14 Years

Fact: I find Spanish men very attractive. As a whole, they are well-dressed, courteous, attentive, and affectionate. They are loyal to family, love children, and have a natural swagger. On more than one occasion, I’ve blushed, or stammered, or simply stared in awe at Manolo, Antonio, Jose, Pedro, or Julio. (And I’m not talking about … More 14 Years

The Volkswagon Truck

I am sitting in a Volkswagon truck, the ubiquitous European version of a SUV, wearing my brown-and-white polka dot feria dress. My youngest son rests on my lap. Next to me, is a teenage girl in a feria dress—tall, beautiful, and unaware of her power. Her mother pours a rubujito into a plastic glass. In … More The Volkswagon Truck

Blue Period

When the sun shines, and my patio blooms with red roses, I am embarrassed to admit that I have the blues. But then, I think, Picasso was Spanish and had a Blue Period, so I am also inclined to have mopey days. Even in Spain. My mopey days feel a bit like one of those … More Blue Period

The Grace of Cafe

In a country which is 99% Catholic, it’s not surprising that there is a reverence for ritual. This is one of my favorites: You walk into a bar, past the plastic-sheeted patio, towards the counter. “Buenos,” you say. “Cafe con leche, por favor.” “Cafe con leche, vale,” replies the man behind the counter, pounding fresh … More The Grace of Cafe

Still Flaming Red

I am turning 38 on Tuesday. When I turned 37, I celebrated my birthday by running across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and eating a Nutella cupcake at CakeLove in DC. I had announced that 37 was to be my “Year of Adventure,” and that I was going to run across as many bridges as possible. … More Still Flaming Red


Corporate Spain shuts down on Sunday. The grocery stores, big box emporiums, local tiendas, and shopping malls close their doors. Restaurants, bars, and cafes, however, remain open. Families and friends gather, drink, laugh, and linger. A holy day. It’s not uncommon, even in February, to see families walk along the paseo, by the beachfront. Children … More Sunday

Like Clockwork

My oldest is turning seven tomorrow. And we’ve been fighting. It happens like clockwork. Right around the year or half year mark, he gets itchy. And mouthy. Testing limits, pressing hard. And I yell. And fret. And wonder if I’m raising a jerk. It’s miserable. I worry, sometimes, that our decision to move to Spain … More Like Clockwork

Hard-won and Tenacious

I went out for a cafe with a Spanish friend. We talked about the new pope, the upcoming Carnival, parenting, and work. And I realized, that between the words, so hard-won and tenacious, there’s so much she doesn’t know about me. How I love Ben Folds and will.i.am. She doesn’t know that my first kiss … More Hard-won and Tenacious

A Tender Land

On the day of the Three Kings Day parade, I trudged up the street, still littered with the caramelos tossed on the parade route. My boots, covered in a thick crust of crushed candies, clung to the ground with each step. I watched my oldestĀ  ahead of me, walking with my husband and our landlord. … More A Tender Land