We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming of painfully-slow-cruise-recap to bring you up to snuff on the latest happenings.
Namely, La Primavera
Spring, glorious Spring. Me encanta.
Don't be hatin' the italicized Spanish. Yes, it's a bit pretentious, but I'm surrounded by it.
Spanish, not pretentiousness.
Oh, is spring ever gorgeous here in Madrid! Although to be fair, I love spring everywhere. It brings out the best of any location, don't you think?
It's still a bit nippy in the mornings, but perfectly warm and sunny in the afternoons.
Today after school we changed out of uniforms and took popsicles to the park. Madrid's most famous park is just 2 blocks from our piso, which is wonderful.
Derek is into fútbol now, like any good Spanish lad, and so he and Josh have a great time kicking the ball around. There's a nice playground right where we enter the park, and everything is just so green and pretty now.
I've heard about how hot it gets here in July and August, so I'm guessing we'll be spending some time in the shade there, and playing in the fountains.
Tomorrow we have a meeting with Derek's teachers again (they do parent conferences 4 times a school year!) and we're looking forward to hearing how sweet and loveable he is.
What? It's true. And I'm only slightly biased because he's a mama's boy. ;)
And I think he's handsome even with bedhead.
He bounds down the steps at school every day with a huge smile, waving to everyone he knows, even though he just left their sides. "Hola Carlos! Hola Pablo! Hola Maria! Hola Paula!"
(I'm not being stereotypical, those really are the names of his classmates. There are several Marias, actually. The Spanish are traditional with their names.)
Things I love about 5 year old Derek
Everything makes him happy.
A fruit snack is the greatest surprise ever.
His Spanish accent is really good.
He lives to find a seat on the Metro. When someone vacates theirs, he will let nothing stop him from being the first to squeeze his little toosh into it, forget about it old lady-- you're too slow.
Then he will grin at me and announce his victory.
Then he will forgive me for making him give his seat to the old lady.
He has never been an "I have to do it myself" kind of kid, which is often convenient. And often not.
But he is now, reliably and successfully, wiping his own bottom. (Angel choir sings hallelujah.)
There are many, many more things to add to the list, but I'll save it for another time.
And quite frankly, it's hard to top that last one when you have a kid who is prone to early-morning bowel movements on Saturday mornings.
I mean, really, who does that?
We had a busy, fun weekend. On Saturday we tried out the zoo for the first time. It was really nice, and it even has a small aquarium which just about rocked Derek's world. You might recall he is a bit of an ocean-animal enthusiast.
It also has the most prolific baboon area I have ever seen. We saw lots of disgusting things going on.
Baboons are kind of gross. Entertaining, but gross.
Then, since we live on the wild side, we walked from the zoo over to the Parque de Atracciones (the amusement park) for just a couple of rides.
I will have to bring a camera next time to show you the crazy things that my 7 year old enjoys. Things that make me nauseous just to watch. And things that make me fear for her life. She totally surprises me with that! She can often be so cautious, but I guess roller coasters are just her thing. Brave girl!
Then on Sunday afternoon, we tried out the Teleférico, which is the last thing on the passes we bought that we hadn't tried yet. (They're also good for a much-reduced entry to the local waterpark, but that's not open yet.)
The Teleférico is an aerial cable car that takes you over the western part of the city, including Casa de Campo park. There's a playground and restaurant at the top of the ride, and pretty views along the way.
We could see the Palacio and Almudena Catedral in the distance.
Josh getting some love from his girl.
Josh appears to be the only one capable of giving proper enthusiasm to my picture taking.
At the playground...
When we headed out for our outing, the metro was empty, as is often the case on weekend days. When we headed home, it was a miserable mass of humanity. Must have been some fútbol going on.
You'd be amazed how many people can fit in that space. You really get to know each other well. I can even tell what people just ate for lunch.
Personal space in Europe-- I'm still adjusting.
Overall, we are totally thrilled with this opportunity and are enjoying it as much as possible. We know this is just a short season in our lives and we are grateful to have it and are making many happy memories.
I am also capable of see the cup as half-empty: It's all downhill from here.