The first 2 days of school by Sky

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The first day of school was amazing, completely spectacular! I had so much fun and made so many friends.  At first I was very nervous and didn’t want to get into the group of 6th graders.  When the bell rang and the principal came out to give a speech I was forced into the group as the crowd behind me moved forward to hear the speech.  After the speech all of the children ran to the second floor to see their new classrooms and meet their new teachers.  As the 6th graders filtered into the classroom and took their seats I nervously sat next to kind-looking girl in the back of the class.  Her name is Eva, pronounced like Ava.

Here I am feeling a bit nervous while Paco is talking.

Here I am feeling a bit nervous while Paco is talking.

Then the teacher, Paco, told us about what he would teach and how he would teach it.  After a long talk the bell rang again and all of the children ran outside to recreo (recess).  They served churros and chocolate milk to the children and the parents.  They were hot and fresh.

The Churro chef!

The Churro chef!

The 6th graders all knew each other and wanted to meet the new girl (me).  I met all of the 6th graders, there are 4 boys and 6 girls including me.  All of the girls were super sweet and incredibly welcoming.  The boys were crazy, just like every other school.  Not only did I meet the 6th graders, but I also met and made friends with some 5th graders.  At least there are more girls than boys in my class, otherwise it would have been even more crazy than it was!  They really tried hard to be friends with me and I appreciated it. It was so much fun.  I wonder what tomorrow will bring?  I just can’t wait to find out!

Savvy finds a friend who can do the splits! She is a rhythmic gymnast and is excited that Sky and Savannah want to join her team!

Savvy finds a friend who can do the splits! She is a rhythmic gymnast and is excited that Sky and Savannah want to join her team!

Savannah with Ava and Ester on the first day of school. Sweet kids.

Savannah with Eva and Ester on the first day of school. Sweet kids.

Today was the first day of actual school, Eva picked us up at 8:30 to walk to school.

Savannah, Sky and Eva

Savannah, Sky and Eva

Off to school

Off to school

Yesterday, the first day, was more of a meet and greet kind of thing, where you don’t have any work. Today was hard for me because I don’t understand a lot of the questions that they are asking during class and the teacher’s handwriting is really bad so that made it hard.  I also didn’t know where to write.  The lined paper is different.  It has a big spot to write and a skinny spot to write, a big spot and a skinny spot and apparently you are supposed to write in the skinny spot.  During math I had forgotten that they use “points” for commas and commas for points.  It was really confusing.  Instead of a decimal in a number they write it with a comma and a number over 1000 is going to have a dot in it like an American decimal.  Ten thousand would be written 10.000.  This was really confusing for me but after I figured out the first few basic things class got really easy and then even easier when I figured out how to comprehend the questions better.  Since I don’t understand what most of the questions meant I would have to wait until we would be 1/2 way through a section for him to explain more.   It was hard but fun. I learned a lot today especially in math class. I can’t wait for tomorrow…

Team Kezmoh goes to Malaga

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Trip to Malaga Wednesday August 28

For the first few days in Spain we settled the important business of getting our computers and phones to work.  We met with the internet man right away.  We wanted to be sure that we would be able to communicate with the world so we asked David, our landlord, to arrange this.  It seemed really important to us to have WiFi (pronounced “wee fee” here).  I remember being in Spain in 1988.  An experience across the ocean was really different then.  I studied abroad for the fall semester of my junior year at the Universidad de Sevilla.  I wrote letters to my family and friends.  I sealed them in special, very light envelopes that were stamped “air mail” and walked to the post office to mail them.  Friends sent me letters and cassette tapes of mixes that they had made, what a different world it was in 1988.  I spoke to my family by phone only a few times during my time in Sevilla and that was usually in the middle of the night.  I wasn’t allowed to use the phone to call the US, so my mom would call in the night to be sure to find me at home.  Now after just 2 days in Spain we have internet access and mobile phones.  There are several carriers in Spain.  We discovered that there is one called Orange, no surprise we picked that one! The girls thought that Orange was funny.  They said, “We have Apple at home and they have Orange in Spain!”

