Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A home on Tibidabo by k

Finally! We have a place to live. I realize that it has been less than two weeks, and that's really not bad for moving to a new city. But, in the thick of it, I felt so much frustration, desperation, sadness and a very strong longing to be settled. I guess I didn't realize how truly settled we are in SF...little bumps here and there, but settled. Looking back now I can almost (not quite yet) laugh at the drama of the past week and a half because we really have had it very good. Miguel's flat is beautiful and he has a roof terrace that looks over the city. Arel and Dorian enjoyed many afternoons/evenings up there naked and playing in the plastic kiddie pool, by themselves or with Maxim...less than a foot deep with a small slide going into it. So funny to see these big kids getting such a kick playing up there. But then at bedtime, "I want to go home! I will walk and swim all the way to San Francisco if I have to. I don't care if it takes the whole year to get there!" Arel has mostly stopped expressing a desire to go home. But Dorian is still very vocal about not wanting to be here. I think he likes school well enough and that mostly he just needs his own space, more sleep and some calm.

Our new home is on the slope of Tibidabo, the mountain that rises out of Barcelona. We are apparently just minutes from a bunch of hiking trails, which I'm looking forward to exploring. The place is like a townhouse, with lots of other similar apartments surrounding it. It has three levels and looks over the whole city and the Mediterranean. I think we'll be able to see the sunrise from our bedroom, but won't know that until tomorrow morning! The owners are an artist and a writer who live in New York during the school year, so the apartment has some interesting touches, despite being a relatively new building. Up the street a little bit is a nice community pool that also has an amazing view. I'm sure Arel and Dorian will want to swim this afternoon immediately after school...a nice little extra. On the middle floor is the kitchen, the living room and a couple terraces. Upstairs is the biggest bedroom, which will be Barak's and mine despite protests from the little ones. Next to it is a little room with closets...a dressing room of sorts. One of us might use it as an office, although Dorian has said he might want to claim it for himself. There is also a nice bathroom with blue tile. All the way downstairs, there is another bathroom and three little bedrooms. The plan for now is that Arel and Dorian will each have a room and that Barak will use the third as an office, which will double as a guest room. We'll have to see how it all plays out.

My only real hesitation with this place is that it's not in the think of things. We won't be able to send the kids to the grocery store alone, which at least Arel can do from Miguel's. We won't be able to pop down the the pizza restaurant on the corner. But the trade-off is calm. It's about a 10 minute walk downhill to get to where some action is. I don't know the neighborhood down there, so we'll have to explore and see what we can see. School is a walk down the hill to the bus stop and then a five minute bus ride. In theory that bus comes every 11-13 minutes, but it has been less than consistent so far. In any case, it's a lot closer to school and that will mean a little more sleep and a little less rushing.

Barak just got here from the new place where he figured out how to use the internet...yeah! So now time to pack up all our stuff...we never really unpacked, at least not in an organized manner (yeah, yeah, i know that is no surprise to most of you!). When the 5 suitcases are ready, we'll head down to the street to take a taxi to our new home!