Friday, July 15, 2016

Spanish Life {Our House}

Finally -- a tour of our house -- with pictures!

Going into the house hunting we didn't really know what to expect, but we knew we wanted to be in Rota -- closer to the base, I spent 6 weeks getting to know the whole town while living in the hotel, we had made friends in Rota, we fell in love with the community.  We had a few house wants -- we did not really care to have a yard.  I know this seems weird, but with all the bugs a yard produces, the maintenance and the beach so close, it just wasn't on our wish list.  We did want a dedicated guest room so that we always had a space for people to stay.  We wanted at least three other bedrooms in case we decide to have a second baby while here.  I felt like we were picky, but also reasonable with our house hunting.  We looked at about ten houses and finally settled on our home!

We are located in the newer part of town, but still just a 15 minute walk to the old town (and about 7 minutes to the beach).  We live extremely close to the grocery store and I always walk -- it would take me longer to drive and park than to walk!  We live in a quiet area with Spanish neighbors on either side of us (I think we are only 1 of 3 American families on our street).  We actually live on the same street as three of Trevor's Spanish co-workers which is very fun -- we see them a lot and it makes it feel like we truly live and belong here!

Our house is much larger than what you would expect to find in a European city -- but remember, we are in a small town, space is easily available and the town caters very well to Americans.  We could easily have found an apartment in the old part of town or down by the beach, but that wasn't what we wanted.  We also live in a townhome, but not like anything you'd see in the states.  We share one wall and hardly ever hear our neighbors and our patio is connected to the houses next to and behind us -- this is a very common set up in Rota.  While I would have preferred to live in a stand alone house, I am perfectly happy in our townhouse (four stories and all)!

HUGE note -- our house is NEVER this clean, but it had just been cleaned so I took advantage and took pictures!  I purposely didn't take "stylish" pictures because I wanted to give you all the perspective of our space.  Sometimes those stylish pictures, while pretty, don't always show the true space.  I also didn't take pictures of every room because that would be boring -- just a few to show you what things are like here in Spain.

So while our house is much larger than anything we had in the states, it is also very Spanish.  We have 6 foot walls around our patio/house with a gate where you have to be buzzed in and bars on all of our first floor windows -- this is how every single house is here -- for privacy and safety (but Rota has a very low crime rate and I've never felt unsafe).

our gate & walls

All of our windows have persianas which are essentially black out shutters on the outside of the windows.  They are used primarily to keep the house/rooms cool during the midday heat and it sure helps -- and also keeps the rooms very dark in the morning when the Spanish are still sleeping but the sun is up....  Or very dark for us Americans in the evening when we are sleeping but the sun is still out!
a little peek-a-boo from our Peanut

There is no such thing as open concept so each room is closed off and separate from each other.  It took some getting used to, but it works -- most of our rooms (except our basement, bathrooms, and kitchen) have their own air unit so we can really cool down or heat up one room.  Everything is tile.  It gets so hot in the summer that the tile keeps everything cool.  It also keeps things cool in the winter too, but that is when we turn on the heat!

our living room is large so we have half living room (with some toys) and half dining room

Our kitchen and bedrooms are a little larger than most houses (both selling points for us) -- I was very happy when all of our large, American furniture fit in the bedrooms!

Allmof our bathrooms have a bidet which Serafina just loves to play with (she will say NO then turn it on -- oh toddlers!).

We have a very large basement (basements are common because they are so cool in the summers) but ours is abnormally large.  We've made one area a storage room while the rest of the basement is Serafina's playroom and a TV area -- one day we will organize the storage area better, one day!

yes, we have a bar in our basement (with an extra fridge!)

We don't have a garage (I had wanted one, but oh well) and our "yard" is a small(ish) U-shaped patio that includes our carport.  I am very lucky and have a small room off the kitchen that acts as our pantry/laundry room -- most Spanish houses don't have a laundry room.  This was a huge selling point for me.

You'll notice that we don't have a lot of pictures/decorations up -- we have decided to not hang a lot of our stuff from the states and instead find new things for our house on our travels!  We've already picked up a small rug from Morocco :)

So there you have it -- we love our house and are very happy with our choice.

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