Friday, September 05, 2014

There and Back Again (Spanish Edition)

Should I dye my hair a crazy color? Go on a fasting cleanse? Crawl into bed and pretend I am sick? Put on another layer of very dark liquid eyeliner? The world is my neurotic oyster.

A friend asked me if I am in my post-holiday crash, the one where you feel like throwing your life overboard and going on permanent vacation. Where will the funds come from for this vacation? Who knows, who cares?! I'm on vacation until the money runs out!

(It will run out real fast, Calamity Jane.)

I took my heart, and my nest egg, in my clicking hand and bought tickets to Spain last month. Just me and the children--also my sister and her two children, and perhaps my parents. It was scary (I hate spending money,) and also something I felt like we had to do.

It's been 11 years since my last trip to Spain to see my mother's family. I was pregnant with my oldest at the time and so, so sick. I spent the train ride back to Madrid from Galicia regularly vomiting as the diesel fumes wafted back to smack me in the face. With our family complete, and no more babies, it was time to return to the motherland, no matter what.

Isn't this worth it?

(The view from the kitchen window of the flat we stayed in.)

And also this?

I mean, as far as trips go, Spain will do.

The terrible jet lag there, the brutal jet lag when we returned, it was all worth it. Except maybe the part where I dragged my kids to Spain. 

I hope they remember it when they grow up and praise my name. A 10-year-old, a 7-year-old, and a 3-year-old aren't traveling companions to sneeze at; they are to be managed, cajoled, and forced to experience culture. My parents forced culture on us, it's high time my children also experienced the sore feet, dehydration, and exhaustion that comes from looking at a set of royal china in a royal palace in some European capital. Tradition!

My kids even got off easy. Since it was just me and my sister (and our combined five small children) with only occasional help from my parents, we skipped some of the major cathedrals and attractions. Next time, my pretties, we'll learn about Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical, Gothic, Velazquez, Picasso, Matisse, Monet, and El Greco until your feet fall off in the middle of the Prado. How we do.

Now we are back and my life is resting uneasily on my shoulders. Where is my tiny, manual transmission car? Why are the streets here to wide and accommodating? Where is my daily visit to the bakery for fresh bread and pastries? Where is the beach with crystal waters and the sunsets that go on for forever?

Instead I'm back in my real life, with 7:00 am wake-ups, homework every night, dinner and the dishes, demanding work commitments, with terrible Fanta, and absolutely, positively, no beach.

It's no wonder my Jet Set heart pines for more impossible vacations from my real life.

But really, should I dye my hair?


Heather M said...


Emily said...

Spain is definitely top on my list of places to visit next. Travel is always worth the expense. Love that you did this with your kids. You're awesome like that!

Hildie said...

No to the hair dye.

FoxyJ said...

One of my long-range goal is a plan to take my kids to Spain, sometime in the next 5-6 years. Before the oldest graduates from high school but after they are old enough to appreciate it (ha ha--probably shouldn't set my expectations too high). I love Spain--why can't America have such lovely pastries and yogurt?

A Few Tacos Shy... said...