Sunday, January 10, 2016
We decided that we would attend church while we are in Spain, how about that? So we looked up the relevant information and headed that way for a starting time of 1:00 only to find on arrival that the meetings had actually started at 10:00 AM and were soon going to end. We were all so bitterly disappointed! Haha, not really. I've had my share of sitting at church for three solid hours with zero comprehension happening so one less time is probably fine. We were able to meet a few people who were all very friendly and welcoming and then we were able to leave. Fifteen minutes in and out. Practically drive-thru church! The church building is in Cartagena which is about 30 minutes from our house so we decided that we would do a little exploring in the area with our suddenly free afternoon. We had passed the Mar Menor on our way so after a tiny bit of getting turned around and lost we made our way to a little town called Los Urrutias. Everyone tumbled out of the van for our first encounter with the sea. The kids went for a short jaunt along the coast while Matthew and I took a little jet-lagged nappity nap. They came back with sand caked Sunday shoes and happy, wind-blown faces. Next we made our way around Cape Palos and down a very very narrow strip of land called La Manga (I just looked it up and it doesn't mean "Japanese cartoon" but means "sleeve" which is what it looked like!) It was lovely having the sea on both sides of the road, but the towns were a little strange. I imagine that they are bustling in the summertime, but at this time of year there was a definite apocalyptic feel -- abandoned buildings, boarded up windows, graffiti everywhere, stray cats...
It made me suddenly grateful for our soft landing, as it were. Our search for suitable habitation began last Spring with our only requirements being "somewhere along the coast" and "enough beds." There was a seemingly endless supply of available houses, but when push came to shove, there was always something wrong and by October we still hadn't found a place. I was always open to the possibility of us not making the trip at all, if that was what was "supposed" to happen, but I never felt strongly that that was the case so I kept looking. Someone asked how we picked the town where we ended up -- it was completely random! It was literally the first one that finally fell into place. We had never heard of it and even as we were making our way through the extremely arid landscape last Thursday I was second guessing our choice, wishing we had gone to Galicia instead. But! Our house is really great! There is such a nice energy and flow to it. Everyone found their little spots and seems happy -- well, Archie has mentioned about 5 billion times that the house is too small, entitled American punk that he is, but I think that even he is coming around. The neighborhood seems really nice with parks and stores nearby. We drove down to the local beach after dinner last night and it is clean and lively. And the weather has been absolutely gorgeous! It has gotten into the 70's every day since our arrival -- we were expecting temperatures more in the 50's range. And the sky! Stunning. No cloudy north for me, I am convinced. And like I said, so very grateful. We are right where we belong.