Cell Phones in Spain

Here is a little informative post for anyone who stumbles onto this blog looking for information about living in Spain, specifically on Naval Station Rota (NavSta Rota).

Pretty much everyone here uses prepaid cell phones.  If you have a quad band phone (that is unlocked) you should be able to use it here. We accumulated cell phones quite a bit while stateside so we had a few to choose from, our blackberry works just fine.

The cell phone company of choice is Movistar, they have a small store in the Navy Exchange where you can go purchase a SIM card that includes some minutes. The SIM card is either $20 or 20 Euro, I forget.

If you don’t have a phone that will work here they sell phones in the store as well, you can get a pretty basic phone with SIM for $30-40.  They don’t have a huge selection, I don’t think there are too many phones with camera or any smartphones there to choose from.

After that you just have to keep going back to put money onto your phone, the minutes go pretty quick and you can’t let your balance sit at zero for more than a month or your number will expire.  We’ve never had a problem with the service, its worked great all over Europe.

Pretty much everyone goes through cell phone withdrawal when they get here. I didn’t have my own phone for the first two years, we had a cell phone for the house which we pretty much only took with us if we were going for a drive in case of an emergency.  To go from having unlimited talking and texting to having to pay for every single call or text sucked! I know there are plans available but I believe you need to have a Spanish bank account to get one. I don’t know anyone with a plan so I can’t give details.


10 Day You Challenge ~Eight Fears~

These are the worst! Doesn’t everyone have the same fears? Anyways, here goes:

8) Loosing my teeth, bizarre but I have this nightmare every once in a while and it freaks me out.

7) Spiders, without question. HATE them. So glad my four year old son will now kill them for me.

6) Driving off a bridge with my kids in the car.  I got in a pretty bad accident on a bridge when I was a kid. An 18-wheeler hit our little car and I thought we were going to fall off. The worst! Now I’m really paranoid about going off a bridge, its really insane. I think about how I will get the kids out of the car, my oldest can swim so now I don’t have to worry about trying to swim with two children, its so crazy that I really think about this!

5) Millipedes in my shoes. Happened once as a kid, now I have to shake my shoes out anytime they are left outside.

4)Losing my family photos. Really shouldn’t happen. *knock on wood* I have everything backed up and I am about to double back up by sticking it all in cloud storage.

3) Losing my family. Yuck can’t think about it.

2) That our orders to Hawaii will get cancelled.

1) That by they time I’ve really figured out this deal called adulthood, I am going to be heading into middle age!

Avoiding the Christmas to do list…

I am feeling VERY overwhelmed by Christmas this year.

I LOVE this holiday, I love decorating, shopping, baking, cooking, all of it.

For some reason I am just not getting excited this year. Maybe its the fact that this is the first year that I am working outside of the home full time… That plus school is just making me wonder where on earth I am going to find the time to pull everything out and get the shopping done.

I keep seeing facebook posts from my friends who got all their shopping done on Black Friday and had their decorations up this past weekend. Good for you, I am hoping to have my tree up before Christmas and hope everyone I have to buy for has a wish list on Amazon.

Maybe once I get my decorations out I’ll feel a little more into the season, but at this point I am feeling very grinchy toward Christmas! Isn’t Santa supposed to take care of all the kids toys anyways?

On Hoarding Seasonal Creamer…

I live on a military base in Spain.  As far as grocery stores go, we have the commissary on the base and numerous Spanish grocery stores off base.  While we do shop at groceries stores off base sometimes (the produce, booze and meat selection is better) it starts to get pretty pricey when you have to pay for everything in Euro.

So for the most part we shop at our commissary. The selection is okay as long as you don’t start getting too adventurous in you cooking.  Its nice, we can get our American brands, which is especially nice around the holidays.

One problem is that seasonal items go quickly, REALLY quickly. So when I FINALLY saw the holiday creamers on the shelf yesterday (doing my third ‘one last thing’ Thanksgiving shop) I grabbed 6. Three pumpkin and three sugar cookie.  Plus I have two vanilla toffee that we just started getting in stock. Also three quarts of eggnog.

I have a problem. The family will drink the eggnog no problem, in fact my kids will drink it with lunch if I let them.  However, I am the only coffee drinker in my house and now have a shit load of coffee creamer that isn’t going to last forever.  So I have been doing what any rational person would do, I am drinking about 8 cups of coffee a day.

Should keep me motivated for all that cooking I am about to do today!

10 Day You Challenge ~9 Loves~

This should be easy, I love a lot of things!

9) Food! Particularly steak. Its my favorite food and I could eat it every day.  I’m lucky because Spain has GREAT beef!

8) Baking in general with a heavy emphasis on pie. Homemade apple pie. One of the reasons I am looking forward to the holiday season, more pie!

7) Gardening. This is a new one and it is kind of a love/hate. I really enjoy doing it when I have the time and energy for it but it stresses me out when I have a weedy flowerbed and no time to deal with it.

6) Watching documentaries. My husband and I are both just a little obsessed.

5) My dog. As crazy as he makes me he is adorable and so much fun to play with. He’s great with the kids and LOVES to wrestle and play fetch.

4) Traveling. I love exploring, getting lost, eating new foods and walking around strange cities.  Living in Europe has given us so many opportunities to travel… In the past three years we have been to France, Germany, Italy, England, Tunisia, the Canary Islands, Gibralter,  as well as a Seville, Barcelona, Marbella, and many other Spanish cities.  My kids could care less, they would rather hang out at home!

3)  Shoes. I am a little crazy with the shoes. My problem is that I buy Saturday night shoes instead of Tuesday morning shoes. So I have a closet full of impractical strappy sandals.

2) Reading. This is one past time that no matter how busy I get I have to read.  It doesn’t matter if it cuts into my sleep, I have to read before I go to bed.

1) My insane family. I love them all so much and can’t imagine having them around.

Date night!

So tonight is my belated birthday/anniversary dinner out with my husband… I think I finally decided to go out to Bar Jamon.  I’ll have to take some pictures of what I end up ordering.

Took one of my friends to the mall today, Las Dunas in Sanlucar.  I LOVE that mall, H&M, Sfera, Zara, Casa and 100 Montaditos, my favorite sandwich place ever!  Picked up some new fall stuff, some 10 euro jeans at H&M, managed not to just buy a crapload of stuff for the kids like I usually do.  For anyone moving to Rota, don’t worry that you won’t have anywhere to shop. Between Las Dunas, El Paseo and Area Sur mall (all within 20 minutes) you are set. Plus if you want to drive a little further out you can hit El Corte Ingles which is a department store similar to Macy’s.

Tried not to buy TOO much winter stuff since hopefully this will be my last winter for awhile! I actually don’t ever really like to wear winter clothes. Not a huge fan of long sleeves or sweaters. I generally wear short sleeves and then layer!  I really wanted to buy some flat leather boots but all the ones I found were around 130 Euro which translates to a hell of a lot of dollars. Ouch. I’ll have to put them on my Christmas list!

Off to get ready so I can go pick up the sitter, while I LOVE my sitter I really really wish she could drive!