Good evening! How are things going? What's up in your orbit?
Me, I'm coming out of the other side of a long weekend. In Spain where I live, there is this nice double holiday that falls on the 6th and the 8th of December: the 6th marks Constitution Day and the 8th corresponds to the religious holiday of the Immaculate Conception. Or, the Immaculate Constitution for short, heh heh. At any rate, it makes for a very nice long weekend when it falls on the right days of the week. This year, however it was a bit bungled by being half on the weekend. Nevertheless, we all had Monday off, so we still got the extra day. Around our place, we decided it was high time Annie saw some snow. I mean, with her being half Canadian and all, it would be pretty embarassing back home to have her almost 4 years old and still unable to perform a triple sowcow or a backhand slap-shot from the centre line. And who ever would have imagined that I--the one who complained, swore and griped throughout the entire winter for most of my Canadian life--would be so darn excited to get her butt wet making snow angels? Awh, I must be getting old and sentimental or something ;)
Of course I knew it was for a specific amount of time (1 day)...and not for a freaking SIX months a year! ;)
We decided to take a little day trip up to the lower Pyrenees to a small ski resort called "Val de Nuria". It's a quick 90 minute drive from where we live (the Mediterranean coast just south of Barcelona). That is one of the great things about living here: there's the best of both worlds. On the one hand, you have the sea and beach just a 10 minute drive from our house. On the other, in just a couple of hours, you can be skiing in the Pyrenees. Those Greeks and Romans were no dummies--they wouldn't have set up camp around here for so long if there weren't a good reason for it. They knew the fishing was great, the soil idea for vinyards and that there was some pretty serious snowboarding potential just a short chariot ride away.
To reach the resort, you drive up to a certain point and park and then take the "zipper train" the rest of the way up the mountain. It was fun for the kidlets, and grown-uplets too. Once off the train, we toddled down to the snow, rolled around and eventually were inspired to create the compulsory snow-person: I sculpted my person rendition of a Picassoesque "Dama de Elche", complete with the Princess Lea coif. Took a few photos, threw a few snowballs and called it a day. Headed back down to civilization around 3pm, where we trekked over to a nice old hotel restaurant for lunch (which was more like Canadian supper cuz, as finished our meal just before 6pm) and then headed for home. The crappy part was, as it turned out,
about a hundred thousand other people all had the same thinking about the long-weekend migration: to head home a day early to avoid the traffic on the flip-side, so we were stuck in some fairly gross traffic jams most of the way home. At one point, we were backed up 30 km. So the 90 drive ended up being 3 hours. Oh well, all in a day's fun. Seeing Annie's face and how she was flopping around in the snow was totally worth the effort.
The remainder of the weekend we mostly spend hanging out around the house in our pijamas, putting up the Christmas tree and generally kicking back, enjoying some "quality family time". Amen! S'about time :)