Tj and I went to a parade yesterday…it wasn’t your typical Easter parade, more like a display of the products of Spain. Of course half-way to Murcia I realized that we forgot the camera. Tj says he asked me to pick it up, but I never heard him! Fortunately Steve brought his new digital camcorder and Tj got to play with it.

Steve, Kelli and their kids picked us up in front of the church and drove us to a closer location, and then we walked a little farther. Generally seats are provided along parade routes, but you have to pay to sit (yesterday it was 5 euros, about $6 or so). So we found a stretch of seats with almost no one standing behind and took up post. The things that came by on the parade were pretty interesting: dancing horses, milkmen riding bicycles with their metal milk jugs mounted on the front of their bikes, women balancing large baskets of bread on their heads…one older lady walked down the street cutting off slices of bread to hand out, tiny ponies pulling little buggies with little kids driving them…how cute! Of course we chose the worst place to stand, as we found out halfway through the parade. All of the important people were seated about 60′ to our right so all the dancers would stop there and dance, walk past our post as they caught their breath, and then about 60′ past us they’d dance again! Fortunately Tj caught some good dancing on the camcorder.

One of the things that was so different from any parade I’d ever been to was that people would just walk up to the floats and reach up for whatever they were giving away…several times I was worried for the smaller kids as older people just walked right over them trying to get the goodies. And the things that were thrown out really had me laughing; we caught: saran wrapped sandwiches, beef logs, hard boiled eggs, bags of nuts, candy, makeup and a hat. Things that we didn’t catch but that they were throwing out: cans of beer, other pork and beef products, heads of cauliflower and broccoli, tomatoes, plastic cups of wine (obviously you had to walk up to the float for that one), slices of bread, fruit drink boxes, etc.

After the end of the parade we walked to the river to see the display of an old Spanish house with chickens at the back and a small garden on the side. Then we walked back to the main circle and waited for the fireworks to begin. I bought and consumed a candy apple along the way; I love those things! After the fireworks we all went to McDonalds for some fast (ha!) food. Many of the Spaniards love to laugh at Americans and say that all Americans love to eat at McDonalds…and while I know that not all Americans do, I’m definitely one who does (hi, my name is Elle and I’m addicted to junk food). The funny thing is that almost every time we go the place is chock-full of Spaniards!

Well, Tj’s already asleep, poor kid…he didn’t have the 2 hour nap that I did. I’m still catching up on reading blogs I missed while gone, and blogging our trip. I’ll hit the hay soon.

After I took the test and was waiting for results Tj said he really realized how life-impacting that moment could have been. Not like he hadn’t thought of it before, but there’s nothing like actually waiting for test results to put a lot of things in focus. I have to admit it was all I could do to stay calm as I read the instructions for the thousandth time.

I can’t believe I forgot to put this in this morning…I’ll blame it on Tj coming home and interrupting my train of thought.

We’ve passed another baby milestone…I took my first pregnancy test this morning. Just so you don’t get your hopes up, it was negative. Up until now there was only one day that I really thought I could be pregnant; for the most part I’ve thought I probably wasn’t. It’s not that I’m trying to be a pessimist, I just want to be realistic. I took the pregnancy test with us to London; I thought that would be a wonderful place to find out. As the week went on, however, I kept feeling like this month wasn’t my month. I told Tj if I didn’t have major pregnancy symptoms I wouldn’t take the test. What changed my mind was that I’ve been hoping to have pretty regular cycles, but it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen. Last cycle was 30 days, and I’m on day 34 now. I’m really ok with the test result, but of course I’m disappointed too. I took the test to make it easier to turn my back on the old cycle and look forward to the new. Of course, it’s hard to look forward to something that’s teasing me and not showing up. Guess we’ll just keep our fingers crossed for next month.

Tj and I got back from London yesterday around 5pm. We had a great time, saw tons of stuff, walked thousands of miles, and ate like crazy. One of my favorite things about going on vacation since we moved here is that I don’t have to do dishes when we’re away from home; sad, I know. Jo used to say that she hated having to wash dishes…before she moved back home she didn’t have a dishwasher. I never thought washing dishes was too bad until I moved here. I’m glad that I only have to wash for two people; but the fact that we never go out to eat coupled with the fact that our single kitchen sink is the diameter of a dinner plate makes it all a pain in the butt.

Anyway…I’m planning on journaling last week’s adventures over the next few days…I’ll probably back-date the entries.

Today I’m taking it easy. We’ve cancelled horseback riding and Teresa coming over this week; I’m hoping to give the house a deep cleaning. Blug.

Tj just came home…it’s 1:30 now. He’s having clam chowder and a sandwich. I’ll try to wrap this up while the bread is baking.

There’s a big activity in Murcia this week. Carm and Jay said originally that they wanted to go, but she has students coming tomorrow night at about 7, and since Tj gets off tomorrow at about 3pm they don’t think it’s worth it to go that far for just those few hours. We’re gonna talk to Steve and see about meeting them there. We’ll see.

I’d packed a few clothes Saturday morning, but left most of the packing for Sunday. After we’d made a few checks of the room to make sure we weren’t leaving anything I saw the camera recharging cable! Imagine how upset we’d be if we’d left that!

We spent a long time at breakfast…I love having a leisurely meal. Our train ride back to the airport went well. We made it to the airport pretty early, so Tj sent me off with the last of our pounds to see if I could get rid of them. And I did! But I was pretty embarrassed by the end…We had 5 pounds 49 pence, and of course all of the prices are rounded to the nearest 10 pence there. I asked the guy at the counter if he would forgive me 1 pence and he said yes. Even though I didn’t really think it was a big deal (what’s 2 pennies, after all?), and he didn’t think it was a big deal I could feel my face getting redder and redder. In the end I walked away with a bar of chocolate and some treacle candy. I had to look up treacle when I got home…I guess the closest equivalent is molasses. Of course not long after I bragged to Tj about using the very last cent we realized that we were three stamps short! Oh well, we just mailed them from home.

What was the most surprising when we got home was the weather…it was as bleak and dreary as London had been, almost more so! The airport we flew out of is tiny…there are three rows of paved parking, and the rest is a dirt section. When we left the car there the week prior Tj had to park the car in the dirt section. We never imagined that it would be raining when we returned…by this time last year we were well into summer and rainy days were a thing of the past. This time Tj had to leave me on the pavement with the two suitcases while he walked through the mud to the car. I couldn’t see it from where I was standing but there was a huge puddle at the driver’s door. He tracked so much mud into the car! Then he had to drive through a puddle so deep that it went over the front bumper. The pavement was about 4 inches higher than the mud through which Tj was driving…I wondered for a bit if he would make it. The first time he went pretty slow; he had to back up and try it again, but he made if fine on the second try.

All in all it was a wonderful last minute vacation!