It's only been a weekend, and so much has changed.
Most exciting and important, my Mom is now here. She came out on Saturday and I've been showing her around Valencia--what a great time it's been.
After picking Mom up at the airport midday, we went back to the apartment where I've been staying with my roommates and dropped off her luggage. After grabbing a quick lunch, we went back to the apartment in Ayora and waited until about 3:30 when our Airbnb apartment was available in the city center. We got to the apartment, dropped off our bags, made a quick run to the grocery store and then settled in for several hours. A little later, we did 3 stops on the Ruta de Tapas Vegana (Jardin Urbano was by far our favorite), had a few glasses of wine, and returned to the apartment ready to sleep.
Sunday was the perfect day to sleep in. Since I know that La Tavernaire has paella on Sundays, we headed out for a Spanish-time lunch (about 2:30), and then walked over to Ciudad des Artes y Ciencias. On our walk back towards the apartment, we walked through Turia Gardens; it was a gorgeous day filled with sunshine and temps in the mid-60s. We weren't terribly hungry after our big lunch, but snacked a little at the apartment before laughing over chamomile tea and crackers with mantequilla de cacahuete (yes, we are really 13 years old and couldn't stop laughing over the name).
This morning I had an appointment to see another school for the boys. This one is further out from the city center and I wasn't prepared to like it, but I did. When I get back to Atlanta, C and I have a laundry list of things to review with the boys and find out their opinions on whether they'd rather uniforms or bus rides, shorter days or more traditional campus. There is one more school that I will visit on Wednesday and I expect that seeing that school may make the decision even more difficult.
After we got back to the apartment, well before lunchtime, it started to rain. Mom was exhausted between the travel and the pace we've kept, so we opted to take it easy at the apartment for the majority of the day. I had some leftover tikka masala that we heated up for lunch, we napped (Mom) and read (me), and then we made a quick pasta with veggies and pesto for an earlyish dinner. With the rain stopping by 7:00, we cleaned up the dishes, walked to Herbolario Navarro--the natural food store around the corner, had decaf soy lattes at Starbucks, and then walked back to find my lion in the Plaza de Ajuntament. I still don't really know his story, but I love him all the same.
Tomorrow should be a quiet day. I've not been able to hit up Mercat Central since I've been here since the market closed for the day at the same time that classes ended, so I think we are going to do that. I also think we are going to go to Los Manchegos for vegan croissants and cream-stuffed pastries. If we are lucky, they will also have their bacon and cheese puff pastry thing that I dream about a few times a week. I know that there is more to Valencia than walking, shopping, and eating, but I think this week may be little more than a caloric balance sheet.
It's starting to hit me that I'm heading back to Atlanta at the end of this week. I can't wait to see C and the boys, but I'm really going to miss this city. I have no doubts that time will pass quickly between now and when we return as a family in July. And, while I cannot wait to see everyone on Friday afternoon, I'm going to savor every second I get to spend with my Mom with week.