Monday, May 28, 2012

Anyone there?

Hello blogging world, I know it has been awhile, in fact I had a friend ask me if I realized it was 2012 and that I needed to update my blog. What can I say. Life got crazy with 4 kids, college online classes, spanish classes, and trying to live life and I realized I wasn't super woman. I know I was suprised too. So something had to give and the blog had to be set aside for awhile. Because I haven't posted since last Novemeber I thought I would post a photo summary to catch you up.

Cleaning our Thanksgiving turkey, I ordered a fresh turkey from the butcher and it was quite the experience.  We borrowed a hacksaw from the neighbor to cut off the handles of the pan so it would fit in our tiny European oven.
Celebrating our 12 year anniversary in Madrid.

Skiing in the Sierra Nevada's near Granada.  Three kings day is the best day to go BTW.

The vacation beard, always makes my heart beat a little faster.

Date night in Cartagena with friends and an impromptu tour of a cathedral.

Birthday parties at the go-cart track.

Spring break in Extramedura

Cute pictures made possible by M&M bribes
Thats a short instagram recap of the last couple months.  We still have a month left of school here, so here's to more pictures and adventures coming soon. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Orienteering Race - Spain

The kids with map in hand, searching for our next landmark
A couple of weeks ago we were lucky enough to be invited to an orienteering race.  I had never heard of this, but there are orienteering clubs throughout Spain that organize races.  Usually the races are in the forest, up and down hills and through streams.  But this time it was in the old town of Hellin.  (For a really cool video on the drum festival during Santa Semana in Hellin)

Trying to figure out where in the world we are.
We met friends and had a lunch and then headed to the race.  The race was attended by young and old alike.  We were given a map and a card to pass over a sensor every time we found one of the markers throughout the city.  We wandered up through the old part where no cars could go, and while our friends and my hubby looked at the map and tried to figure out where we were going, I marveled at the architecture and the peace of the city.

Passing our card over the sensor to keep track of all the places we needed to find.
This was such a fun family activity, with enough activity to keep the kids entertained. We are hoping to participate in more of these, maybe next time we will be crossing rivers and hiking up ravines. For more information on the orienteering club that sponsored this event check out their website.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Couple Retreat - The Spanish Way

Hola Amigos,

How is it Wednesday already, this post was supposed to be on Monday, but time has gotten away from me. This week I don't have any school, so I am trying to get caught up on all the little things that I have let go while studying. Also trying to plan our Thanksgiving feast. 
This past weekend we attended a marriage conference. One thing I love about the Spanish is that they always include the whole family. This weekend was more of a family retreat. We went to a resort on the beach and though it was too cold to swim in the sea, the hotel had a heated pool. We relaxed, ate good food, spent time with amazing friends, swam in the pool, and had a meeting about the importance of our relationships. My kids crack me up though, they were a little annoyed that it was a 4 star hotel and there were no chocolates on the pillows. 

Some of the highlights for me were:
-Waking up to the view above.
-Having to use my spanish to get the maintenance man to come and figure out why my family was locked in the hotel room.
-Walking along the board walk with all the moms, while the dads swam in the pool with the kids.
-The food.
-The jacuzzi tub in the bathroom, all the kids had to try it out.
-Dancing at the disco at 10:30 at night, it was full of all the kids and parents from our group.

walking along the rocks, searching for crabs

Besos, Katie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias / City of arts and sciences in Valencia

My last Valencia post.=)

While in Valencia we visited the city of arts and sciences. A huge complex with a science museum, aquarium, Imax, and more. The complex is huge and has amazing architecture.  We walked around the complex exploring and then headed to the aquarium or Oceanografic, the largest aquarium in Europe.

We loved all the exhibits, the animals were active and swimming around, which isn't always the case.  I was amazed at how large the Walrus's and some of the other animals were.

This boy kept us busy thinking when he asked us questions such as if a Sea Lion and a Polar Bear got in a fight who would win?  Also if a shark and a octopus got in a fight who would win? What do you think?

There were a couple of tanks that had tunnels that you could walk through, the kids loved this part being able to look up and see the fish swimming over you.

There was an outdoor complext that housed the dolphins, and they had a really good dolphin show.

If you go check out the website for any deals or specials going on (while we were there, they had 2 for 1 deals from Mcdonalds).  Also make sure to pack your own lunch as food inside the park can be kind of pricey.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Walking on Water

While in Valencia the boys walked on water. They had a couple carnival rides for kids and one we had never seen. They would fill up bubbles with air and put the kids in side. And then let them go on a small pool. It was really funny to watch. Here is a video we made of them while doing it.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Central Market in Valencia

I love to wander around the old streets of a town. Thanks to the GPS feature on the Iphone we weren't as lost this time as in other cities. We were searching for the central market, one of the longest running food markets in Europe.

It was so fun to walk around the market and see all the fresh food.  But after seeing the live eels and the duck with its beak still attached my family wasn't so sure about eating any food there.

We made a video of the live eels swimming around it was a little crazy.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Long Weekend

The pedestrian streets at Valencia's city center.
Last weekend was a 4 day weekend for us, such a nice break from the daily grind. 

In Spain when the holiday is on a Tuesday they will often give you Monday off as well.  The only thing is they don't really tell you in advance.  So the Thursday before, when we knew that my hubbie was going to get the Monday off, we planned a quick trip.  Couldn't let a 4 day weekend go to waste. 

We chose to head to Valencia, Spains 3rd largest city and only 2 hours from our house.  We stayed in the Spanish military hotel there and visited the city center and the acquarium.
Where we stayed.

Some highlights for me:
- wandering through the city center and stumbling upon some roman pilars at the library.
- wandering through the city and seeing the police in the process of arresting someone, my daughter was dissapointed we didn't see him put in hand cuffs.
- the old food market
- finding a vendor selling vintage table cloths and linens
- the city of arts and sciences and the acquarium
- spending time with my family and seeing a new place