Sunday, July 24, 2016

What I Miss...

Well, we have been in Spain a little over five months.  In late February 2016, we left our home in Seattle and flew many miles to Spain.  It was a very rough first few weeks -- an extremely jet lagged toddler, living in a hotel, not knowing the language, missing family and friends and more.  However, I have come to love our new home and country and I am so very happy that we made this huge leap to move here.

And while I love Spain, there are still many things I miss about the states, so I thought I'd take the time to write down the five things I miss about the states (not including friends and family because those are obvious).  These are in no particular order except the first one... That is definitely my #1 miss -- again besides friends and family!

1) Target
Oh Target, how I love thee... and how I miss thee.  The amazingness that is Target just cannot be recreated.  Spain has stores like Target but it is not the same; nothing can compare to Target.  And sadly, this is pretty much what all of my new friends in Spain miss.  And before you tell me that there is always ordering online, Target is very weird about what they will and will not ship to us here in Spain* and ordering online just doesn't quite cut it!  So I am pretty sure the first place I will go whenever we head back to the states to visit will be Target!

2) Local Coffee Shops
Even though I am from Seattle, I prefer my coffee from my local coffee shops.  I desperately miss a true grande iced vanilla latte.  I can easily get a small espresso or drip coffee at a cafe here in Spain, but take away doesn't really exist and well, sitting and drinking a coffee doesn't really work with an active toddler.  And I don't want just coffee, I want an iced vanilla latte preferably from a drive-thru!  And if I was going to get real picky -- it would be from Caffe Ladro in Seattle or Latte On Your Way in Poulsbo.

3) Eating Dinner at an American Time
There are hardly any Spanish restaurants that serve dinner at a time that works for our family.  Remember everything in Spain is done at about 3 hours later than stuff in the states; dinner isn't eaten until after 9:00 at night (refresh your memory with this post about the Spanish daily schedule).  While we don't go out to dinner a lot, sometimes it is nice to go out on the weekends... Until you remember that no place is serving food at the time that works to go out to dinner (for our family).  While we have gotten fairly used to the Spanish schedule, there are still times when it can be frustrating.

4) The Rain
Now this may seem silly to most, but I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest.  I love the rain (not like rain everyday all day rain, but the spitting rain that often happens in Seattle).  I also love that the rain makes everything insanely green and gorgeous (Seattle is call the Evergreen State for a reason).  At our house in the states, we had unbelievable views of the Olympic Mountains.  When I worked in Seattle, I had insane views on my drive to work -- looking out over the Puget Sound and the city.  I miss those views.  The weather here in Southern Spain is much more tropical than I am used to -- air conditioning as become my best friend!  But whenever I need a PNW fix -- I always stalk my good buddy Andrea (check out her blog and Instagram to see her gorgeous pictures of the area I used to call home).

5) The Convenience of Amazon Prime
So without Target or stores where I know I can go to get items we need/want -- Amazon has become our go to.  We have been prime members for years (I don't understand how people are still not prime members but that's a whole other issue!) and I absolutely love the next day delivery -- pretty much a new mom's best friend in my opinion.  We use Amazon ALL.THE.TIME but the next day delivery doesn't exist -- things take about a week to get here.  So when you absolutely need something, like a new baby monitor that your toddler broke, you either have to find one in Spain (which for products like this is often a lot more expensive) or order online and wait a week.  It sucks, but we are pretty used to it by now (still doesn't mean I don't get a little upset when I have to wait a week for things we need).

Now, even though I miss these things about the states, most are very trivial and I do love the way of life here in Spain.  Everything is slower, more family oriented.  I love that whole families have lunch together daily and that they all go to the beach on the weekends and that they actually take vacation.  I love that children are celebrated and loved and expected to be heard.  Everywhere we go, Serafina is the star of the show -- everyone (even other kids) stop to talk to her, give her a hug or tell us how beautiful she is.  Almost everyone we have met in Spain is so nice and loves life -- I love it!  I love that we can hope in the car and go explore various cities within an hour of us that are so very different from the next town over.  I also love that we get to experience and immerse ourselves into a culture so very different from the one Trevor and I grew up in and I love that Serafina will be a world traveler (and hopefully fluent in Spanish) before the age of five!

And a picture of our Peanut enjoying a Sunday afternoon at the beach (and in true Spanish fashion, only wearing the bottoms of her swim suit)

*So everyone stationed overseas has an FPO/APO address which is essentially like a PO Box.  Therefore you can ship stuff to us for the same price as shipping something within the US -- however, our packages still have to pass through Spanish customs so many items will not ship here and many companies only ship limited items to FPO/APO addresses.

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