Our phones came in handy on our first trip back down the mountain to Malaga.  On Wednesday we had to return our second rental car.  We initially needed 2 cars to carry our 8 suitcases, 4 backpacks and 2 carry-ons when we arrived in Spain.  With separate cars it was good to have map quest and text messaging.  It was a trick to get around the busy Malaga airport but eventually we found a gas station, dropped off the car and escaped.

We knew that there was an IKEA in Malaga and we needed supplies so the nice lady on map quest helped us find our way.  Right next to IKEA was a McDonald’s!  It is our tradition to stop at McDonald’s whenever we are in a foreign country so that Mike can see if it is the same.  Of course, anyone who knows my dear husband knows that he will find any excuse for a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a Coca Cola Light.  Savvy and her Daddy enjoyed their cheeseburgers while the 2 vegetarians sipped water.

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We had lots of fun at IKEA buying pillow cases, comforters for Sky and Savvy, hanging shelves for the closets and other essentials such as nicer wine glasses and an orange and green mean mother scraper, ( spatula ).
Sky and I ate after shopping at the IKEA store.  My lunch was delicious, here it is:

Salmon with dill sauce, carrots and a potato brocoli patties. Yum!

Gazpacho, Salmon with dill sauce, carrots and a potato brocoli patties. Yum!  Good food for a store cafeteria.

Our next stop in Malaga was the Carrefore store.  Just like most small towns in the US, the selection of food in Alhama de Granada is pretty woeful. Carolina warned us that this would be the case. She was amazed at the selection of everything at Raley’s supermarket in the US.  One day she just stood in front of the juice section admiring the many versions of carrot juice that we have.  Carrefore is a Spanish version of one of our supermarkets but they are only located in big cities.  The one we found was actually the anchor for an indoor mall.  We walked past Claires, numerous clothing stores, and the Foot Locker before we could collect our grocery cart.  We stopped to buy Sky some flip flops. When we entered the Carrefore store there was a stern guard at the door who insisted on sealing her bag shut with a dangerous looking plastic melter (not that any 11 year old couldn’t poke a hole in the bag).  I love going to foreign grocery stores because it is always an adventure in itself.  We have already learned that ham is in just about everything.  At the Carrefore store we learned just how important Jamon is to the Spanish. There was an impressive section devoted to it.  Check this out!

Jamon! Yep, lots and lots of pig legs.

Jamon! Yep, lots and lots of pig legs.

More Jamon

More Jamon

At restaurants it is very important for Sky and me to mention that we are vegetarians.  We love gazpacho and order it often.  One time Sky ordered it, took one bite and almost spit it out. “This tastes foul! ” she said.  I tried a small sip and thought it was pretty good.  I dug my spoon deeper into the bowl and expected some nice chunks of cucumber but it was chunks of cured jamon.  YUCK!  Says the vegetarian. We have even found that jamon is a favorite ingredient in green salads. When we say we don’t want any meat on something we get confused looks from the waiter as he says, “y jamon?”. 

Good gazpacho!  Notice the cool top that I bought with my Athleta gift certificate. Thanks Folsom Women's Health!

Good gazpacho! Notice the cool top that I bought with my Athleta gift certificate. Thanks Folsom Women’s Health!

Sky loves gazpacho!  (Sin Jamon!)

Sky loves gazpacho!
(Sin Jamon!)

Every morning we walk to the panaderia (bread store) and buy wonderful freshly baked bread for our breakfast.  Even though there is great fresh bread here there is a large section of processed crustless bread at the Carrefore store! Sky even had to take pictures of this to send to her friends back home.

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Bimbo Crustless bread! For you Maddy!

We were very happy to see some comfort foods from home. We bought maple syrup from Canada, bottles of pasta sauce, tortellini, ketchup, Lay’s potato chips and Coke zero for Mike!

