April 21, 2015: One Day at Home

Dominica got up at nine thirty and right as she did Luciana sneaked downstairs and climbed into bed with me and immediately fell right asleep in Dominica’s warm spot.  So I stayed in bed for a little while since Luciana was being so adorable.

Today is our only “down day” for the entire week.  We have a lot going on!  We just got back from Cádiz yesterday afternoon and tomorrow we are driving to Córdoba in the morning and taking the AVE high speed rail to Madrid pretty much as soon as we get there and get things figured out.  Then two days in Madrid and two more days in Córdoba before getting back to our village on Sunday night.  Dominica put in a lot of time working on those plans today to get everything ironed out.  It is going to be an expensive week for us.

Dominica also worked on getting everything finalized for our Norwegian Cruise Lines cruise from Buenos Aires to Santiago (Valparaiso) going around the tip of South American in February.  Because we are in Spain the company’s phone options do not seem to work.  We were only able to reach them in French, for some reason.  So she had to put in a bit of work dealing with that today but did manage to figure it out and we are pretty much all set now and very much looking forward to that cruise which is now less than a year away!  As amazing as it is that we are living in Europe now and as amazing as that was previously that we would be able to do this that we will be in South America in just eight months and doing this cruise that we have been talking about doing for forever in ten months is a little unreal.

The sun was out this morning and it was pretty nice.  Our first time with a sunny day here in the village for quite some time.  Liesl and I did some of her school outside on the terraza.  She has missed having the sunlight.

Dominica made an attempt at doing the laundry today as we have been running low on clothes since it has been so damp and cold that there was no way for things to have dried.  Today was the chance to get a lot done.  Sadly, by early afternoon the sun had left and the clouds were back and nothing was drying.  By evening she had everything draped over chairs and railings around the house with fans and electric radiators running trying to get them to dry.  Hopefully there will be dry clothes to take with us tomorrow.  Five days of travel is going to be a pain if we have laundry issues to contend with as well.

Ryan confirmed today that he was able to get his passport dealt with and has finalized his plans and we will be seeing him here in Andalucia in less than two weeks.  He is only coming for a few days as that was all that he was able to schedule so last minute.

We are also expecting Rachel to be here to visit us soon.  She is leaving Wales and heading for Dover at the end of this week to take the ferry, I think, over to France and then hitching her way across France and hoping that I can pick her up on the Spanish side of the border in about two weeks.

I managed to get in over an hour on Rosetta Stone today.  And some DuoLingo.  I hit level seven there today.

We had to get to bed on the early side tonight.  Laundry had to be brought inside still damp because it got cloudy during the evening and there is always the chance of rain at night and the likelihood of dew in the morning.  Dominica hung the laundry everywhere that she could, like on chairs and railings, and set up an oscillating fan and an electric radiator to see if that would do the trick during the night.

I spent the day working from the main floor, instead of from the kitchen, as Dominica has found it impossible to do anything with me being in the kitchen in the way all day long.  There just is not enough room at our tiny little table there.

We got to bed around midnight, early for us.  Tomorrow is an early day.  Our plan is to drive to Córdoba in the morning so that we have plenty of time to deal with the train and get up to Madrid and get into our apartment so that I can work in the evening.  There is a lot to be done.  Dominica is tired tonight and decided to save the packing for the trip until tomorrow.

Tomorrow starts our longest time away from the house in Cáñar since we first arrived in Spain.  We will be gone for five days leaving first thing tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and being in Madrid all day Thursday and Friday, then all day in Córdoba on Saturday and Sunday.  We did not want to pay for Sunday night in Córdoba because it is so crazily expensive in that city (we have no idea why) so we are going to put in a very full day on Sunday and drive home late at night.  We figure that that will save us easily well over one hundred dollars.

We’ve hit “pricetag” parity with the US. The Euro is SO weak against the dollar that the exchange rate is 1:1.06. Since in Europe the price is the price (a one Euro item costs exactly one Euro) and since everywhere we live in the US tacks on seven cents (roughly) in tax to every dollar – which is slightly worse than the exchange rate, it means that a one Euro price tag costs us exactly the same amount as something with a one dollar price tag would in the US! It makes price matching really easy.

Rapidly life in Europe is becoming very, very inexpensive.  Food here is costing us almost nothing compared to food in the US.  And we are getting so much better food.  Now that the dollar and the Euro are nearly identical we are going really far on our money.  This is really wonderful.