August 2009

Come along and share my Valdelavilla experience. You’ll be glad you did!

Madrid evening

Pictured here with me are the waiter at the restaurant, as well as Enrique, Linda, Anne, Candee, Debbie, Amy, Patrice and Tom.

The day before we left for Valdelavilla, all the Anglos (and frogs) were treated to a luncheon in Madrid. Later that evening, several of us got together for dinner and the chance to get to know each other before leaving for Valdelavilla.


Check out this good looking group! This is everyone that I would be living with and getting to know over the next week in this beautiful place high in the Spanish mountains!

Mountain walk

These are my new friends Blanca, Virginia, Richard, Marta and Patricia.

After eating lunch and getting settled into our rooms, a group of us decided to go on a walk instead of taking a siesta. We were very anxious to get acquainted with each other!

Polly at frog pond

Look what I found during my walk with Virginia, Patricia, Candee and Marta~a frog pond!

Valdelavilla friends

I never knew where I was going to see Amy and Lucy!

Cedric and Gregor

I became fast friends with Gregor and his cute sidekick, Cedric the Gnome! Okay, Gregor was cute too!

Valdelavilla friends

Nathan, Anne and Deb pause for a picture.

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We had so much fun the day that Candee taught Sofia the word "horn". We laughed and laughed about it for days!

Dining room

Can you spot me? I had to keep my energy up too!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Here are some of my friends fueling up to have enough energy to talk the day away!


Debbie, Marisa, Holly and Maria enjoying breakfast together.

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This is my friend Maria. We just had lunch together.


My friends Hazel, Pilar, Amy and Begona after dinner one evening.

Dinner 2

Noelia, Mike and Antonio

Checking the schedule

Every morning, we had to check the schedule to see what our assignments were for the day.

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Pictured are Begona, Noelia, Estefania, Candee, Gregor and Antonio

Gregor, what are you doing to Candee?! I’m going to tell your mother! “Antonio, don’t pretend you’re so innocent, you should be helping Candee”!

Debbie and Javi

Here I am with Debbie and Javi during one of the one-to-one sessions. We loved to take walks because there were always beautiful views and places to see.

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Judith, Lucy, Antonio and Mario

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Hazel, Renee, Barbara, and Mike

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Judith, Alfonso and Alvaro

“Wait, who’s that cute frog sticking out of Judith’s pocket”?

Pilar and Polly

My friend Pilar was always ready to give me a hug! (I love hugs!)


Siesta time!

Meeting room 1

Debbie and Candee had everyone dance to the Tutti Ta song during one of the Meeting Rooms. We all had a great time!

One evening after dinner, songs were presented by each group according to the country they were from. It was fun to see which songs they chose!

Two of the songs that the Spaniards presented were “El patio de mi casa” and “El corro de la patata”.

Song night 1

The Spaniards had everyone joining in with their peppy songs!


Pictured here are Gregor, Amy, Alfonso and Mario.

We spent a lot of time socializing with everyone because they were such a fabulous group of people! Here we are one evening when a lot of the people joined us in the living area of our little house.

Before we left to go to Spain, Candee came up with a really good idea. She thought it would be fun to take along some Mard Gras beads.

Her idea was to give the beads to three Anglos and three Spaniards at the beginning of the week. The goal was that each person would pass them on to another person for whatever reason throughout the week. The only rule was that a Spaniard had to give them to an Anglo and an Anglo had to give them to a Spaniard.

We took along six strings of beads and Candee chose three people to give them to and Debbie chose three people to give them to. It was lot of fun to see who had the beads next. The funny thing was that some people didn’t want to give them up.

The bead idea was so popular that we think it may become a traditional for further groups at Valdelavilla.

Way to go, Candee!

Socializing 2

Here we have Alfonso, Angelica and Noel showing off their beads. If you notice, Angelica is wearing two strings...lucky girl!


Javi and Gregor seem to be a bit jealous that Pilar has three sets of beads!

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Barbara, Mike, Hazel, Geoff and Holly

Group photo 1

Left to right: Tom, Gregor, Judith, Hazel, Barbara, Marta, Amy, Alfonso, Cesar, Adrian, Noelia, Noel and Mario

Socializing on the lawn before the next activity.

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Marisa, Maria, Sofia, Angelica, Patricia M and Paloma

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Deb and Sofia share a hug!

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Geoff was always ready to make us laugh!

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My friend Geoff liked to fool people by hiding me inside his hat!

More fun at Valdelavilla

Pablo was always trying to make sure everyone was having a good time and he even wanted to make the most of my Valdelavilla experience. When it comes to fun and games, Pablo is a master! Read all about the “frognapping” at Valdelavilla.

One day, Davy took the whole group on a hike to see an abandoned village, called El Vallejo, about a 45 minute walk from Valdelavilla. Debbie and Candee later said that was a beautiful walk and Davy spent quite a bit of time explaining the history of the area.

Abandoned village

I would like to visit this abandoned village sometime.

Valdelavilla hike

Adrian, Mario, Javi, Alfonso and Gregor


At the table in the front are: Lucy, Judith, Richard, Adrian and Hazel

After returning to Valdelavilla, everyone was treated to a delicious barbecue lunch on the lawn.

Picnic 2

Yummy food!

Ice cream from Inma

Inma brought out trays of ice cream cones as a welcome finale to the meal.

Group Activities

Every day we did some type of group activity. It was always a lot of fun and everyone had a good time!

Group activity 1

We never knew who would be stuck in the middle.

Group activity 2

Red light, green light!

Meeting room project

Sitting and discussing the project for the evening are Javi, Nathan, Angelica, Noel and Patricia.

Every evening we went to the meeting room where we put our creativity
to the test. We were always amazed at how creative everyone was!

Group photo 2

We loved having our picture taken! First row: Patricia R, Me, Patricia M, Maria, Candee, Marta, Judith Second row: Linda, Sofia, Patrice Third row: Virginia, Noelia, Debbie, Barbara, Maria, Pilar, Geoff, Blanca, Paloma Fourth row: Nathan, Enrique, Richard, Gregor, Cesar

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Blanca, Angelica, Marta, Alfonso and Begona

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Alvaro looks like he's up to something!

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Debbie and Patrice share a hug. Wait a minute...where was I? I like hugs!

Having a coke

Pictured are Anne, Nathan, Judith, Candee, Noelia, Patrice and Debbie

A coke and lots of smiles!

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Amy, Noelia, Barbara, Begona, Alfonso, Estefania, Patricia R, Patricia, M, Marta and Blanca

Alfonso and friends!

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Linda knew how much I liked hugs!

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Here's Adrian receiving his certificate for completing the week. It's being presented by Davy with Pablo looking on.

Group photo 3

This is a picture of me with all my new friends from my wonderful week at Valdelavilla! I was a little bit sad because it was almost time to say goodbye.

I had such a great time at Valdelavilla. I sure hope I can return here sometime and make lots of new friends!

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