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…

Fallas Festival 2022 (Part 1)

Michael and I had never heard of the Fallas festival. I now know that if I ever found a book called “Top 100 festivals around the world,” Fallas would probably be in the Top 10. But Michael and I don’t care much for crowds. We’re not ones to travel for a festival that attracts hordes…

Best Moments of 2021

I am aware that for many people 2021 is not a year they’ll remember fondly. So I am all the more grateful to have so many happy moments to share with you—many related to the fact that 2021 was the year Michael and I finally made our dream of living abroad come true. So, without…

There’s a First Time For Everything. . .

“I brought a bunch of them back from the UK,” a woman at the July Expat picnic told me. This was the first I’d heard of DIY Covid tests. The concept was–literally–foreign to me. The woman went on to explain that, in order to visit family in the UK, she had to test herself multiple…

A Taste of America

“What foods do you miss?” one of my students asked me. It gave me great pause . . . I couldn’t think of anything. “Well, I miss the chocolate balls I used to make, but that’s because we don’t have a food processor, not because I don’t have the ingredients,” I said. But I kept…