After a year-and-a-half here in Madrid (yes, really), I have noticed a distinct split in my personality. There is actual me, reality me, and romantic, ideal me. I hope that we can continue to live together copacetically, but I’m not sure. I want to show up to the girls’ school as the Spanish do – sparkling to the nines, donning high heels, perfectly dressed for … Continue reading navi-realidad


As the summer rushes past, we attempt to keep up with the locals… Where are you going on vacation? They ask. Of course, with the new baby’s arrival, we were trying to play things by ear. That sort of works… although there are many raised eyebrows from friends during the planning process. We pick Asturias as our destination. We had previously toured Cantabria (to the … Continue reading schooled

oh Porto

We have a good friend back in San Diego who is Portuguese. He’s told us a million little things about life in his home country – so we have loved the country from afar before we ever stepped foot there. Our first journey was to Lisbon in 2011 when I delivered a paper titled, “Scoping Theatre’s 3rd Space” to the International Society of Ethnology and … Continue reading oh Porto


The Ides of March brings sunshine and cherry blossoms… A deep sigh of Spring landing right down the street in our good friend Retiro… With promises of new beginnings… But tricky March pulls the rug out – cold snapping right into a swirling snowstorm. The littles rejoice and scramble outside to catch snowflakes with mouths wide open… But even a dip back into winter can’t … Continue reading ides


Winter rolls in, and everything is gray. The sky, the mood… we’ve been out of the states for months now – long enough for everyone to feel a bit out of sorts… We stave off the gloomies by distracting ourselves… splashing in leftover puddles… Carpet picnics are created with old friends… And we dream of greener pastures… Soon we become restless and upgrade to cafe treats … Continue reading gris


Growing up in the midwest of the US there were foods I just had no exposure to – avacados for example. But krautburgers you could get in spades. Or my great-grandmother’s pickled beets. You are what you eat, it is said. If that is the case, I’m going to be quite the amalgamation when we are finished moving around. A dose of sangria, a leg of Napolitan … Continue reading cookin

poco a poco

I find myself in a strange yet familiar state of mind these days. Don’t be so American. Immediately followed by….  What’s wrong with being American? Afterall, our inherent Americanness is what landed us in this exciting adventure. But it’s tough putting the breaks on years and years of habits…  hurry up and rush and get things done. It didn’t work for me in Italy –  where the … Continue reading poco a poco


To tell you the truth, I was a terrible Spanish student. In fact one of my teachers even pulled me aside to lecture me that I had a terrible attitude, and that I would never speak Spanish. This was after having already studied the language for about five years.  Somehow I completed a minor in Spanish, but it was painful. I’m actually not very good at … Continue reading piccola


Sometimes I get to tag along on a work trip. The advantage is seeing something different –  the challenge being sequestered with two tiny energizer bunnies. Capo has language training to attend to, and the cool weather in Burgos easily beckons us to leave the humid heart of summer behind, and tag along to Burgos. Securing housing long-distance is a quagmire all of its own. Trepidatious … Continue reading chill


It’s been a blur of restaurants, walks across the city, paperwork, and mis-pronunciations. My Spanish Castellano is losing a bit of the Italian, and I’m learning how to throw in an occasional “vale” (“val-eh”, which is very casual, and means “ok” or “very well”). Now, if I just remember that people here refer to the language as Castellano… Sometimes, you get into the groove, and feel like … Continue reading swimmingly