My First 10k, Thanksgiving, & Memorization (Day 95 to 102)

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Day 95 to 102

This week was one of the most normal, low key weeks I have had since I moved to Spain and to be honest, I loved it. My whole family was under the weather at different points and my week consisted mostly of the basic routines that we have set.

Spanish class,
After school activities,
Conference calls,

However, we finished the week strong with many plans with different families and friends.  And this week, we did hit 100 days in Spain! More on that in coming posts. 

Sunday – Day 95

Jonah had a birthday party in the morning and the twins had a party in the afternoon. We split up forces and I took the twins to their party and found a nearby gym to go to while they were playing laser tag. That night, I had dinner with an EO member from Atlanta who was in town for a few days. It is nice being the host and sharing my experiences so far.

Monday – Day 96

Had my morning Spanish class, went to the gym, and headed home to work the rest of the day. The whole family has cold symptoms we so we all laid low. I did my best to finish memorizing the 100 spanish verbs using the memory palace technique.

Tuesday – Day 97  – 100 Spanish Verbs Memorized

Jonah’s sickness turned into a fever so I stayed home with him throughout the morning. On the plus side, I was able to finish memorizing the 100 verbs. Because I could not leave to do our weekly conversation in Spanish, I opted to retry Baselang and had an hour conversation with someone in Spanish the whole time using the verbs. It was much harder than I anticipated to go from memorization to a spanish only conversation, but very helpful. 

One fun activity with Jonah was when I was able to turn my 3 card monte into a magic trick for him. I would sprinkle magic dust on the cards and when Jonah would not be able to find the right card, he was amazed. It is the little things in life that make you smile. See, I still got some Brooklyn in me. 

Wednesday – Day 98

Spanish class. Gym. Home. Work. Leila’s dance class. Pizza for dinner. Sleep.

Thursday – Day 99 – Thanksgiving Day Getting to Teach Kelli

It’s Thanksgiving Day and the kids have school. It was one of those mornings, but I am hoping it will be a turning point. Jonah now will only wear one pair of socks. He could not find them and would not put on any other socks for school. Kelli was taking the kids to school and called a taxi. Normally, that is enough to get Jonah to relent and put a pair on but this time he would not budge. 

The game of chicken started and Kelli saw on the app the taxi was 2 minutes away. She took the kids downstairs to the lobby. Af first, I thought she was bluffing and she was waiting in our hallway, but I opened the door and she was gone. Red Alert. I thought to myself this is not a drill, she is really going to leave him. 

I looked Jonah in the eye and said, “babe, you are going to miss school today for one pair of socks. Let me help you put on this other pair and I will tell mommy to wait.” — “No!” He screamed back. Ok this was it. I was convinced Jonah was now staying home. Maybe this would be a good learning moment for him. I told him, well he will have to stay home today. Kelli called and said she was leaving. I was not happy, but inside I agreed. 

When Jonah realized this was real. He freaked out. She really was leaving. One minute later, Kelli called and said, “what do you want me to do?” I said,  “come back up!” At that moment, Jonah knew better than to say no. I helped him put his socks and shoes on. By the time Kelli came back, she was very unhappy, grabbed Jonah’s hand and sweatshirt and they raced  downstairs to the waiting cab. 

We know one answer to this problem. Jonah needs to go to bed earlier. Sharing a room with Josh makes that very difficult. At the least, moving forward he should choose his clothes and SOCKS the night before.

Later in the day, thanks to Bryan Wish, I was introduced to Sofya, who is the Director of The Gaudi Academia. She has spent the past 2 years designing and putting together an interactive exhibition of Gaudi that is going to tour the world and will start in Barcelona in June. 

In addition, at only 23, she has been named a fellow at the Kairos Society, as she also started a business giving workshops on the 4 principles of Gaudi that can be tied to business and life. 

Once I learned this, we dove deeper into what those principles are: 1) people, 2) design, 3) sustainability, 4) communication and they are all connected through a spiral. She designed this workshop with one other person and it was super impressive for her to take me through it. Hey, I even got her to agree to do it for Entrepreneurs Organization in Barcelona! 

That night, we had a delicious Thanksgiving meal with the help of our chef who came earlier in the day. 