With our purchases in hand, we made it safely back to Alhama just before dark.  It was a good thing that we got back when we did because in a few hours we were awoken by a huge thunderstorm.  We raced upstairs to clear the laundry off the lines and close all the doors on the roof.  Mike decided then that we needed a dryer!

The next morning we could hear children playing at the school from our balcony.  We hiked down to see if we could register the girls for school.  The playground was full of mostly naked small children playing in the water.  It was a summer camp program.  We were informed that Javier, the director, would be there next week so we should return then.

Sky and Sav outside the School, Conde de Tendilla.  It opens Sept 10!

Sky and Sav outside the School, Conde de Tendilla.
It opens Sept 10!

The trail into the gorge leading away from the school was calling us, so Team Kezmoh agreed it was time for an explore!  The trail through the gorge leads to a hotel with a pool so we hit the trail to check it out.

The trail is calling!

The trail is calling!

On the trail

On the trail

We explored the trail and arrived at a Grotto to the Virgin Mary.  There are nice signs in English and Spanish describing the landmarks all around Alhama de Granada.  The sign at the Grotto explained the legend.   Around the year 1500 a knight was traveling along the edge of the gorge.  A snake scared his horse and it jumped off the cliff into the gorge.  The man prayed to the Virgin to spare his life as he flew through the air.  The horse landed on his feet but died immediately.  There are hoof marks still visible in the rocks.  The man was thrown from the horse.  When he awoke he had a very bad head wound but he was alive.  He had a vision of the Virgin Mary who told him that she would grant him 3 more days of life if he would build a shrine to her on that very spot.  Legend has it that he was quite rich so he did as he was asked and lived 3 more days.  The shrine still stands.  It is kept up by a local family and candles still burn around the clock.

We arrived at the hotel a few kilometers later (we have to start thinking in kilometers here!).  The pool was closed, likely due to the threat of lightening earlier in the day.  The hotel did have an inviting restaurant and we were really hungry.  We sat, ordered some vino tinto and relaxed with a plate of the best aceitunas (olives) in Granada.  Savvy had pollo con ajo (chicken with garlic), her new favorite whenever we eat out.

Pollo con ajo with lots of patatas (papas in Mexico, patatas in Spain)

Pollo con ajo with lots of patatas (papas in Mexico, patatas in Spain)

Mike was feeling adventurous and ordered a “typical andalusian stew”.  There was one item listed as an ingredient in the stew, morcilla.  We were unsure about the translation but he guessed that it was some kind of pork.  Nope!  Blood sausage, ewww  Looks like something else.  Here he is pretending to eat it!

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Don’t worry, He didn’t really eat it! And yes, that is Savvy’s finger 🙂

After lunch we heard thunder.  The previously blue skies had opened and it was pouring rain.   We were anxious to get back to Casa Azul so Team Kezmoh ran all the way home in the rain. We were so proud of our strong trail-running daughters!  It was my favorite moment of the trip so far!

Bienvenidos a Alhama de Granada

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We arrived in Malaga a week ago today.   We escaped the busy Malaga highways and drove into the beautiful Andalusian countryside.  It is a patchwork of olive trees and brown fields.   We drove from the Mediterranean Sea up a very winding road to Alhama which lies at 3000 feet. We had to make a couple of nausea stops but we all made it without losing our lunch.

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Bienvenidos a Alahama de Granada!

The mapquest directions that we had printed seemed pretty simple but it was a bit of a challenge to find La Casa Azul.  The calles are not marked as clearly as we are used to.  We drove up and down very narrow streets dodging dogs until we all but stumbled upon our address.  Of course we were looking for a BLUE (azul) house.  There are no blue houses in this town and I am not sure if there are any in Andalusia.

