We’ve known for a bit that our car was in Europe; first Germany and then here in Spain, but down at the import lot at Rota Naval base. It took a while to get all the paperwork in order to be ready for picking it up, and we decided to drive down our cheapo Volvo together on the weekend. Bryan would return Sunday, but the kids and I stayed on until Monday to pick up the car.
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Our hotel was super cool…had it’s own parking garage as the entrance and a courtyard out the back!
It worked out in the end, but the trip was ripe with complications. First, of course, we got to our hotel on Friday night about 2.5 hours down the road – we waited til bryan was home from work – around midnight and realized neither of us grabbed the folder with the papers. UGH!!!! Bryan got some coffee, drove home, slept there, and woke up early to meet us at the hotel around 8am. It was a fiasco.
Saw this incredible lighted thing on the way….. I had to look it up. The light did not look realistic, more like a reflection, but it did not go out as we drove along. Turns out to be a unique solar power plant. Fascinating!
On the way down to Rota that day we stopped in Cordoba to see some ancient sights. There is a giant archaeology park with ruins of an old Islamic city just out of town. It was a fun place to visit and walk around; but we were a bit sleepy to fully enjoy it.
Once we arrived at the base (6 hours from our town) we got mixed up info about our permissions and base access, then commissary and NEX (BX) privileges, so it was a little frustrating. It worked out when we figured out the right way to do everything and the paperwork necessary. Just another bit of frustration that could’ve been avoided if the unit Bryan works for was as organized as they should be.
We stayed at the Navy Lodge for two nights which was so fun to feel like we were visiting a little America where everyone spoke English. We even got to use a few spare dollar bills that we had sitting around….for lack of another place to spend them in Albacete…. by visiting the thrift store; stocking up on hard to find things like cheddar cheese, frozen fruit, and triscuts at the commissary; and popping into the NEX.
The Navy Lodge…
The kids enjoyed simply playing at the hotel, and Zoe was a bit jealous of the nice base housing (along the beach) and school with an actual playground. After Bryan left the kids and I borrowed movies from the front desk and walked over to the pizza place for dinner. I also made them do some school work.
Zoe claimed she did not feel like her hair was out of sorts…
On Monday, we took a taxi in the rain across town to the POV pickup lot where everything was in order and made for a simple car retrieval! We drove base to base to fuel up, get some subway and snacks for the road before driving all the way home. We made it back in exactly 6 hours, with a couple quick potty stops. Not bad!
Its so very nice to have our Outback again. The Volvo we bought to use in the interim, so will be trying to sell it once we get our diplomat plates on the Outback. awesome!