Archive for the ‘Extremadura’

State of the Offspring Address – August 2014

August 27, 2014 By: erik Category: Extremadura, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos, Videos

Ian and NoraThe offspring have spent the entirety of August on vacation with their Spanish grandparents in Extremadura, an inland region in the south of Spain. For the first half of the month, my wife and I spent a fortnight with them. It was fun to see them in this different environment. At fifteen months old, Ian is progressing very rapidly. He’s very steady on his feet and is getting a lot faster. He’s even sprouting a vocabulary that is almost in the double digits. When Nora was Ian’s age we were worried – hilariously, in retrospect – about her language development. He’s also learned to kiss, which he does by planting a big open mouth on your cheek like he’s about to bite you.
(more…)

State of the Offspring Address – August 2013

August 31, 2013 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, News, Offspring, Parenting, Photos

Silly Boy (crop)The offspring have spent nearly all of August away from home, on vacation in Extremadura, a region of southern Spain. It was Ian’s first time meeting all the people in Higuera de la Serena, the town that comes alive in August with all the old residents that left to find work. I was only able to go for two of the four weeks that they were down there. Since it’s her fifth year going, Nora knows all the customs and traditions of small town vacation life, where all the bars are, etc. She has always had a bit of an Extramaduran accent, but she really got it thick when she was there, much to the amusement of everyone but her parents who wish her to speak a little more correctly.
(more…)

Dusk Ducks

August 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Photography, Photos, Spain

Ducks at DusksI’ve just come back from summer vacation in Extremadura. Due to the sheer heat of the summer, much of our activity there is restricted to the evening and night time. Most days we would go for a walk to a local lagoon to have a drink at the bar there. A few times I took my camera, but there was one evening when the ducks were swimming back and forth and the water seemed to have such a beautiful texture, with complex ripple interactions. I took many photographs.
(more…)

Higuera de la Serena – 2012

August 21, 2012 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

Grapes 2012On the evening of August 6, we arrived in Higuera de la Serena, my wife’s family’s summer town in Extremadura, the original hometown of her maternal grandmother, and town where her mother grew up. Despite only having known my wife for fewer than twelve years, this was the third time I have watched the Summer Olympics from Extremadura, having visited every August since 2003.
(more…)

Zahí­nos 2012

August 14, 2012 By: erik Category: Bulls, Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

On The Farm - Zahí­nos 2012My wife and I arrived in my father-in-law’s hometown of Zahí­nos on the evening of Saturday, August 4th, right at the height of the town’s summer festival. Our daughter, Nora, who had not seen us in a week was ecstatic to be reunited with us. After sitting and chatting for a while with my wife’s aunt, uncle and cousins, we headed down to the town fairgrounds for the most Spanish of all pastimes. A portable bullring had been set up and there were two bullfighters, including a hometown lad, scheduled to perform.
(more…)

We’re Getting Wet!

December 08, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Family, Offspring, Spanish, Videos

Que nos mojamos (thumbnail)I was going through some old photos and videos and discovered this gem that my mother-in-law recorded last Easter when she and my wife took Nora down to Extremadura and left me de Rodriguez. It was a great example of her Spanish language skills at 25 months old. Now, however, after the death of her great-grandfather, it’s a poignant video of them playing together in at his house in Extremadura. They had a really great time playing together that week.
(more…)

Extremadura Stroll

September 07, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Extremadura SunsetWhen we go on summer vacations in Extremadura, as we do most Augusts, the weather is usually too hot to do much besides drink and sleep during the day, but at dusk, it’s just the right temperature for a nice stroll through the countryside. Just after sunset, the stars come out with a light-pollution-free brilliance that I almost never get to enjoy. In the past, I have been a bit more serious about photographing the serene beauty of an Extremadura sunset, but this year, in a marriage of convenience and laziness, I decided to only take my iPhone with me.
(more…)

Encounters with the Guardia Civil

August 22, 2011 By: erik Category: Complaining, Extremadura, Spain

Guardia CivilI had my third ever run-in with the traffic division of the Guardia Civil, Spain’s national police force, this past week. I was on my way out of Higuera de la Serena, the small town in Extremadura, southern Spain, where we spend a week each August drinking beer and complaining about the heat. Luckily, it was early in the day, before the day’s imbibing had begun. Before I explain what happened, let me briefly summarize my first Guardia Civil encounter, because the lessons it taught me came in handy this week.
(more…)

Queso de la Serena – Serena Cheese

May 11, 2011 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Food, Spain

Queso de la Serena, Spanish CheeseWhen my in-laws came back from their annual Easter trip to the La Serena region of Spain, they brought back a wheel of the typical cheese of the region, Queso de la Serena. It’s made from the milk of Merino sheep, and it takes almost two dozen sheep to product enough milk for a kilogram of cheese. It’s coagulated using a natural vegetable rennet taken from the cardoon, a thistle-like plant related to the artichoke. The coagulation happens very slowly, allowing for a rich, but tart, flavor to develop. Cheeses coagulated with cardoon tend to be very creamy, making the interior of the cheese very oozy. In fact, a traditional way to eat it is by slicing off the top and eating the creamy inside with a spoon. I’ve never done that, but it sounds wonderful.
(more…)

Kisses from Carla

August 18, 2010 By: erik Category: Extremadura, Offspring, Videos

Kisses from Carla (vidcap)It’s been over a week since I’ve seen my daughter, and I miss her a lot. Her grandparents will be bringing her back on Sunday. If words from the front line are to be beleived, Nora is being extremely well behaved, is being polite to strangers, and even offering up her cheek to be kissed by total strangers (giving kisses is reserved for loved ones). Perhaps this kiss reception was learned with her “friend” Carla.

Carla is the daughter of one of Marga’s best friends from Extremadura. Nora and Carla first “met” last June in Madrid. Even though Carla was born 25 days after Nora, she is waaaay more advanced than Nora by just about every available metric. She walks freely, speaks several words, follows instructions, and gives people kisses…man, does she give some kisses! Carla’s parents suggest that it might be from spending 7 hours in daycare every day (Nora spends 3) with older kids that challenges her to excel. Nora won’t be where Carla is now for another four months.
(more…)

Tags: , ,