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It still says Casa Azul…

The View down the street from our house (and Savvy)

The View down the street from our house (and Savvy)

David, our Englishman owner met us at the door.   He tells us that he originally painted the house blue but was eventually told that there is an ordinance that states that all houses must be white or some shade close to white.  For fear of a fine he chose a light yellow.  He explained that the building is at least 100 years old. It was once a barn with animals.   7 years ago he bought the place and renovated it.  He is a photographer and lives in another village called Periana about an hour away.  He lives in an old mill where he hosts groups from around the world for photography tours/classes.   His website is interesting.  If you are interested:   davidwatermanphotography.com.  He has traveled extensively throughout Europe and Northern Africa and was once in the special forces for the English Army as a paratrooper!   His travels influenced his design and decor of the house.  There is a beautiful Moroccan influence throughout the house.  Many of his Moroccan photographs decorate the walls.

Moroccan photos

Moroccan photos

The downside? Unfortunately once a barn…well you know the rest.  The first floor is technically a bit underground. This is great because these rooms stay really cool.  On the other hand it does have a bit of a basement smell.  We are airing everything out so hopefully that will improve.

The entryway leads to an impressive courtyard with a skylight 4 floors above. There is an architecturally  interesting but somewhat dangerous staircase that winds around the 4 walls.  It is reminiscent of the moving staircase at Hogwarts.  Our stairs don’t move but they have that feel.  It does make me really glad that Sky and Savannah aren’t toddlers!

Entry way hall

Entry way hall

The staircase

The staircase

Up, up, up it goes

Up, up, up it goes

There are 4 bedrooms.  Sky and Savvy have been sleeping in the larger of the 2 on the 2nd floor. They have pushed the 2 twin beds together so that they are close.

Sweet sisters in their room

Sweet sisters in their room

We have the larger of the 2 bedrooms on the 3rd floor.  I had looked at the pictures of the Casa Azul so many times on the internet that I often feel like I am walking through the pictures; it feels so familiar.  Here is our room, imagine, it came with an orange comforter!

Leslie and Mike's room

Leslie and Mike’s room

This leaves 2 very tiny extra bedrooms each with the Spanish version of a “twin”. Let’s just say that Europeans are generally smaller than Americans so their single size beds are pretty small.  We are still hoping for visitors so if there isn’t enough bed space there is a really sweet little hotel nearby.  The host is a retired Flamenco singer, Paco.  We stayed with him the first time we came to Alhama.

The view here is incredible! There are balconies on each floor.  The dining room on the first floor leads to a lovely garden flourishing with very healthy grape vines, a mulberry tree and a fig tree.

The garden off of the dining room

The garden off of the dining room

Sky in a fig tree.  Anyone who knows Sky would know that she would find a tree to climb!

Sky in a fig tree. Anyone who knows Sky would know that she would find a tree to climb!

Sky and Savannah on the lower balcony overlooking the olive trees.

Sky and Savannah on the lower balcony overlooking the olive trees.

The elementary school from our balcony.

The elementary school from our balcony.

We look out over beautiful olive groves .  The olives are ubiquitous.   We read that there are over 100 million olive trees in Andalusia!

To our left we can see the school Sky and Savannah will attend.  It is called Conde de Tendilla.  It is 1/4 mile from us by the road.  Unfortunately there is a very high, sharp cliff off the balcony so it isn’t possible to just drop down into the olive grove.

Dining room with a balcony that leads to Sky and Savannah's room up the stairs on the left.

Dining room with a balcony that leads to Sky and Savannah’s room up the stairs on the left.

Kitchen, again orange cabinets.  They knew I was coming!

The kitchen, complete with orange cabinets. They knew I was coming!

We are pretty sure that no one has lived here for quite some time.  There was a layer of dust covering everything and the spiders had pretty much taken over. When we arrived we were too tired to notice it, but by the next day we realized that if we wanted to live here we had a huge job ahead of us.  Our first morning we set out in search of food down the hill into town. With our bellies full of tostada con tomate we started back up the hill to our house.  On the way home we stopped and bought a vacuum!  Who would have thought that would have been our first big purchase in our new town?   We have spent many, many hours cleaning this week. It was not how we imagined our first week in Spain but a week later we are feeling much more comfortable and at home.

