Till next time Majorca...

Yes, that is me in the cold water saying my last good-byes!
Good-bye Till next time, my newest friend.  Thanks for letting your SEA remind us how much our family thrives on the smell of fresh salt air, warm breezes and hot days.(not to mention sleeping in late!) My hair, lips and skin would also like to thank you for bringing them back to normal!  Your houses, with their romantic courtyards, intrigued me during my runs and reminded me to keep my eyes open and enjoy all the little things in life. Your ancient Cathedrals and Castles made me realize how old this world is and how young I am! (hence the handstand in the ocean)  Your landscape wrapped itself around us sharing its peacefulness.  Your caves  showed my children that there are many things "in the dark" that are not scary, but magnificent. The tapas feasts we devoured while sitting outside, confirmed how much I enjoy long conversations with my husband during a gradual meal.  I am sure we will be coming back to see you real soon.  You were good for all the Hoff's soul!
You are beautiful



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Tuscaloosa Tornado update

Even though we are enjoying our vacation in Majorca, Jason and I both seem to continue to think about our friends in Tuscaloosa and all the hardships they are going through.  We aren't getting any national news on our little 5x7 tv here on the island, but my friends continue to send us updates.  We learned to take Tornado sirens seriously retreating to the basement any time we heard them screaming.  I learned this lesson after living in Alabama for 8 years and seeing the destruction the 2000 tornado left in Tuscaloosa partially destroying the neighborhood I had just moved out of a few months earlier.  I can't even get a grip on the damage this tornado has done to the heart of Tuscaloosa...not to mention the hearts of all our friends.  Our thoughts continue to be with you, even though it is from across the ocean.

  This is an aerial view of the destruction one of my friends shared from the local news.  It is so bad, Jason and I couldn't even recognize the areas. 



Tornado in Alabama

My heart goes out to all of our friends back home in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham that were hit by a major tornado. It makes me feel so far away!   Please be safe!


A new kind of Pearl...

He and 1 other (in a full wet suit)
He finally talked Karina into joining

Warming up-in sunny Majorca
The weather warmed up he a bit and we have spent most of the past two days by the pool and sea.  If you notice “something doesn’t look right in the picture of Cooper in the sea (I was corrected by a local when I called it the Ocean)…He is the only person playing in the waves other than the surfer that has on a full wet suit.  I met a few nice local women on the beach and enjoyed the conversations all while Karina stood in the background making her little sign language to me indicating I was being “chatty-chatty”.  But, that is what I tend to enjoy the most when we travel; meeting the locals and being a tad “chatty-chatty”.  Amazing all the great things you can learn if you just stop and enjoy the company of a stranger. 

We did make one ‘outing’ to the “Majorca Pearl” factory.  Majorica pearls have been hand made since the early 1900s. I had read a few things since arriving about these man-made Pearls and was interested in seeing the process first hand.  We all four were fascinated by each step of the process which was explained to us during our visit.  (Jason also picked out a very cool bracelet for me that he thought would be a good reminder of our vacation!)  He didn’t need to get the kids anything since each of the jewelry craftsmen gave Karina and Cooper a number of pearls.  I think they liked how entranced the kids were or maybe it was Coopers dancing in the isles. Some of the things we learned:

They begin from dull glass of high density with specific weight similar to that of the fine pearls.
These nuclei are then dipped into a special, pearly liquid, then an adhesive paste made of oil and ground up fish scales or mother-of-pearl for their iridescence. Everything for the color is a natural product of the sea.
The coated nuclei is repeated around 30 times, then dried and polished by hand.

Sounded like a cool piece of jewelry to me!  Now as we sit on our deck, looking at the softly lit palm trees and the brightly lit stars, I am wishing our vacation wasn’t in its last few days.  

That looks like a hot fire

Like anything with fire..

Comes with an official "Majorca Pearl" certificate



We headed up towards Porto Cristo to tour “Cuevas Del Drach” or as the children called it “the Big Caves”.  I was shocked to read that it is thought that this cave was formed somewhere between around 20 million years ago.  So, if I ever start feeling old, I’ll just think of this cave.  After making our way down a portion of the 270 feet deep cave, we were able to sit and enjoy a concert of classical music by live musicians as they floated along the subterranean lake in the cave.  If we were willing to stand in line after the concert,(which much to Jason’s delight I was more than willing to wait) we could  take a boat trip to the other side of the water. 

