Nothing left but the churros

We'll miss you, Madtown.
We’ll miss you, Madtown.

“Boy, this had better be worth it.”

I must have muttered these words a couple dozen times each day for the past week.  There is nothing like packing up your family and moving to another country to really get your juices flowing.  By day, we’ve been packing and cleaning.  Packing and cleaning; on our feet all day long.  By night, there are so many things swirling around in my head that it has been difficult to sleep.  So I’ve been left in a state of both physical and mental exhaustion contemplating if we’ve made the right decision.

I suspect we have.  It just may not be confirmed for a little while.

Our flights to Madrid depart on Monday, June 30 so here is the final pre-trip update.



  • Renters – check!  Like many things in life, things usually work out in a positive way when given a little patience.  At the final hour, we found a lovely family to rent our house while we’re away.  They seem to be excited about the home and we know they’ll fit well in the neighborhood.
  • School Enrollment – check!  Despite email problems at the local public school in Granada, I was able to successfully enroll our boys into their 4th grade class prior to school being let out for the summer (along with the administration).  We are now enrolled into the school of our choice that is also a 6-minute walk from our Albaicín house.
  • Sell Car – check!  Within 24-hours of my car being listed on Craigslist, a guy drove up from Chicago, took a test drive around the block, and paid 90% of my asking price in cash.  I think we’ll use this money to open a bank account in Spain to pay for utilities and other expenses while there.
  • International Driver’s Permit – check!  The fine folks over at COMO Consulting had some good information about driving in Spain.  It’s not enough to just have your U.S. driver’s license so they advised picking up an International Driver’s Permit.  It seems like a racket to just extract an additional $15 out of your pocket, but it does buy some piece of mind in case we get pulled over.
  • Move out – check!  The movers came last Tuesday and promptly emptied our house, trucked it over to our storage units, and unloaded all of our stuff.  I helped and was absolutely whipped by the end of the 5 or so hours of lifting only the lightest of our boxes.  The movers went off to perform another family’s move later that same day.  The wife and I ended the beautiful day with some cold beer.

Next Steps

As long as we make our flight, there is nothing left on our list but finding some chocolate con churros once we arrive in Madrid.

Fun Tidbit

I’m a pretty big soccer fan, so the World Cup matches have made for some welcome reprieves to packing and cleaning.  While I was bummed to see Spain knocked out from the tournament prematurely, it will be a real treat to watch the USA vs Belgium from our hotel just south in Madrid after a long day of traveling.

We’ll see you on the other side and thanks for following along!

20 thoughts on “Nothing left but the churros”

  1. Glad to see you moving forward and that your yellow light didn’t slow you down. It’ll be worth it! I’ve been telling everyone about your great adventure, and I’ve been dreaming a little about spending some time in Spain myself. Ill be keeping up with your blog.

    1. If I learned anything from some of the yellow lights, it is that there will never be the perfect time to do something like this. It was a good reminder to take the bull by the horns and to make it happen because the future is anything but guaranteed. Thanks for following, CL!

  2. Awesome! Great to hear that the house rental went through at the last minute! Things do have a way of working themselves out as long as you start preparing ahead of time.

    Don’t forget to look down as you cross I-95 around NY or DC, as we’ll be heading up the road from Raleigh first thing Monday morning Canada-bound (first stop in Philadelphia).

    I’m curious if the reality of your big adventure has set in yet? We’re only going to Canada for 5 weeks, but since we’re still sitting at home packing and cleaning up for our house-sitter (with less than 12 hours till departure time), things seem so ordinary (play dates, ordering pizza, watching TV, catching up on emails and paying a few bills, etc.). I figure tomorrow once we are a couple hundred miles from home, the reality of the trip will set in.

    Best of luck on your even bigger adventure! And have fun! Hopefully June 30th will prove a good departure day for both of us. 🙂

    1. We leave for the airport in about an hour and it still hasn’t sunk in. Or maybe we’ve been thinking about and planning for it for so long, that the reality of it isn’t going to sink in any further. Don’t know which it is.

      Bon voyage to you as well.

        1. Yep, it has definitely set in now. The few people we’ve met so far (landlord, neighbors) have been really welcoming and helpful. As my wife said, now we just need to get into a routine. I think it’ll happen a little easier right after we get over this jet lag.

          1. Enjoy! The routine will come naturally at some point. And once your kids are in school, that will automatically set your routine to some extent.

            We are about to head out on the next segment of the trip (6 hours from NYC to Montreal) where phase 2 begins – a week or more in one place where we can really relax. Although to be honest, we have taken it pretty easy in Philly and NYC and not worried too much about seeing everything we wanted to. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (where we had free family admission through Mrs. RootofGood’s employer) didn’t happen. It was raining and we wanted to head back to the hotel to rest before tackling the fireworks over the harbor in NYC. Smart move in hindsight!

  3. Yeah!!!! This brings back memories! Our storage unit looks like yours did at the end. It is stuffed to the gils and we sold so much stuff. Good idea to use the car proceeds for bills. Ours funded an entire year of living expenses! I can’t wait to hear about your new adventures, so glad the renters appeared and everything worked out. We will see you sooner than later!!!! :0)) Safe journey and Vaya con dios!!

  4. Congratulations! I got a laugh out of your note on World Cup — in my moving to Spain stress, that’s been a much needed distraction as well! The hard stuff is done now… relax & enjoy!

    1. Cheers Lisa! The game was a bit of a bummer, but I thought they played valiantly. I’m just glad there are still a couple weeks of WC action left…

    1. Yeah, I ended up watching the game at our transfer hotel’s bar with some other somewhat interested Spaniards. But they had to close up shop after regulation and were kind enough to show the security guard how to shut down the TV, etc so he and I could sit and watch to the bitter end 🙂

  5. Mediterranean countries are a fantastic place to be, especially during the summer. You are coming during a great season. People are in a holiday mood and you’ll get to enjoy going to the beach and enjoying the sea.

    I’m sure it will feel like an adventure and an exploration for the first couple of months, until school starts for the kids. With no limitations on time and a rush to do everything during the 2 weeks of “holiday”, you’ll have time to unpack and settle in. Such a trip is an enriching life experience for the kids, and it’s great that you have the ability to enjoy it with them full time.

    1. Yeah, we’re definitely in exploration / orientation mode right now. Trying to figure out our routine given groceries, bank, utility bills, etc. Even searching for a cell phone provider is making for an adventure. So far so good, but we definitely need to find our boys some local friends so they can start ramping up on their language (and listening) skills. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment, Loukas.

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