Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 31

Here is a little Halloween flashback. I can't believe it's been a whole year since we dressed up like this...

I also got a little crazy with Photoshop and turned Kyla from this cute girl...

To this scary girl.....

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Flush

Monday, October 27

I apologize in advance for the following video, but don't worry there is nothing gross and I promise that I had just cleaned the toilet.

Is it a volcano or a toilet? Most of the toilets in Europe have this two part button on top. One side you push for a small flush and the other when you need a bigger flush (you know what I mean). I think it's a great system for saving water. Our toilet doesn't care about saving water. Did you see how Sydney ran away as soon as she pulled the flusher? Sometimes the water actually comes out of the bowl or splashes the seat. OK, I hope you were entertained. I'm busy going to teacher conferences for Kyla, studying for my final and getting ready for a Halloween party.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

El Realejo

Sunday, October 26

A few weekends ago there were some festivites in our neighborhood. I'm sad to say I missed the kiddy pool sized pan of paella. Here are a couple pics from the small & spendy carnival.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thursday, October 23

Last weekend Sydney had a fever and I needed a little exercise, so Kyla and I hiked up the hill to the park Carmen de los Martires. We took turns taking pictures of each other.

Kyla spent most of her time feeding the geese,which were very practiced at catching the bread in mid-air. Watch for the tail wag.


Wednesday, October 22

Wow, a whole week without posting. I'm going to blame it on school - taking up all my free time. I only have one more week to go. In the meantime I'll just try to post random pictures so you'll have something to look at. Here is the building where I have my class.
Here is a picture of my class. It's a bit smaller now since four people were only there for two weeks. It also means that the majority of the "grown-ups" are gone and now there are mostly "kids" (under 25) there. I miss you guys! I tried to get everyone into the shade, but it didn't quite work out.
Here is Sydney keeping herself busy while Kyla is learning Karate.

I better go do my homework now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

On the inside

Wednesday, October 15
I finally made it inside the cathedral that I mentioned in the last few posts. Can you see Kyla walking away wearing a yellow shirt in the center? Compared to the other cathedrals I have visited in the last few months it's not that impressive on the outside, but it's surprisingly beautiful and light on the inside. It doesn't have a lot of stained glass windows, however there are several clear windows up high that do wonders. I love cathedral ceilings, but it always makes my neck sore for a while. Click here to see a few more pics.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Columbus Day

Tuesday, October 14

In honor of Columbus Day here is picture of the statue/fountain of Queen Isabella and Christopher Columbus in Granada. I'm not much on history, but I did a bunch of research on these two. OK, it was only a couple of pages on Wikipedia, but it was very educational since I've never given much thought to Columbus day. It's a national holiday here called Día de la Hispanidad and commemorates the start of relations between Europe and the Americas. October 12th is the day that Columbus landed in the Americas, somewhere in the Bahamas. Queen Isabel was the one who commisioned Columbus (Cristobal Colón) and this statue depicts that moment in history. I'll confess I never new Columbus was Italian. In 1492 Granada was the last unconqureed Muslim kingdom within Spain, and Isabella and her husband Ferdinand were the rulers at that time. Later they were givin the title Reyes Catolicós (Catholic Kings) by Pope Alexander VI. Eventually they were buried in the cathedral here in Granada. That's probably as much history as you'll ever have to read on this blog. We enjoyed having a three day weekend.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Spanish sneeze

Saturday, October 11

That's right, Sydney now sneezes in Spanish. You didn't know that was possible? Neither did I. Well, she got a cold on Friday and every time she sneezed it sounded like aaahcheees, which I'm guessing is spelled aachis in Spanish. It all started when she learned this song about the parts of the face and how the nose goes aaachis. I never new a song could change your sneeze.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Where's my wide angle

