1. Adj.: Describing a person born between 1 Jan. 1946 and 31 Dec. 1964
2. Adj.: Description of a person, place or thing possessing Baby Boomer je ne sais quoi
3. See also, Boomer, Esq.: A Baby Boomer who is also a licensed attorney (See, e.g., About).

A Visit to Málaga on the Costa del Sol, Spain (Lemonade Edition)

by Suzanne Fluhr on January 31, 2015 · 32 comments

The Alcazaba of Malaga, Spain

Malaga on the costa del sol

Map of Spain showing the location of Malaga on the Costa del Sol. (Image by Daniel Csorfoly under Commons GNU License)

The city of Málaga on Spain’s famed southern Costa del Sol (Sun Coast) is a very popular destination for tourists in search of the sun, especially sun-starved Brits who are reliably identifiable because they are the pale people wearing shorts and sandals (sometimes with socks ouch) in February as the locals bundle up in their winter coats. There are also some semi decent airfares from the United States to Málaga through European airport hubs.

Our first visit to Málaga had little to do with sun searching. On that occasion, Mr. and Mrs. Excitement were dispatched to retrieve Nona, Mr. E’s 91 year old grandmother who fell and broke her hip while there for a three month “vacation”. After surgery by a British-trained, Spanish orthopedic surgeon, and a month long hospital stay which was fully covered by the travel insurance someone inexplicably sold her for $200, Nona was finally cleared to fly home. The family designated us as the obvious “A Team”. I speak Spanish and Mr. Dr. E. is a physician.

We arrived in Málaga without my suitcase which, apparently having a mind of its own, traveled independently to Barcelona. I was forced to borrow some tighty whities from Mr. Excitement. I admit I thought about every mother’s admonition to always wear clean underwear because you never know when you might be in an accident. I hoped my borrowed under attire wouldn’t end up startling any Spanish EMS workers.

Our plan for a quick turnaround derailed when we discovered that Nona had developed complications, so she wasn’t quite ready for the trip back to the US. Mr. Excitement is one of those annoying optimists who says things like, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade”. On this trip, our lemonade was the chance to be tourists when we weren’t at Nona’s bedside in the Clinica Santa Elena.

Málaga has a lot to offer apart from its great weather and beaches and unplanned medical tourism. With its rich cultural heritage, a visit to Málaga offers much to anyone interested in both the arts and history. When you’re not outside absorbing vitamin D to take home to your dreary winter homeland, here are some other options for your Málaga itinerary.

Plaza de la Merced


Pablo Picasso statue  in Plaza Merced, Malaga, Spain

Pablo Picasso chilling in Plaza Merced in Malaga. (Photo credit: Isa-Ruiz)

Plaza de la Merced is an important cultural area of Málaga. The distinctive yellow fronted building here was the birthplace of one of the renowned 20th century artists, Pablo Picasso, and is now where the Fundación Picasso and the Museo Casa Natal (Birthplace Museum) is based. The plaza is also used for open air events. The obelisk dominating the center of the Plaza was erected in memory of 49 ill-fated revolutionaries in 1831.

The Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso

The Promenade of Pablo Ruiz Picasso runs along stretches of lovely sandy beaches. Should you be hungry or thirsty, the Promenade is also home to bars and restaurants. Among the best beaches in the Málaga area are Las Acacias – Pedralejo, La Caleta and Playa San Andres. Las Acacias – Pedregalejo has Blue Flag status, and is a family-friendly beach providing handicapped access. There’s also a play area for children, and you can rent sun beds and umbrellas.

El Teatro Cervantes

Teatro  Cervantes in Malaga, Spain

The Teatro Cervantes. (Photo credit: Marcelo Costa, CC Lic. 2.0)

In the heart of Malaga, El Teatro Cervantes has an impressive history, and hosts music, plays and dance. Art Garfunkel and Van Morrison are among the major Baby Boomer stars who have performed here. The theater is also a regular venue for the Málaga Philharmonic Orchestra. El Teatro Cervantes has hosted a variety of festivals over the years, including film and jazz festivals.


Museo de Málaga (Málaga Museum)

Opposite Málaga Cathedral is the Museo de Málaga. The museum houses more than 2,000 pieces of art and thousands of archaeological artifacts. Alongside art by Picasso, the museum also includes work by other great Spanish artists such as Goya and Velazquez.

The Alcazaba

The Alcazaba of Malaga, Spain

The early 11th century Moorish citidel, The Alcazaba. (Photo credit: Ronny Siegel, CC Lic. 2.0)

Almost a thousand years old, the Alcazaba is a former fortress that has been turned into an archaeological and ceramics museum. The museum is situated in the part of the Alcazaba that was used as the living quarters for kings and governors. Built by the Moors, the Alcazaba is generally thought to be the best preserved Moorish citadel in Spain. Excavation of Roman ruins is also being undertaken at the site.