More later…

August 24 From 30,000 feet

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The Adventure finally begins! I am writing from 30,000 feet on our Iberia flight from Chicago to Malaga!

The past 2 months have been a blur! Preparing for a year abroad seems to have taken every spare moment in the past several weeks.   There were many parties and goodbyes.  Mike’s office threw him a pot luck lunch.  Not quite sure what typical Spanish dress was, they gave him a Zorro hat and mask, a chile pepper necklace and maracas to carry around!  I am sure his assistant Secret and all the doctors and nurses will miss him!

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ZORRO and his assistant Secret! 

My office threw a Dos Coyotes luncheon complete with a sheet cake!  My assistant Lana had everyone sign a giant card and they gave me a generous Athleta gift card so that I could stock up on cool running gear for the coming year of trail running around Alhama de Granada!

THE SHEET CAKE

THE SHEET CAKE

Sweet Lana! Miss you!

Sweet Lana! Miss you!

A few months ago we decided that we all need some help with our Spanish. If life wasn’t busy enough we invited Carolina, a lovely young woman from Sevilla to come to be our Au Pair/Spanish teacher for our last 6 weeks in California.  Carolina is 22 and in her last year at the Universidad de Sevilla. She is studying to be a teacher. She was lovely and patiently gave Sky and Savannah Spanish lessons while we were at work.   They learned games that the children are likely to play on the playground and common Spanish songs.  Over dinner she would politely correct our grammar and California-Spanish slang.  We had lots of fun showing her around Folsom, Lake Tahoe and San Francisco.  Sky and Savannah taught her Californian English and how to dance with the  Wii.

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Bienvenidos Carolina

At the end of July our Spanish Visas were approved by el gobierno de Espana.  Opening the e-mail was like getting an acceptance letter to college. What a relief.  It was quite a saga to get all of the documents for the Spanish consulate (I’ll describe that in another post…) but we did it!  Now we can live legally in Spain for the year without worries.  The entire family was required to present themselves to the Consulate in San Francisco so we made our 4th and finally trip to the Consulate.  We felt like celebrating so we decided to spend some extra time and reserved a room at the Villa Florence in Union Square.   We hadn’t really spent any time as tourists in San Francisco so it was a good chance to show Carolina around.  We explored Chinatown, Fisherman’s wharf, the Academy of Sciences, the Japanese gardens and walked 1/2 way across the Golden Gate bridge.  We ate a late dinner Spanish style and Sky and Savvy fell asleep in the booth.   It was an exhausting but satisfying trip as we left with our passports with a new official page.

Chinatown!

Chinatown!

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Checking out the Koi fish in theThe Japanese Gardens

Checking out the Koi fish in theThe Japanese Gardens

A butterfly lands on a Savannah flower in the rainforest at the Academy of Sciences

A butterfly lands on a Savannah flower in the rainforest at the Academy of Sciences

The Golden Gate Bridge Yes, it is August!  It was so cold we wore all the clothes we brought!

The Golden Gate Bridge
Yes, it is August! It was so cold we wore all the clothes we brought!

Our last couple of weeks were dominated with packing and closing down the house.  Mike had a 50 point checklist compliments of the Arizona Snowbirds and pages of notes for how to organize our finances, bills, re-routing mail and planning for an easy return next July.  We made the rounds to doctors and dentists.  It’s funny how leaving makes a person remember that it’s been 3 years since my last pap smear (thanks, Janel!) and 17 years since Mike’s last eye exam.  After all the visits we had a clean bill of health, Sky had 2 vaccines, Mike has new glasses to wear for night driving and Savvy had 2 teeth pulled.  Savannah’s trip to the dentist 2 days before the flight was the most dramatic.  Dr. Jenny ordered a panoramic x-ray and noticed that Savvy’s incisors were not coming in properly.  Her adult incisors were pushing on 2 other adult teeth so she recommended pulling the baby incisors.  Savvy was very brave and promised to rest the remainder of the day.  Well at least until gymnastics practice!  She and Sky had a meet the next day so she couldn’t miss practice.  Luckily her mouth didn’t really hurt and the bleeding had stopped by the time that she needed to tumble!   We had specifically planned to leave on August 18 so that Sky and Savannah would at least get to participate in the first meet of the season.   Both girls performed brilliantly!

