Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Space A to the States

Hola, it's Meghann. We're in the States right now and have all sorts of things going on - my lovely sorority sister's wedding, my actual little sister Catherine's wedding weekend, her bachelorette and shower (Graham didn't join in for that fun), professional training in DC for Graham (fair trade since he didn't get to go to the bachette or shower?). 

Since Graham is technically traveling on business, the Navy booked commercial flights to DC for him. I opted to also fly for free by taking advantage of Space Available flights. Space A allows military members, dependents (that's me!) and military retirees to get on military flights if there is space available. This means just about any flight that has space for passengers is up for grabs, so every time I've flown Space A (like when we traveled back to MD in February to see our new niece), I've ended up on a cargo plane. Which looks like this:

My view - one of these containers was labeled 11,000 pounds!

My seat!  

 It's definitely a different travel experience - I pack a sleeping bag, dress for warmth and comfort since it gets cold at altitude, and wear ear protection. There's no beverage cart, but it's a direct flight from Rota to the East Coast, and leg room is pretty much unlimited. Also, since Graham works in the air terminal, he can keep me updated on which flights look best to get on. And it's free! 

(Sorry for the craptastical iPhone pics, but pulling out a giant camera and lens on a military flight seems a little weird. Right up there with taking my Nikon to a spa.)

Monday, October 15, 2012


Hope you all had a great weekend! Here are some iPhone snaps from ours:

Thursday night's beautiful sunset. Yes, Thursday counts as the start to the weekend, because Friday was Spanish National Day, also known as Columbus Day. Yeah, same one. No matter how you feel about the guy, he's still a big deal here. After all, the town that we live in, El Puerto de Santa Maria, is the place where one of his three ships sailed from. Guess which one! 

We watched the Orioles game at Molly's (since our American satellite hasn't been set up at the new casa) where the staff was nice enough to turn on ESPN America, after the soccer futbol game was over, of course. The O's lost but it was still great to be able to watch the game - they haven't had such a good season since Meghann was a freshman in high school and way before Graham met a Maryland girl and became a Baltimore fan. 

Even though the loss stung, getting asked by multiple British sailors (there was a Royal Navy ship in town) if those were REAL baseball hats did make it a little better. And then they showed off their Casio watches and explained that they are cool because they aren't.  Apparently Casio watches are the across-the-pond version of an ironic t-shirt or drinking PBR. Ahh, cultural exchange. 

Saturday was gorgeous and sunny. We ran some errands, had lunch in Rota, and stopped to take a peek at the beach and boardwalk. 

Then we went home and enjoyed some time by the pool.

Chloe caught up on current events while working on her tan.

Thanks to the mild weather (and no thanks to our brown thumbs), the garden is still looking great with lots of flowers blooming.

The warm weather combined with the holiday weekend meant lots of people went downtown on Saturday night, including us. We met up with a friend and met a couple new friends for a tapas hop. One of our fave places was featuring some Mexican small plate specials. Enchiladas + tamales + rioja + amigos = perfecto! (If you live in Rota or Puerto - go to Antojitos!)

Yesterday we got productive around the house. We finished repainting the vintage dresser that we use as an entry table.  

It was originally white, then green, and now it is gray London Grey. 

 Meghann got festive and arranged some little pumpkins that we found at the commissary. Sorry, Martha, that's all we've got. Can't even find any decorative gourds - fall fail.

Graham installed a paper lantern lampshade over the bare bulb that was hanging above our patio table (sorry, no "before" photo, but we figured if you've got the internet, you know what a light bulb looks like). Luckily, no electrical knowledge was needed and Ikea was kind enough to include these very thorough step-by-no-other-steps directions. 

And probably the most important thing we have done lately - we both voted! Graham is the base Voting Assistance Officer so he would like to say, in his best public service announcement voice "Please exercise your freedom by voting." 

It was a busy, still summery but almost fall, productive and fun weekend. Of course, there was still time for a siesta. 

Monday, October 8, 2012


Remember the dog that we had been fostering? She had been staying at our casa for a while, recuperating from a badly injured leg, and she completely manipulated our minds and made us fall in love with her. So last week we decided to make it official - paid the fee, picked up her tags, and gave her a name. Here she is, our lovely and lively little Cora. 

Some of you may have guessed that she was going to become part of the family, since she came along on our weekend getaway to Portugal and you can spot her in a few pictures. 

So yeah, we adopted another terror terrier, because we like an extra side of crazy with our current heaping pile of chaos. 

And here are some more pics, because who doesn't want to look at pictures of cute dogs on the internet? (Pretty sure that's why it was invented.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Scenes from a move...

Maybe you feel like your house is a little cluttered, that you really need to get organized, or that instead of watching football all weekend you should have cleaned up your place. Allow us to make you feel better about that. Behold, our new casa, in all of its freshly moved-into glory: