Wednesday, June 02, 2010

No Spain This Summer

So the good news is that el esposo has been accepted into a doctoral program here in Philadelphia. After all of these years of supporting my fabulous freelance career, aka no regular salary and no health benefits, el esposo finally gets to follow his bliss. Come September, he will begin his studies to get his Ph.d in Hispanic linguistics and I will be the official worker bee supporting our Kinky Gazpacho family. Luckily, el esposo is so brilliant he was awarded a teaching fellowship, so he will receive a tiny, little, itty, bitty stipend, but the fact of the matter is, we will be eating a lot more beans and rice for dinner.

Which brings us to the bad news. Because we're looking at some lean years ahead, this summer el esposo will be working two jobs to try to offset his soon to be lack of income. So, of course a trip to Spain for four people is out of the question.

Now some people may not be able to muster up a shred of sympathy for my predicament, but I have to say that for our family, going to Spain doesn't feel like a luxury or even a vacation. It's simply where we live during the summers. Summer equals Spain. Summer means not speaking English. It means pan con aceite de oliva instead of butter, for breakfast. It means dry, hot heat by day, and refreshing Atlantic breezes at night. It means playing with our cousins and watching a lot of soccer. It means watching my children shed their American skin and practice being a child in a different language. It means feeling a little inept in the domestic arts for me, as I watch how a "real" Spanish woman cares for her home and waits on her man. Yes, I am going to miss it all.

Every day my children ask, 'when are we going to Spain?' For them, it isn't even a question of whether we will go, but when are we leaving. I hate telling them that this year we are not going, not because I feel bad that we don't have enough money, but rather because in our family summer equals Spain. This is how el esposo and I have tried to instill in our Spanish-American children that they come from two countries. We don't want Spain to feel like a sometime-y vacation or holiday. We want them to know that they belong there too.

So, how am I making myself feel better about the whole thing? Well, given el esposo's area of study, I'm sure sooner or later he'll have to go do research in Spain and the kids and I will tag along. Also, this is only one year. Who knows what will happen next year? Maybe my new novel, Substitute Me will be optioned for a film deal or Oprah will make it her last book club pick, we'll be filthy rich and get to go Spain twice a year! And in the meantime, el esposo's sister is still in love with my brother and is coming for an extended visit in the fall. So, if we can't get to Spain, at least a little bit of Spain is coming to us.

Thanks for listening. And by the way, what do you world travelers do when you can't afford the transatlantic flight? What do you do to substitute for travel?


p.s. Tune in to the Today Show, tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 8:09am to catch me talking about hair. The specific topic: Curly vs Straight.


Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Oh, that's too bad you won't get to go to Spain! But that is exciting, this transition you have coming up! I'm sure your hubby must be excited to start his new program (and no doubt, you're glad to finish yours!).

Oh, I wish we could have made yearly trips to visit family. But we could never afford going that often to Thailand and South Africa. Both are long flights from LA. Still, I did get bit by the travel bug and I get regular itches about every 6 months where I just have to go somewhere. So I made a deal with myself: that I would go someplace new every year. And how far away and exotic that "new" place is, is totally determined by my budget. Good years? Europe, S.E. Asia, Costa Rica.... Lean years? Camping at Yosemite or visiting friends in San Fran/Berkeley. At least I do get to see more of the States that way.

Hope you find some fun for the family!

erin michelle said...

Hi Lori,

I am up early this morning to support you on the Today Show! Good luck to you.

honeysmoke said...

Thanks for representing curlies on the today show this morning.

Anonymous said...

what do you do when u can't go, i go to Harlem.

Shab said...

Sorry about your Spain trip this year. I really wish we could do a whole summer in Spain as you do. That's my goal. We get two weeks and that's it. Last year we didn't go so it'll be my 18 month old's first time to go to his dad's old stomping grounds. I am truly hoping that when we get back we are more serious about Spanish-only from Dad all of the time. At 3 and 1, this is the time to instill the language skills! While they're still sponges!

Thanks for your inspiration!

I hope there's a trip to Spain on the horizon soon. I can't wait to be able to send the boys to soccer camps in Spain!

Towonda said...

Well lately I've had to accept that I can only go to Europe when it is on company money. No worries, I have been exploring beautiful places in South and Central America for extended weekends. Costa Rica is always nice but it is getting up there in price but I think places like Nicaragua and Colombia are really turning out to be something to be reckon with. There is also Montreal..French speaking so you can kind of feel like you are far away from home.