17,500 steps.

We've noticed that we walk a little bit more here. And by a little bit more, I mean around 3x as much. John's iPhone keeps track of our steps, and it looks like we've been walking between 6-8 miles a day, just around town. We play a little game that we like to call "Cuantos Pasos?" ("How Many Steps?") Actually, only John likes to play it because I fail at estimation, but I'm thoroughly amazed when I hear how far we've gone.

After a five mile walk to and from the school where I'll be a language assistant for the year (yes, FIVE miles roundtrip!), we saw this beautiful sight as we walked into our new city.

After a five mile walk to and from the school where I'll be a language assistant for the year (yes, FIVE miles roundtrip!), we saw this beautiful sight as we walked into our new city.

We have stumbled upon so much beauty.

We have stumbled upon so much beauty.

We have both commented that so far in Spain we haven't felt much of the "honeymoon" phase of being in a foreign country. You know, the "I can't believe we're here!" and "PEOPLE ARE SPEAKING SPANISH!" and "Tapas are the best things in the whole wide world!" feelings. (OK, I might have to take back the tapas comment because I think I actually do feel that way about them.) I'm glad we're here and this whole experience is a wonderful, rare gift that we are trying to wrap our minds around. Maybe it's simply that because we've both spent more than just a week or two in Spain here and there, our surroundings aren't as unfamiliar, weird, or even quite as incomprehensible. We have a much better sense of how things work, what expressions to use, and where things might be located. (Then again, we stood in line at a convenience store for 15 minutes this morning thinking it was where we could buy train tickets. No wonder people were walking off with 60 euro stashes of cigarettes but there wasn't a train ticket in sight. Live and learn, right?)

More on that later. There is so much to think through and process as we walk through each day and figure out the ropes of moving into real life as a married couple in our new culture!

In case you don't get enough exercise walking, you can always cycle through town. (I've thought about the possibility of getting a bike, but I really don't want to get hit by a car.)

In case you don't get enough exercise walking, you can always cycle through town. (I've thought about the possibility of getting a bike, but I really don't want to get hit by a car.)

Today, we ventured into Madrid to go to church. And no, we didn't walk! Madrid is about 40 minutes away by train, but due to the location of the church we visited, our trip took nearly 2 hours. Our modes of transportation included walking, riding the Cercanías (above-ground trains that run out into the suburbs and small towns, like ours, surrounding the metropolis), riding the bus (Surprise! The metro is in repair and we had to take a connecting bus between 7 or 8 stations.), and walking some more. We came to find out we could have simply taken a bus into town and walked from that stop to the church. Live and learn #2.

After lunch activities included lunch in a neighborhood plaza near the metro station, free entrance into the Reina Sofia Museum (modern art--we wanted to see Picasso's Guernica), and a simpler ride home on the train.

In the courtyard of the Reina Sofía. Outside art against the deep blue sky.

In the courtyard of the Reina Sofía. Outside art against the deep blue sky.

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If you are a person who likes to hate on food pictures ("Why is she taking a photo of her meal?!"), you probably won't enjoy my blog. Don't say you didn't have fair warning! This is common Spanish fare: melón con jamón, or melon with ham. It's not my favorite mix of flavors in the world; it's a little tangy and definitely different. And OK, this jamón was a little more beef jerky-esque than I would have preferred. But all in all a good meal (with bread, chicken, and potatoes, too).

If you are a person who likes to hate on food pictures ("Why is she taking a photo of her meal?!"), you probably won't enjoy my blog. Don't say you didn't have fair warning! This is common Spanish fare: melón con jamón, or melon with ham. It's not my favorite mix of flavors in the world; it's a little tangy and definitely different. And OK, this jamón was a little more beef jerky-esque than I would have preferred. But all in all a good meal (with bread, chicken, and potatoes, too).

We also got a call from our realtor letting us know that the very first apartment we saw and really liked was available! There were some questions about that, because another woman told him she was interested in it mere hours before we said that we would like to rent it. It's a long story, but God's provision of this apartment has truly amazed us. I'm so proud of John, too, for talking on the phone and negotiating with the realtor--he is far bolder and more outgoing with Spanish than I have ever been. Tomorrow, we sign papers and move in, and the adventure continues.