Aren't these kiddos just so cute... even with their tight-lipped smiles?? My girls are growing up fast and I feel like quality time with them constantly eludes me. Their school day is so long and their hours at home so short. When they are home it's like they're always on the march with me constantly giving orders... dinner, clean up, music practice, homework, pjs, bedtime... if we're lucky we get some reading time in cuddled up on the couch together, most recently The Secret Garden. Add the crazily chaotic Cosette in the thick of all this, minus Ben half the time, and I got to say our time together isn't what I would call ideal.
So, this weekend was a little gift.
The attache organization planned a trip for us to Valladolid, a town just two hours north of us... I had no idea it was so chock-full of history and culture... it's not found in any of my travel books.
We came to learn it was a predominant medieval city where the catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel were wed and was the capital of the kingdom of Castile and later of united Spain (thank you wikipedia). Cervantes had a home here (would have loved to visit the museum) and Christopher Columbus died here.
So, after much deliberation, we decided to go on the trip, take the two older girls and leave the two younger ones with the Mizells since they owe us big time. We dropped them off around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday and headed to the girls' school for their open day (next post). After seeing them in all their academic splendor, we headed to Valladolid.
It was such a gorgeous day for a drive, and it felt so good to get out and explore. We have less than a year left here in Madrid and I feel like our time is slipping away! I am amazed (rather dismayed) at how our weekends are constantly eaten up with baseball, school events, work events, or church obligations. I miss the days in Germany when we could take off on any given Saturday. It's ironic because in Germany the weather usually was the culprit in foiling our plans. Here the weather couldn't be more perfect, and yet our plates are more full than ever with life's demands.
Anyway, it was splendid to be out and about with the girls without the constant work and distraction of our littles. We popped into shops, ate tapas and ice cream, and participated in all the events without stress. I was amazed at how well they got along with each other. They didn't fight or bicker once. They were constantly playing and laughing and giggling... they are soooo lucky to have each other.
|Military headquarters. Isn't Emily soooo tall?|
|We stopped to take the picture after the fact, but on the left in that red building is where Christopher Columbus died, never fully realizing he made it to the "new world"|
|Valladolid cathedral that never was completely finished since they ran out of resources and moved the capital to Madrid|
|You can see how the backside of the cathedral was never completed|
|College of San Gregorio which houses the National Sculpture Museum (fantastic!)|
|Bell tower from the 13th century|
|The very idea of Callo|
|That would be a bat on the wall|
We saw some pretty morbid depictions of the crucifixion inside the museum, and I'm only posting this one because of Emily's comment and she looked it over... "He looks relaxed." Emily's hilarious sometimes... with zero intent.
|Choir stall... the woodwork was AMAZING!|
|16th c. altarpiece of San Benito by Alonso Burruguete|
|A good lookin' bunch of attaches, right?|
|Lunch was cordero! (lamb)|