Surfing in St. Ives

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On Wednesday, we took a 2 hour roadtrip up to St. Ives to take surf lessons.  And as much as I ADORED it, I realized that it’s not naturally one of my strong suits! Well, really anything involving physical, whole-body coordination is not my forte... but I had a ton of fun! When we got there, we signed in & got our wetsuits. I had the HARDEST TIME putting mine on! That thing was not a fan of my poly calves jaja!! Eli had the same problem as well. After much struggling & help from my mother & one of the instructors, we all managed to fit into the darn things (which i’m glad for because the water was FREEZING!) & headed down to the beach to start learning. We learned water safety first, then learned how to first catch a wave without standing. After practicing on shore for a bit, we all went out, caught a few waves, then came back in to learn how to stand up. Our instructor showed us two ways: the hard way - popping up in one fluid motion (but I, being the weakling I am, couldn't do it & consistently fell on my face 5/5 times I tried it. Sand still doesn’t taste good for those wondering.), & the “easy way” - progressively sliding from laying (lying?? grammatically gifted people help me??) facedown to on your hands & knees to crouching to standing (which was quite easy on land, but I soon regretted that assumption once trying in water). During the last hourish of class, we practiced what we had learned in the sea. The other students picked it up fairly quickly (including my 9 year old sister... I’m still salty she stood up before me...), but it took me many faceplants & roll-overs & mouthfuls of saltwater to finally stand up for two seconds, only to be jerked off my board by a sandbar. Although it was a bit difficult for me, I eventually (after about 45 minutes) was able to stand up & surf a wave in TWICE for a decent amount of time. So I’m not a complete failure at surfing, i just need a looooot of practice:). When the lesson finished, we all turned in our boards & showered off & changed (a very difficult thing to do, mind you, when a family of 6 is sharing one towel - MY TOWEL - because they all somehow forgot to BRING THEIR OWN.). At the end of it all, we went for a second round at Harbour’s for fish n chips (yes, I mean second round - we got some before surfing as well. We’ve been told we eat a lot. I wonder why.), then made the long drive back home. Looking back on all the other family outings we’ve done in England (Dartmoor to pet ponies, Plymouth to visit old architecture, the Hoe to see a lighthouse, Newton Ferrers to see the fairytale-like river town, etc.), this was probably at the top of list! Also, I got to check “learning how to surf” off my bucket list;). So much fun!! Till next time -

Cheers!  

Kate Wix 

some pics from the drive home... :) 

some pics from the drive home... :) 

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a street in St. Ives  

a street in St. Ives  

ENGLAND!! & english speaking. YAY :)

the beautiful English coast!! 

the beautiful English coast!! 

YOU GUYS. We’re in England now!! And I am LOVING IT!! We flew in from the Valencia airport to the airport in Bristol last Friday, and as soon as I stepped out of the airplane, I felt & breathed in the cold air- it was honestly the best, most refreshing feeling! Although it’s much less humid here than Spain or Hawaii (my skin’s taking a hit!), it’s often cloudy & sprinkling, which is some of my favorite weather so I’m not complaining. It took us a couple days to settle into our new little house in Newton Ferrers (a little riverside town about 10 minutes outside of Plymouth, England - it’s absolutely BREATHTAKING! so much green & old English style housing; mine & my mom’s favorite!), and after much shopping (WE FOUND A COSTCO. & a little grocery store that is similar to Walmart but has sooo many gluten free junk food options, so I know where I’m sending Santa for stocking stuffers;)) & exploring the neighborhood (Yes- we love it! They had a huge neighborhood boat race the night after we flew in. Awesome to watch! Fireworks were exploded soon after;)), we’re finally getting ready to explore England & go adventuring! We had our first family excursion to the shoreline & Plymouth this Wednesday. While hiking down to the coast, we viewed an old church & graveyard, discovered an old telephone booth, & found some small sea creatures in the tide pools (starfish, hermit crabs, krill, etc.). We then hiked back up and drove into town, where we came across a fun little instrument shop (Enoch & I were able to jam on the guitars there- it’s now our favorite place jeje!) & a store that had almost everything you could ever need (I fell in LOVE with the art section!), not that you all really want to hear about the everyday things we find, I just can’t help but share my excitement! We then drove home & had a cozy movie night indoors while it rained outdoors. So all in all, I’m so ecstatic to live in this lovely country for the next 3-6 months & I’ll keep you updated on the many future happenings!

