So many people come to Spain to spend their holidays at the beach, but have you every wondered how Spaniards spend their time off? Of course they head for the beach like everyone else, that’s why it’s so crowded in the summer. The difference, perhaps is how they go to the beach – usually in large groups of family members – and how they generally spend this big, jolly family holidays. My first summer with the Spanish family was pure culture shock – mainly because I kept waiting for something exciting to happen. You see, where I come from holidays are short and every last detail and activity is planned in advance. So imagine my surprise when I found that a family holiday in Spain was all about relaxing – and nothing (and I mean nothing) more. We relaxed. Then we relaxed some more and then… we kept on relaxing. That first year, I found the situation quite distressing. After all, I wasn’t programmed to relax. I was prepared to get out and troop around in the blazing mid-day sun like the rest of the foreigners on holiday here – getting all the sunshine I could and enjoying the stifling heat to the max, risking heat stroke and turning myself into a lobster. Instead, the primary goal seemed to be keeping cool and laying low. We enjoyed the beach in the morning and the pool in late afternoon (after a long lunch and a lengthy nap). Walking was reserved for the cool of the evening. And every day the routine was exactly the same as the day before. The days blurred into one another and soon I barely knew who I was much less where I was. Now, all these years later, I’m learning to love - even crave – the slow, quiet routine of these hot summers. And the art of relaxing? Well, it’s not so bad, you know.