Monday, February 11, 2013


So my camera still hasn't made its tour of the piso yet. It's a domino effect-- I wanted to put the finishing touches on the rooms first, but for that we need a few things from IKEA.

Yep, there's IKEA here.

Apartments here do not come with everything that you would expect in the states. Case in point, light fixtures. We got lucky because our bedrooms, hallways, bathrooms, and kitchen all have recessed lighting installed. But the two big living areas have nothing but wires hanging where light fixtures need to be installed.
So we need to buy those, as well as rugs since the whole piso has wood floors.

Speaking of which, my heels hurt constantly. We walk a ton, and then there's no soft flooring to come home to. I think I need the world's cushiest pair of slippers.

So we need those things to put the finishing touches on the house, but we also need our car to bring said items home from the store.

And our car is in southern Spain, about 4 hours by high-speed train.
We all need to go down to pick it up, becuase there is a US Naval base there and they are set up to facilitate our Spanish drivers licenses that we need before we can take our car.

But we can't go there yet, because Josh's work unit in Germany is trying to figure out the funding for the trip down there and there have been a couple of snags.

Did you keep up with all of that?

No pictures because-- House not "finished" because-- Need IKEA stuff but first-- Need Car but first-- Need approval for funding from Germany.

Pretty much everything we try to do here is about that complicated.

But I will appease you with this, our building:

And they roll out the red carpet for us daily:

The kids love the glass-walled elevator. 

Did I tell you that our piso has 5 bathrooms? It does.
Every bedroom has it's own bathroom and shower, plus there's a half-bath off the kitchen. I kind of wish there were a couple less bathrooms and the rooms were a bit bigger instead, but it's fine. There's one bathroom that we've decided not to use at all, and two showers that we've declared off-limits to prevent unnecessary cleaning.

The piso was remodeled right before we moved in, so everything was new-- new oven, stovetop, dishwasher, washer, closets, bathrooms, floors. Nice :)

There are 7 different smallish balconies, beautiful details in the ceilings of the living spaces, and overall we feel that we've reached our peak in housing at too young an age.
It's bound to be all downhill from here.

We are beginning to settle into a routine. The kids go to school via the metro and home by the city bus. The metro is not too crowded in the morning, and it's a downhill walk from the station to their school.
It gets busier in the afternoons, and so we avoid the crowds by taking the bus home. Our passes work for both systems, so it's convenient to choose whatever works best at the moment.

Today while the kids were at school, I did some shopping and checked out one of the public libraries.
I was so proud of myself-- I managed to obtain a library card.
It's amazing how euphoric I feel when I accomplish anything in Spanish.
I paid my bill at the restaurant! I asked if they had my size in the shirt! I told the lady at the flower shop she gave me the wrong change! I am SUPER ERIN!


I usually eat out for lunch, because the menu del dia is awesome, and because I only get to live in Spain for eighteen months. I can go back to sandwiches and baked lays when I return to the U.S, right?
Besides, the dinner hour here is so late that we never eat dinner out. 

When Josh was in Germany I found a menu del dia for under 7 euro, which is the cheapest I've come across. So naturally I've eaten there 3 times in a week.

The menu is different every day; you get to pick from several choices for your first plate and second plate, and it comes with bread, a drink, and dessert or coffee to choose from at the end of the meal.

Today for primeros, I had a yummy lentil soup. Segundos was a mushroom omelet. I've been choosing coffee over desert, to try to be a good girl.
And maybe also because they bring a whole bottle of wine to the table and I've already drank my calories.

It's always a lot of delicious, home-cooked food. 

If you're thinking, Gosh, Erin. It sounds like all you do during the day is wander Madrid, shop, and eat out... Well.

You'd be right.

Come visit.


Joyce said...

It is amazing how proud you feel for accomplishing something that would have been a no brainer 'at home'.

I say eat out all you can. You are right-eighteen months will go by in a flash. Soak it all up!

E & J said...

Crocs are the best indoor slippers. They don't get all squished down after a couple weeks. Sounds like a great time so far! Get some touring in! Your time there will be over before you know it :)

Skoots1moM said...

used to date a man who would get to do his yearly in Madrid...he LOVED it! he brought me jewelry and LLADRO :)

Sandy said...

Yeah...I draw the line at cleaning two bathrooms!

D&S said...

Phew, girl - I'm so proud of you for being able to converse enough to get those little things (that really aren't so little) done! Woo hoo! Our new home has all ceramic tile floors, so I hear you on the ouchie heels... get rugs and spring for the good quality pads for underneath. Your ankles will thank you - as will your kids when they sit down to play games!

Nicole said...

Hi Erin,

It's Nicole, from Pass the Ham (I always feel odd writing that!)

Anyway, I was just about to send you an email to see if you wanted to meet up sometime next week.

I also wanted to tell you that Ikea does have a delivery service if you didn't want to wait to pick up your car. They do charge a fee, but it's not too expensive.

Anyway, I'm glad you're having a good time getting to know the city. Cheap 'menus del dia' are the best!


Anonymous said...

Yea! I remember my feet hurting in Korea! Ouchie! Save a bathroom for the McDs! We want to come visit soon! Do you know anything about getting futbol tickets? Barcelona vs Madrid would be dream come true! Does the Euro ITT sell them? Travel time would be based around ticket availability..... Naturally! So excited for you!

Jen McD

Anonymous said...

Manchester United vs Barcelona play Aug 8th!

Anonymous said...

Of 2012...... One should be better with her google search!

Taylor said...

Still jealous.