For most 91 year olds, a broken hip is a death sentence. Not for Nona. She graced the earth with her presence until age 98.

(This article is posted in collaboration with Thomson Holidays).

Have you ever had to “make lemonade” during a trip? Do you have any information to share with other Boomeresque readers about Málaga?

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Valeria Terpytska February 1, 2015 at 4:46 am

Oh, I didn’t know you speak Spanish, Suzanne, grammar is rather difficult, I tried to learn it 20 years ago, still remember some phrases,


Suzanne Fluhr February 1, 2015 at 8:42 am

Val—-Since you are already fluent in 3 languages that I know about (Ukrainian, Russian and English), we’ll let you slide on the Spanish grammar. 😉


Jacqueline Gum (Jacquie) February 1, 2015 at 8:04 am

First, I am completely impressed with Nona’s sense of adventure! Traveling at 91 fora 3 month vacation to a foreign country? Wow! And though my very first instinct is to slap anyone who utters that lemon/lemonade thing…seems Mr Excitement was prophetic this time:) What a fabulous place!


Suzanne Fluhr February 1, 2015 at 2:57 pm

Jacquie— I don’t think anyone would ever describe Mr. E as having a “bubbly”, always sunny, personality which would seem to go along with someone who believes that one should make lemonade when life gives one lemons. The think is, in his life, this adage actually seems to be true, so I’m giving him a pass.


Josie February 1, 2015 at 10:02 am

Hi Suzanne,
The vision conjured up of you in the tighty-whities is going to take a long time to dissipate! Help!
Seriously though, You always to an outstanding job of entertaining and imparting valuable information, my dear!
Wishing you safe and happy travels,


Suzanne Fluhr February 1, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Thanks, Josie. I sometimes wonder at my willingness to share certain information for the sake of my “craft”. 🙂


Patti February 1, 2015 at 10:08 am

I took Spanish for 2 years way back in the days of high school. I can fumble around with it un poquito but I wish I had had more interest back in the day. Growing up in a tiny little town in Nevada I could never muster the imagination as to why on earth I would need to speak a second language. If I had only known then what I know (or don’t know) now.

And completely impressed with Nona’s sense of adventure at 91.


Suzanne Fluhr February 1, 2015 at 3:04 pm

Since I lived in Mexico for a year when I was 9 ( ), I had no problem remembering why it was important to learn Spanish. However, my sons ignored me when I tried to explain why they should try harder in high school Spanish class. Then, our younger son attended the University of Miami where, in his opinion, all the best looking women were Hispanic. Suddenly, we were having discussions about the pluperfect subjunctive tense.


Maddy Resendes February 1, 2015 at 11:58 am

Some of your newer blog followers may not know that you are fluent or close to fluent in Spanish. A good foundation to build upon was laid in at age 9 when our family lived in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, for a year, intrepidly led by our father. A specific lemonade from lemons event doesn’t spring to mind, but I know under Dad’s leadership, there were many!! As I mentioned at his memorial, it was ironic that a man with absolutely no sense of direction (literally not figuratively) was in love with the “road trip.” Fortunately, in the era of hard copy maps and no GPS’s you were a fantastic and essential navigator for all family excursions!


Suzanne Fluhr February 1, 2015 at 3:08 pm

When I had children, I admit that I thought back on some of those road trips, especially the one to live in Mexico for a year with 3 little kids, and wondered, “What could they possibly have been thinking?” But, I think realizing that we survived some of our “lemonest” experiences on those trips gave me the courage to give into my wanderlust when I first set out on my own (to live/study in Colombia for a semester) at age 19.


Michele February 1, 2015 at 2:34 pm

what a great story amd thank goodness for travel insurance


nan @ lbddiaries February 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

Oh, now you’ve made me put this on my “must do” list! You write the BEST travelogues! I appreciate your travel bits but love how you interweave personal bits to make it very interesting!


Suzanne Fluhr February 1, 2015 at 3:09 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, Nan. I guess I shall “Write on”.


Donna Janke February 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm

Great story. Glad that your Nona recovered from that fall. I’ve not been to Malaga, but know friends who have been and I would like to go some time. Thinking about “making lemonade” on a trip reminds me of trip three years to the Caribbean to the island of Nevis, which we’d fallen in love with 25 years before and hadn’t been back. My husband severely sprained his ankle in Antigua the day before we went to Nevis. It was swollen and painful and slowed him down to an almost crawl. Long walks or hikes were out of the question. But our slow pace brought some other benefits – we met interesting people we likely would not have met otherwise.


