Celebrating in Granada

Sunday 28 August to Wednesday 7 September

Although we love touring Spain, the real reason behind us being here in 2016 was to celebrate Hayden & Andrea’s wedding at La Chumbera on Saturday 3 September.

It was 10 days of celebration, commencing with our arrival early Sunday morning and meeting Hayden and Andrea for breakfast.

Evan & Steph arrived in the afternoon and after twenty-one months, we had our family together. The excitement of the coming week was mounting.

Over the next few days we welcomed more family and friends:

  • Greta, without her luggage, on Monday.
  • Kate & Mark and Alex & Sarah and Ben & Chloe on Tuesday.
  • Mike, Soph & Eden and Rebecca, Felix & Marlon and Rob & Lorraine on Wednesday.
  • Denis & Martine, Cam & Fran and Neil, Jess & Otis on Thursday.

As more friends and family arrived our dinner groups grew.  There was a constant procession to the Alhambra, the shops were another popular destination. It was typically ‘Granada hot’, so we learnt how to adjust to early morning sightseeing, afternoon siestas and late evening dinners.

We met Andrea’s family at a cocktail party, that Bruce & I hosted, at the hotel Vincce Albaycin on Thursday evening. The youngsters including Andrea’s younger nephew Bruno, Eden and Otis kept us entertained. Andrea’s older nephews Pablo and Xavier acted as translators between the Spanish and non-Spanish speakers. Bruce welcomed everyone, and Steph translated to Spanish for us. Mike paid a homily to his friendship with Hayden. The bar flowed and wonderful tapas provided a more typical Spanish evening meal. It seemed that no-one wanted to leave, with the Spaniards and the foreigners chatting whilst the wait staff patiently awaited our exit.

In our meanderings around Granada we believe we found the best coffee shop La Finca. The somewhat bemused owner watched our numbers grow and the coffee orders vary from Bruce & my short blacks to variations on lattes and cappuccinos.

The big day finally came around. Kate and I had started preparations with a manicure and pedicure a few days earlier.

Hayden joined us after breakfast so the five Stainsby’s lunched together then took the obligatory siesta.

Sarah had kindly offered to ‘make the girls up’ so Stephanie, Kate and I were treated to a professional makeover.

Bruce and I accompanied Hayden to La Chumbera in anticipation of the arrival of the bride.  Hayden was so comfortable amongst Andrea’s family and friends.

Then the nerves set in. Hayden asked me to accompany him down the aisle and then to speak of his relationship with Andrea during the ceremony. Hayden and I were certainly competing with the butterfly stomachs.

Of course Andrea looked so beautiful. A gorgeous tulle dress which was longer at the back and perfect to show off her elegant purple shoes – Hayden’s engagement gift to her. The purple theme was complimented by yellows including a nice selection of Australian flora in her bouquet.

Our photos simply don’t do justice to the event, as the hot day made way for a balmy evening and the lights on the Alhambra enhanced this magical evening. I said to Hayden afterwards that I was disappointed with our photos, we were too busy enjoying the event. He was pleased that our priority was to enjoy the day, not take photos.

We danced, we chatted, we laughed, we met new people. The night went on and on. I think Bruce and I collapsed into bed around 6:30am. Evan and Steph were still out eating churros.

It was a quiet day on Sunday, as the crowds started to drifted away. Bruce and I stayed on until Wednesday morning, seeing Evan & Steph off home to New York and farewelling others who were taking advantage of this opportunity to continue travels.

We had another eleven weeks ahead of us in Spain and Southern Africa.

But this was the very best part of our holiday. Now we are waiting for the professional photos.