Much time has passed since my last blog post and I guess it’s reason enough to say that’s because we have gotten busier. Adventures, more time with locals, and truthfully, not wanting to compete with the kids for the wifi, have kept me away from my computer more but as I lie in bed now with a head cold, it’s never been a better time to write. However, I regret not being able to include any photos with this post since our wifi is having issues so stay tuned for photos at a later date.
A couple weeks ago, we had our first airplane trip within Spain to the north. We visited San Sebastian and Bilbao and met some friends there who also happen to be living in Spain (Barcelona) for a year with their children. How different it was from the south-almost pacific northwest-like with the pine trees and rain much of the weekend. We rented a home in San Sebastian that looked over at the beaches in France and experienced “pintxos,” or small bar bites similar to tapas. You grab a plate, help yourself to samples from any or all of the dishes laid out on the bar and when your plate is clean, you follow the honor system and report to the bartender how much you ate and therefore, owe.
We explored, in the true sense, as Google Maps was no help at all when it came to finding a restaurant that you could not drive to but was well worth the frustration. Our friend, Amy, and I hiked a part of El Camino de Santiago that went along the coast while the kids took a surfing lesson (which sold the boys to the sport of surfing). On the drive to Bilbao, in the pouring rain, we stopped in the town of Gernika, where the Nazis dropped an experimental bomb during the Spanish civil war (killing hundreds). This event inspired Picasso’s famous painting of Guernica and the town has consequently become a symbol of peace.
One of my very favorite sites along the drive to Bilbao was San Juan de Gaztelugatxe (try pronouncing that word), basque for difficult castle or “The craggy fort.” As we hiked the 231 steps up to a castle (or church) on the islet, we were transported to another world in another time. The site looks like it is straight out of Lord of the Rings (turns out Games of Thrones was filmed there) and one is instructed to ring the bell at the top three times for good luck. Bilbao, itself, provided an impressive visit to the Guggenheim art museum and a restful night before we flew home the next morning.
Since our return to Almuñécar, we have continued to work on our Spanish (both George and I have made our first dinner reservations over the phone in Spanish), hosted more visits with neighbors, both adults and children, in our home, and made use of our temporary rental car to see some of the more immediate surroundings. I volunteered at Hadley and Davis’ school last week, helping to make bocadillos (sandwiches on baguettes) and selling to the children to fundraise for a class trip. In addition, I am enjoying experimenting with Spanish cooking, which, more truthfully, turns out to be Span-erican dishes. In addition to my daily avocado and tomato salad (my current addiction) last week I made Huevos Rotos which the kids gobbled up-basically, hashbrown potatoes with some added veggies of your choice with a fried egg on top. Here’s a recipe in case you are tempted:
Along with a more familiar routine, our family roles are becoming clearer with time. George is the explorer, I am the connector, and the kids like to advocate for us to chill out at home. Even though the competition is tough at times, it is a good balance overall.