One of the amazing things about living in Europe is that we get to take great vacations! Our most recent adventure was to Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. For those who are geographically challenged, the Canaries are located off the northwestern coast of Africa, practically due west from Morocco. They are volcanoes that rose up out of the sea. One of the challenges of living in northern Europe is finding a warm spot at the end of March. You have to travel really, really, really far south to obtain even a modicum of warmth. Lanzarote was a 6 hour (extremely unpleasant) flight from Stockholm and fortunately for us, our timing was brilliant. Warm air and beautiful sunshine. OK, lots of wind and freezing cold water (a theme in our lives) but still, in a word, lovely. The Canary Islands are owned by Spain so the language is Spanish and the currency the Euro. Both are an advantage for us as I speak a bit of Spanish from my years living in Colombia, South America and because we keep Euros in our drawer for traveling in Europe. We needed a vacation where basically, there wasn't anything to do except soak up sunshine and relax. Lanzarote was the ticket. We were a 3 minute walk from Playa Flamingo, a gorgeous little cove with amazing views of Fuerteventura, another of the Canaries. We enjoyed a cute little apartment, with a good size fridge to keep our beverages of choice nicely chilled. The area where we stayed was called Playa Blanca and fortunately for us the city planners put in a beach promonade that stretched for miles in either direction so walking along the beautiful shoreline was pleasant as well as a feast for our eyes. The photos tell the story of this secluded beach hideaway. OK, so if you are Swedish, German or English, it is not very secluded, but for Americans, pretty exotic. We found ourselves refreshed, renewed and really tan when all was said and done. How lucky are we? I think we were the only Americans in Lanzarote at the end of March.