Archive for the ‘Spain’

Visiting El Greco – Toledo 2014

April 08, 2014 By: erik Category: Art, Photos, Spain, Travel

Gentleman with hand on breastFor many years now, my wife has expressed interest in visiting the Spanish city of Toledo. Although she’s not much of an art aficionado, if you ever ask her who her favorite painter is, she’ll reliably respond “El Greco”. So when we saw on the news that there was a big exhibition to celebrate the quadricentenary of El Greco’s death in 1614 (yesterday, April 7, was the actual date), in which his greatest works would be shipped from museums around the world to Toledo, it was not a matter of if, but when we would go. When we got an opportunity to leave the kids with my in-laws, we took it!
(more…)

The Guggenheim in Bilbao

March 16, 2014 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, Travel

Nora and Westie - Guggenheim - BilbaoI’m a little embarrassed to admit that it’s only as we’re rounding out our ninth year living in eastern Cantabria that we have actually entered Frank Gehry’s incredibly unique building that tops all guidebooks to the lovely Basque city of Bilbao. But we did it; with two kids in tow nonetheless!

As a child, Nora was completely miserable to travel with in the car, so we became very town-bound. Ian is considerably better at riding in the car, so we’ve decided that we need to start doing more things on the weekends as a foursome family unit.
(more…)

Carnival 2014 – Cops and Robbers and Bees

March 07, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

After my impressive performance her first year, for the last two years of Nora’s daycare, I was ordained the official daycare photographer for the Carnival parade, where all the kids and parents (from all the daycares and preschools) dress up and parade around town. Since I was out of town for last year (it rained, anyway), and Ian hadn’t yet shown his face, this was the first year that I had ties to both the local school and to the daycare. Several months ago, the daycare boss, Adela, approached me and said, “We can count on you as photographer again this year, right?” I said, well…since I’ve got Nora in school, I’m not sure which group I should participate with. She said, “But you’re dressing up with us, right?” I said, “Well, that depends…Nora’s class is dressing up as bees, which is pretty cute. What is your costume?” She explained that the kids were going to dress up as cops, and the parents as prisoners. I was sold immediately. She always has the most creative ideas, like when the grown-ups were angels and the kids demons.
(more…)

Sunday Waves in Santander

December 17, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel, Videos

Wave Mist RainbowDespite the four of us being at various stages of battle against a winter cold virus, we decided to go, last Sunday, to Santander to see the penguins. Nora has expressed some interest in penguins, and there are some at the park near the Palacio de la Magdalena, Santander’s primary tourism must-see site. Because mobilizing a family of four is so challenging, we rarely do day trips, and we got out the door closer to lunch time than we’d planned, but that resulted in fewer crowds at the park. It turned out that there was something much more interesting and mesmerizing than penguins that captivated our attention.
(more…)

International Travel With Kids

December 06, 2013 By: erik Category: Complaining, Reviews, Spain, Travel

FlightsWe just got back from our first transatlantic pond hop as a fully formed family of four. The offspring were very well behaved, considering the adventure we went through. I’ll be using this post to vent some of my frustration with our voyage.

It began when my mother dropped us off at the curb of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. Just like she was for the first fifteen minutes of our car ride to the airport after saying adiós to her grandfather, Nora was wracked with inconsolable grief for the first fifteen minutes. She’s not good with goodbyes.
(more…)

Golf in Pedreña – Home of Seve Ballesteros

November 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Golf, Spain, Travel

Pedreña Putting GreenMy token answer for the often asked question is that, what I miss most about the United States, apart from my family, is the relatively easy access to golf. In Spain, I’m lucky if I get to play once or twice a year, and with the burdens joys of fatherhood, even less. As if to taunt me, one of the closest golf courses to my house is the super private Real Golf de Pedreña, probably the most famous course in northern Spain, and the home stomping grounds of Spain’s golf legend, Severiano Ballesteros.
(more…)

Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Party 2013As in previous years, I was given two little pumpkins by daily grocer, and we invited a kid or two over to participate in the annual ritual. The first year, we invited our neighbor, Oscar. He seemed more interested in Nora’s toys than with the pumpkin carving, so the next two years, 2011 and 2012, we invited a friend from three floors down, Carmen. Oscar has a three-year-old sister, Gabriela, now, and Nora has a best friend from school, Claudia, so we decided to invite all of them this year, including Claudia’s infant sister, Mara. Seven children!
(more…)

Halloween School Pumpkin Carving 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Carving 2013 - Fray PabloOnce again this year, I volunteered to go into Nora’s class and carve a pumpkin. Her teacher managed to acquire a 30 kg (66 lb) pumpkin from a fruit vendor in her hometown, and I agreed to come into school and perform my nation’s traditional pagan gourd evisceration ritual. This year, all three of the preschool classes (turtles, 3-year-olds; bears, 4-year-olds; and elephants, 5-year-olds) attended the actual carving. Due to the fact that the pumpkin had grown lying on its side, one side of it was totally flat, so it didn’t really stand up by itself, but we quickly solved that problem by placing it in a shallow bucket.
(more…)

Colindres in October

October 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Family, Offspring, Photos, Spain, Travel

The following is a document written by my father, Paul Rasmussen, about his trip to visit us in Spain in October 2013.

Ian and GrandpaOctober is my favorite month for visiting my son and his family in northern Spain. The weather is always comfortable, neither too hot nor too cold. Daylight begins around 8:00 am, and lasts until almost 8:00 pm. It is a convenient time to be away from home.

And then there are the birthdays. My son’s birthday is on the 12th, and my wife’s birthday is on the 16th. In Spain it is customary to take your friends and extended family out to eat on your birthday, often at a restaurant a bit classier than the norm. Some of my most memorable restaurant meals have been in Spain. To make the week even more worthy of celebration, October 13th is Erik and Marga’s wedding anniversary, and not coincidentally the anniversary of the best party I ever attended. So we flew away from America on October 8th, and flew back on the 18th.
(more…)

Tags: , , , ,

Conversations with a bilingual preschooler: Overtranslation

October 08, 2013 By: erik Category: Funny, Offspring, Parenting, Spain, Spanish

Bottle CapThe other day I was out walking with my bilingual four-year-old daughter, and we passed a pair of elderly women. One of them was carrying a plastic bag full of plastic bottle caps to recycle, probably for charity. Out of the blue, my daughter begins this conversation:

“Do you know what Grandpa likes to do?”

“No, what?”

“He likes to go to bars and get tops.”

“Tops?”

“Like bottle tops.”

[huge burst of laughter!]
(more…)