Tuesday, December 30, 2008


The family at The Star Pub in Gib - Frizzy haired and damp from the rain

Sometimes, things just don't go as you hoped or planned. Our Gibraltar trip was one of those times. We promised the girls a trip up on "the rock" to see the monkeys and we were unable to fulfill that promise. It rained the entire time we were in Gib. For lunch, we dined on lovely British fare and beer and then found a hotel, all the while hanging onto hope that we would wake up to sunnier skies in the morning.

As you probably know, Gib's location makes it possible to take a short ferry ride to Morocco. So, when I saw a sign for a Moroccan restaurant, I practically begged Matt to take us there for dinner, thinking the food must be superb, being so close.

The place was a DIVE (dirty and the size of a large closet)! Once we walked in, and the elderly gentleman running the establishment greeted us, I felt we could not leave. Without getting into details, I will say this: The restaurant would have, long ago, been shut down by the health department in the US. Olivia seemed to pick up on this as soon as entered and began to scream:

"I can't eat here! It's not big enough! I need to eat at a bigger restaurant! I won't eat here! I won't!"

Matt assured me that he ate at worse establishments in Iraq and that it would, most likely, be fine. He then took Olivia outside, in hopes of calming her down while I ordered.

Notice Olivia's displeasure, in the picture above. It depicts, clearly, how she felt about being forced into eating at an establishment that did not meet her expectations. However, the couscous was the best we've ever had and the dish of chicken, potatoes, carrots and cauliflower was very good. Olivia's hunger eventually got the best of her, and she stuffed her face as if she hadn't had a bite to eat all day. To our surprise, none of suffered from any type of food poisoning and we enjoyed a rain-free walk back to our hotel.

The next morning, we woke up disappointed. We had planned on taking a taxi tour of Gib. We decided, however, to save our money as it was unlikely we would see much of anything and would only get drenched.

The above, crappy, picture is the only one I was able to get of "The Rock." I snapped it, hanging out of my car, as we drove back into Spain - heading back to Rota for another night's stay on the Naval Base.

In the car, Matt and I briefly discussed what a waste of time and money our trip was. Sometimes, it just happens. Despite your best laid plans, it just doesn't work out. If the kids were older, we would have stuck around and dealt with the rain. When you have a two and three-year-old, it's a bit more complicated...I suggested that we come back at a later date, as there is so much to see that the kids would enjoy. It may or may not happen.

Later, however, we would take an unexpected detour and realize that the whole trip was not a wash...stay tuned...


Kristin & Jeff said...

Ohhh Natalie..what a cliff hanger. I love reading about all of your excursions. I ca'nt wait to see how your trip turned out. Your blog is a "vacation" for me. :) always filled with great stories and wonderful pictures!

grams said...

Olivia's pose in the first pic reminds me of Andrea...she also loves to pose for pics even now at age 23... Love you guys...Glad it wasn't a total bust, can't wait to see more of the trip. Grams

Katie said...

How hilarious--Olivia saying she wouldn't eat in that restaurant. That cracks me up!

I think you are brave to do all the travelling you do with little kids. Brave. I am way too scared!