Geneva Switzerland

Posted in Travel with tags , on January 2, 2012 by grandersons

At the end of October we decided to go on a weekend getaway with our good friends, Rachel and Kevin, and settled on Geneva, Switzerland as our destination.  None of us were exactly sure what to expect but we were not disappointed by the gorgeous scenery and charming little city.

We arrived late on a Friday, just in time to grab drinks at a cozy little wine bar next to our hotel – Bibarium – before heading to bed.  With my beverage selections limited to the non-alcoholic variety, this is where I discovered how delicious apple cider was and continued to order it everywhere else we went for the rest of the weekend!

We spent our first crisp fall morning in Geneva walking along Lake Geneva and were in awe of the changing leaves and misty waterfront.

That afternoon, we hopped on a bus to the base of the Swiss Alps and took a teleferico up the side of the mountain where we soaked up the spectacular views.

After our trip up the mountain we made a couple of important stops – first at Laduree for the most delicious macaroons I’ve ever eaten in my life and then a break for another apple cider (sparkling this time) where we had to capture me and Rachel in our matching outfits.

We topped off the day with a delicious fondue dinner.

Before we had to catch our flight back to Madrid on Sunday, we walked on the other side of the lake to see the famous Geneva flower clock and captured a few pictures of my growing baby bump.

We ended our trip with pho for lunch.  Vietnamese soup may not be the most authentic Swiss cuisine, but it is one of the things that can’t be found in Madrid and we were all thrilled to enjoy one of our favorite meals!

Au revoir Geneva!

Granderson Pumpkin Party in Madrid

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on January 2, 2012 by grandersons

Every year in October, Kyle and I invite our friends to join us for all things pumpkin – pumpkin penne pasta, pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin carving, etc.  Last year we had just moved to Madrid and didn’t pull together a Granderson Pumpkin Party, but this October we decided it was time to bring the pumpkin party to Spain and we invited all our friends to join us.  Thanks to Nadia and Lalit for hosting at their house!

Sharing the News of Our Little Huevo

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on January 2, 2012 by grandersons

After discovering that we were pregnant in August, we were thrilled to share the news with our family and friends.  We decided to snap this photo in Retiro Park of us with our new “made in Spain” addition!

Real Madrid and Athletico

Posted in Life in Madrid with tags , , on January 2, 2012 by grandersons

Madrid is home to two “football” – or as we would say, “soccer” – teams.  Real Madrid and Athletico.

Our good friend, Cesar, grew up in Madrid and has been an Athletico fan since he was a little boy.  Kyle initially followed his lead when we moved to Madrid and vowed his loyalty to Athletico as well, but soon came to a crossroads as he cheered on Real Madrid too – something Cesar certainly did not approve of.

Kyle made it to a few games – 3 Real Madrid and 1 Athletico – but I only made it to one in honor of our friend, Kevin Chu’s, birthday.

Rachel and Kevin enjoyed the view in Bernabeu Stadium.

Real Madrid pulled through with a win and we celebrated at Tony Roma’s (one of Kevin’s favorites :-)) afterwards.  Happy birthday Kevin!

Valencia Triathlon 2011

Posted in Travel with tags , on December 31, 2011 by grandersons

My friend Nadia and I began training for the Valencia triathlon in May and discovered that we actually enjoyed heading to the gym every day for a swim, bike or run…apparently having a ‘workout buddy’ is the only way to go!

We were lucky to have a pack of cheerleaders to support us – Kyle, Lalit, Greg, Michelle and Steve – and they even cooked us a gourmet pasta dinner the night before the race.

Our training hit a bit of a wall in August when we began travelling and weren’t around to stick with our regular schedule.  I hit a total road block when I hit week 6 of my pregnancy (just 2 weeks before the triathlon) and could hardly bear the thought of food, let alone running without wanting to vomit on the side of the road!  We had been working so hard up to that point that it was a little disappointing to see our training slip, but when the day of the race came we felt ready – terrified, but ready!

Swim… (we think that’s us in the picture below but I’m not positive…)

Bike…

Run…

And we did it!!!  I never would have finished, let alone made it to the starting line, without Nadia and am so proud of our accomplishment!

Otro Mundo

Posted in Travel with tags , , on December 18, 2011 by grandersons

Later in August, Kyle and I set out on a ‘glamping’ getaway in the Sierra del Segura region of Spain – basically halfway between Madrid and Barcelona.  We fell in love with the Otro Mundo website and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit these eco-domes for a quiet weekend away with just the two of us…especially after we discovered the news that we had a baby on the way, it was the perfect way to celebrate!

Otro Mundo was designed, built and now cared for by a young couple from the Netherlands who’s second baby girl had just been born 2 weeks before we arrived!  They were gracious hosts and incredible cooks – we definitely ended the weekend thinking “we would love to be friends with these people and come back to visit again someday!”

Our weekend was spent exploring nearby villages, taking a mini-hike, eating delicious meals with our amazing hosts, swimming in a fresh water pool to escape the heat, and enjoying the quiet of being ‘in the middle of nowhere’ in our own little dome.

On the way home, we also made a quick stop by the Lagunas de Ruidera – a series of lakes connected by a chain of small waterfalls – which were packed full of Spanish vacationers but absolutely beautiful!

Huevo on Board

Posted in Life in Madrid, Special Occassions with tags , on December 18, 2011 by grandersons

Just after arriving home from our camping trip, we received the biggest news of our lives…

We had always known we wanted to have kids and thought it would be wonderful if we could go home to Seattle with a little one on the way, but we also knew that these aren’t the sort of things you have complete control over.  However, as we set off for our camping trip in August, the possibility became more real that we just might have made a little Granderson and would have to wait a whole 2 weeks to find out!  A run where for the first time in my life I was wishing I had worn two sports bras and a breathless hike left me to wonder if it was all in my head or if my body really was trying to tell me something.

On August 11th our hunch became a reality with the appearance of two simple pink lines – we were going to have a baby!  We could hardly contain our excitement and quickly shared the news with our immediate families but decided to keep things a little quieter until we were confident everything was going as planned.

We will never forget that surreal day – knowing that our lives had just been changed forever – and continue to be in awe of the reality that we created a new life together… unbelievable.  And here I am at the start of this adventure…things are about to change!

Ah, and “Aunt Erin” quickly dubbed the baby “Huevo” in honor of all the eggs I’ve been eating since living in Spain and the fact that the baby was still more of a ‘huevo’ growing away at that point.  Our little Huevo!