One pack out completed!

We really are starting to get down to the wire. When I stop to think how few days we actually have left my heart hurts and I feel like I am going to have a panic attack!

I am SO not ready to leave Spain! It’s our home, it’s where my baby grew up, it’s where my daughter knows every kid she sees. I am hopeful that one day we will come back because I love it so much here.

Also, holy crap, the amount of things that need to happen from this point until we actually are in Hawaii are a bit overwhelming. I am STILL trying to figure out if we are actually going to be able to take the dog with us. The way the airlines work in the summer drives me crazy. I know that they are strict in the summer to try and minimize risk to your pet but we really have limited options! I *think* I’ll be able to get him on a United Cargo flight from Madrid to Honolulu, and I am just hoping that we can get an early enough flight from Jerez to Madrid that the heat isn’t a problem. 

Anyways, today we had our Unaccompanied Baggage/Express Shipment pack out. It should hopefully be there in 30 days so if we do (by some miracle) find a house in that amount of time we’ll have some basics to hold us over (along with the furniture from the housing office) 

Basically I just packed one of my multiples of everything I had in the kitchen, linens to include sheets, towels, hand towels, air mattresses, a tv, toys/games/bikes for the kids, a playstation for games/dvd player, a vacuum (we got rid of all of our area rugs and are down to tile here). Really just trying to lessen the amount of stuff we’ll have to buy on the other end. Shopping for the sake of shopping is fine, buying stuff you already own because you can’t get to it is the worst!

After the packers were done they did a quick walk through of the house to see how much stuff they have for when they come back for our big pack out. I’m sitting at my table crossing my fingers and praying they won’t open the closets… nope there they go peeking into the closets. Oh well. They are better than they used to be. 

Still need to clean out the lawnmower and firepit and patio furniture and power wheels. Also trying to get rid of as much stuff as possible. The thrift store is going to love me in the upcoming weeks!

Mother’s Day Weekend Recap

We had a fun weekend, took the dog to the beach, went to feria in Jerez, then out to dinner for Mother’s Day at Blanca Paloma, aka my happy place.

My kidlets were threatened that they better be on their best behavior so I could enjoy my favorite dinner, the beautiful day, and the sunshine. They did great, iPods and Nintendo DS’s helped.

 

Me and crazy pants. He demanded a silly photo.

The salad of my dreams. Fresh mozzarella, fresh pesto, sun-dried tomatoes. So, so good. I also had some bruchetta with tomato, provolone and feta.  No pictures of that because it was inhaled.

Happy Mom’s Day to me! I swear I don’t always have bitch face!

On our way out, the beach was PACKED when we got there and empty by the time we left. It was a beautiful day!

On Saturday a friend of mine and I took our boxers to the beach. This whole area is under water at high tide but at low tide there is a TON of room for them to run.  Swimming isn’t allowed so it stays empty and we can let the dogs run and they don’t bother anyone.

 

Bowser decided to cool off and get into the water. He’s never done this before, but once he realized how much it cooled him off he didn’t want to get out!  I don’t even know if he can swim! We’ll have to see this summer!

All three puppies! Bowser loves his buddies!

In the amount of time that we were there (maybe an hour total walking) I got sunburned! This Spanish sun is NO JOKE!

Ending the day on a low note…

This morning I started out positively sad about our pending move. I am ready to dig my heels in and just stay here a little while longer. It didn’t help that it got up to a gorgeous 85 degrees today, nice and sunny with summer right around the corner.

Then…

I have to listen to yet ANOTHER person complaining about how much they hate this base. I am so over it. While we chose to move here there are those people who didn’t have a choice. Or maybe this base just wasn’t what they had in mind. But to LOUDLY complain about practically every aspect of the base, not a good enough selection at the commissary/exchange, not enough for kids to do, not enough child care options, it just annoyed the crap out of me!

We don’t live in America, we live in Spain. There might possibly come a point where you have to pull up your big girl panties and step off base! Amazingly there are stores in Spain that sell food and clothing! Cute clothing in fact! And the complaints you have about having to pay for it in euro? What the hell do you think that COLA is for??? It was just super annoying and I took it personally as I feel like I am a representative of the child care on base and that she was picking on me personally.  Even though she wasn’t, and at this point in time I really don’t care. I think it sad that instead of spending your time enjoying a place that some people save up and vacation to, all you can complain about is how horrible everything is.

And the other day someone told me they hated it here because there was no WalMart. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. You would rather shop at a trashy big box store (that has a twin here in Spain called Carrefour!!!!) than live here? Is buying stuff, random stuff that you don’t need and are only buying because you are bored, really THAT important to you?

Ending rant now, just had to get that out there. If you are moving to Spain, please be aware that it is a totally different country because apparently there are some people who think it should be ‘little America’. I swear if I hear the phrase “…at our LAST base…” one more time…

Odds and Ends…

So while I was trying to do something, ANYTHING, from working on my final research paper last night I decided to change the look over here… I have an idea in my head of how I would REALLY like it to look but I don’t know anything about web design and I really don’t want to put any money into what is really just an online scrapbook of my life. So for now my blog is trying on some new clothes and we’ll see how they fit.

