Rivera Gardens: The BEST viveros ever!

Okay, I have heard about this place for YEARS and have had numerous people tell me I HAVE to go… Our nurseries here are called viveros, and they are all over the place. The one right by the base is Viveros El Lago, I have spent a pretty penny in there on pots, flowers, herbs and ceramics.

Well one day we had some time to kill and decided to head out to the big viveros in Chipiona. A friend gave me directions and I thought I knew where it was based on the few times I’ve driven through Chipiona. Well we follow those directions and get no where. We were out in the country with nothing looking like a garden center in sight. Finally after back tracking and asking for directions and STILL not being able to find it we gave up. Decided to keep heading down the road and go to Las Dunas mall in Sanlucar. Wouldn’t you know it, we ran into the dang garden center! It was no where NEAR where I thought it was and where my directions said…

Well we found it and I could have probably wasted an entire day in there…

From the outside. The play area inside. Jungle gym & playhouse. There is also a small merry go round. And while your kids play you can enjoy a snack or coffee from the cafe inside. So nice.

There is a huge pond in the middle of the place with an island and multiple bridges. And lots and lots of koi.  I have no clue what my son is doing, probably some superhero pose.

Oh my. The plants. I’ve pretty much had to let my garden go which was really hard this spring when all I wanted to do was buy a crap load of flowers and plants. It didn’t help that we had a super hard frost for the first time in 4 years that killed EVERYTHING! My hibiscus, my banana plant, my dame de la noche. All my big stuff froze! It’s all starting to come back but I am just hoping I get some flowers out of my hibiscus before I move! Anyways, it was very hard not to buy a hydrangea in every color, they are one of my favs. (Although it took like 4 times to spell the name right)

Along with plants they also have animals! Puppies and chickens and peacocks, oh my! Seriously though if we have a yard when we move to Hawaii I am going to get some damn chickens. I want chickens SO BAD! Also who knew you could just buy peacocks? They were about 70-80 euro each, not too bad right?

O hiding under this pretty fern. Me and the girl…

This place also had outdoor furniture, grills, home decor, and tons and tons of ceramics. They have a sister store next door that sells cut flowers. It was closed when we went which is probably a good thing. Fun day shopping!

Rivera Garden directions and info.

Snapshots from this week

Random photos from the week:

Arriving at work right after a rainstorm, sun finally showing up!

Headed to feria!

I think we have one of the prettiest military hospitals around. This is the courtyard in the middle…

I am childish but this made me laugh… SeaBee on a beach cruiser…

Ladybugs are EVERYWHERE! Which is awesome because as you can see, the aphids are also everywhere! I keep catching ladybugs and sticking them on my plants!

Is this just a Spain thing or do they do this in the states? The drive thru at McD’s was long so they had a guy walking from car to car taking orders on a palm pilot dealy.

And we made some cute teacher appreciation gifts for all of our wonderful teachers in our life! M has a teacher at school and at SAC (after school program) O has THREE teachers in his class. Then I wanted to get something for one of his old teachers that isn’t in his class anymore but who he ADORES! Also I wanted to get something for our three lead teachers, so I ended up with NINE (!) teachers to get something for! It ended up being cute, easy and personalized and I hope they love it!

Tomorrow is FRIDAY! Hallelujah!

Ending the day on a low note…

This morning I started out positively sad about our pending move. I am ready to dig my heels in and just stay here a little while longer. It didn’t help that it got up to a gorgeous 85 degrees today, nice and sunny with summer right around the corner.

Then…

I have to listen to yet ANOTHER person complaining about how much they hate this base. I am so over it. While we chose to move here there are those people who didn’t have a choice. Or maybe this base just wasn’t what they had in mind. But to LOUDLY complain about practically every aspect of the base, not a good enough selection at the commissary/exchange, not enough for kids to do, not enough child care options, it just annoyed the crap out of me!

We don’t live in America, we live in Spain. There might possibly come a point where you have to pull up your big girl panties and step off base! Amazingly there are stores in Spain that sell food and clothing! Cute clothing in fact! And the complaints you have about having to pay for it in euro? What the hell do you think that COLA is for??? It was just super annoying and I took it personally as I feel like I am a representative of the child care on base and that she was picking on me personally.  Even though she wasn’t, and at this point in time I really don’t care. I think it sad that instead of spending your time enjoying a place that some people save up and vacation to, all you can complain about is how horrible everything is.

And the other day someone told me they hated it here because there was no WalMart. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. You would rather shop at a trashy big box store (that has a twin here in Spain called Carrefour!!!!) than live here? Is buying stuff, random stuff that you don’t need and are only buying because you are bored, really THAT important to you?

Ending rant now, just had to get that out there. If you are moving to Spain, please be aware that it is a totally different country because apparently there are some people who think it should be ‘little America’. I swear if I hear the phrase “…at our LAST base…” one more time…

Odds and Ends…

So while I was trying to do something, ANYTHING, from working on my final research paper last night I decided to change the look over here… I have an idea in my head of how I would REALLY like it to look but I don’t know anything about web design and I really don’t want to put any money into what is really just an online scrapbook of my life. So for now my blog is trying on some new clothes and we’ll see how they fit.