Toodles;) 

Kate Wix

our view of england from the airplane 🤩 

our view of england from the airplane 🤩 

an old church across the way from us. the churchyard has a ton of old graves & it was cool to look at the gravestone dates- some died back in the early 1800s!

an old church across the way from us. the churchyard has a ton of old graves & it was cool to look at the gravestone dates- some died back in the early 1800s!

the river down the hill & all the English style homes in the village across. beautiful beautiful!

the river down the hill & all the English style homes in the village across. beautiful beautiful!

telephone booth!! they turned it into a book booth to share books with the neighborhood - creative & stylish;) 

telephone booth!! they turned it into a book booth to share books with the neighborhood - creative & stylish;) 

super cool old door in the church we explored on wednesday. reminded me a bit of the hobbit.  

super cool old door in the church we explored on wednesday. reminded me a bit of the hobbit.  

meet carl!! eli found him in the tide pools & he was just toooo precious & small 😍 

meet carl!! eli found him in the tide pools & he was just toooo precious & small 😍 

wooden signs on the path to the coastline- too classic not to take a pic of with the lovely blue skies that came out for a split second! jaja

wooden signs on the path to the coastline- too classic not to take a pic of with the lovely blue skies that came out for a split second! jaja

the view of our village from the other side of the river :) 

the view of our village from the other side of the river :) 

Bird’s Eye View Day

At the top of Torres di Quart... what a view!! 

At the top of Torres di Quart... what a view!! 

Last week, Karlie planned a day out in the city with the family with a theme of “bird’s eye view”. We had a blast!! We started the day out making Rice Krispie treat towers (they weren’t the best tasting ...we made them with olive oil instead of butter because of our food allergies! but it was still fun!), then, after finishing our homeschooling for the day, we took the bus into town (Valencia city). We started off our exploring by walking to the Torres di Quart. When we got there, we climbed the who-knows-how-many flights of stairs to get to the very top, exploring each of the rooms & views along the way. Once we all reached the top of the tower, the view of Valencia was absolutely incredible! you could see all the old architecture & cathedrals & people & it was the coolest!! It was reallyyy  high up though!! I was so scared that I’d fall because the walls around the sides were not entirely high enough to completely keep you from taking an unplanned skydiving trip... Anywho, we took lots of pictures before descending the many stairs (escaleras en español) and walking to our next destination: a snack break. We walked for a little while before coming upon a little vegan shack that was as small as a hole in the wall. But the food was SO GOOD! I ordered an açaí bowl & it was the best thing I’ve eaten in a very long time! The other kids ordered the vegan chocolate cake & some french fries (i snitched off of the fries & those were really good too:)). After our little stop, we walked to the Valencia Cathedral in the middle of the city. Rather than climbing the bell tower like we had originally planned to do (we were all exhausted after climbing stairs after stairs after stairs after.. you get the gist of it..), we took a small self-guided tour of the inside of this beautifully designed building. This cathedral claimed to have the original holy grail (like many others), but also had the most scientifical & “spiritual” evidence pointing to it’s genuineness. I’m not sure I believe it, but to each his own! Then, after wandering for a while (encountering both the supposedly legit holy grail & some reallyyyy old dead guy’s arm in a box on the way...ew.), we ended our day with a trip to the carnival to ride a ferris wheel & a few other fun rides. It was a super fun way to end the day & see a different side of the city from above! Honestly, this was one of the most fun family outings we’ve had thus far!! Can’t wait to tell y’all about many more!! 

Till next time!  

Kate Wix

One of the many pics taken atop the towers!! i loved being up so high!

One of the many pics taken atop the towers!! i loved being up so high!

Valencia from above...

Valencia from above...

City streets :)

City streets :)

Found a creepy alley...

Found a creepy alley...

The beauuuutiful front of the Valencia Cathedral <3

The beauuuutiful front of the Valencia Cathedral <3

The inside was even more stunning!!

The inside was even more stunning!!

Looking up at the ferris wheel we ended on. &nbsp;

Looking up at the ferris wheel we ended on.  

