After our odd, hectic arrival and stay in Madrid, the trip to Granada was simple and sweet.  Buses here are punctual, clean(ish), quiet and cheap.


I watched the litter and graffiti of Madrid and its suburbs give way to rolling hills of olive orchards.  And more olive orchards.  And more… until I fell asleep for 2 hours.  Violet sat quietly next to me, drawing, reading and snoozing. 2015-08-08 12.50.33

Wait, what?  Violet sat quietly for 5 hours?

Yes.  That’s how tired we all were.

The bus stopped at a tiny town about halfway so everyone could run to the cafeteria for bocadillos.  This is where the kids discovered that the rain in Spain does, indeed, fall mainly in the plain.

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We pulled into the Granada bus station on the hot, cloudy, humid afternoon of August 8th.  Our Irish landlord was there to greet us.  He somehow easily threw all of our luggage into his already packed SUV, threw the kids on top of the luggage, and then drove us (reggae music and conversation at top volume)  through the impossibly small streets to our front door.  Our lovely English landlady was waiting to show us around our house.

Our house.  Our three (maybe four) story, tall and skinny, tiled, whitewashed, crooked, little house.  Our casa with a cave, and patios, and crumbling stucco, and tall tall stairs, and Moroccan light fixtures.  Nuestro hogar.


We must have seemed a bit dazed because our landlords quickly left us  to get settled.  And so we spent the rest of the day unpacking and hiding our luggage the “L” word so we won’t have to see it for at least a year.

Toys first.  Violet and Graham dumped their legos on the carpet in the refreshingly cool cave and played together for SEVEN HOURS straight.   No fighting.   (I’m taking note for posterity.)

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Our first afternoon at home (photo by Violet).

The next day we realized that our kind landlords had actually saved our lives.  Well, at least they saved us from being very hungry.  They had stocked the tiny fridge with fresh melon, milk, sliced ham, and cheese.  On the counter they left a baguette and a ripe tomato.  And coffee.  They had tried to tell us that stores closed at odd hours, but we didn’t quite believe them.  And yet, for the next two days, every time we ventured out for food, we either got lost, or the grocery store was closed.  So we lived on bread, cheese, ham, tomato and melon for two days.  And coffee.

Monday morning, while Rob set up his office, I dragged the kids around the neighborhood, trying to orient myself.


This is where we live.

Eventually we made it to the spanish language school that had been recommended to us, just when classes were ending.  A 10 year old girl and 7 year old boy stepped out of the classroom and spoke English.  This was probably the best thing that could have happened to Violet and Graham.  We enrolled them the next day.

The price was somewhere around the range of an average camp, so we initially balked a the enormous bill representing 4 weeks for two kids.  (Since my job allows us to not have to pay for camps all summer, like many families do, we’ve been spared this yearly shock).  We justified the expense by remembering that the kids had not had any spanish practice for two months, and that one of them is very insecure about his ability to speak or understand the language.  This fear was causing a lot of anxiety about the upcoming school year, so anything we could do to help would be worth the price and benefit us all.

Enrolling at CastiLa would turn out to be a good decision, for a lot of reasons.  And at least we can say we did one thing right the first time.

Coming soon:  a tour… and too much English?

3 Responses to “hogar

  • Amber
    8 years ago

    the maze picture. Hahahahahahahaha!
    I love your blog posts. They are so fascinating.
    And I love your snark.
    Can’t wait to hear more. I’ve following your flickr stream every day.

  • Mom/Granny
    8 years ago

    How did I miss this post! I look every day! Oye.

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    8 years ago

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