Savannah focusing before her event

Savannah focusing before her event

Savannah and her best buddy Arya

Savannah and her best buddy Arya

Sky and Savannah with their buddy Megan

Sky and Savannah with their buddy Megan

For one last goodbye Janel, Linda, Lindalee, Sarah and Cathie took me out dancing in El Dorado Hills.  Cathie’s daughter informed her that “that place is for old people”.  Great, we thought, they will have just the right music.  And they did, when Linda requested Journey the DJ immediately played a dance version of “Don’t Stop Believin”!

Leslie, Cathie, Janel, Sarah, Linda and Lindalee

Leslie, Cathie, Janel, Sarah, Linda and Lindalee

Sky has already posted her version of the day we left Folsom. It did seem unbelievable that we were actually climbing into the shuttle and leaving the house behind.  Mike did literally seal the house.  The front door is sealed with duct tape and the toilets are wrapped in plastic wrap!  Kathryn came by for one last run in the morning and we quickly finished up the packing.

We spent the next 6 days in Chicago visiting my family.  It was my Grampy Harley’s 98th birthday so we were lucky to be there to celebrate.

Grampy Harley, born in 1915!  You look great Grampy!

Grampy Harley, born in 1915! You look great Grampy!

My brother Russell who lives in Brooklyn was there with his wife and new baby son, Ansel.

Sweet baby Ansel Harley Whitmore

Sweet baby Ansel Harley Whitmore

Ansel with his Mom and Dad (Sara and Russell)

Ansel with his Mom and Dad (Sara and Russell)

 

My aunt Bev drove up with my Grandma Ann who is 93.  We spent the day with my Dad and had a lovely visit.

Dad (David), Grammy Ann and Leslie

Dad (David), Grammy Ann and Leslie

Sky, Savvy and I spent an evening with my high school buddies Susy and Aimee and their children.

Front row: Savannah, Sky, James, Kelsee Back row: Jenna, Shelbiee, Aimee, Susy, Zoee, Leslie

Front row: Savannah, Sky, James, Kelsee
Back row: Jenna, Shelbiee, Aimee, Susy, Zoee, Leslie

We drove into Chicago on Friday night and ate at Flaco Loco with my good friend Jena and her husband Sam and daughter Athena.  I hadn’t seen her in years but the time instantly dissolved and we were right back to where we had left off.

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This morning Mom and Dave drove us to the airport. They helped us get our many bags to the Iberia counter, gave us hugs and waved to us as we stood in the security line.

Hugs for Grammy

Hugs for Grammy

Hugs for Grampy

Hugs for Grampy

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And here we are flying over the Atlantic!  Flying on Iberia is a bit like stepping right into Spain.  The flight attendants addressed us in Spanish which delighted me.  We all had a long laugh when the flight attendants offered us dinner.  In contrast to my travels in India where on a flight you are offered veg or non-veg.  On Iberia we were offered meat or the other meat.  Our dinner was served with real silverware and cute little bottles of red wine (tint rojo).     SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

We are here now so the next post will include lots of pictures of our first week in Spain.   Remember to log in and register as a follower so that you will get an e-mail when we publish a post!

Sky’s Post #1 early morning August 18, 2013

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 Hi, I’m Sky Kezmoh and this morning my family and I are starting the biggest adventure of our lives (so far)!

