Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Better Late than Never…

Posted in Uncategorized on August 13, 2012 by grandersons

Or so I hear…  But at this point I’m going to go with it.  As you’ll see in the posts to come, we’ve had a lot going on over the past several months – moving back to Seattle, a new job, and having a baby to name a few – so posting on The Ultimate Granderson Getaway has not been at the top of the priority list!  But now it’s time to play catch up, so please forgive (and hopefully enjoy) the outdated posts that will be coming your way soon!


The French’s in Espana

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized with tags , on September 25, 2011 by grandersons

In May, our dear friends Amber and Ryan French packed their bags, dropped their adorable daughter, Lily, off with her grandparents in Colorado, and hopped on a plane to visit us in Spain.  It was the longest they had every been away from Lily and they missed her terribly, but we were so thankful to have them visit and to enjoy a relaxing 10 days with them!

They started with a couple of low-key days in Madrid while Kyle finished his final exams of the term and I worked – an exciting welcome, I tell you.  Fortunately we were all able to take a break and kick off their visit over the weekend by taking a trip to Ibiza – the renowned party capital of Spain that we decided to visit before the party started.  We went just as the weather warmed up, but before the multi-story clubs opened up for the summer.  Let’s just say that we were strategic and enjoyed the elderly German tourists that seemed to have the same idea we did and the next-to-empty beaches that welcomed us with open arms.

The highlight of the trip was exploring the island on our scooters.  I’d never been on a scooter before and it was the perfect opportunity – winding island roads with spectacular views and few other cars to be seen.

The beaches were unbelievably gorgeous.

We enjoyed lunches on the beach and leisurely dinners in the old town of Ibiza.

We discovered a cloudier, chillier side of Ibiza on Sunday, but made the most of it with a tour through the old, walled part of the city and checked out one last beach where Amber and I enjoyed some quality time on a quiet little dock.  Amber and I have never struggled for things to talk about and I’m consistently thankful for her patient, thoughtful friendship – This was such a nice moment and I can’t wait for many similar moments when we get home to Seattle!

Back to Madrid we went to enjoy a few more days together.  Kyle went with Amber and Ryan to check out the Reina Sofia modern art museum and it seems they enjoyed the experience…

And we went out to Cava Baja for some typical Spanish tapas with the French’s and our Madrid friends.

Amber and Ryan – thank you for visiting us in Madrid and going on a great adventure to Ibiza with us!  We love you guys and can’t wait to see you and Lily when we’re back in Seattle!



Cho-Grander Adventure: Part 3 Belgium

Posted in Travel, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on September 5, 2011 by grandersons

The final destination on our Cho-Grander spring break adventure was Brussels, Belgium – known for hosting the headquarters of the European Union and for its delicious Belgian beers, chocolates, waffles and pomme frites (aka french fries).

We ate and walked our way through this charming city and were struck by it’s beauty, as well as it’s contradictions.  I had been here before (read more about that trip here) but we all kept talking about the amazing differences between one part of the city and another – modern versus historic, trendy versus run down, and the list goes on…

One of our favorite spots was Place St. Gery where supposedly the oldest and most famous fry stand sits in a small, round hut with a long line at the window and a number of surrounding bars with signs that indicate it’s okay to bring your fries in and have a beer.  We took full advantage of this opportunity!

We were particularly impressed by the views in the evening as the sun was setting – gorgeous lighting, impressive coloring.

Before heading to the airport, we decided to enjoy one last leisurely lounge in the park near where we stayed.  We thought we’d enjoy the white wine we’d bought in Germany since we hadn’t had it yet and it wouldn’t make it home in our carry-on bags, but it turns out that German white wine is not our favorite – it was a nice idea.

We were so thankful to our friend, Adina, for letting us stay at her apartment while she and her husband and daughter were still in Madrid.  At the end of the trip, we were all sad to say goodbye to Brussels and Lalit and Kyle were particularly sad to say goodbye to the rental car we’d enjoyed for the week.

Playing Martha Stuart for Christmas

Posted in Uncategorized on January 20, 2011 by grandersons

I wouldn’t claim to be a crafty person, but I will admit to catching the ‘crafty bug’ now and again and tackling the occasional project.  There was my ‘scrapbooking phase’, my ‘sewing little stuffed toys for friends’ babies phase’, my ‘drawing in a sketchbook phase’ and now…my ‘stocking sewing’ phase.