My husband is begging me to buy sandwich bags. It’s pretty funny that this is even a conversation topic. I have become so anti-plastic that I don’t even know when the last time I bought ziploc bags was. Don’t get me wrong, we are no where near where we could be. Shit just has SO. MUCH. PACKAGING!

In other news my co-worker at the front desk is quitting. I don’t know what I am going to do. I am going to have to train her replacement and then my replacement. Ugh. Plus there is just SO much you have to be able to know how to do. We aren’t just answering phones up there! Hopefully they hire someone who is a fast learner! Plus I don’t know if I’ll be able to quit as early as I was going to. I am that crazy person who just can’t leave a mess behind at work. We’ll see about that because….

We STILL haven’t gotten our orders yet! I am getting more than a little bit stressed out because Lord knows PCSing isn’t stressful enough. Now we are down to3 months with no orders.  Honestly this wouldn’t be that big of a deal but we have to get the dog on the rotater (the military flight that flies back and forth every two weeks). Because he is a boxer he can’t fly commercial airlines in the summer time. The flights are full of dogs until June already and I reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaally don’t want to leave my baby behind!

Still haven’t started cleaning out our belongings or closets, I need to do that as well as pull the rest of the kids summer clothes out. I am hoping that when I start cleaning I will find my damn camcorder that I somehow placed somewhere stupid. I have a very bad habit of walking around with something in my hand and then setting it down. I once lost my coffee cup and couldn’t find it anywhere. Next day, I found it in the linen cabinet. Really?

Well now that I got that off my chest, have a wonderful Thursday!

 

El Bucarito! Our trip to the goat farm…

(Prepare for pictures from ANOTHER class field trip!)

Yesterday we took a field trip to a cute little goat farm that is literally minutes from base. I am kicking myself for never visiting before.  The farm grown their own feed (organically) and uses the goat manure to fertilize the fields. Love that.  They also have a variety of other animals including donkeys, pigs (black Iberian pigs – the ones that get turned into famous jamon!), and birds of prey.  The owners live on site and they were super friendly and the entire staff was absolutely wonderful to our visiting group.

On to the photos!

The farm! The pig area is on the left, the goat fields are on the right.  The store is the building half cut off on the right. (Taken on a moving bus so not the best shot.)

Happy Bus Rider.

As soon as we walked by the pasture the goats all ran over to us. (Because I am a nerd I immediately thought of the Jurassic Park line: “They’re flocking”. Yeah. Just me.)

Prepare yourself, this is a goat picture heavy post. But they are just so dang cute!

Ha. He kept trying to eat my camera. Goats are dumb. But very photogenic.

O admiring the goats from a distance. They were a little nibbley. (Also I think the kids necklaces should read: “If found please return to the CDC” but no one agrees with me.)

Budding grape vine. The farm had some vineyards as well as a small orchard.

Our guide and I couldn’t figure out what this was. I thought cherry (cerise is cherry right?) She thought not. Fruit tree blossoms look so similar. It was probably peach or plum. Or apple or pear. Who knows. My mom probably.

We pose in doors a lot.

I want this bbq area please.

This is the owners patio. What we would call a courtyard. I love Spanish patios. Especially plain rocks turned into something awesome with a little crapload of time.

Also red geraniums in old pots or barrels. Swoon.

All the ladies getting milked. Of the 2,000 goats they have on the farm, 1,200 give milk. Twice a day. It’s no wonder it’s all automated!

One of the babies in the kid room… They were SO cute!

Feeding pigs! We had to warn the kids to keep fingers off the fence. Those pigs will bite!  These pigs are the famous Iberian black pigs. The males who look promising are moved and fed acorns to give the Iberian jamon the distinctive flavor that it is famous for. (For which it is famous. Whatever.)

Also. These pigs are hard core. Nose rings for all! This actually keeps them from rooting and tearing up the pasture or fence line, but I prefer to think that they have punk rock pigs.

I love mules. That is all.

This farm also breeds birds of prey, including owls. So we got to pet this tiny, bitty, sweet, fluffy baby owl. “IT’S SO FLUFFY” (name that movie, if you can’t we can’t be friends)

O meet owl.

Tiny!

Not quite so cute and adorable but a beautiful bird.

Falconry demonstration. Please someone tell me, what the heck is keeping these birds from flying away? They aren’t domesticated dogs, they are wild birds with unclipped wings. Why do they come back? Are they just really well fed? I wish my Spanish didn’t suck ass so I could have talked to the trainer.

The kids all loved this cheese, it was sweet and creamy and mild. So good!

These were more for the adults, strong, firm and pungent.  The rosemary one was really good.

And the chorizo. Made from those adorable pigs we saw earlier.  Think of salami but better. This was excellent and the kids couldn’t get enough. I will be back for this as well as some fresh goat cheese!

Ana one of the teachers and a friend, got to get up close and personal with one of the adult owls.

So did Val. All the cuddling was freaking me out. I kept telling them the owl was going to eat their eyes. Get the damn bird out of your face!

Hello gorgeous!

Goodbye, el Bucarito! We’ll be back!

Directions:

Go out the Spanish gate (back gate on base) take a left. You should see the farm on the right in about 5 minutes. It is off one of the perimeter roads. Store is open seven days a week. Tours are available for groups but you have to call ahead. If you have a small group you can see the cheese making process.