Standing underneath the tallest nativity in the world makes you feel so small, yet so important at the same time. Without doing anything at all, it almost makes you feel like you were a part of it. Almost as though we, as a community, achieved this together. It’s been a tough year, but as a community, we’ve achieved so much.
It’s been too long…
It’s been a long time since I sat down and wrote a blog post. I could reel off a whole list of reasons and excuses ranging from not having enough time to not having the inspiration. But mainly, I stopped because I felt like nobody wanted to read it anymore.
But it shouldn’t matter whether one person reads it or a thousand people read it. The creative outlet is enough. And it is enough.
Nearly four years ago, I opened my blog writing my thoughts and ramblings down on this blog. Going through life in Benidorm, to recommendations, to travel, fashion and everything in between. Then in lockdown, there was a shift. My blog became a vital source. It became a news outlet.
Being recognised by the Spanish President as being a reliable news source is something I’ll never forget.
Do I intend to stop posting relevant news translations? Of course not. But I felt like I couldn’t use my blog for what I’d made it for anymore. But today that is going to change.
It’s been a while since I checked in with my blog readers and for that I’m sorry. We’re both back to work now and every bit of time we have tends to go on something else. Making videos, planning merchandise, and I’m still adjusting to my new work from home routine. I can’t begin to tell you how lovely it is to be able to have a cup of coffee in the morning, watch some TV and then head to the computer to do some work.
The best part is the amount of time we have together. Alex comes home and we can sit and talk together. Or just watch TV together. Sometimes I’m still working, but it’s usually easy enough to multitask.
Which means dinners have got progressively more interesting. Recipe books and new things have catapulted into our lives and Alex is clearly enjoying playing with dishes and flavours. It’s rare we use jars anymore, with Alex creating sauces with different herbs and spices. We also started meat free Mondays so it’s fun trying out different vegetarian dishes.
A Christmas Week
Alex has been enjoying his new camera. Weekends usually entail a location photoshoot somewhere with the benefit of enjoying the beautiful views on the Costa Blanca.
We’d had lunch at Aruba Gastro Lounge which is a relatively new restaurant which has opened on the poniente beach front. The Patatas Bravas were a definite highlight there. I’d had a latte macchiato after dinner too which was a real nice coffee too. The service was good and the prices were reasonable. We had patatas bravas to share, a water, 2 cokes, two Angus burgers with fries and a latte macchiato and it came to just over 40€.
The sunsets are gorgeous in winter, especially when we have a few clouds dotted around the sky. The hues of colour dance around the sky displaying an array of light. We stood on poniente beach watching the sun go down and listening to the waves crinkle across the sand.
We’re trying to start doing proper YouTube videos where we film when we’re not live and wow it’s tricky trying to find things to say (and not look silly). It’s funny, I never think that I’m talking to myself when we’re on live because I can see all the comments, but to everybody else, they must think we’re mad. (Which we are but I’d like them to not know so quickly).
It’s a long weekend so we took advantage of the time off to head into the city centre of Alicante where the Christmas lights are always much grander and feels more Christmas-esque than Benidorm. Mainly because you have all the shops and city centre. There are many more areas trimmed up and you can’t look at Christmas lights without a Starbucks Christmas hot chocolate. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.
It’s starting to really cool down now on the East Coast, especially at night. It’s around 16°C in the day and drops to around 7°C at night. Although it’s chilly, it’s not frostbite weather. Tights, skirt, jumper, woolly hat and a light jacket was more than enough to keep me toasty. Paired with the warmth from the hot chocolate, we were good to go.
I’m not sure if many of you watch our videos, but if you don’t know, we filmed on Facebook live around the Christmas decorations walking from Starbucks on Rambla Méndez Núñez along Paseo de la Explanada de España and finishing at the Plaza del Ayuntamiento.
There’s something so magical about the Christmas lights adorning the streets around Alicante. Twinkling lights shimmer and provide a warm, glistening glow to light to path. It was beautiful to see so many people out and about enjoying the lights after what has been an incredibly tough year.
Although busy, the law here is everybody has to wear a mask at all times. They do let you take off your mask to take a photo and when photos were being taken people were very considerate and ensured a safe interpersonal distance was kept.
The Christmas tree this year is a tall triangular tree with lights for decoration. It isn’t a real tree but a triangular metal construction. It’s quite impressive, though I must say, I prefer to see real trees. I’m hoping Javea have put up their big real tree again this year and I’m holding out hope that Valencia has a real tree.
Looking up, you’ll see the Santa Barbara Castle lit up. It was lit up red and looked impressive. I always think of the Ed Sheeran song, Castle on the Hill whenever I see it.
The most spectacular thing you’ll see in Alicante though is the nativity scene. Nothing like a traditional nativity, this giant Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus is the tallest nativity in the world. It towers proudly over the town hall with the Guinness World Record Holder sign just below.
It really is monumental. Huge. Colossal.
With Feliz Navidad lit up on the town hall and the Christmas music gently playing, it has started to feel like Christmas.
Love, Lauren x