TWO MONTHS IN-Missing and Loving
“Can you believe it? We are two months into our adventure, today!” Those were my words at breakfast this morning. It was very strange. I had this feeling like today was significant. I then thought, “I bet today is the 17th of October.” And, it was. We left our home in Park City, UT on August 17th, which means we are officially two months into our adventure and, you know what? We are feeling local.
Two months ago
August 17th, when we packed up our lives and moved to Spain for the year.
We weren’t sure we would ever fully fit in, and I know we haven’t reached that point yet but people have seen us enough now that they smile and say hello…and only really stare when we are heading out to surf when it is stormy outside. But fitting in does funny things to the psyche, it makes me think of home. I smile and think of how excited I will be to share this experience with all of our friends and family once August 2019 rolls around. But I do miss home.
Yes, we miss things but we are also celebrating the fact that we have the system down…for now:). It is safe to say that at the 2 month mark of our adventure we have gotten a true taste of what we miss from home and what we love about our new home. We, of course, knew and, frankly, hoped this would happen. We wanted to be forced to miss things. And by things, I truly mean things or the comforts of home, not humans or animals as those are “things” we miss every minute of every day. We have a list, not a long one but a list of misses.
I would say top of that list is Football Sunday, it’s our only treat in English. We love our NFL Football but most especially on Sunday. Growing up, I had one day off a week from my grueling swimming schedule and that day was Sunday. Back then, those sundays were quite simple, sleep in as late as possible, eat as many pancakes or waffles as I could fit into my pie whole, watch football while intermittently falling asleep to the soothing vocal sounds of John Madden and Pat Summerall. So, watching all day football, snuggling up on the couch as a family is something that I truly do miss. Right now we struggle to watch our one game on Sunday night. We miss many plays because our connection is buffering and, that frustration added to the frustration of the Bills’ offense is not necessarily the most positive way to wrap up a wonderful weekend in Spain. Many of you may be saying, “Give up the NFL for a year, Summer. Or, give up the Bills for a year!” Well, that is not a reality. I love them so much and I love cheering for a team and until they make the Olympics every Sunday, I am committed to cheering for my Buffalo Bills.
Let’s Go Buffalo
We are Billievers! #gobills
The comfort of football is an equal to the comfort of food and there are a few foods we miss like raspberries and blueberries that could fill up an entire salad bowl. They come in very small packages here and we go through them in about a day. We miss sushi…remember, they have it here but it isn’t “American sushi”. (I try to remind the kids that “we didn’t invent sushi…so don’t try to claim it”) We miss the school bus in the morning…well, maybe that’s just Erik and me. (Skye takes the city bus home with about 30 other kids from her school) We miss the ease and extra space of parking in Park City…so little room and so many cars and people over here. Although, keep in mind, that most families don’t have two cars. We don’t! And, finally, we miss maple donuts. We are a donut family. Sunday donuts are a tradition in our house. And here, we have found glazed, chocolate and sugar, but they are not the same, so we miss ours. And, we miss our American shows. Yes, we can get them here but we have chosen to only watch things in Spanish. And our Spanish isn’t good enough to watch the new season of Ozarks and understand everything. We want to understand
But for each “miss” we have found new things that we love! We love a new meal from the restaurant below our apartment called “Mar de Cortez” called Alhambre. It’s a hodge-podge of meat and cheese and onions and peppers and pineapple! But it is delicious and we get it “para llevar” (to-go) with homemade tortillas. It’s yummy. It’s a Mexican restaurant but the chef and employees are from Columbia.
We love our fresh pan EVERY SINGLE DAY. The stores are closed on holidays and on Sundays but the panederia is opened every single day in the morning. It is delicious and we are regulars. Funny little fact, at our supermercados, you can’t but your bread with your groceries. The panederia is separate and so you have to pay separately. Even if they are closed and the left-over bread is at the caja (check-out) for sale, you have to pay for it separately and often in cash.
We love that we can walk everywhere. We love that we can surf whenever the waves are calling. I love that I have a carneceria near our apartment (meat store/butcher). I also love that when I order chicken from the butcher I can get them to cut it into thin filets so that it cooks faster. They do this almost with instinct. I mean, they ask me first but many people get it as filets. Do you know how many people a thick chicken breast can feed? It’s brilliant. (remember, I hate wasting food.)
I love the endless selection of olives, cured meats and yummy cheeses. These items are often times our lunch and/or dinner. I love the yogurt. Oh my god, the yogurt here is ridiculous! I love and am even more intrigued by the milk as you don’t need to store it in the refrigerator until you open it. I love the eggs…they are all so fresh and taste amazing. I love my afternoon cortado or café con leche and I love that Erik and I can get a glass of wine each and a little appetizer for less than 4 euro.
They take their jamon very seriously over here and I have much respect for it. They even sell the rack to hold these giant legs of ham! Imagine a banana holder but 100 times bigger.
I also love that although people think I order too much for dinner, they are quite worried about my “La Comida”. I have had many people make sure I took time or that I took time to eat lunch…and by “eat lunch”, they mean “really take time to sit down, chew your food, enjoy your food and enjoy the people you are with!” I love and appreciate that. I love that every day I feel like I am getting a little better with my Spanish and I see that my kids and hubby feel the same way too. I love that we don’t have an air conditioner, our windows are open almost 24/7 and haven’t figured out how to turn on the heat. (although I know the need for a heater will come) We love watching American movies we have already seen several times, in Spanish.
This experience has given us so many laughs, mostly at our own expense but one of our biggest laughs is watching “Forest Gump” with Spanish dubs and subtitles. Genius. If you get a moment, please do it and think of us when you hear, “Bueno Jenny!”
After two months I think I am safe in saying that we have our feet secure on the ground and are walking calmer and with more confidence. The kids run into school now, truly excited about their day ahead. And have so many funny stories to tell us when they walk through the door or when we pick them up at the end of the day…mostly about how many times the other kids said the “F” word in English. Madre Mia!
We check in with home and the people, not the things, but the humans that we really miss less than we would like to. I wish I could talk to everyone everyday but we are awake and more than halfway through my day by the time my family on the west coast is rolling out of bed. I am grateful for social media in a situation like this as I feel like I can connect with their lives and them with ours easier and more visually. But it’s important for me to say it here and for me to spell it out…
To all our friends, family and supporters back home, we MISS and LOVE you so very much!
Love from Spain
Summer, Erik, Skye and Spider.