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On the Road Again

March 25, 2007

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“Head ‘em up, move them out!” that old refrain from a long ago TV show “Rawhide” comes to mind along with that Willie Nelson song “On the road again”. It is such a joy to be back on the road again and we were entertained by the sights on the way to Seville as we took a new road that we had not been on before. Spring has sprung here and everything was green and in bloom and it was nice to see more of Andalusia. We made better time than we expected, arriving in about four hours with just one quick stop.

Mozart has just been beside herself with exuberance to be back on the road. I don’t think any of us realized how much we have missed all the fun things that come with this kind of travel. I was surprised
to see her almost bouncing off the walls with excitement and cherishing every little detail that she has missed. We love our little winter village, but we also love the freedom of the road and the endless adventures that comes with this lifestyle. She is always a happy kid by nature, but this kind of freedom suits her to a T, so she was positively giddy.

For those who have not seen it, there are bulls from time to time in the country side high on hills around Spain. We did see some actual bulls (as well as goat and sheep) along the way, but I am not referring to those (despite enjoying those sights), but the large symbolic black bulls that are placed there not unlike the “Hollywood” sign in Los Angeles.

We saw two on the way to Seville and have grown quite fond of this symbol. So much so that we bought
a sticker of one in our village and added it to the back of our camper (which Mozart proudly showed me). Itwill be good reminder of our Spanish winter home for us as we roam. So now we have a Spanish bull to
go along with our Netherlands plates.

The campsite just outside of Seville is filled with orange trees, palm trees and is quite charming as the scent of fragrant orange blossoms permeates the air and birds chirp away. There are two large hyper markets about a kilometer away which is walkable and a bus to the city center. There is even wifi here,
so everything that we need as we get back into the groove of living on the road.

There is also a pool and miniature golf course, but they are not open yet. The TV inside the reception is always tuned to the live coverage of the processions of Semana Santa in Seville which is what is the big attraction right now. Perhaps we will get our best close up views that way as the crowds look worse than the crowds in Times Square on New Years Eve.

It is great background entertainment when we visit in the evenings to check email, but I am a little discouraged by the sheer number of spectators in Seville. The weather had been strange too, colder some days and with some showers which is much different than what we have been used to. We are enjoying the cozy peace at the campsite and thus far have not felt like battling crowds or city traffic.

It is hard to make the transition from rental property to life on the road, so we are taking some time to organize things as we camp. We need time to recover from all the hard work of the last few weeks. Mozart can run around, dig dirt and play in nature while DaVinci tests himself in learning how to work with the satellite while mobile and I find places to put all our stuff so we will function most efficiently. We are here for Holy Week, the world famous setting for Semana Santa, but we must also make time to just settle into life on the road again.

We had our first meal at McDonald’s for ease and comfort as we were tired when we arrived and then we loaded up with groceries the next morning at the nearby hypermarket. With a camper just finding our way, securing parking and hunting down supplies in a new store is an adventure.

We had missed some of our meals on the road and had a yummy steak with corn on the cob and rice dinner our second night and DaVinci’s famous breakfast the next morning. It is a little like playing house or being like a real life “Boxcar” kids where everything is an adventure. I had forgotten how much fun it is to eat outside for every meal and having the outdoors as ones living room. I like how this lifestyle forces me into much more exercise just in daily living.

It was not too crowded when we arrived, but more people come every day as the big events are later in
the week. We have just been at the campsite so far as there is a lot to do to get our nest back into homey shape. Mozart has been enjoying riding her new bike and loving home schooling outside or in bed. It is like we are getting our on-the-road muscles back as we remember how we do this life.

We can actually get more organized this year than we were last fall because we are not carrying so many things with us. We also learned a lot from last fall’s experience which supports this journey. We will drop
a few more things off to our friends in Malaga before we head into Morocco. The satellite and all the paraphernalia that comes with that is also a new challenge, so we are getting a chance to learn that and where to put the equipment.

All of it takes more time than we expected because we also forgot how much  we slow down with this lifestyle. When you are in a tight space, one has to slow down and be more mindful as everything has to have its place. I have all of our clothes in a tiny little closet. Clothes for seven months and three seasons and every occasion for three people. We can get anything,but we must all be mindful at getting them out and putting things away. (Mozart of course, has the most clothes and the most books.)