Two other cool things about the day:
1) Kel wanted to learn more verbs and asked me to teach her the Memory Palace that I used to remember the 100 most common verbs. She tried it and it worked! Felt cool to share that knowledge. 

2) We had another idea for Jonah – we told Jonah he would have to sleep in his school clothes for the next day to speed up the morning process. And that’s just what he did, complete with socks. Allowing him to sleep to the very last minute if he wanted. Let’s see how it goes! 

Friday – Day 100

Jonah was dressed and ready first thing in the morning! And then of course it was Joshua running late.  It’s always something.

In the morning, Kelli and I had an excursion together with both of our Spanish classes and our teachers. We toured a different part of the Gothic quarter that we hadn’t been to before, and of course it was in Spanish which made it even better.  I understood more than half of what was being said. After that Kelli and I took the rest of the morning/afternoon to walk around Barcelona together. We had not done that since our early days here, or maybe even all the way back to June when we came to find an apartment. 

14,000 steps later and close to our apartment, we found a great place for lunch to not only reflect on the day, but to reflect on it being our 100th day in Barcelona!! We both agreed the experience of moving here and now living in Barcelona these 100 days has changed who we are for the rest of our lives.  In fact, I changed the name of the blog to “The First 100 Days of the Rest of Our Lives” and I decided I am going to write a short book about this experience and I will publish it in May. 

Rounding the day off, I had a meeting at 7pm the Soho House with one of my forum members to go over his presentation for next week. What is amazing to me is that you can be in NYC, LA, or Barcelona and the people at Soho House all look exactly the same. It had good energy, it was a great place to dig deeper, and I believe we had some good break throughs. 

The taxi to dinner. They don’t joke about their Xmas Lights.

After, Kel and I met another forum mate, Roman and his wife, Ana, out for dinner at Rilke. The meal was great, but the conversation was even better. What really blew my mind was Ana said she only speaks English a few times a year and the last time she spoke it was several months ago. She of course spoke perfectly. Even Roman said the only time he speaks English is really with the forum. I guess once you become truly fluent, it is like riding a bike and it sticks with you, regardless if you only use it a few times a year. 

After dinner, they took us to their apartment that they recently moved out of, but are planning to rent. Roman looked at us and said,  “do you want to walk in normally or have the full experience?”

Before we knew it, we both had scarves wrapped around our eyes. We were being guided in and put to lie down on a couch. Then we heard some sort of classical music playing in the background. What is going on?

Finally, he told us to take off our blindfolds. On the ceiling, hanging over us, was one of his custom sculpture of a leaf that was the full size of the ceiling and came out of the wall. It looked like something you would see in a showroom or a movie. It was unbelievable. What a talent! What a hobby! The photo does not do it justice. 

Roman’s Amazing Artwork

Saturday – Day 101 

Leila and I went near La Sagrada Familia to pick up my race bib for the next day and we were lucky to find a street fair there. We spent time walking through it as she pondered what would be the special thing she would get.  Up for grabs was cotton candy, gummies, churros, and crepes with Nutella. She chose the crepes and based on the competition, I was quite pleased. 

We decided to sit down in a little park across from La Sagrada Familia. Right next to where we sat was an amazing view of the church. It was actually a pretty magical spot. As a result, it was the prime photo spot for everyone coming for a visit. There were several girls who took 15 or so minutes posing and posing for the perfect photo. Oh the Instagram culture! 

Who photo bombed who?

That night, we were invited to our friend’s house in St. Cugat, which is the town right over the mountain, for a Saturday night Thanksgiving dinner party.  There were about 40 people there with adults and kids and it was a lovely evening. A huge house with lots of outdoor space. Once again, reminding me how lucky we are to have found a strong community so early on here (I guess it’s day 101, so maybe not so early anymore). 

Sunday – Day 102

Signed up for my first 10K race and I picked the right one to do it. It was called Cursa Bombers Barcelona and it was in part to raise money for the fire department. In fact, many of the firefighters ran the whole race in full gear. There were 15,000 people there so it felt more like a half marathon than just a 10K. I ran with two people I knew and for 1/4 of the race, I practiced my Spanish with them. It was great to be back in the race game. 

Cursa Bombers Barcelona 10K with Friends
Many fire fighters ran in full gear

Now I need to decide. Barcelona marathon in March?