I'm excited, because I noticed that our daily routine has shifted from vacation-like to routine.
We have found our favorite place to buy bread, the most convenient place to buy groceries, the dogs' top spots to do their doggy business, and just how long it takes to line dry our sheets on a breezy day. We have made it to the real-life portion of our expat adventure.
Boys have been in school for a few weeks and are getting themselves to and from school without issue. We had a meeting last week with the headmaster, and the school assures us that they're both adjusting to the new environment quite well.
#2 is playing loads of guitar and drawing a ton. He is still trying to find his people, but he will. I am hoping that he will take advantage of several of the MeetUp groups around Valencia for both of his favorite activities...it's always easier to find friends when you have common interests.
#3 is playing a bunch of baseball and even was asked to join the 15U Valencia National team that went to the Spanish National Championships in Pamplona last weekend. They ended up in 3rd place overall, and #3 got to pitch and play first base. We are so glad that he's getting to do something he enjoys--and he loved traveling with his team.
C is here but leaves tomorrow to head back to Atlanta for 6 weeks. He's working a ton (1/2 a Spanish day and all of a US work day), and I'm hoping that when he gets back that he will be able to create delineated times for work and play because there is so much to do and see and he is working 90 hour weeks.
Today Maizey and Blue met their new vet. Without a large yard, they had not been able to run and dig and they both were click-click-clicking on the floors and needed a nail trim. Here is a bit of veterinary info for anyone considering moving to Europe with your dog: no heartworm treatment is needed in Mediterranean Spain. However, we also found out that they will need to wear Seresto collars because of the risk of getting leishmaniasis from the sand flies here. It sounds awful, and it's almost always fatal, so the medicated collar seems like a good, inexpensive insurance policy against that fate.
I am enjoying having coffee or wine (vino blanco usually, but sometimes a copa tinto) with the people that I've met. Really, I feel very lucky to have made a few friends already. I do find that we are at an odd age that is sandwiched between those with young (or 0) children, and those that are a bit older and retired. We did meet one couple that is recently retired and exactly our age, and I have enjoyed running around with them as the third wheel while C is working.
With regards to citizenship, today I registered for my language test (FINALLY) and language classes (again) which will begin in 2 weeks. I am anxious to get this last piece complete and get the paperwork filed.
We have also furnished our apartment; well, we've bought almost all the furniture though a good portion is being delivered on Thursday. We still need several items for the living room, but I'm hoping to find a rug, console, coffee table, and a pair of chairs from around town. There are a few fun and funky furniture shops in town, but since they carry vintage pieces, it is hit or miss and I'll wait to find what I want.
I will leave you with this thought today:
When we were looking at moving, a few people asked us why we thought that being in Spain would be better than being in the US. We really didn't look at it as "better" or "worse" than the life we lived in Atlanta. Life is--well--life. Using broad brush strokes, a typical day here looks remarkably similar to the life we left: we work, take care of dogs, do laundry, cook, clean, grocery shop, and the boys go to school.
But, the fine lines and details are different here in Valencia. We don't own cars and spend no time in traffic. Every morning, C goes down on the elevator to the convenience store across the street to buy bread while I grate tomato and put up fresh coffee. When he gets back, we share breakfast of pan con tomate and cafe con soja. The boys use the city-wide bike share and pedal 10 minutes to school; our boys have become more independent, and make plans without needing us to manage their time. We have markets, restaurants, grab-and-go cafes, and live music literally within 175 meters of our front door. One of my favorite parts, the boys' school doesn't believe in homework.
So, while our days are filled with the usual routines, we are painting life with a different brush and color pallet, and it's been delightful.