We´ve gone south to visit the family clan for a week. The Alvia train was very nice, but I can´t wait until they finish the AVE track (2014 from what I hear). The new terminal in Valencia looks like it was built in a war zone, surrounded by half-collapsed warehouses.
The kids love being with their cousins, grand-parents, great-grand mother, uncles, nephews, nieces, etc. This was one of the reasons that we moved to Spain, and it´s definitely much less work than having to fly in from the US.
The longer we stay here in Spain the more I think we will stay here. There´s other places that could be more professionally rewarding, but I think in five years geographic location will matter very little in my industry. When we first moved here three years ago, I was the first senior person in the office to be working remotely. Now there´s about five of us and more are coming in the next couple months.
The most important thing for us has been to see how well the children have adapted. They are now fully trilingual, with local friends and integrated in the culture. The nationalism thing still gets on my nerves a bit, but not nearly as much as it used to. We´ve also met a lot of nice people from school since our oldest is very studious, so the other parents really want their kids to hang out with him. Culturally I know I´m not going to fully fit in, but I´d have that problem anywhere now.
My New Year´s resolutions are going to be: get more involved in music (the 11pm practice times for most groups in Spain has been a barrier for me, plus relearning A,B,C to Do Re Mi...), get some professional help with my Spanish (it´s gotten pretty good, but it´s all by osmosis so far), and get a regular exercise program.
Lets see how that works out....