Life Lessons

“Cannolis!” Michael exclaimed, seeing them stacked behind the glass. “Eh,” I said. “What do you mean, ‘eh’? You love cannolis.” “But those are pre-filled,” I explained “So?” “So who knows how long ago they filled them. The shells are probably soggy by now.” And so it was that I taught Michael one of the most…

Modern Family

“Do you want to stop for any bakery stuff?” Dad asked me. He was driving me to JFK to catch my flight back to Spain. It was 4:20pm. We’d only left the house twenty minutes ago. “Nah, I’m good, but if you want to stop. . . “ “No, I don’t need anything,” he said….

Printing the Internet

“Have you seen those insurance commercials where the doctor talks about how he can’t stop you from becoming your parents?” my friend Lois asked me. I googled them. And realized I had seen them. Because I’ve spent the last two weeks at my parents house and they actually still watch television with commercials. Two nights…

Airing the Laundry: Part 3

Back in November, I learned that our summer-sun-drenched-terrace is not so sun-drenched in the winter. In fact, about the time the clocks change in the fall, our terrace is reduced to just an hour or so per day of sun—and usually that hour has passed by the time I wake up. And so it was…

Tales from the Terrace: The Clothesline (or Airing the Laundry: Part 2)

We didn’t know if we’d be required to remove our newly-purchased porch furniture from our building’s communal terrace, but that didn’t stop Michael from moving forward with his next plan for the terrace: a laundry line. After the near-debacle of drying our clothes in the cement air vent in Oviedo, we’d become more proficient at…

Tales from the Terrace

A knock on the door. Michael opens it to find a thirty-something woman standing before him. Rapid fire Spanish bursts from her mouth and Michael, having arrived in Spain just six weeks earlier, is mystified. “No entiendo,” he manages to get out, which only means, “I don’t understand,” so the woman starts to explain it…

Solo Travel 101 (Thank you, Mr. Briggs and Ms. Troccia)

My first trip “across the pond” was led by my 11th grade English and Social Studies teachers Mr. Briggs and Ms. Troccia. We saw all the major sites: the Tower of London, Stonehenge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theater. But the most important thing I was given on that trip? An adult’s belief in my ability to navigate…

A Friendship Story

I scanned the shelves of the refrigerated case. Fanta. Aquarius. Pineapple juice. But no orange juice. And then I remembered: I’m in Spain. I turned to the counter and there it was: a pile of oranges in a square tub atop the now-recognizable-to-me juicer. Every bar/coffee shop in Spain has one, even here in the…

“No pasa nada”

3:55 p.m.: I open the door to our terrace trying to figure out if I need a coat at this hour of the day. I love that I live in a place where this is a valid question in February. Deciding it may get chilly as the sun is on it’s way down, I put…

Not All Is As It Seems (or A Morning Walk—València style)

“Want to go for a walk?” I asked Michael. After a four-day vacation in northern Spain it was time to reacquaint ourselves with our neighborhood and our routines. We showered, dressed and were out the door at 11am. This might seem like a late start to most Americans–myself included. But things are different here. We…