Back From Holiday!

My Son at the Beach

I’m back from holiday!

You may not have missed me (much) because I scheduled 14 posts before I left, to cover the days that I wasn’t at home. Yes, that was a lot of work, but so relaxing while I was on holiday! I didn’t have to worry about not having posted (so far, I’ve posted every day this year) and I didn’t need to do any “work” while away – I did react to comments every now and then. Anyway, I’m proud I managed to having kept the blog going while away.

Pool at Night

So, where did I go and what did I do?

I spent two lovely weeks in Spain, in a small town called Santa Susanna above Barcelona on the east coast. We were in a very nice hotel, Aqua Hotel Onabrava, in a quieter part of town (the busy part is Malgrat de Mar). The hotel is pretty big (350 guests, of which about 25 were the Qatar Football Team) but was just as we wanted it.

We spent our time at the pool side (many days for a few hours), at the beach (once), at Barcelona (once), driving in the surrounding hills and walking there (twice), playing pool (every day), walking around town (often), going to the evening entertainment (most nights) and just having a nice and relaxing time.

Sagrada Familia CathedralBarcelona

How did we get there?

We took the car! It was 20 hours there and 19 hours back. We went through the beautiful central France regions (definitely worth a holiday some time!) and avoided toll roads. That was slower in principle but we didn’t spend time in a queue even once!

My husband did all the driving. He doesn’t seem to get tired from driving per sé, just from being awake for a long time. So, 19/20 hours was definitely a maximum for him. I was very impressed he could (and wanted to) do it.

Hills in the Nature Park (Spain)Walking in the Nature Park (Spain)

And how about the reading?

I read 7 books while on holiday. That was way less than I had hoped (I took another 4 books back home, unread) but then I did so many other things (see above) that there wasn’t the time.

Reading Room

I discovered that there was a reading room at the hotel!

Given the different nationalities of the guests they had two walls with tables covering Catalan and Castillian Spanish, English, German, Dutch, Russian and a few other languages.

The English section was the biggest, with 3 full tables.

And what a surprise to find a (admittedly somewhat battered) copy of Room (by Emma Donaghue) there! I have been wanting to read it so I immediately confiscated it. Later, I added a book to the Dutch table, my ARC of The Lake of Dreams by Kim Edwards, that I had just finished. I would have loved leaving more books behind but the other books I’d read were either form the library, promised to a friend, or something I didn’t want to part with.

And then when I got home….

More Books!

… I found 6 parcels with in total 8 books waiting for me (plus another parcel to be collected). Can you tell I’m trying to reduce the number of new books I get? I’ll tell you all about these books in my next New Arrivals post, later this week or the next.

And now I’m back

So, it’s back to normal life, except that the kids have another 5 weeks of holidays. And there’s the washing! Loads of it!

What did you do in your holidays (or what are your plans)?

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

52 Responses to Back From Holiday!

  1. I hope you have a wonderful trip.

  2. Mystica says:

    Sounds lovely and the photographs are wonderful. I am sure that you loved the surprise awaiting you at home!

  3. JannyAn says:

    wel, good to hear you’ve got something to read 🙂
    Welcome home!

  4. Rikki says:

    Well done. We never even noticed you were gone. This sounds like a lovely holiday. Glad you enjoyed it. The reading room in the hotel is a great idea!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Rikki, I’ve been in hotels before where they have a shelf or so where you can exchange books, but this was a pretty big room, with lots of books and seats too, to sit and have a quiet read there.

  5. Nadine Nys says:

    Seems like a relaxing holiday that gives lots of energy for daily life the rest of the year. 🙂

  6. Marie says:

    It sounds like you had a wonderful and relaxing holiday. Great photos.

  7. Leslie says:

    Welcome back. Sounds like you had a lovely time. My kind of holiday… sightseeing, relaxing, reading. It’s such a hassle to fly anywhere now that a driving holiday, even 20 hours, would be a nicer trip. I’d enjoy the scenery along way and I love to stop and take pictures.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I agree, Leslie. Flying is a bit shorter but a lot of hassle too. And you may still lose a lot of sleep as these holiday planes often fly at awkward times. We didn’t stop and take pictures, which was a pity but I wasn’t feeling too well and wanted to be home as soon as we could.

  8. Carol Wong says:

    I loved the picture of the tables of books. There is one motel chain here that features a bookcase of new books. You can pick what you like and return it to any of the others in the chain. The books all were great, mysteries and biographies and some classics. I was in heaven.

    • Leeswammes says:

      I can imagine it was heavenly, Carol. The reading room wasn’t bad either. Only the Dutch section was very poor, given how many Dutch people stay at the hotel. I guess we’re a little more cheap and less willing to leave their novels behind.