We are leaving CA for an entire 10 month “vacation” in Spain. But first we are flying to Illinois to visit my mom’s side of the family and our brand new baby cousin, Ansel! 🙂

My Dad is turning off all the electrical items and the water power before we leave today. I am going to finish packing my carry on, watch a bit of a movie and we will catch a shuttle to the airport.  My mom is going to drive to Posh bagel and Starbucks to get breakfast for everybody. Then she will help my dad finish turning off/shutting down the house. Savannah and Carolina will also finish their packing and come eat breakfast with me and watch the Hobbit.  

I cannot believe that today is the day we leave!  My friends and I always used to joke around about leaving but now it is actually happening!!!

Thanks for reading, Sky

Waiting for the Super Shuttle!  8 suitcases, 2 carry-on suitcases, 4 backpacks and 2 purses! It is going to be a trick to get checked in!

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Getting ready to go, check out all the suitcases!

 

 

Alhama de Granada

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Our planned destination! Alhama de Granada is in Southern Spain in Andalusia. It is about 30 miles from Granada. It is located roughly between Malaga on the Southern Coast and Granada. I is home to about 6000 people and is at 3000 feet.

Mike and I discovered Alhama de Granada in our search for the perfect spot for the kids to go to school and for us to be near some trails to run on. We found a website called trailrunspain.com. Paul Bateson is an Englishman who is a race director based in Alhama who also takes tourists on running adventures. Perfect! We meet him there in 2011 and went on a 3 day running tour with him and fell in love with the area and the little town.  Before we made made our decision we put our packs on and explored the town. It is a very old village but does have some modern conveniences. There is a very small medical center. There is a community center with exercise classes and workout areas and a pool.  There is a bike store called  Cycling Country run by a couple from England. And, most importantly one elementary school. We found the elementary school and knocked on the door. A cleaning woman answered the door and politely listened to us.  She invited us in and we met Javier, the school director. It was summer so he was working in his Bermuda shorts and t-shirt.  He welcomed us warmly and let us know that if we are able to come and have visas the children would be welcome in his school.

We found a great townhouse to rent on trip advisor!  It is technically a vacation rental so it is furnished.  We are going to live in La Casa Azul!  It looks lovely from the pictures, hopefully it will be as nice in person.

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Alhama is a lovely little town.  It has many lovely festivals and little cafes.  It attracts tourists from around the world for it proximity to nature and the hot springs outside of town.  The city sits on a gorge so it is a short run down to some beautiful trails. It is a 10 mile run to the top of the nearest mountain. We ran there with Paul and were excited to see a small glimpse of Africa through the clouds! There is a fresh spring at the top of the mountain so we are planning many 20 mile days!

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We are excited less than 2 months to go to get started on this adventure!

Ready for Take Off!

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The Beginning

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This is my first attempt at a post.  Might be deleted.

Once upon a time a boy and girl met and shared their dreams.  They met in a hospital under bright lights and long hours.  Across the OR table their eyes met and they knew they were meant to be together.  After work they would sit together and talk for hours.  Sometimes late into the night they would sit in the boy’s pickup truck. The icy winter snow would swirl outside.  Inside they were warm with their excitement of the shared dreams they had.  With twinkling eyes and hearts beating faster they would talk about what life could have in store for them.  The cold winter marched on far from their island inside the truck. They had dreams about family, life and adventure.  They dreamed that they would have many adventures together but one day when they had children to share their adventures they would set out into the world.

They worked for many years. They planned, they saved, they had dreams.

We will teach our children about other parts of the world!  They can go to school somewhere far from home. They will make friends and understand another culture.  They will learn another language.  The boy and girl already spoke a good amount of Spanish between school and working in the hospital so it seemed like a good plan to travel to una pais Latina.  The girl had studied in sunny Sevilla during college so they decided to return.  They went on a fact finding trip 2 years before the planned adventure. They visited small villages and large cities.  They decided on a small town called Alhama de Granada.  Alhama was a warm, ancient village not too far from the sea and nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains.  The people were as warm as the sunny climate.  They found a school for their little Kezmoh’s and made a plan to return.

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