If you visit their website, the background music is the concert we heard and they have some great pictures too. http://www.cuevasdeldrach.com/

After the visit, we headed down to the Harbor for another great Tapas lunch.  Since our Spanish is non-existent (besides Cooper’s counting to 10), neither of us was sure what the little plate of nicely prepared meats we ordered was - but they tasted good.  Not to mention a good glass of Spanish wine to wash it all down.


No Guide books today....

We had a fun day touring the Northeast coast of Majorca today.  It is probably one of our first trips that we haven’t read many guide books and planned out all the things we wanted to tour.  I admit, it was fun feeling like an explorer today... not knowing what all we were going to see or do.  If we saw an interesting site as we were driving, we would point the car in that direction.  The one castle we were able to snag an English brochure giving us some insight on what we were touring, was “Castell DE Capdepera”.  Not only did the castle date back to the 13th Century but it provided stunning views.  Much to Cooper's delight, they also had an exhibit with owls from various parts of Europe.  Just as I was telling him the owls weren't real, one started 'squawking' to tell Cooper "that is not true!" The island appearance is very diverse…one minute we were driving on the rock-lined ocean then within five minutes we seemed to be in a lush rain forest, and then out of nowhere would appear an old historic Spanish town.  After spending much of the day on our non-planned journey, we decided to stick to our theme and stumbled into a great tapas restaurant in a old town.  The whole day was a hit…especially the Spanish Olives!

Yep, it is real alright!

The things I don’t want to forget…

  • Cooper continues to want to show the waiters that he “can speak Spanish” and proceeds to count to ten for them in Spanish.  He is quite proud of himself when he finishes. The waiters aren't sure what to think:)
  • Karina decided to try my Caviar (even after I explained exactly what it was) as she put it in her mouth, she smiled and said, “this melts in my mouth and tastes like candy!”  That may be one “just taste it” I live to regret since it is a tad more expensive than a McDonald’s burger.  

Some more 'Spanish steps'



We arrived in Majorca Spain!  It is a gorgeous island and one of the largest Balearic Islands located in the Mediterranean Sea.  I wasn’t going to blog…but yesterday was too gorgeous and I am now sitting under a  little hut by the pool while the kids try to nap in the sun. 

We started off our vacation to Majorca with Cooper and Karina waking us up EVERY hour prior to our 4:30 AM taxi arrival asking, “is it time to go to the Ocean yet?”  After few hours of sleep we made our way thru security at the airport.  As we stood at the conveyor puzzled by our carry-on bags being held up by the officers, they called Jason aside.  He returned to me with a smile on his face and told us that once again Cooper had brought some “action” to our life; Unbeknown to us, he had decided to pack all of his art supplies in his backpack...including quite a few pairs of his scissors. 

We have now spent 24 hours in sunny Spain and here are a few of our “happy moments” so far….

  • Kids and I are so excited to be at the ocean and sand.  That is one of the things they (and I) really miss about Alabama.
  • I’m going to admit, I am enjoying the humidity!  My lips are starting to feel normal already.
  • Jason and I have both realized how little our bodies have seen sun since moving to Germany (guess we’re bundled up too much)  I’m red and wearing 50 SPF!!!
  • Our children were the only ones swimming in the cold pool. 
  • The kids said, “ the most fun part so far was sitting on the cliffs by the Ocean to see the rainbows as the waves crashed.”  I thought for sure it would be the unlimited ice cream at the hotel.
  • The Food…Authentic Paella, TONS of fresh moist fish off the grill, and beans for breakfast!  the kids seem to really like the WHITE BREAD sandwiches-I didn’t realize that isn’t common in Germany until I watched Cooper eat his in about 1 minute flat 
  • The ENGLISH Magazines Jason surprised me with to read by the pool.  I might just get caught up on the fashion world…

About Me

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Stuttgart, Germany, Germany
We are living as non-military expats for a second time in Stuttgart Germany. The first time, we moved from Alabama to Stuttgart, Germany in December 2010 for three years and now are back after six years.. This is a great adventure for our whole family that we enjoy sharing.