Ok, first both toilets broke, but then everything was fixed. Also, we ran out of money, so maybe the house knew that it could not wring any more repairs from us. Then we cleaned the bejesus out of the house (Raise your hand if YOU have cleaned your basement and attic in the past two weeks. I thought not.) and decided that it looked just good enough for our planned house swap with our ultra clean friends, Maria and Jacobo. Luckily, they live in Barcelona, and so the house swap meant that we got to head over there for a month. Ok, we had already decided to do this, but it did make us clean the house. After two very very sweaty days of packing, our good friend Rachele drove us to the airport and off we went.
Abe is not designed for airplanes. He likes to move and airplanes like you to sit in your seat. But, with enough Bob the Builders and little bags of pretzels, anything is possible. A flight to Europe feels like it is going all night, but what it really is is two hours of taking off, getting settled, and serving dinner, three hours of nothing when you can sleep, and one hour of landing. But what a dinner it was: on Lufthansa, they just keep bringing you alcohol. Though it was tempting to give it all to Abe, he turned out not to need it and soon drifted off to sleep, his sticky hand tangled in Leah’s hair. The mom can never get comfortable. But when else can you have your two sleeping kids draped all over you and have two uniformed pursers say to you, “Baileys? Cognac?” and then, fifteen minutes later, “White wine or red?” Yes, that is a wine chaser to an apertif, for those of you keeping score at home.
Then we had two hours to kill in Munich. At this point the kids had sort of slept from 10 pm EDT to 1:30 am EDT and then were awake from then until 4:30 am EDT, which is about 10:30 am in Germany. They were not in what you might call “public” moods. Mostly there was grabbing, screaming, and escaping. But they fell sound asleep on the plane, such that we just sat there at the end until a steward asked if we were planning to leave. We were. Off to Barcelona!
We arrived at our awesome borrowed apartment (photos to follow once I dig the card reader out of the luggage) and found it surrounding an empty courtyard. Perfect for whiffleball. This is a good way to make friends in Spain, since it looks like riding a unicycle or something: kids sort of know what it is, but it clearly has some novelty. So we are sharing. Leah has brought 3 extra mitts and we will try to start up a traveling all star squad.
Since then, we have introduced Max and Abe to the joys of daily croissant breakfasts, 9:30 bedtimes, and ice cream every afternoon. Max has adjusted, sleepwise, and has dozed until 10:30 am both mornings. Abe, not so much. He sees the time following his bedtime as a Boston nap (that is, it is only 3:30 in the afternoon in his head when he goes to bed) so he wakes up at midnight ready to rock. Not so fun. But then he sleeps until 10:30 as well. I am not sure how they will manage to get up for school in the fall. But it will be worth it.