August Update…

Well we are in our fourth week of living in our apartment in the Gracía area of Barcelona. Things we like about the apartment: beautiful hardwood floors, great air flow, scenic views from the terrace and back windows, solid Wi-Fi connection, general atmosphere of the neighborhood, and the fact that we’re the second highest floor in the building. Things we are not as in love with: lack of AC, oven, toaster, microwave, dishwasher, dryer, toaster oven, TV, and elevator.  Some of these aspects are just par for the course with living in Spain – hardly anyone has a drying machine for clothes, hence the clotheslines that dangle from nearly every balcony and window.  While some shortcomings are more annoying to deal with, like the fact of not having anything more than a stove; as someone who is attempting to learn how to cook, this presents some unique challenges on a daily basis.  I have started a Pinterest board titled “Cooking Realistically,” which only hosts pins of dishes one can make using only what we have at our actual disposal currently.

Anyways, since we last spoke Cass and I have been taking it relatively easy around here. I have enjoyed having the time to watch several movies that have been on my mental to-watch list for quite some time, including: Ted, The Bodyguard, No Country For Old Men, The Place Behind the Pines, Despicable Me, and Moonrise Kingdom.  Hopefully, next on the agenda are: Despicable Me 2, Motorcycle Diaries, Saving Private Ryan, and Beaches.

I also just finished reading Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon, which turned out to be a thought provoking, introspective, and delightful read. My good friend Woody had lent me the book along with his highest recommendation. At first I wasn’t sold because it was slow at the beginning and it’s not often that you read a book about a book, but sure enough it proved to be wholly worthwhile.  I think bits and pieces of the book will stay with me. Next up on the literature front is John Irving’s The Cider House Rules, thanks to the recent care package from my mom; I am really excited to get started on that one!

Otherwise, like I said I have been learning how to cook slowly.  At this point, I can make hash browns, patatas bravas, chicken salad, various types of pasta, chicken tenders, and homemade mac & cheese basically on my own. Thankfully, Cass is patient and puts up with my dumb questions about anything kitchen related. One step at a time people, one step at a time.

Tomorrow we have our first job interview out here, all thanks to our dear friend Xavi. He hooked us up with a group interview at Kids&Us – Sant Cugat so keep your fingers crossed for us on that! It would be nice to have an income again. Although I have been a bit under the weather this week, I am looking forward to a great weekend ahead of us!  On Saturday, Cass, Clare, and I are going on an all day excursion of kayaking, snorkeling, and cliff jumping in Costa Brava. Since Sunday is the first Sunday of September, we might try to hit up the Picasso Museum then because it’s free all day. Sunday night we’re having Clare’s despedida at our place – might do a Mexican themed evening. Clare leaves Monday and then Fino arrives in BCN on Wednesday so that is exciting!!! Good things to come folks. XO

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