My husband is begging me to buy sandwich bags. It’s pretty funny that this is even a conversation topic. I have become so anti-plastic that I don’t even know when the last time I bought ziploc bags was. Don’t get me wrong, we are no where near where we could be. Shit just has SO. MUCH. PACKAGING!

In other news my co-worker at the front desk is quitting. I don’t know what I am going to do. I am going to have to train her replacement and then my replacement. Ugh. Plus there is just SO much you have to be able to know how to do. We aren’t just answering phones up there! Hopefully they hire someone who is a fast learner! Plus I don’t know if I’ll be able to quit as early as I was going to. I am that crazy person who just can’t leave a mess behind at work. We’ll see about that because….

We STILL haven’t gotten our orders yet! I am getting more than a little bit stressed out because Lord knows PCSing isn’t stressful enough. Now we are down to3 months with no orders.  Honestly this wouldn’t be that big of a deal but we have to get the dog on the rotater (the military flight that flies back and forth every two weeks). Because he is a boxer he can’t fly commercial airlines in the summer time. The flights are full of dogs until June already and I reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaally don’t want to leave my baby behind!

Still haven’t started cleaning out our belongings or closets, I need to do that as well as pull the rest of the kids summer clothes out. I am hoping that when I start cleaning I will find my damn camcorder that I somehow placed somewhere stupid. I have a very bad habit of walking around with something in my hand and then setting it down. I once lost my coffee cup and couldn’t find it anywhere. Next day, I found it in the linen cabinet. Really?

Well now that I got that off my chest, have a wonderful Thursday!

 

El Bucarito! Our trip to the goat farm…

(Prepare for pictures from ANOTHER class field trip!)

Yesterday we took a field trip to a cute little goat farm that is literally minutes from base. I am kicking myself for never visiting before.  The farm grown their own feed (organically) and uses the goat manure to fertilize the fields. Love that.  They also have a variety of other animals including donkeys, pigs (black Iberian pigs – the ones that get turned into famous jamon!), and birds of prey.  The owners live on site and they were super friendly and the entire staff was absolutely wonderful to our visiting group.

On to the photos!

The farm! The pig area is on the left, the goat fields are on the right.  The store is the building half cut off on the right. (Taken on a moving bus so not the best shot.)

Happy Bus Rider.

As soon as we walked by the pasture the goats all ran over to us. (Because I am a nerd I immediately thought of the Jurassic Park line: “They’re flocking”. Yeah. Just me.)

Prepare yourself, this is a goat picture heavy post. But they are just so dang cute!

Ha. He kept trying to eat my camera. Goats are dumb. But very photogenic.

O admiring the goats from a distance. They were a little nibbley. (Also I think the kids necklaces should read: “If found please return to the CDC” but no one agrees with me.)

Budding grape vine. The farm had some vineyards as well as a small orchard.

Our guide and I couldn’t figure out what this was. I thought cherry (cerise is cherry right?) She thought not. Fruit tree blossoms look so similar. It was probably peach or plum. Or apple or pear. Who knows. My mom probably.

We pose in doors a lot.

I want this bbq area please.

This is the owners patio. What we would call a courtyard. I love Spanish patios. Especially plain rocks turned into something awesome with a little crapload of time.

Also red geraniums in old pots or barrels. Swoon.

All the ladies getting milked. Of the 2,000 goats they have on the farm, 1,200 give milk. Twice a day. It’s no wonder it’s all automated!

One of the babies in the kid room… They were SO cute!

Feeding pigs! We had to warn the kids to keep fingers off the fence. Those pigs will bite!  These pigs are the famous Iberian black pigs. The males who look promising are moved and fed acorns to give the Iberian jamon the distinctive flavor that it is famous for. (For which it is famous. Whatever.)

Also. These pigs are hard core. Nose rings for all! This actually keeps them from rooting and tearing up the pasture or fence line, but I prefer to think that they have punk rock pigs.

I love mules. That is all.

This farm also breeds birds of prey, including owls. So we got to pet this tiny, bitty, sweet, fluffy baby owl. “IT’S SO FLUFFY” (name that movie, if you can’t we can’t be friends)

O meet owl.

Tiny!

Not quite so cute and adorable but a beautiful bird.

Falconry demonstration. Please someone tell me, what the heck is keeping these birds from flying away? They aren’t domesticated dogs, they are wild birds with unclipped wings. Why do they come back? Are they just really well fed? I wish my Spanish didn’t suck ass so I could have talked to the trainer.

The kids all loved this cheese, it was sweet and creamy and mild. So good!

These were more for the adults, strong, firm and pungent.  The rosemary one was really good.

And the chorizo. Made from those adorable pigs we saw earlier.  Think of salami but better. This was excellent and the kids couldn’t get enough. I will be back for this as well as some fresh goat cheese!

Ana one of the teachers and a friend, got to get up close and personal with one of the adult owls.

So did Val. All the cuddling was freaking me out. I kept telling them the owl was going to eat their eyes. Get the damn bird out of your face!

Hello gorgeous!

Goodbye, el Bucarito! We’ll be back!

Directions:

Go out the Spanish gate (back gate on base) take a left. You should see the farm on the right in about 5 minutes. It is off one of the perimeter roads. Store is open seven days a week. Tours are available for groups but you have to call ahead. If you have a small group you can see the cheese making process.