It is day 6 here in Almunecar and if I could only write one word in this blog post, it would be HOT! Probably the hardest thing for us to get used to is the heat. This time of year is typically hot but even the locals say it is hotter than usual (as it seems to be just about everywhere). We can’t go outside without dripping sweat from a calm stroll. Now I get why siesta exists; to escape the heat. So we are taking full advantage of it but of course, that throws everything else off. As crazy as I thought it was, we, in fact, have been having dinner at 9 or 10pm and going to bed closer to midnight or 1am, just like the locals. And of course, our jet lag has only helped which sometimes, makes things more challenging. Last night, we all were doing our Spanish homework and the kids were starting to melt down but it took awhile for George and me to realize that asking the kids to do anything academic at 11:45pm was probably not very realistic.
Our new home is very Spanish, historic, and to get there is like climbing a mountain; set practically next to la Castillo San Miguel on the top of a hill in the center of old town. Locals chat away in the narrow streets surrounding us and stray cats sit outside our front door wanting to be fed. No one seems to worry about disturbing anyone, particularly the trash men at 3am. We have a glorious rooftop sitting area for stargazing and dinner by candlelight.
So far, we have been swimming at the beach, visiting the local water slide park located on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea (a little more scenic than Wild Waves outside of Seattle), walking the neighborhoods and meeting other American families who live here. We discovered that Cafeteria de Jorge has excellent ice cream (of course!) and we learned “Philadelphia” is a popular flavor here known for the cream cheese. We celebrated my birthday over paella and cheeseburgers and this afternoon, we are maximizing siesta in order to be able to stay out until the wee hours for their annual festival which includes fireworks going off just outside our home at 11:30pm tonight.
It is a strange experience being on vacation but not at the same time. We are having a bit of an identity crisis as we feel like tourists one minute but then find ourselves managing a household and planning some life structure the next. Realizing we are here for the long haul and currently without any community can be disorienting although that will change with time. The kids are adjusting each at their own pace and in their own way. Nighttime has been hard for some. The quiet and darkness are prime time for missing the comforts and loved ones of home and contemplating the reality that we are not returning to what we know anytime soon. I experience tight hand holds while walking down the streets, an eagerness to feel more control and then suddenly glimpses of courage and curiosity.
Wanderer, there is no path; the path is made by walking.