Suzanne Fluhr February 2, 2015 at 1:19 am

Donna, thanks for sharing your example. I guess the corollary to “lemonade” is the “silver lining” that one might find in an otherwise grim situation. The slow pace required by your husband’s sore ankle, gave you the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses.


Irene S. Levine February 1, 2015 at 10:46 pm

Amazing that you got to see so much given how difficult a trip that must have been to make. Glad the your Nona recovered and you made lemonade for us to sip! 🙂


Suzanne Fluhr February 2, 2015 at 1:24 am

Irene, she was quite an amazing woman. She survived both her children which is why her grandchildren stepped up to be so involved with her well being. We tried to get her to move to an assisted living facility near our house in Philadelphia, but she insisted on going back to her own apartment in Forest Hills where she had lived for over 60 years. The following year, she went to Miami for her 3 month “vacation”. She did eventually end up having to move to be closer to us, but she wasn’t happy about it. One reason she liked Spain was that her first language was Ladino which is basically medieval Spanish mixed in with a little Hebrew, so she did fine speaking Spanish in Spain.


Roz Warren February 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

The only time I’ve ever been to Malaga was with my High School Spanish class. I remember it being just wonderful, except for being hounded — ceaselessly and relentlessly — by men and having my bottom pinched, which is pretty much what happened to all the girls I was traveling with. Maybe the guys have better manners these days? On another topic, your Nona is my new role model. She sounds fabulous.


Suzanne Fluhr February 2, 2015 at 5:52 pm

I’m very impressed that you had a high school Spanish class trip to Spain. I think we only ever got to go on a “trip” to Independence Hall. I do remember Italy being bottom pinching land when I was 16. Even my mother got pinched. I don’t get pinched anymore. I’m not sure if southern European men have evolved or if I am simply no longer a pinch magnet—-as it were.


Mike February 2, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Great post Suzanne and of course I focused on the two of you taking care of Nona. I won’t have any kids to look after me so I greatly admire those who do take care of their parents. I’m also incredibly intrigued by your interest in cross-dressing. J/K! 🙂


Suzanne Fluhr February 2, 2015 at 11:11 pm

Mike, there’s no guarantee that anybody’s kids are going to take care of them in their dotage. Look what happened to Nona. She survived both her children. We did the best we could for her, but there was a generation missing. Still, she was a remarkable, “glass is half full” kind of person.


Jennifer February 2, 2015 at 11:23 pm

I’m so glad your Nona recovered; you’re right, a broken hip usually spells very very bad news! …In other news, I’d love to see the Alcazaba. 🙂


Annie February 3, 2015 at 11:32 am

I did enjoy this, Suzanne! I currently live nearer to Granada but spent a year living in Malaga and so know all the places you mention. A little shop in the corner of la Plaza de la Merced used to sell my cards and my husband played trumpet for a little while with the Symphony Orchestra of Malaga…happy days!

If you’re ever tempted or forced back here, do let me know! My Spanish is MUCH better than the local brand….or at least, that’s what other English speakers tell me…


Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) February 6, 2015 at 9:19 am

Looks like a beautiful place to go for a visit even in less than ideal circumstances.

When I was younger I took a bike trip in Arizona. With prevailing winds, I couldn’t get to Phoenix, as planned, on the bike. After camping out in a snow storm, I got stuck for three days in Flagstaff before I figured out how to get me and my bike to the Phoenix airport — a mail truck!


Suzanne Fluhr February 18, 2015 at 3:30 am

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


Judy Freedman February 6, 2015 at 9:33 am

I was in Spain last year and loved it. Definitely have to go back and will have to add this stop to my ‘bucket list.’


Carol Cassara February 6, 2015 at 10:54 am

With a headline like that, I had to read it. Now, I aspire to be Nona! 98 is a good age to move on. Blessings to her, a life well-lived.


Marcia @ Menopausal Mother February 6, 2015 at 9:43 pm

Traveling at 91 is amazing! My mother is 86 but can only go on a few short trips, not too far away. All these places look so beautiful!


Maggibee March 5, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Speaking as one of the pale, tee shirted Brits (But no socks) I can support what you say, Suzanne. It is a beautiful city. The first time we went to Malaga it was Easter Sunday and we had gone up on the train from Benalmadena, not knowing there would be a huge procession from the cathedral across the city centre. Although not Catholic, we found it a fascinating and unforgettably moving occasion.

Long may we travel and learn.


Nancie March 31, 2015 at 7:49 pm

I’m glad to hear that Nona defied the odds 🙂 I considered Malaga on my last trip to Spain, but simply ran out of time. Now on the list for next time!


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