Ferris wheel view!

Ferris wheel view!

Looking down on the carnival from the ferris wheel. Too cool!

Looking down on the carnival from the ferris wheel. Too cool!

More views...

More views...

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Enoch & I rode this!! It’s called the Bomber & it was awesome.  Totally  worth the €4 !!

Check That Off the Bucket List!

Our Monday hike brought us to the ocean &lt;3  

Our Monday hike brought us to the ocean <3  

So apparently Spain has made us into hikers!! We took two hikes in the past 3 days - another one with our Spanish friends on Saturday & one with the missionaries & a few members from our church today. They were both BREATHTAKING view-wise so I loved them! The trail we hiked on Saturday was near Onda in a place called Ribesalbes. It consisted of hiking around a huge, blue-green lake surrounded by dark pine-covered mountains (pictures included below) & through some ruins of an old town that existed before the dam was built there. There were a lot of spiderwebs & thorny ground-level bushes, but the view at the top of the mountain was so worth the small discomforts. It was a pretty long hike, but our whole family enjoyed it! Anywho, the most recent hike we took was today (Monday), which was short but super enjoyable! We took a bus to a place called Orpesa & hiked about a quarter of the way up a dirt path to an old,  abandoned stone lighthouse & a spot where you could get down to enter the sea. I had forgotten my swimsuit so I did what any sane person would do & jumped in fully clothed just ‘cuz it’s on my bucket list! And the water was soooo nice! Along with a few of us jumping in, we explored a little cave thing, attempted to free climb up some rocks, and did the “silly salmon” dive off a big rock. Honestly, it was one of the best days I’ve had here in Spain! Something I found pretty funny was that, when Enoch & I were walking all over the rough rocks barefoot, because that’s just what we did in Hawaii, everyone else thought we were ”loco” & said our “pies” were “muy duro”, jaja! They’re not wrong! After enjoying the ocean & such, we all took a 30 minute bus ride back to the city & parted ways. What a fun day! Hopefully we’ll be able to go on more hikes! You’ll be the first to know when we do. ;)

Adiós chicas y chicos,

Kate Wix

Attempting to balance on a rock long enough for a picture was a lost cause... 

Attempting to balance on a rock long enough for a picture was a lost cause... 

The view from the top of Saturday’s hike... I have no words...&nbsp;

The view from the top of Saturday’s hike... I have no words... 

The view from the top of Monday’s hike... so so pretty!!  

The view from the top of Monday’s hike... so so pretty!!  

Jumping in!&nbsp;

Jumping in! 

Learning Español & Pretty Sights

One of the views on our after-dinner walk :) sooo pretty!!

One of the views on our after-dinner walk :) sooo pretty!!

¡Hola, mis amigos! So last night, my family & I had the opportunity to have dinner with some of the friends we made here. We were able to practice some of our conversational spanish & learn from each other, so that was super cool! I learned a few new words such as torpe (clumsy) and dolor de cabeza (spanish equivalent of “headache”) while the kids & I went with some of the family members for an after dinner walk through a dried up “swamp”/riverbed. In Spain, they eat dinner really late (at around 9 most nights), so we walked during the sunset and came home right after it got dark. Which means the views were stunning! Our friends live in Onda, within walking distance from the castle, so they’re really close to the beautiful, green mountains that surround this area of Spain. My favorite thing was being able to watch the sun set behind the little town sitting on the side of one of the mountains because it was breathtaking! Spain really is a gorgeous country! I cannot wait to see more of it! Anywhooo, this post is gonna be a short one ‘cuz I just wanted to share my love of the nature here. Till next time! 

Ciao,  

Kate Wix

Only bits of water left in the riverbed- they told me it’s dry more than 50% of the time due to the lack of rain most months.

Only bits of water left in the riverbed- they told me it’s dry more than 50% of the time due to the lack of rain most months.

First 2 Weeks in Europe (Spain!)

Hiking up to some ruins ... 

Hiking up to some ruins ... 

