25 July 2010

Moving In....Almost!

Hello to my much neglected blog and its readers!!
So much has gone on in the past few weeks.  We moved out of our downtown rental apartment into a colleague's home (they are away right now).  It was a nice change as we about tripled our living space!  Plus, our colleagues have kids and even a princess room that my girls have enjoyed!
I mentioned an apartment that we were hoping to get....which fell through.  At first it seemed unfortunate that we lost it.  It was a great location, but the landlord seemed to get a little greedy and seemed to change his tune when he saw we worked for a missionary organization.  That is obviously not a landlord we want!  We were frustrated that we were put off for 9 days!  The great thing is, God had something better in store for us!!!
Two weeks ago the agency that we were working with on the one that fell through had another one for us to see.  We walked in and were pleasantly surprised to see the landlords there to greet us.  This was the first apartment we walked through were the landlords were present.  After just a few minutes we discovered that the wife, and actual owner, of the apartment was American!!  We instantly loved the apartment and the landlords!!  And wouldn't you know, it's the complex RIGHT next door to the one that fell through!!  So we get to be in the area that we so desired!!!  Praise God!!
A week and a half later we signed the contract!!  She was so happy to have Americans renting her apartment and we were equally happy to know that if we had any concerns or needed help in the apartment that we will be able to easily communicate with our landlord.  Only the Lord could have put us together!!
After signing the contract we headed over to our new apartment to take a few measurements in the kitchen.  The only downside is we have to buy our own appliances.  However, I know that what we will be using will be new and clean and we get to pick it out ourselves.  And this Monday we will have our brand spanking new side by side refrigerator delivered!!!  This is the first time I have seen side by sides sold in Europe!!  Funny how something so common in America is a luxury for us here!!  Ha!!
Our contract is to start August 1, however, our landlord gave us the keys a week and a half early so we can get appliances and other necessities ordered and set up so we are ready to go when our things arrive from Prague.  Hopefully by mid-week next week.
And did I mention that she took us out for lunch after our contract signing?!
We hope to see much more of her and her husband!!
I've taken a few pictures, but they'll have to wait until next time.

04 July 2010

Downtown World

I thought I better update before I lose internet.  We move out of our vacation rental tomorrow to move into our second temporary location.  We have some colleagues away and we'll be staying at their place.  They've turned off their internet, so we will be without for awhile.
It's hard to believe we've been in Spain for 2 weeks now.  We found an apartment within our first few days here, but we are in the midst of working out details with the landlord.  We hope and pray we can make arrangements.  Most of it has to do with the fact that we don't have bank accounts set up to do what the Spanish call an aval.  It is kind of like a deposit, but a little different.  And we can't get bank accounts set up until we get our visas in order.
Anyway, it is in a great location in a suburb north of Madrid called Alcobendas (I learned in doing some research that Penelope Cruz is from Alcobendas!  Maybe I'll run into her or her family sometime!  Ha!).
The area of this apartment has lots of paths and play areas nearby!  We're excited to teach our kids how to ride a bike and swim!  Yes, that's right.  It has a complex pool!  The apartment is fairly average, but it is a good size and adding our own things to it should liven it up a bit.
So what have we been doing these past few days??
A little of this....

(chasing pigeons if you couldn't tell, one of their favorite outdoor activities!  Ha!)

A little of that....
(It's ok, everyone climbs on the statues)

We have sure been enjoying the Spanish night life!  I thought it might be difficult to transition to staying up later and eating later, but we've actually enjoyed it.  Especially the sleeping in until 9:30 or 10 am that our kids have been doing!!  Ha!!
Spaniards usually eat a light dinner at 10 pm.  We haven't eaten that late.  I try to stick to 7 or 8 pm for dinner.  We've been putting the kids to bed about 10 pm, sometimes later.  With the World Cup going on it's been a little later those evenings when we've been at some friend's home to watch Spain play.

We've taken some after dinner walks as we are very close to some of the squares downtown and it is so fun to see everyone out on the town, enjoying the parks or eating dinner.  I'm loving the night life.  And there are kids everywhere at that time of night!!
We've also been in walking distance to Madrid's Royal Palace (Palacio de Oriente).  They have a beautifully sculpted garden called Jardines del Palacio Real.  The kids had fun in the hedge mazes!

 Silly girl!!!

Another night we saw that some booths and a stage had been set up on Plaza de España (Spanish Square).  And I had to do a double take when I saw these!!

I'd never seen port-a-urinal before!!  Open ended for that matter!!  Oh my!!  I guess it's better than peeing on the street.....although I've seen that too!

I love this picture of Brennan.  It looks like such a paparazzi photo!  "Brennan B. seen in downtown Madrid in July 2010!!

 And when in Spain, do as the Spaniards!  We couldn't pass up buying a fan!!

Not sure when I'll be able to update the blog again without internet!  So farewell for now! 


  Deeper - adj. 1. extending or situated relatively far down from a surface: a deep pool. It's been a long time since I've ...