Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy 2009

January 9, 2009
We're back, blog's over.

OK, just kidding. How could I stop posting pictures of my kids. Plus I have a ton of cruise pictures that still haven't been posted, but I'm getting closer. We made it safe and sound to the Carolinas where we visited Kevin's family for the holidays. Just as we were getting ready for bed our first night there, Kevin's watch alarm went off. Oh, that was the alarm that woke us up exactly 48 hours earlier to leave our Granada apartment to head home for the States. What a long trip. Before we were fully recovered from the jet lag, the girls and I started getting colds. I took full advantage of being on vacation for two more weeks and let my in-laws take care of us, playing with the girls and planning all the meals while I rested and recovered, which included reading four books in 10 days (Thanks again Gma Flo). The girls enjoyed some sunny days playing outside before coming to Oregon.

Here are some clouds I spotted from the plane after leaving North Carolina. I'm sure they have a scientific name, but I don't know it.

Thankfully we missed the almost 2 week snow storm here. What did they call it? The arctic blast? We made it home just in time to bring in the new year arriving to our house around 10pm. The house looked a little empty, luckily most of our furniture was moved in before we arrived though. (Thank you Gpa Bubba & Uncle Tom!) We unpacked our suitcases on a very rainy New Years Day and enjoyed dinner with my parents and brother.
The girls were so excited it snowed about two inches before they woke up the next morning and they could barely finish their breakfast.

I stayed inside and didn't get hit by this snow ball thrower.

The girls started school on Monday and both are very happy to be back home and reunited with their friends. Sydney says she's never leaving Oregon again. Kevin is preparing for classes to start next Monday and I'm in denial that we really do have a lot of moving back in to do. All our stuff is boxed up in the garage since we rented our house while we were gone. It would be so much easier if it was an actual move and I had just packed those boxes last week, but after 6 months and a very rushed packing job, I'm not sure where anything is. We're taking it slow, but some things you need right away.
Don't worry I finally found the can opener. Now, I'm looking for the toaster.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

24 hours

Sunday, December 14

OK, we leave Granada in less than 24 hours and we are trying not to dread the two day trip to the States. First we catch a train to Madrid, then quick catch a taxi to the airport and fly to Paris, hoping that none of our bags are over the 20 kilo limit. Then we have to spend tomorrow night in Paris, but at least we'll have all morning to find an eclair. On the way to North Carolina we have a layover in Detroit, I forget how long, but at least I hear they have a really nice airport. Then Kevin's mom will pick us up at 11pm, so glad it will be time to sleep when we arrive. Three out of four suitcases are packed, but I don't think everything else is going to make it into the last one. I foresee some repacking in our futures and leaving more used, but maybe not so useful items to my friend Antonia. It's a good thing I'll be gone as she'll probably be cursing me while sorting through all the great things I've given her. I'm hoping it won't rain today so we can have one last farewell walk around the neighborhood and I won't get wet working on the recycling. Farewell to new friends and we'll see you soon old friends and family.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tuesday December 9

While I freak out about packing and cleaning I will let you guys ponder Venice.

Here is the post I wrote in Venice but never had time to publish.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We got 9 hours of sleep last night – ahh. It’s cold here, so glad I just bought a scarf at the dollar store before leaving Granada. I finally figured out why is seems so quiet and cozy here. Obviously there are no cars or motorcycles zooming around – just the occasional boat motor. Since there are no vehicles – the streets are very narrow – you see everyone who walks by and you can see the shops on both sides of the street – very cozy indeed. It is very easy to get lost though, every way you turn there are shops on small plazas with and alley that way and a canal with a bridge the other way. Wish we still had our little compass, they make orienting the map so much easier. It’s very cloudy today, which usually kind of frustrates me when I’m trying to take pictures of buildings, but it is winter and it looks kind of cool in the mist.
Having to eat out in Italy is always a pleasure. Who doesn’t like Italian food? Even at the bad places it’s still good. I had some yummy ravioli with meat sauce for lunch, Kevin had spaghetti with clam sauce, whole clams in the shells, normally I would shy away from something like that, but it was great. Wouldn’t it be great if they had clam chowder here, I hate the chewy ones you usually get in chowder. We made our way to St. Marks Basilica and it was awesome. We tried to feed the pigeons, but it was a bit scary. One flew up and pecked bread right out of Syd’s hand – she did not like that. We met an older family who is also going on the cruise – I wonder how many of the tourists we saw today will be on the boat? Click for pics.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Counting Down from 10

Saturday, December 6

Ack! I knew it was getting close, but I just realized it's only 10 days until we board that plane for the long haul home. Part way home at least, we'll be spending the holidays with Kevin's family in the Carolinas. It will be good to have some adjustment time to ease the reverse culture shock.

We arrived back in Granada last night after our Mediterranean cruise and visit to Seville, Spain. I only have 4 or 5 loads of laundry to go, really wish I had a dryer. Maybe I'll try to find a laundromat, but I've never seen one here. If fact, if I ever had to open a business here, I think that would be it.

We had a great time on the cruise, and I still haven't downloaded my pictures. Hopefully I will get the web albums done soon. The ship part of the cruise felt a little like being back in the states - familiar food and everyone speaking English. The girls loved it, in fact we only convinced them to get off the boat for 2 out of 5 ports of call. You see there was this place called Adventure Ocean, which we just called the kids club, that had free activities for kids ages 3-11 for 9 hours/day. Then they had a "Late Night Party", which was a little extra from 10pm-2am. Well, it took Kyla a couple days to realize that she couldn't stay away enough hours in the day to attend all the fun act ivies. Although she begged to go the the night time party, she never got to go, however they did get to stay until 10pm a few nights. It's easy to sleep in when you have an inside cabin at the very back of the ship - very dark and quiet.

One of the best parts of cruising with kids besides the fact that we got to do some quality sightseeing without whining was that you never had to worry about food. There is always something, well usually too much to eat from the time you wake up until about 10pm. Even on the days at port, if you manage your time will and pack yourself some snacks, you can skip trying to find lunch in some country like Tunisia, where you don't really want to try the food for fear of getting some stomach bug. In Lisbon and Seville we also enjoyed breakfast buffets at our hotels. This is our first day without some kind of buffet and it is not good.

I think I have mentioned before how you have to plan ahead for weekends and holidays in Spain as many of the shops, most importantly grocery stores are closed. So Kevin went out this morning to gather food for the weekend only to discover all the stores are closed. Hmmmm, there must be a holiday, well that would explain why the traffic was so bad last night and the bus ride took an extra hour. So we're back after two weeks and all we have is milk, cereal, bread and peanut butter. It could be worse. We're definitely going out for lunch tomorrow and maybe Monday too. Luckily, the rent collector, Barry told us about a grocery store that's open 24 hours and not too far away. I just googled Spanish holidays and discovered that Dec. 6th is Constitution day and Dec. 8th they celebrate the Immaculate Conception. I'm sure if we had been around we would have know about these days. The girls are actually disappointed that they don't get to go to school Monday, go figure!