As promised, I am putting up some pics of our OUR first house. We are completely moved in, but still tweaking things here and there - hiding the cords, organizing knick-knacks, deciding exactly how we like everything, but now that everything is atleast unpacked it feels like our house - which is amazing. So please, come on in!
Here is a pic of our moving days - all nice and sweaty, but happy campers! It was basically two moves - my stuff at the end of June and Joseba's stuff soon after and into the first week of July. Our strategy was to pack, transport and unpack, which in the end boded well for us. I think we only ended up using about 10 boxes for the entire things and just used them over and over. Quite nice that on the last day we only had a few boxes to unpack instead of weeks worth of moving.
When we decided to get married, we knew that of course we would be living together. We didn't immediatley look for a new place, seeing as Joseba had a huge farmhouse in the countryside that would be perfectly fine for us during the summer. Then out of the blue, this apartment came up online and we both liked it immediatley. We sent and email but sadly they didn't respond as quick as we had hoped. Turns out, the real estate agent's office was honestly next to my old apartment, so one day after a jog I stopped by and told the agent, Lina, that we were interested. We made an appointment to see it the next day!
As soon as I walked in, I mostly fell in love with the built-in bookcases. I am a sucker for bookcases. On top of that, although the apartment was filled with baby things (play pens, toys, etc), you could see that it was quite a nice little home - light wood, a lot of light, newly renovated. The landlord was there and also seemed quite nice and said they were only moving because with 2 kids in a small apartment, its a bit difficult. I played the whole 'we are going to be newlyweds looking for a place to make our first home' card and they loved it! I took some pictures and asked a million questions and then after ran home to email Joseba and tell him how much I thought it fit us. He quickly then made an appointment to see it the next day.
There are tons and tons of apartments in Donostia, but most of them are 'student' flats, meaning they are only rented from September to June...which obviously isnt what we were looking for. So the fact that this one was near the city center, was a good price, was a long-term contract and a lovely house, we were convinced it was for us! The next day Joseba came to see the place, always keeping in mind his projector and screen (a little cinema fan I have here!) and if it would fit. He also liked it too and since we had talked before and decided if he liked it too then to BOOM say we will take it, because we already knew there was lots of interest. So, it was done - the next day I turned in the deposit and we got the ball rolling.
After our wedding we signed all the contract papers, blah blah blah and during the last week of June were handed the keys to start the move-in! So exciting the first day to come in together - to OUR house!
Although I have lived in San Sebastian for 3 years almost, I barely ever came to Egia - the name of our new barrio (neighborhood). It's only about 10 minutes from where I used to live, but instead of the flat land that runs into the beach, this part of town is all on a hill and quite a work-out to get around. What used to be mainly agricultural land, Egia was really just a hodgepodge of little villages until about the mid-1800's when they started connecting and creating a small community in the area. Around the 1950's, with San Sebastian expanding and people looking for cheap housing, many renters flocked to this neighborhood for the prices and closeness to the center. During that time, most rooms were rented by young people, but it seems to me that most of them rented...and never left, because the median age around here is quite high. Most of the cafés have older people in them, but I am starting to notice younger people around too.
Egia is known for it's music scene (which was a big selling point for Joseba) with two good concert venues near - one 2 minutes from our house. With the concerts, a stand-up comedian bar and some hip restaurants going up (a delicious vegetarian restaurant we tried the other day), people are starting to say our neighborhood is the next cool thing. Fancy that - we are trendsetters! And although we live 2 minutes from the main drag, our street is set apart, so it seems like we are in a quiet little part of town.
The apartment is a 2-bedroom but we use one for us and then one for an office/music room. While much smaller than Joseba's last house (3 bedrooms all to himself!) and a bit smaller than my old apartment, it seems like a good size for a couple - enough room to be together and still enough room to respect each other's 'alone time'. Right now he is in his office and I am in MY chair (that brown one in the photos). It's great! As you can see from the photos, we have decorated with warm colors and a mix of our things from travels.
When we moved in we had mostly everything we needed but couldn't resist a trip to Ikea. After 6 hours inside (I'd guessed we'd be inside 2 hours MAX) we came out with some more things to make it seem more ours. I am sure as we live here we will continue adding things to the bookshelves, rearranging things, changing photos, etc, but for the time being I am estatic that it now feels like home. The one room that still needs the most work is the office/music room - right now it's sort of a 'where do we put this' storage room, hence I didn't put up a photo!
Being it the first home we will live in together, I know it is going to have so much meaning down the road. For us the past few weeks have been a succession of firsts. First dinner (delivery Chinese, which gave Joseba food poisining), first time we slept in the bedroom together (the first week I had such a bad cough, I slept on the couch), first romantic dinner at the dining room table (Joseba and his chefly abilities), first movie with the projector screen (The Adjustment Bureau), and so on.
Now you all know what I have been up to and where we are 'making our home' as The Daily News put it in thier announcement of our wedding! Hope all is well with everyone and hopefully one day, although our apartment is small, you will be able to come and visit our humble abode.