imagine the chances of meeting someone in your first day of Spanish class in your new Spanish town who is also an American and has just moved to Spain for a sabbatical year with her family. She is from Los Angeles, where you used to live. You are from Boulder, where she is planning to move. You naturally have a lot to talk about. Then you discover she went to Kansas University at the same time you did. So you have Lawrence, Kansas in common too and the same bars and restaurants and stories of college. And she even knows the local butcher in Eudora because she’d drive there to pick up animal parts for her biology class. The world doesn’t get much smaller.

Kansas will always have a special place in my heart, and it will be the last stop of our year-long journey before we head home to Colorado in July. We’ll see if Aunt Janet’s Fourth of July fireworks remind me of Spain!

Posted by: Dee Andrews | March 22, 2009

How to Find a Great Kid-Friendly Hotel

walking-to-the-coliseum-in-rome Oops, this post has moved to my new blog, Travel and Travails. If you travel with you kids a lot like our family, you’ll want to read this how-to for kid-friendly city hotels.

You’ll also find inspiration, unexpected ideas, and thoughts on finding new paths, in traveling and in life.

Posted by: Dee Andrews | March 11, 2009

Tagines of Morocco

moroccan-fish-tagine The tagines of Morocco indulged us. I try to remember one meal that stood out, instantly taking me back to this country of many flavors, but there wasn’t one; it was all of them! We became accustomed to delicious food awaiting us under every lid. Like at a magic show, we were enthralled at every meal when the garçon lifted the lid to reveal the meats and vegetables, dates and olives steaming in the swallow dish.

We quickly discovered the ubiquitous tagine at every mid-day and evening meal, whether in our riad in Marrakesh or by candlelight in our Bedouin tent in the Sahara. We learned the dish is not only the name of the traditional cooking pot but has grown to include the meal inside. The chicken with lemons and olives was my favorite, the lamb meatballs and eggs, called kefta, a close second.

The distinctive pointed lid and shallow dish came originally from the Berbers, the mountain people of Morocco. The ingredients are simple, usually chicken or lamb, vegetables, oranges, olives, dates. It is the spices that give these simple ingredients their complex flavors. Saffron, cumin, cinnamon and twenty-seven others make up a special blend called ras el hanout. There is no recipe that makes up ras el hanout; it is a unique combination of the best spices a seller has to offer.

moroccan-tagine1 We stopped in the village of Tamegroute, famous for its distinct green pottery, where I bought a tagine. There were beautiful hand-painted colorful ones used for serving and decoration, but I wanted one for cooking so I bought the traditional terracotta red with a few beige and yellow designs on the lid. The traditional method of cooking with a tagine is to place it over coals. Since I would be using my tagine on the stove-top, I was told to soak it in water for an hour, rub olive oil into it and cook it at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 hours. I was also to use it at a very low temperature or to use a heat diffuser to prevent it from cracking.

Scott graciously carried my new tagine home for me; its heavy terracotta pot and lid not exactly lightweight carry-on baggage. We will see how well I duplicate the Moroccans tasty cooking. I did buy a packet of ras el hanout from the local spice trader in Ouarzazate, the strong smelling spices also giving my suitcase and dirty clothes a distinct flavor of their own!

Bon appétit!

P.S. Want to try your own hand a cooking a tagine? You can find recipes and buy Moroccan tagines at To increase the authenticity of your tagine, you can buy the special blend of spices, ras el hanout, from the same spice trader in Ouarzazate I went to at La Caravane des Epices. You’ll have to decipher the French though! And finally, to virtually wonder the spice souks in Morocco, visit these fabulous photos that I found online.

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