We have been back from the Canary Islands for a week now……do I honestly need to remind myself?  I think I will go back to the lovely 70ish(22-23C) degree weather.  It sure does beat the 42 degree F (6 degree C) weather in Birmingham, England.

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We chose to holiday on the island of Fuerteventura for Tenley’s 12th birthday. All the kiddo wanted to do for her birthday was ride horses on the beach. We have always been big fans of experiential birthdays versus throwing a big party.  I believe this is her 4th or 5th birthday holiday.  Not too shabby.  Fuerteventura is the oldest island of the Canaries.  It was formed around 70 million years ago via volcanic activity.  It lies 60 miles off the coast of Morocco.  It was very cool to know we were so close to Africa since it is high on our list to go and see.  Fuerteventura’s landscape was very desert like and it was rare to see any natural occurring trees.  The trees you did see were palm trees that were brought in and planted.

Our flight to the Canaries from Birmingham was 3 hours and 45 minutes long.  Once we landed, we grabbed our rental car which we named, “Poppy” (Poppy was small and red) and then we headed to the hotel.  We stayed at the Sheraton Fuerteventura Beach, Golf & Spa Resort.  We LOVED our stay here.  The staff were friendly, courteous and helpful. Pool was large, grounds were beautiful, beach access right out the gate,  walking distance to many shops and restaurants, 3 dinner restaurants at the hotel and more.   The rooms were very spacious and the breakfast was the best hotel breakfast we had ever had!  We had purchased a room with breakfast included and boy were we glad.  Breakfast each day had so many options:  coffee, water, mimosa’s, juice, fresh fruit, smoothie bar, omelet’s made to order, various types of sausage, eggs, potatoes, grilled veggies, cereals, yogurts, granola, toppings, more fresh fruit and veggies, cold cuts, olives, any bread you could imagine, jellies, jams, crepes, 4-6 different types of syrups, sprinkles, nuts, donuts, pastries, croissants and more.  It was a FEAST and we took full advantage.  Sorry, I was too busy eating to take any decent pictures of the feast.  I’m sure you can find them online at the above link for the hotel. 🙂

The next day was Sunday and we had a 4 hour catamaran tour booked.  We drove up to Corallejo for that tour(about a 45 minute drive) from Caleta de Fuste(where we were staying).  We chose the tour group of Fuerte Charter based on the amazing Trip Advisor Reviews. Click Fuertecharter to see all they have to offer. They have a great video on their home page as well. There catamaran tours take a max of 12 people.  We took the catamaran around Los Lobos island. The water was so beautiful and the ride was very relaxing.  I have a tendency to get very seasick but am happy to report that no sickness occurred on this trip.  Once we reached the bay area we were whisked away in a speed boat over to a small fishing village.  We were allowed 30 minutes to explore the area, hike, take in the views.  The speedboat then zipped us back over to the catamaran where we all took turns jumping off the boat into the water.  Next we were able to snorkel, hold bread and feed fish (Hubs actually had a very hungry fish that took a small chunk out of his finger-Ha), kayak and stand up paddle board.  After the activity it was back on the boat for a nice lunch, drinks, etc.  Then we headed back.  We all had a great time and on the way back Miss Tenley had everyone on the boat dancing.  She was the only kid on the boat but that never stops her.  Vince, the captain of the boat called her “The Leader!” since she was making sure everyone was participating in the fun.  Amazing day and I would totally do this tour again.

canary9Hike up to a high point at the little fishing village.

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We forgot to ask what this was.  Maybe a mine or old well.  We were the only ones that hiked over to it. 🙂 canary7

These two cuties waiting for our speedboat back to the catamaran!

Monday:  Tenley turns 12!  I had booked her horseback riding tour for this day as well but we didn’t have to be there until 3:45pm.  It too was a 45 minute drive to the other side of the island in El Cotillo.  We headed over there after breakfast so we could check out a beach called La Playa Concha.  We spent about 3 hours at the beach, enjoying the crystal clear water, sunshine and trying to not to notice all the naked people. Nudity at beaches is not something we have seen much of in the states. We of course encountered this in France but I think Spain has France beat for beach nudity. haha.  After the beach, exploring and lunch we headed over to ride horses.

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Playa de la Concha-look at that water!

The horseback tour was for 2 hours and all of us had signed up to go even though myself and Casey aren’t super keen to ride horses.  Tenley was of course in her element, helping get all of the horses tact up, etc.  We all headed out on our ride and I think Casey lasted about 20 minutes on the horse before his knees were in agony.  So, he hopped off and just walked the rest of the way with us.  My knees and low back were not feeling that wonderful either but I stuck it out.  Tenley was happy to be in the group that was able to trot and gallop while my slow horse riding self was in the back with the instructor.  We had gorgeous views of the ocean, landscape and sunset on our ride.

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Castillo de El Toston: Defense tower to fight off pirates

Our last full day was Tuesday and we decided to just chill at the hotel and pool on this day.  We also walked around, did some shopping, Tenley had her hair braided, etc.  It was a nice day.

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Father and daughter walking hand in hand in Spain. XXOO

We flew back to England on Wednesday and it was quite comical at the airport as the lady helping us get our boarding passes at the airport had never seen an US passport before.  I don’t think many Americans travel to the Canary Islands. 🙂 It took her a bit longer to get our info into the system but that is OK.  We actually received a 2015 entrance stamp when we arrived in Spain as well.  For a girl that loves and cherishes her travel stamps, I was a bit bummed to see that the year was incorrect. I didn’t notice it until we were already at the hotel so I couldn’t really ask for a re-stamp! 🙂  That’s OK–it makes for an interesting memory.

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