Every area works in the same way and it sometimes amazes me how much we have here and how well organized it is. I am especially proud about our library and how much I fitted into those three cabinets (which are mostly books for home school, including chapter books). DaVinci has also done a great job at organizing our electronics and paperwork. It is astonishing how homey such a small space can be and it already feels like home. Funny, but we missed it!

We have already fallen into our on-the-road pattern where I wake up early and they sleep in. I enjoy getting up with the birds and making my way past all the sleeping campers at dawn on my way to the john. Normally I am never up and out at that time of day and it is so peaceful and campsites are like protected little special international communities. It is a bit like having a pajama party with people of all ages from many countries sleeping in everything from tents to gigantic fancy motor homes.

There is almost every nationality here from Japanese backpackers to Austrians and I like to read the countries by their license plates. I am surprised that the biggest majority are French since we have not run into too many French in Spain up to this point.

They have chickens here so the roosters crow as the sun lazily rises as I am lost in my thoughts and half remembered dreams. Much to my surprise, it is a lovely way to wake up and greet the morning and I had forgotten how much I like it and experiencing nature more on a daily basis. Now I am used to going out in my jammies and tousled uncombed hair pulled into a bun on top (with TP in a pocket just in case) which is the European camping way.

We have a bathroom with shower in our motor home, but since we have to clean it out, we find it best to stick to the liquid variety for that and prefer the better showers in the campsite facilities. The showers are great, although getting dressed in a stall is an art form in itself. Add a kid to the mix and it gets even crazier. Mozart and I took a shower the other day and had a blast but that and home school and breakfast took up half the day.

Mostly I have to write on the run here with distractions all around me and lots of stop and go (to get meals and snacks, hand a book or what not). I enjoy writing in the morning while they sleep the best. I like the quiet and my alone time. Dealing with the photos and blog is a good creative outlet. I can work quietly with the light on, while they are tucked away “upstairs” behind the curtain that keeps the light and day away.

Our lazy days begin when Mozart wakes up and I get to crawl back into bed for some reading together and  snuggles that eventually seems to end in some tickles, giggles and rough housing amongst the three of us. It is a good way to start the day!

So far I have been getting up and making the breakfast while they start on math in the “bedroom”. I don’t think we did it exactly like this last time, but it seems to be working well now. They get to have breakfast in bed with coffee for him and hot cocoa for her while they cuddle and have fun with math and her Spanish school book. After getting dressed and a “recess” for free play outside, they do some more at the table outside or I do some with her.

Then she mostly plays all day and has loooved having lots of flat road to ride her bike on as she has not had much of that for seven months. Sometimes she watches an educational dvd while I make supper or while we do other things or we play games like scrabble in the evenings. She has lots of art supplies from painting to colored crayons and scissors that she makes endless things with and stores them in her special folder.

She has two organizers full of those little toys that she loves and we have decided to have only one available per month to keep it fresh. She usually plays with them outside or up in the “bedroom”. We usually take one or scrabble or another game with us when we go to the reception to use the computer. We brought our Dali calendar with us and have it up in our “kitchen” and mark off the days and special things coming up.

It is a simple life on the road. I will probably do a little laundry today and more organizing. If we are lucky we might get the satellite up. I should probably pack for Morocco, so we have that done or mostly done.

Hopefully we will get these five (maybe more) entries up before we leave here, but there will be a gap before out next blog entry which probably won’t show up until after April 22th when we are suppose to arrive in Barcelona.

I am going to try to blog as I go in Morocco, but we will probably not be able to upload. So stay tuned as we should be able to get some fascinating photos and have some good adventures stories about our first jump into Africa. Hopefully some pictures of Holy Week here in Seville too (if they are not too dark) and
some of Madrid and maybe Valencia and more of Granada.

On pure impulse, I entered some blog carnivals basically to learn more about them as I am still pretty clueless on this whole blog thing. I was looking for something else when I came across it and thought why not. I got accepted and they posted an entry from our blog with lots of others and I am suppose to put links to them on my blog. Unfortunately I still do not know how to add the link in that nice clean click on way, but I will leave my long clunky links in case you want to check them out.

http://www.theseattletraveler.com/

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/classicaleducation4me/

http://www.financeispersonal.com

That should give you more than enough to read until we get back to blogging regularly later in the month!

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