August 2014 Vignettes

Performers from around the globe converge on Edinburgh in August for Fringe Festival
Performers from around the globe converge on Edinburgh in August for Fringe Festival

August was vacation month.  The locals clear out of town to various locales, usually to either the beach or more northern climates.  The neighborhood gets really quiet with the exception of the tourists.  Lucky for us, we had planned to do the same.

August 2

We’ve traded in the sun and heat for some rain and fog. Vacation has landed us in the UK for a bit. Edinburgh castle

We’re in Edinburgh first, just in time for Fringe Festival.  This means that not only do we get to see the castle but also a few of the many shows.

 

We’ve seen various street performers and also bought tickets to a children’s play about a “reluctant dragon”, and a Taiwanese percussion show.

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IMG_9586IMG_9551Love it so far, cool weather, rain and all.  Would highly recommend the Fringe Festival to other families.  There are tons of shows which are kid friendly.

August 6

Cool and rainy in the Scottish highlands, pretty much what we expected.  Feels like only a brief introduction to all that Scotland has to offer.  I definitely want to come back and visit some of the islands.  It’s been a fun few days.  Next we head south to meet up with some friends!

Lots of live snails to remind the boys of the caracoles they ate in Spain in July
Lots of live snails to remind the boys of the caracoles they eat in Spain
View from our short hike near Glencoe, Scotland
View from our hike near Glencoe, Scotland

 

 

 

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

August 10

Living in Europe for a while means that we are closer to several friends that have moved across the pond for love or business.  We used our vacation time in UK to catch up with them, their kids, and their dogs.

Playing with the children of our friends, Hove Lagoon
Hove Lagoon
Playing with our friend's dog in Windsor UK. A dog looks to be in our future when we return to the US.
Windsor UK. A dog looks to be in our future when we return to the US.

August 12-17

Visiting the London area means the option to see a lot of things.  We opted to keep things simple and only do one or two major activities per day.  We find that our children’s attention spans can only handle so much each day. We also keep an eye out for playgrounds to give the boys time to let out some energy between sightseeing.

Family art project at Windsor Castle helps keep the kids engaged
Family art project at Windsor Castle helps keep the kids engaged
Must have picture beside the guard. Windsor Castle
Next to the guard, Windsor Castle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

London Eye, pretty impressive first Ferris wheel ride for the boys!
London Eye, pretty impressive first Ferris wheel ride for the boys!
Picnic lunch at Jubilee gardens. Great playground break after waiting in line for the London Eye.
Picnic lunch at Jubilee gardens. Great playground break after waiting in line for the London Eye.
Taking shelter under the lion's head.
Taking shelter under the lion’s head.
Typical London day at Charing Cross: rain, red doubledecker buses and black London taxis.
Typical London day at Charing Cross: rain, red double-decker buses and black London taxis.

 

 

 

Warming up with tea in the hotel.
Warming up with tea in the hotel.

Keeping things fun for the kids!

Hippogriff at the Harry Potter studio tour
Hippogriff at the Harry Potter studio tour
Staying dry in Princes Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens
Staying dry in Princes Diana Memorial Playground in Kensington Gardens
Getting dizzy at the Level park in Brighton.
Getting dizzy at the Level park in Brighton.

 

Bubble battles, Alexandra Park, Windsor UK.
Bubble battles, Alexandra Park, Windsor UK.

August 2

Back in Spain.  Time to get serious about being prepared for the start of school in September.  How do you convince the kids to read more Spanish books?!?  Super Simpsons comics of course.

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August 24

Our first guests to Granada have arrived!  Nothing makes a new house feel like home more than having your first guests.  We also saved our first trip to the Alhambra for this same weekend.

Enjoying the view from the rooftop porch with our first visitors
Enjoying the view from the rooftop porch with our first visitors
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Inside the Alhambra looking onto the Albaicin hill
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Alhambra, Court of the Myrtles
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Alhambra, detail of the carvings around the Court of the Myrtles

August 25

Taking advantage of the last weeks of summer.  Tennis and swim lessons to help the kids improve their skills and their Spanish.  Also an excellent opportunity for our boys to to get to know several other expat families that will attend our same school this September.

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August 27

Gorgeous sunset view from the Generalife gardens looking back at the Alhambra complex.  The gardens host an outdoor concert venue where I got to see a fantastic flamenco ballet performance.  Pinching myself that I got to see a brilliant performance on a incredible summer night right beside one of the world’s most beautiful architectural complexes.  Makes all the crazy expat adjustments more than worthwhile!

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August 31

Basketball fever has hit Granada.  Spain is the host of the FIBA Basketball World Cup this year.  Granada is hosting the early round games.  We have seen signs of the activities around town including several interactive exhibits near the river which the kids enjoyed.

Spain
España
vs. USA
vs. USA

 

 

 

 

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Advertising for FIBA in Granada around town

 

Practicing his trampoline assisted slam dunk.
Practicing his trampoline assisted slam dunk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note:  Now that I’ve purchased my first ever smart phone, you can see additional snippets over at our Facebook page.

5 thoughts on “August 2014 Vignettes”

  1. Nice snippets of the month before school starts. Living history for the boys and the whole family. What wonderful lifelong memories they will have!!!! I like that you made sure they had time to play ! Viva la vida!!!!

    1. Sometimes I wonder what the kids truly remember of the sites, or if the sites are just filler between playground stops. After our return to Spain one of our sons surprised us by recognizing the Eilean Donan Castle in a book that he was reading. There seems to be some retention of information 🙂

  2. The shots from Scotland are great. We really need to get back there and explore more of it. Love the Eilean Donan Castle pic with the kids as well.

    I have to give one of them credit for the FCB jersey. The other one needs to get rid of that RM one though. 🙂

    ¡Nos vemos pronto!

    1. Funny you notice the jerseys. Our boys aren’t overly knowledgable of the rivalries around here and we ended up with Messi and Ronaldo shirts mainly because those were the only ones we could find in the States. They tend to wear them on the same day, too, and it isn’t uncommon for people to laugh and say something when they walk down the street together.

      One jersey always draws their ire, although folks tend to be pretty split with their allegiances around here. Me, I like to support the local Granada CF team even if they got walloped by FCB just last night (0-6).

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