So there were a few hiccups in getting to Spain, but things have been going really well since our arrival, with the exception of trying to figure out the Spanish dietary schedule. It seems every time we want to sit down for a meal, the restaurant is not open. We finally figured out that lunch starts at 2:00 pm and most restaurants will not seat you before that. Then the doors are shut promptly at 4:00. Yet oddly enough, even some restaurants take this time for siesta and it is impossible to order more than a coke and pastries during the lunch period. We still need to figure out which restaurants are which.
As for dinner, it doesn't start until 8:30. And as during lunch, it is impossible to be seated before then. Just when we got our kids on a schedule reasonably approximating what they were used to in the states (bedtime between 8:00 and 9:00), we realized we couldn't get a decent meal for dinner.
Luckily, we have found a few chain restaurants that will seat and serve at any time: the Hard Rock Cafe, a few blocks away from our hotel, and "VIPS", which can be found all over the city. Basically, it's like eating at Denny's or TGI Friday's for every meal. Needless to say, after a few days of greasy restaurant food, it began to wear, so today we bought as much as we could carry home from the grocery store to prepare meals at the hotel in the mini-kitchen. We don't really have the appliances or the tools to create many fabulous meals, but our first dinner in the hotel that wasn't room service, or cereal, was extremely satisfying.
Hopefully, we should be in our apartment within a week or two. We found a nice place just about 100 yards from my office. It's newly renovated, squeezing 4 bedrooms, a living room and a dining room into 1600 square feet. The rooms are all very small (especially the kitchen), but the apartment building has a bright red door, and the kitchen is a very modern, shiny red, making Isaac very happy because red is his favorite color (after all, he is the red power ranger).
We met a nice family today at the park. They moved here from Connecticut three weeks ago, so they are in a situation similar to ours, except that the mother is actually a European citizen (her father British, mother Peruvian), the father is Brazilian, and they used to live in Madrid and decided to leave Connecticut both for professional and personal reasons. Even though they're newly arrived, they are seasoned veterans at living in Madrid, and they were very helpful in providing information. Eryka already has plans for playgroups and outings in the park. She may also have a lead on a Brazilian nanny (did I just suggest we might hire a nanny?! - I never thought that would happen).
Tomorrow we'll attend church for the first time in Madrid. There is an English-speaking branch that meets in the afternoon at the chapel by the Temple. We may ultimately decide to attend a Spanish ward that meets closer to where we'll be living, but the English branch will surely be a great resource for helping us get acclimated.