Here are the promised Spain updates! Sooo the little town in Spain we are staying in for the month is called Moncofar. We are within a block from a rocky beach & surrounded by lots of little shops (most of which sell gelato or pig legs:)). Our typical daily routine consists of waking up around 8, talking to friends back home for an hour, eating breakfast, doing school, eating (sometimes) lunch, walking down to the library for wifi (hehe) & going home around 8 to eat, jam together, maybe watch some spanish shows or walk to the beach, & go to bed around 10 (the sun doesn’t set till about 9!!). So life here is pretty relaxed! We’ve mostly been focusing on building family relationships at home since we’re commonly in close quarters with each other here. In Spain, a lot of the shops & such close from 2-5 in the afternoon for people to take a break & spend time with family (we Americans have been told it’s called “Siesta”), so we normally try to go out on our exploring excursions in the mornings when there are more options open. So far, we’ve visited Castel de Onda, some old ruins of a town & castle from the time of the civil war (we had to hike for those ones but they were GORGEOUS), & taken a day trip out to Valencia to visit some friends we made on the cruise (we hiked, got food, walked to some different parks, & played basketball - it was super  fun!). I honestly think the biggest struggle we’ve had here has been communication. Only my dad & I speak a little Spanish from what we learned in school, but it’s a real struggle ‘cuz even though I took 2 years, I haven’t practiced in a year (since I stopped public school) aaaand I learned Mexican spanish. NOT Spain spanish. You see, the difference between the two is that there are a looot of words & accents that are different from how they speak in Mexico, & they talk  a lot  faster! Which means that my most used phrase has been, “Más lentamente, por favor!” I don’t even know        if I’m saying that correctly! But I’m sure we’ll pick up on it eventually jaja! Anywho, in about 2 weeks we should be moving to Valencia for 2 months, where we should be close to a rock climbing gym - what I have been needing! I need to exercise & that seems the way to do it ;). I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated on everything!

Hasta luego, mis amigos:)

Kate Wix

The view from a mountain an hour away from our home :) (our first excursion!) 

The view from a mountain an hour away from our home :) (our first excursion!) 

Enoch posing for me at Castel de Onda!  

Enoch posing for me at Castel de Onda!  

The rocky beach within walking distance &lt;3

The rocky beach within walking distance <3

Karlie standing in the doorway of an what used to be an old church.&nbsp;

Karlie standing in the doorway of an what used to be an old church. 

Una mariposa (they were all along the hiking trail!) 

Una mariposa (they were all along the hiking trail!) 

APOLOGIES & All About Our Cruise to Europe!!

Malaga, Spain: Malaga Cathedral was BREATHTAKING.&nbsp;

Malaga, Spain: Malaga Cathedral was BREATHTAKING. 

YOU GUYS. I AM SO SORRY. I tooootally have been spacing on this whole blog writing thing!! How lame am I?! Anywho, I seriously hope you can forgive me because I’ve got a ton more to tell y’all about! We recently (as in on May 3, 2018) moved from our home in Hawaiian paradise (with many tears & promises of return) to the beautiful continent of Europe! We flew from Hawaii to Florida (with many linking flights) on a red eye & crashed at a hotel after about 24 hrs of no sleep & some pretty bad jet lag:). After that, we spent that Saturday  “chilling” in Florida (& eating lots of bbq) & we were off on a cruise ship midday Sunday! We took a ship called the “Rhapsody of the Seas” on the Royal Carribean cruiseline, and, let me tell you, I never want to travel any other way ever again. It was absolute heaven!! Our daily schedule for two weeks consisted mainly of: (*ahem*) wake up at noon, time shifts one hour up to 1 pm (eventually leading us to the 12 hour time change it took to be on schedule with Barcelona...oof), eat brunch at the Windjammer all-you-can-eat café (pretty much lunch at this point though...), hang out at the teen center with many lovely new friends in the afternoon (jam sessions, dodgeball, signs, & card games were the norm) & sometimes, rather than that, we’d go rockclimbing or check out some of the other fun stuff on the ship, then we had family dinner in the Eidelweiss café (the food was absolutely scrumptious:)), & finished off the day with hanging out more at the teen center, seeing the wonderfully entertaining shows, or eating more food that was offered in the cafés & snack bars. In addition to  all those activities, we typically had about 4 snacks and an extra meal squeezed in somewhere, so you can imagine my surprise when none of us had put on much weight after the cruise! (TBH We all expected to gain about 10-15 extra lbs. but honestly, in my humble opinion, it would’ve been worth it:)). Along the way to Europe, we made several stops at little islands such as Key West, Las Palmas, Tenerife, & a part of Spain called Malaga (which was my  personal favorite, but not an island). We saw beautiful architecture, historical sites, and even some dolphins traveling alongside us! The cruise was for sure my favorite part of traveling so far (which probably isn’t saying a lot considering the fact that we’ve never been out of the states until now). Honestly, I was a little sad to see the ship pull away & leave us behind in Barcelona, BUT I know that we have many more exciting adventures to come!! Speaking of adventures, after we were dropped off at the port in Barcelona, Spain, we took a taxi to rent a car (well, more like a bus) & then proceeded to drive for 4 hours to our new home in Moncofa. Which is where we are now! But I’ll put all of our recent Spain adventures in a separate post so as to not completely tire you of reading my blog ;). Stay tuned!