Kyle’s family was coming to visit and I longed to make our tiny little apartment feel like “home” for the holidays.  What’s more ‘homey’ than stockings?!?!  Fortunately my enthusiasm was shared by my dear friend and partner in crime, Nadia Chopra.  The mention of sequins had her hooked and we were on a mission to create the perfect stockings.

First stop – Corte Engles (the Spanish department store that literally sells EVERYTHING – i.e, clothes, makeup, pet supplies, books, tools, appliances, insurance, groceries, car parts, tv’s, and the list goes on…).  We found our way to the fabric department and sorted our way through felt, thread, needles, pom-poms, and of course – sequins.  Then we headed back to my apartment to get to work with Christmas music playing on Pandora and Abby ‘helping’.

We slaved away for several hours but were quite pleased with the final result.  Eventually, I managed to make 6 Christmas stockings to be filled on Christmas morning!  Watch out Martha Stuart – you’ve got some competition on your hands!

An American Thanksgiving in Madrid

Posted in Food & Cooking, Holidays, Special Occassions, Uncategorized with tags on December 12, 2010 by grandersons

I’ve spent 29 Thanksgivings in Boise, Idaho with my family and Kyle has spent every Thanksgiving of his life with his family too.  Even when we lived in Seattle, we’d join the hordes of travellers to make our way home for turkey and mashed potatoes.  There was only one year we almost didn’t make it – it was Thanksgiving 2001 following September 11th and  Kyle had recently had a cyst removed from his wrist and had to wear a pretty bulky cast while it healed.  On the way to the airport, Kyle realized that he didn’t have his wallet.  We raced home to look for it, then retraced our steps around Seattle, but couldn’t find it anywhere.  It was gone.  We went to the airport hoping for the best and expecting the worst as a college kid in a hooded sweatshirt with a cast on his arm tried to get on a plane without any form of ID beyond his check book.  My mom will never forgive herself for telling me to get on the plane without him and we laugh about it to this day, but amazingly enough he batted his baby blues and submitted to any search necessary (no, he didn’t actually have to be strip searched – thank goodness!) and managed to get on the plane right as it was ready to take off.  Our track record of being ‘home’ for Thanksgiving was impressive.

We knew that this Thanksgiving would be different.  We were halfway around the world in a wonderful country where canned pumpkin and brown sugar are hard to come by and not a single relative was in sight.  We quickly realized that in this case, different wasn’t a bad thing. 

Just like at home where we bounce from one dinner with Kyle’s family to a second dinner with my family, we maintained the tradition of having two Thanksgiving dinners in Madrid.  We started with an event hosted by the ‘Net Impact Club’ on IE’s campus. The Americans cooked traditional Thanksgiving foods and enjoyed dinner with students from all over the world.  For many international students, it was the first time they’d ever eaten turkey, stuffing, or pumpkin pie and we loved sharing our American Thanksgiving traditions with them.   

Next up was Thanksgiving at Erick and Mandy Bauman’s – a couple from New York who invited a crew of Americans to celebrate with them.  They roasted a beautiful turkey and everyone brought a traditional food item that they eat with their families at home on Thanksgiving.  It was AMAZING!  We devoured roasted veggies, green bean salad, deviled eggs, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and all the pumpkin pie (and whoopies) you could imagine.  We couldn’t have asked to spend our first Thanksgiving in Madrid with better food or better people.

No More Hiding Behind the 3rd Person

Posted in Uncategorized on December 12, 2010 by grandersons

When Anne and Kyle first started this blog – the Ultimate Granderson Getaway – they planned to capture the experience of living in Madrid and share it with friends, family, and anyone else who found their stories interesting and entertaining.  Anne is the author.  Kyle and Abby are the inspiration and main characters. 

Starting today, Anne will no longer hide behind the 3rd person – please welcome “I,” “We,” and “Our” to the Ultimate Graderson Getaway blog. 

It turns out it takes a lot of effort to write about your life as an observer and I’m tired of trying.  I’m looking forward to telling our story as ‘me’ from here on out.  Enjoy!

Cumpleanos Continued…

Posted in Uncategorized on November 21, 2010 by grandersons

Apparently the party doesn’t stop here in Madrid…  We managed to extend Anne’s birthday into a two day event!

The day after Anne’s big 2-9, we joined a group of over 30 IE students and their partners for dinner at another great vegetarian restaurant – El Estragon.  We filled half the restaurant and filled the place with the buzz of conversation and uproars of laughter.  The night ended with two birthday cakes – one for Anne and one for our friend, Andrew Dupre, who also had a birthday last week.  Feliz Compleanos!