I wanted to jot down a few notes about all the preparation we’ve done so far for this move to Spain. We’ve accomplished a few of the biggest milestones, so it’s time to celebrate those achievements. It’s also a good way to help us remember what else is left to be done before we leave.
The biggest part of preparing for our year in Granada was putting together all the paperwork for our visas. We must have done it correctly because our non-lucrative residential visas were approved last month and we flew down to San Francisco to pick them up in person. Aside from the five-hour delay of our flight home, it went smoothly. Once we get to Granada we will take them to our “town hall” and apply for our residence cards. Visas – Check!
In order to pick up our visas we had to show proof of our flights to Spain, so we made our reservations. We leave Seattle July 4th, stop in Iowa to see Jason’s family, and leave for Spain on July 11th. We will spend three days in Madrid getting our bearings and recovering from jet lag before heading to our home in Granada on July 15th. Fights to Spain – Check!
The most stressful aspect of this move was finding someone to rent our home for a year. What could have been a difficult and time-consuming project was made so much easier with the help of our friend and realtor extraordinaire, Maura. The second family to look at our home decided to rent it. Bonus, they want it furnished, don’t need the garage so we can use that to store our personal items (no paying for a storage space) and, wait for it…they want to lease Jason’s truck while we are gone so we don’t have to worry about storing that either. AND our new renters were kind enough to send us some wine as a thank you. House rented to awesome people – Check!
With a little internet research and a lot of help from Google Translate, we have schools picked out for the kids. We have decided to go “all in” and put them in the local neighborhood schools. Matthew and Gabi will be in grades 6 and 4 respectively, and will be attending CEIP Gomez Moreno, a public primary school in our neighborhood of the Albayzin. We’ve registered them and have spoken with a couple expat families whose children have also attended there. The school is used to hosting expats and has a specialist to help kids for whom Spanish is not their first language. Robbie will be attending secondary school at IES Albayzin, also a public neighborhood school, but one that has a multi-lingual program. He will be allowed to take some of his classes in English (or German or French if he prefers!). Secondary school in Spain is a little different from the U.S. Children are required to attend school until they are 16, what would be the end of 10th grade in the U.S. After that they have the choice of getting a job, doing two years of a baccalaureate program and then attending university or attending a two-year vocational program. Each of the secondary schools in Granada has different vocational programs. IES Albayzin’s program is the academy of image and sound, and while Robbie won’t be able to take film classes during the school day, they offer after-school film classes for students in the compulsory grades and also host a film festival every year. So, while he will be missing a year of Ballard High School’s digital film program, he still will be able to participate in movie-making to some degree in Spain. Find schools for the kids – Check!
Our wonderful friends, the Bulsons have agreed to take our black lab, Rigby, while we are away. He is going to have a great home with lots of attention and may even get some rides on a tugboat every once in a while. And most importantly, they will let us have him back when we return. Home for dog – Check!
Today happens to be Jason’s last day of employment. Hoping he’ll do a blog post soon about that. It’s kind of a big deal. Quit job – Check!
Lots of things still on our to-do list, but two of the big ones are selling my truck (2008 Yukon Denali XL in case anyone is interested!) and finding a home for this guy…
The Preparation – Part Two, coming soon.