This is from September 3, 2012. Today is a holiday for the U.S., but for Adam it's the first day of second grade. The boys had a hard time getting up, mainly because they didn't get to bed early enough. That will soon be fixed after a few of these long, tiring school days. School hours are 9:00 to 3:45, but they get on the bus at 8:00 and off at 4:30. Once we move closer to the school they won't have such a long bus ride. Adam seemed a little nervous, but excited too. We walked to the bus stop and were there way too early, of course. The bus finally pulled up - not a yellow school bus, these are the nice cushy charter buses - When the door opened, the bus monitor started speaking Spanish to me, which I didn't understand. Next thing I know, Adam is already on the bus and I can't even see him through the tinted windows. No kiss goodbye or anything. I guess he wasn't nervous anymore. In the afternoon, we went to the school for Jason's orientation. We got to see his classroom and meet his teachers. His classroom is about twice the size of one at Carleston, with the same number of kids. He enjoyed playing with the toys while the teachers talked to the parents. I think he's ready for tomorrow. We picked up Adam and all went home together. Adam loved school and is ready to go back tomorrow.
Monday, September 10, 2012
This is from September 1, 2012. We are finally out of the hotel and in our temporary apartment at Calle Doctor Fleming 30. We'll be here for one month while we look for permanent housing. It is so great to be able to unpack and have some space. The apartment has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and a WASHING MACHINE! It will take me a while to catch up on the laundry, especially considering the size of the washing machine. No dryer, though. There is a nifty clothesline on pulleys right outside the window that I'll have to use. We explored the neighborhood and found many playgrounds and restaurants and even a Starbucks! There is a Metro station very close by and the boys' bus stop is about a block away. Next step - getting ready for school for Adam on Monday and Jason on Tuesday.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
August 14-21: We finally made it to our holiday. We had a wonderful time in the Canary Islands. Tenerife is the largest of the seven Canary Islands, which are part of Spain, but very close to the west coast of Africa. The resort where we stayed was very nice, with a large swimming pool. Adam got very into ping pong while we were there too. Bill and I enjoyed the many restaurants and a grocery store within walking distance. We signed up for two day trips - one to Siam Park, a water park, and one to Loro Parque, an animal park. The kids loved all the water slides and seeing the dolphins, sea lions, parrots, and lots of other animals. Both trips were booked from the resort and the bus very conveniently picked us up and dropped us off. We spent lots of the week doing some much needed relaxing by the pool and playing games in our room. On the last day we hired a taxi to explore the island. We went to Parque Nacional de Teide, a national park that contains a dormant volcano that is the highest point in Spain at 3700 meters. The terrain heading up there was fascinating - very dry and desert-like - lots of cactus and not many trees. It reminded me of the Old West. Once you get to the base there is a cable car that takes you up close to the top. It was VERY cold and windy, which Jason did not appreciate at all. We stayed huddled together while Bill trekked a bit further. After the volcano, we hit the beach - Playa de las Americas, to be exact. It was packed with tourists - nearly all European - we did not run into one other American on this trip. The boys enjoyed splashing around and collecting some shells. You may be asking why I have not posted any photos of this trip. Well, you see, we left our camera in that taxi on the last day :( But thanks to the wonderful resort workers and taxi drivers of Tenerife, it was found and is being sent back to us :) I'll post the photos when I get the camera back. Now we are back in Madrid and ready to start taking care of some business, like getting us out of this hotel and getting the boys ready for school on September 3.