Thom (#6) had his first soccer game of 2018 this afternoon. Blau-Weiss-Wiehre had three attentive fans on the sideline.
It’s funny what children find important. All three littles were very concerned about having a blanket to sit on during the game. It bothers them a lot that I left our picnic blanket in the car in America. I guess it was a bigger piece of their everyday lives than I realized.
Even though it's currently snowing, it's still pretty great that today is the first day of spring.
It must have been the topic of the day in kindergarten. Both Lee and Ned, with huge grins, asked me if I knew that today was the first day of spring.
They love being sources of information. They're always asking me, "Do you know what X is in German?" They usually pick a word that's almost the same in both languages but adorable regardless.
I’ve been meaning to write about Madrid. I went last weekend with my American in Freiburg pal, Laura.
We booked our trip in January. Her oldest had recently broken his collar bone, and the break was partially blamed on lack of Vitamin D. We were desperate for sunshine. We thought Madrid could deliver.
One must remember when a destination is chosen entirely for its weather, disappointment is certain. Yes, it rained, but Madrid was still worthwhile.
Our first night was spent in Barajas. The airport is a good hour from the city center. Since we arrived after nine on Friday night, I decided we’d stay closeby where it’s a bit cheaper. I’m so happy we did.
Our hostel shuttle picked us up from the airport, and our driver recommended we supper in the town square. Laura and I dropped off our bags and headed up the hill. All the restaurants were open and busy despite it being almost eleven at night. The dining room was filled with people of all ages. I had squid, and Laura’s meat was served on top of her fries.
As we were leaving, we saw a charter bus unloading Catholic gear. Laura figured they were preparing for a midnight mass nearby.
In the morning we checked out of Hostal Viky and walked to Barajas station. On the way, we made a caffeine stop and were served our coffees in milk glasses. It’s the closest I’ll ever get to drinking a Guiness.
A couple trains later and learning that Madrid has more than one mass transit system, we arrived at The Hat. Before this trip, Laura had never stayed at a hostel. I was excited to show her how fun they could be. That Hat looked especially fun.
Our bunks were fancy and each bed had its own outlet and built-in shelf. The bathroom was shared, but each room of bunks had their own shower, toilet, and sink.This hostel also had a rooftop terrace and bar. We checked it out on Saturday night and enjoyed it even though a large group of British men on a Stag Night did their best to ruin the atmosphere.
Laura had read about a Sunday morning flea market called El Rastro. We walked there after breakfast, and I scored some very hilarious cardigans for the three littles. Thom, of course, wanted Real Madrid garbage.
When it rained, we sought refuge in restaurants and museums. We drank a lot of Cava, and I ate as much seafood as possible. We breezed through the Prado museum on Saturday night and took our time at the Reina Sofia the next morning. We walked through plazas, by the Palace, and, in general, thought that Madrid was incredibly beautiful.
Errol and I are taking the whole crew to Barcelona next month. I’m so happy because I wasn’t ready to leave Spain after just one weekend.
Our teacher began class this morning by introducing us to his three favorite German words. He wrote them in red marker. Yes, that's only three words.
Sometimes I withhold information from Errol. Usually it’s regarding logistics. He’s often skeptical of my scheduling schemes. I think the kids can handle it. He doesn’t. Most of the time they fall somewhere in between our expectations.
Today I took all kids on an errand. Thom’s bike needed to be left at his soccer club’s field. Bikes aren’t allowed on trams or buses so we had to walk it.
The field is 3K from our house, and it took a good 45 minutes. I had some tired little boys; but, miraculously, their strength returned after a bakery stop.
When we met up with Errol, everyone was at full speed for soccer at the playground. Errol had no idea about our little adventure. It’s always a thrill to surprise him with our kids’ stamina.
Last night while boarding the plane to Basel, I remembered I had a German test tomorrow and homework due.
Some days it’s tough to keep track of what life I’m living. My normal is the Hausfrau, thinking about schedules, groceries, laundry--my family’s basic needs. This year away has given me two more roles: student and traveler.
I enjoy them--especially the travel, but they’re not easy gigs.
This morning, I was exhausted from Madrid, unprepared for class, and I couldn’t find any clean underwear for the boys.
Nowhere to go but up!