Because of the time change, I’m all turned around about what day is what that I lost a day of writing. I’m still not really sure how but I will just cover the first and second day and go from there. I guess it’s kind of fitting that the first day is a blur on here since it was more or less a blur in real life. I was so tired after a full 26 hours of travel that I felt as if I was watching myself walk around the city and talking to my family, not unlike an out of body experience.

After picking me up from the airport, we stopped for lunch at a small cafe in the center of the town before driving the boys back to school (en Espanol, collegio) for the afternoon session. During the week, students go to school in the morning from 8-12 and come home for lunch and “siesta” (although despite the common misconceptions, I have not seen any sleeping during this time). After the siesta, the children all return to school for two more hours (from 3-5). If you don’t live close to the school, this could be a lot of driving!

Jorge, Ana and I returned to the house while the boys were at school so I could settle into the apartment and rest a bit. As customary in Europe, my family lives in two homes throughout the year. One is an apartment flat in the middle of the city and one is a country home by the ocean, resting on a vineyard owned by Ana’s father. The apartment rests on top of a few stores and a cafe but we are on the second floor (really the third floor) so we don’t hear anything.

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Although if you open the windows, all the sounds and smells of the street waft up to you. Haha, one thing is the people here dry their laundry like you see in the movies. They hang them on lines hanging between buildings or from window to window so they dry! How interesting! The apartment is small but cozy. It seems to me like a little doll house, everything is so mini. Closets, showers (<madre mia), trash cans and tables. Everything mini. But it’s cute (or in Spanish, cuca!) and they really made an effort to make me feel welcome here.

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The mug says “You are the best daughter in the whole wide world”

After we picked up the boys, we drove to the beach to show me the one that they go to often. It’s very very long with multiple natural rock “mountains” for the kids to play on and jump off of out in the water. There was also long rows of cafes running parallel along the sand with pools attached to them so the children can swim in the pool while the parents get something to eat. It was at this beach that I tried my first Spanish beer.

Speaking of firsts, I went to my first ever real Spanish futbol game today! Marcos belongs to a club team here and his team is very good. Unlike the United States, school sports are not very popular. Most of the time, the team is not very good and even if they are, it’s not a very big deal to the students. It’s more like an after school gym class. The club teams is where it’s at for the kids. And they are typically all year here (and when I refer to sports in the plural, I really mean it’s the many different teams of futbol, not multiple sports). For example, there’s a “season” of futbol every six to eight weeks or so and the games act as a life or death type of tournament. There are twenty or so teams and they play once or twice a week, when your team loses, you’re done with the season. You could be playing for six full weeks or one, all depending on how good your team is. Marcos’ team is very good and beat his opponent today  7-0 so he will play again on Saturday.

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Published by Erin Koehler