  9. Glad you had a great time, Judith, and welcome back (to all those lovely packages). Lovely to see your photos too 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Those packages were a surprise, I expected just two or so.

      I loved your book pictures on holiday and wanted to do the same, but somehow never remembered…

  10. Lian says:

    Sounds like a great holiday! I guess you didn’t miss much in the Netherlands, it seems like autumn has started already…

  11. cbjames says:

    I love the hotel reading room. When I travel, I make it a point to take only copies of books I can leave behind after reading. I assumed the hotel staff read them or passed them along to thrift shops. I like this idea, leaving them for future guests, along with the hotel staff. Great idea.

    • Leeswammes says:

      That’s a great thing to do, CB. I hadn’t thought of that, but in retrospect, I would have taken some other books that I could have left.

  12. Suzanne says:

    I too love the idea of a hotel reading room.

    Welcome back from what sounds like a lovely trip. I’m hoping to visit Europe in the spring (fingers crossed), but this summer I will have to content myself with heading up to Canada (Toronto and Winnipeg) to spend time with my nieces and nephew.

  13. RFW says:

    I do the pre-posting schedule too 🙂 Great to see your travel pix.

  14. What a great idea with a reading room in the hotel! And I loved seeing Sagrada familia again.

    I have spent most of my holiday in our cottage, reading, writing and blogging, with occasional one or two day trips with my family.

  15. Misha says:

    Seems like you had a great time! 🙂 Those pictures are lovely!

  16. shelleyrae@ Book'd Out says:

    Looks wonderful! I watch a show on TV called Living in the Sun, all about Brits who move to Spain to live, try to start businesses etc. are you tempted after your holiday? LOL


    • Leeswammes says:

      Shelleyrae, I know lots of British (and Dutch!) pensioners do that. I’m not tempted. I think when you’re old, you’re better off in your own country. But coming back in the awful rain (to last at least for another week) wasn’t great, I must say.

  17. Cindy says:

    Welcome back, Judith, glad you enjoyed your holidays. I spent most of mine ill with flu. Our kids go back to school today and it’s back to reality and time to catch up on all the backed-up chores. Have a good week.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Cindy, such a pity you were ill! I fell ill the day we went back home, my temperature got higher the further we drove away from the warm weather. 🙂

  18. Tes says:

    I don’t you even know you went on the trip 🙂 It sounds like the perfect holidays 🙂

  19. Welcome back! I didn’t miss you – because I’ve probably been absent for a simliar period of time – pre scheduled posts are wonderful aren’t they?! I’m glad you got hold of a copy of Room. I hope the hype hasn’t ruined it for you. Enjoy!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Jackie, I was getting a bit sceptical about *Room* because of the hype, indeed. But I did still want to make up my own mind so I was glad to find the book.

  20. Sabrina says:

    It seems you had the most wonderful time. I’d love to visit Barcelona. And I like the idea of a reading room stuffed with books other people left.
    I am heading to Lisbon in September.

  21. BookQuoter says:

    Barcelona is awesome. Thanks for bringing me back! Great photos.
    I am in awe of your scheduled posts. Wish i can do that. I just disappear:)

    • Leeswammes says:

      How odd, BookQuoter! I’ve heard of people having problems with scheduled posts (although I’m on WordPress so it’s different between you and me anyway), but in my case, the trick is to not just set the date, but actually click the Schedule button. Then I check the posts in the scheduled posts tab to see that they are there. Works every time. A real pity you can’t get it to work on blogspot!

      • BookQuoter says:

        Actually I can do that in Blogspot too (I do that with my travel picture blog). It’s ME who can’t come up with the posts ahead of time, is what I meant. So I just post a Reading Away post so readers know I am gone.

      • Leeswammes says:

        Oh, I see, BookQuoter. Yes, that’s the first step: to have something to write about. I scraped by, just!

  22. Uniflame says:

    That reading table looks lovely! I think it is awesome that they did that 🙂

  23. What an amazing trip and wow… I can’t believe your husband drove the entire trip.

    I hope you had a wonderful time.

  24. Marce says:

    Wow wow wow, I loved your vacation post. The hotel looks beautiful, Spain is on my most go list. Your hubby drove both ways, wowsa exhausting, lol.

    Yaaay for the book room, how cool was that.

    Welcome back

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Marce. Yes, Spain is a great place for the holidays. My husband was recovered from the trip before me, even though he was driving! 🙂

  25. JoV says:

    Glad you enjoy your hols. What I think about Barcelona is that unfinished cathedral. Hope the laundry doesn’t wear you down. 😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      We made a special trip (by foot) to the cathedral, Jo. It was a fun walk and interesting to see it. The laundry is *almost* under control now.

  26. dixie says:

    This sounds like such a lovely trip!

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