Friday, October 10

Wow it's already Friday and I never even got around to posting pictures from last weekned. We took the girls to check out a nearby neighborhood called the Albaicin. It's the old Arab quarter, all white houses climbing up the hillside with a great view of the Alhambra. There were some neighborhood festivies going on and the weather was perfect. We basically just walked around hung out at some cafes and let the girls play. I really need a wide angle lens. I just can't seem to get far enough away to fit in the tall churches here.
The girls spent some time climbing up and sliding down this semi-circular brick stucture. Not really sure what it was, but all the kids were enjoying it.
Click here to see a few more pics of the Albaicin.
The next pictures are of the cathedral in the center of Granada. I haven't been inside yet, but the light was so beautiful as Kevin and I were walking home alone that I had to take some shots. Yes we got a babysitter for the first time in over three months. There wasn't much open on a Sunday afternoon, but we had a peaceful time cafe hopping until we were full. The best was Cafe Futbol where Kevin had churros con chocolate and I had some iced coffee drink with cinnamon ice cream. Mmmmm. Back to the cathedral - it's big and there are a bunch of other buildings close by, so once again found myself unable to fit the whole thing in. Use your imagination to piece it together.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Will the real ham please stand up

Tuesday, October 7

Can you guess which one is a plate of thinly sliced ham and which one is my marble floor?

Doesn't it seem like a marble floor should be something beautiful and fancy, not like meat? I don't know how long it would have taken me to realize it, not long I'm sure, but ever since Kevin mentioned the similarities, I think it crosses my mind at least once a day. My floor looks like meat. Today my Spanish teacher said, "Spain is ham". I bet she's seen my floor.

You can see how is also has some tan and grey in it. Maybe it's moldy meat. I almost forgot to say that the one redeeming quality of my floor is that it hides the dirt extremely well. By the way the real ham was on the left.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pics for the week

Saturday, October 4

Here are a few pics of the girls playing in various parks and plazas in our neighborhood. Actually this first one was taken on our patio. That's our bedroom window you see in the background. That white rack is usually where we hang our laundry out to dry - that's right, no dryers here.

Some new stuntwork at the playground.

Here is a little plaza about two blocks from our apartment that our friends just showed us. It's well hidden by a surrounding cement wall. Kyla found a tree to climb and harvested a big pile of seed pods. Anytime they find something that fell from a tree and ask what it is, I always tell them it's a seed pod. I assume that 95% of the time I'm right.

The decking really cuts down on the dust, but we made up for it by playing with the chalk. Here's Sydney trying to finish the blue line. Here she's looking a little smurfy. I guess you shouldn't mop your brow when covered in blue chalk.

OK, this isn't one of the girls, but I couldn't resist a picture of such a content little cat napping at the plaza. We've been having terrific weather, 70's and sunny. We did have to dig out the comforters this week, it's really cooling down at night (50 degrees).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

While you were sleeping...

Thursday, October 2

well, those of you living in the USA anyway, I was straining my brain. Yesterday I took the level test for my month long intensive Spanish course. I'm happy to say I test well in Spanish. In fact they wanted to put me in the first advanced level! I think I must have done some good guessing on the multiple choice grammar. I was saved by the schedule, since the advanced class didn't get out until 2:30pm I went down a level so I could pick up the girls from school at 2:00pm. (Whew! I don't mind a little challenge, but there is no need to overwhelm myself). This brain of mine is not as young and agile as it used to be and it's not just the brain - it's the whole body. After taking a two hour test and lugging home groceries yesterday I think I need a massage. Anybody know a good PT? (hehe) I was a little nervous about going to my first class. It's been a long time since I've studied my Spanish. I just missed my 20 year high school reunion this summer, so you can guess how long it's been since I was a college exchange student in Costa Rica. I never got very fluent there, so I'm feeling pretty rusty. Class went well though and I could understand almost everything the teacher said. It's weird to be in school again - I even get to do homework. Wait until Kyla finds out, she'll be so jealous. I've decided to start speaking a lot more Spanish at home so Kevin and the girls can benefit from my class too.