Saturday, December 31, 2011

English Funny

In the Madrid airport, we came across this gem of Spanglish. It is on a luggage cart promoting the VIP lounge you can pay and wait in. Not only can you buy snaks, but they want you to siƩntete, or feel yourself! Or do they mean seat yourself. Hmmm... (both are accurate translations with one being a formal, and another an informal request) Maybe they just mean feel free or feel LIKE yourself, you know, at home or at ease. Who knows!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas presents from the States

It's Christmas time and we got presents!!!!

My brother Jay and his wife Tammy made us lap blankets (one of which I'm wearing as I type this) and sent us American seasoning, vanilla extract, and powdered and brown sugar none of which are we able to buy here. You will also notice, I am wearing my Christmas red long johns, and showing off just how fat my neck can look.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Michelle and I road-tripped with another couple, Heather and Joey, (Joey works at Michelle's school, and they are both from Oregon) to Gibraltar. They pictures tell the story pretty well.

On the way down, we missed an exit and the GPS told us to exit into this little town. Expecting it to lead us back to a freeway or turn us around, we followed it's directions down a road heading out of town. This road deteriorated to a dirt road between two fields. It went for 8 miles without a thing in sight and even some potholes. Luckily we didn't come across any tractors heading the opposite way. The blue line on the GPS was the route we took. The other lines are major freeways.

Joey was threatening me. I don't recall why, but it was obviously a big deal.

Various pictures of the famous windmills of La Mancha, that Don Quixote tilted at. Well, he was tilting (jousting) at giants in the fog, but they got so scared of him that they turned into these windmills. A few of them are original from the 16th Century. Located in Campo de Criptana.

There was a stencil on the wall of a building of what appear to be nuns, or at least old women. They inspired us, so we had to pose like them.

These windows, barred and chicken wired, were directly above the urinals in the men's restroom

Photos from a scenic overlook on the side of the highway. We are looking down at the railroad tracks.

Various pictures from our tour of the Rock of Gibraltar. The pretty picture of stalactites is from St. Michael's cave which is old and awesome and was used as a hospital during WWII. The other cave pictures are from the siege tunnels drilled through the rock in order to place cannons to defend it. The monument is to the pillars of Hercules, one of which is the Rock of Gibraltar. The other is disputed, but is on the northern coast of Africa. The old man posing with Heather and Joey is our tour guide Jackie.

Hey look! I'm really close to a monkey! (Technically barbarie macaques are apes)

Oh look. The monkey is touching my head.

Michelle and I have the best fake phone conversations.

A small monument to the U.S. Armed Forces for their assistance in defending Gibraltar. There a couple different ones commemorating the aid given in different wars.

The first time I ever touched the Mediterranean Sea. It was really cold that day and we were leaving soon, so I only dipped my big toe in, but that was enough.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Cenx" Giving

While Spain doesn't celebrate the American Holiday of Thanksgiving, there are a few folks with Americans in their family that do. Our friends the Freire family have a daughter-in-law from Arizona, and she got them celebrating it every year. They invited us this year. The parents (whom we stayed with for a week while we were finding a place to live when we first moved to Spain) hosted. Three of their kids (one single and two married with families) and one of their nieces and her husband and kids, all live in the area, and attended.

We had a great time eating food (most of it tasted quite American), turkey, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, stuffing etc. I played some music with Hermano Freire, and after a rest, they busted out the Wii and we played Let's Dance. A really fun game where you imitate the dance moves of the shadow on the screen to music while holding the Wii-mote in your hand. They even made gravy, a completely unknown food to Spaniards!

Michelle pointing to the dishes we brought! Mashed potatoes and salad.

Charlie and Theresa (cousins) sharing a trike.

Brian taking the jackets off of the coat rack for everyone to see.

Lucio and I playing music while Charlie stares admiringly at his grandpa.

Stephanie and Michelle dancing around after dinner. It was hilarious to watch people dance, not because anyone was bad at it, but because it was very well coordinated and easy for people to pick up. They totally looked like back-up dancers.

It was really fun to spend thanksgiving with family, even if it wasn't ours.