Book Bonanza!

February 19, 2007


Packing up, moving out, transition time is here! We got a whole load of new books & dvd’s for homeschool and pleasure, so it is feeling like a second Christmas. Mozart is beside herself with joy as books are like candy to her. She has already zipped thru a few. I get a lot of classics and know that she  will enjoy rereading them.

We are very thrilled with her Real Science-4-kids Chemistry and Standard Deviants Chemistry 1 and other new science dvds. I felt we needed a little more science in our home school on the road. One of these days
I will get my book and dvd list on this blog as I had to put a lot of work into the research, thus can save others time and effort. My lists are just not for home school, but many different areas.There is just not enough time in the day to do everything I want to do.

I researched and ordered the books and dvds and sent them to my Mom in California and then she got stuck with the job of sending them all here  in packages weighing less than four pounds. There is a little cheaper rate that way. I buy lots of second hand books (some for only a penny) so it works out better than buying from Amazon UK. I had planned on using them as we have put some money in pounds, but I do not have a credit card in pounds and they kill the dollar these days. English books here are just outrageous even in
the second hand shops and not the endless selection of home even in the bigger English book stores.

I would say the only negative thing so far about our travels is the lack of English libraries for my voracious reader. Oh, how I miss them! But we still have tons of books and there are many online and she can also read in Spanish, so we do fine. We are just spoiled and used to getting bags full weekly at our library.
We have a library in our village, but of course they are all Spanish books.

This kid always has her nose in a book...walks with them sometimes. When she wakes us up too early,
I hand her the headlamp (or she gets it) and she reads with it in the dark,while we sleep in a little. We
are bookaholics, so it is not a big surprise. Before we go to bed and read at night she often sits squeezed between us reading a book silently as we read and work on our laptops side by side. She always grabs something to read while she has her after school snack.

We brought a ton with us, had several large boxes waiting for us in Amsterdam and more in Spain that were sent via M-bag (which is the cheapest and slowest way to ship books). We have very little with us on our trip and sold tons of books before we left (kept the most precious),but the thing we have the most of is books, books and more books.

Now I have to find a way to sort thru them all and decide what will be stored here in Spain (books, toys and heavy winter clothes that were not even used this year) with friends and what can go with us for the next seven months. We had a very heavy camper last year and we are looking forward to a much lighter one this year. (We are still bringing a portable satellite and digital piano with us, so certainly not down to nothing.)

DaVincis’ family arrives on the first of March and we will do about two weeks of a three generations tour of Southern Spain together, so our packing time got moved up. We only have two weeks for last minute things after they leave until we take off on our very exciting seven month moving tour of Europe with a dip into our third continent thus far, exotic Africa.

You might have noticed the blog has been a little slow. Needless to say I have been swamped with research and preparation. It has been an exciting time as we dream & plan together. We are all psyched about our upcoming travels and being on the road again. Bear with the slowness now as we will have some very exciting pictures and travel journaling coming up.

I feel like I have just earned my PhD in travel planning! (Grin.) We have decided to not take our camper on some of these first tours and booking cars, trains, planes and hotel/riad/B&B’s etc. is soooooo much more work intensive and expensive. Morocco and Russia seem particularly hard. Of course, we want something special and want maximum comfort, ease and safety at bargain prices, so that adds to the challenge.

The “Three Generations Tour” will start in Marbella and we will see the beautiful white town of Rhonda, onto Seville and Cordoba, the famous dancing horses and sherry bodegas in Jerez, the Nerja prehistoric caves, Granada, white villages and more. We want to give them a good taste of exhilarating Andalusia
with visits to tapas bars, hidden away authentic Flamenco dancing and things like horseback riding in the exquisite countryside near our village.

We feel this is a special trip as it is the first time that his family (of Spanish heritage) has been to Spain
and coincides with his father’s eightieth birthday. We get to visit and experience this great land of their ancestors together. This will be the one and only time we will have three generations experiencing Spain together for the first time, so you know I will have lots of documentation. DaVinci is the only one who has been to Spain before and this trip would not have happened if we did not take this journey.

So there will also be lots of pictures and videos for all of you to enjoy of the many wonderful things here.
It is sometimes challenging blogging and cataloguing a trip like this as we go because it is time consuming. I still do not have everything up that I wanted to get up during this “down time” in our winter home.
I still want to get albums and many more video podcasts up as well as more sources and book lists. I will eventually get there it just takes time. The computer can zap ones energy and time, so I have to find that balance.

Both our world famous Holy Week (Semana Santa) in Seville (and some in Cordoba and environs) and Morocco tour look like unbelievable opportunities for photos and video. The first three tours (The Three Generations Andalucia tour, our Holy Week in Seville and Morocco) are all very connected and will work really well one after the other. We will see lots of Morocco including Fez, Marrakech and a camel trek with two days in the desert and Mozart will give a little concert for some school children there. (Who knew her violin was going on a camel ride in the desert? ).

We plan to do a couple of days in Madrid, over night again in Valencia and spend almost a week in Barcelona (actually on a beach nearby in a luxury campsite), so we will get a really good feel for  Spain before we leave. (We will fit more of northern Spain in later). We will take the ferry over to Italy and hope
to get to Greece by May 1st and then onto Turkey. How exactly we will do Croatia, Prague, Russia, Italy and highlights in Eastern Europe has not been planned fully yet.

As we plan and pack, life goes on. Mozart made Valentines for everyone in her class as well as her teacher and she is the only one who brought Valentines! They do have Valentines here, but they just do not seem to celebrate it. She still had fun with her project, so did not mind at all. She was really thrilled to get three Valentines from home from Grandma, Auntie BJ and Godmother Cynthia.

She got to skip school the other day and got a new bike for the road. We have not quite found the two that are right for her parents,but hopefully we will soon. With all the hills here, it is not exactly bike territory (though some kids ride them), but the prices are good here. They will be handy to have for some places and we will try one of those seats for the back for Mozart when we are on more dangerous roads.

It seems we have moved to a new phase here: not quite here, but not quite gone.The weather has been even more sublime than usual, so spring fever is making us hungry for the road and ready to get this prep and packing behind us!








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