Much love <3 

Kate Wix

Malaga, Spain: lots of art everywhere in Europe!&nbsp;

Malaga, Spain: lots of art everywhere in Europe! 

Halloween Time, Tide Pool Snorkeling, and Other Fun Adventures

Eeyore and friends :) (Winnie the pooh not pictured:() 

Eeyore and friends :) (Winnie the pooh not pictured:() 

This past week hasn’t been too eventful aside from it being Halloween time. So for this spooky season, I was able to go to a few fun Halloween get-togethers and parties; which means, of course-being the overacheiver that I am (hahahahaha:D) - I had to wear three different costumes: Eeyore (for a Halloween dance- my friends dressed up as Winnie and Piglet), Napoleon Dynamite (for the trunk or treat- one of my other friends dressed up as Pedro and it was PERFECT), and a punny fork in the road (for Halloween night- Enoch and his friend dressed up as Shawn and Gus from Psych and I couldn’t stop laughing!) !! I think that last one was my favorite costume;)). Anywho, we were also able to go to the Kapoho tide pools and the sea life there was AMAZING!! We saw sea urchins, sea cucumbers, eels, guppies, needlefish, coral, angelfish, etc. and I thought it was so so cool!! I’m hoping we can go there more often! Also, last night we got to see the early release showing of the new Thor movie in 3D and I absolutely LOVED it! All in all, I think it’s been a pretty fun week!

“vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true”

“vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true”

fork in the road!! 

fork in the road!! 

Aloha from Hawaii!!

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Last Thursday, our family flew on Hawaiian Airlines from Arizona to Hawaii. The flight was long but sooooo worth it!! Hawaii is absolutely beautiful!! Once we landed in Oahu for the transition to the flight to Kona, I could feel the humidity! It was soooo humid!! But the plant life was AMAZING!! After our flight landed in Kona, we drove a rental car into Kea’au (about 2 hours :S). We’ve been staying in the country part of Hawaii and we’ve had so much fun here!! I would have to say that my favorite part so far has been snorkeling, but the views here are definitely a close second. Two days ago, our family went to Richardson’s Beach Park and got to see lots and lots of turtles in a big tide pool. This one in the picture was HUGE!! It had to be about 1.5 ft. across and 3-4 ft. long. There were also some angelfish in the smaller ponds, and I even got to see a little eel. Then yesterday, we explored Pahoa near the coast and found some super fun jungle land! (I got to swing from a vine :)) After exploring, we went to the Champagne Ponds to snorkel. We found sea turtles, blowfish, humuhumunukunukuapua’a (that’s a mouthful...), and some other pretty tropical fish. I love it here, and I’ll keep y’all updated on the cool stuff we do! 

Bio

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Hey, thanks for checking out my page! I'm Kate, the oldest of the Wix kids:) I'm 17 years old and this is actually my first year homeschooling with the rest of the family. I absolutely LOVE music (both making it and hearing it). I actually currently play 4 different instruments and love to sing!! I also love to doodle, craft, paint, hike, go to the beach, learn new things, stargaze, bake, sleep, eat, make new friends, and read. The thing I'm most excited for with this journey is to meet new people and learn more about the cultures of the places we visit. I'm so so excited to share my viewpoint of our travels with y'all!!