Off to Andorra After the Big Storm (Day 151 to 156)

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Monday, The First Day of the Storm – Day 151

I have to confess, I have been waiting until the end of the week to write my daily record. It is a sign of just living my life and keeping track is getting harder and harder. This was the first day of the 4 day storm in Spain. I read an article that said it dumped 3 months of rain in just 3 days. And it certainly felt like it.  

Tuesday, Our Monthly Team Meeting –  Day 152

The highlight of my day was our monthly team meeting for Lawline. It is so rewarding seeing the culture and company thrive in so many ways even when I am 4000 miles away. We have such a great team, and we are working on really interesting projects in the near future. 2019 was a record year for Lawline in many ways and I am looking forward to what this year has in store. 

Wednesday, Being President of EO – Day 153

The storm continued and it just became the new normal. It felt like it was never going to end. My workout routine has now doubled because I go to the gym and do weights first, and then head to my spinning class and sweat like nobody’s business. I have no long term plans with spinning, but for now I am enjoying the new edition to my routine. 

It was my last Spanish class of the semester. Between the class, my private lessons, and my memory palaces, I am really happy with my progress since I arrived. 

That evening after I dropped Leila off at dance class, I sat at a bar and spent the next hour hand-writing another chapter to my upcoming book. I was writing about my experience becoming president of EO. They say one of the hardest things is leading leaders on a volunteer board. And yes, it was, and that experience certainly changed me forever. 

Thursday, 5th Day of Spinning – Day 154

The sun finally came out around 12pm, and the storm went off into the distance. It was almost four full days of unrelenting wind and rain. I have never experienced anything like it. In fact, many Spanish people haven’t either, as this was the biggest storm in Spain in over 30 years. Up north, some mountains got up to 4 feet of snow. 

I went to my 5th spinning class and I am really getting into the vibe. The huge screen at the front of the class, simulating us riding up a mountain has got me itching to try it in real life. That is certainly out of my comfort zone, but biking is very popular in Barcelona. I might just have to check that off my list sooner, rather than later. 

That evening we went out to dinner with two other couples. Our first night out with a babysitter since before Winter Break and it was great. 

Friday, Day 155 – One of The Scariest Drives of My Life on Our Way to Andorra

At the end of the school day, we picked the kids up in our rental car with the goal to get to Andorra as close to sundown as possible. Last week, I drove to La Molina mountain up a windy just snowed-on road, and I did not want to repeat that again. Even though it snowed close to 3 feet this week, I heard that the road was paved so I felt our car could handle it.  

Again, the drive to the Pyrenees was just breathtaking.  As we were once again heading to the longest tunnel in Spain, I was joking with Kelli that last weekend when we came out of it, it was almost pitch black and looked like another weather system. I said, “I wonder what will be in store for us this time.” Not thinking much of it. 

As soon as we got out, there was a big surprise waiting for us. A complete white out with fog covering the road. And dusk was quickly turning to night. Then we learned the main road was closed (possibly due to fallen trees), so we had to drive up the switch back mountain road through France that I was told to avoid. Visibility went to less than 5 feet and I was grateful to have another car with it’s lights in front of me, for at least part of the way.  I was scared and did not want to be there, but had no choice but to keep moving forward. It lasted for about an hour, and now I truly understand what white knuckled driving means. 

Andorra is a small country in between France and Spain. When we got to our hotel, we heard a mix of Spanish and French from all the guests which was pretty cool. We went out to dinner to a great little French fondue place near the hotel. 

Saturday, Day 156, Ski Day 

The day started off slow and, I hate to say, the morning got worse from there. A 10-minute drive to our ski rental place turned into over one hour in standstill traffic. Then renting skis took 3 full hours. As a result, Kelli and the kids showed up with 25 minutes left to their 3 hour lessons. The kids were able to extend it an hour and Kelli just cancelled her lesson all together. 

I skied by myself during that time and with the kids afterward. It was white out fog conditions again on the top of the mountain. At least I am getting used to it.  Overall though, the snow was great, and we were skiing in Andorra, a good place to have complaints. It was a full day! 

Leila and Jonah finding things to do as we waited 3 hours to rent skis in Andorra.
Josh & Jonah Exhausted after a full day of skiing even after a late start.

Sunday, Day 157, Headed Back to Barcelona Early

Leila was not feeling well and we wanted to miss what we heard was up to 6 hours of traffic going back to Barcelona through Andorra customs. So we left in the early afternoon, after doing a quick drive through the city center. On the way home, we once again had the blinding fog but this time it was daylight and felt like child’s play. 

The views of the Pyrenees are just breath taking (when there is no fog)
Hills upon hills that lead to the mountains.
Until all there is the fog. This was the best visibility for the fog so we were able to relax and take a photo. So obviously it does not do it justice.

We stopped about 2.5 hours into the drive around an hour from Barcelona in a smallish town called  …. We drove around for 20 minutes to find a restaurant to eat at and it being Sunday in Spain, everything was closed. All the restaurants we found on Trip Advisor were in the old section which was pedestrian, so we could not drive there to double check they were open. 

Defeated, we started heading back to the highway to rush back to Barcelona to eat a very late lunch. Luckily we saw a few places on the way out. Two had a lot of people outside, but the kids saw a sushi place that looked like a hole in the wall and we figured, “okay, fine.” We walked in and were in shock. It was like Grand Central Station; it was huge and every table was full except one (I guess it was waiting for us). 

After lunch, the kids had fun playing outside on a swing and made a local friend while I talked to her dad, David, who is a runner. The town was about 30 km north of Montserrat and he runs there a lot. We exchanged WhatsApps and he said he will take me there for a run in March. Hey, crazier things have happened! 

The boys play with their new friend.

Kel and I were glad to get home on the earlyish side, and we worked on our Spanish homework. It is fun to be in school together. Again, spending time doing things like driving to cool places and studying Spanish as a couple is what this experience is all about!