About Kristine Bruneau

Hi. I'm passionate about writing and inspiring others with storysharing. For more than 20 years, I've made a career from writing and marketing communications. My commentaries, stories, and interviews have appeared in a variety of publications, including "Rochester Magazine," HerRochester.com, "Rochester Democrat and Chronicle," "Rochester Woman Magazine" and "DaKa Magazine." I post fun and insightful lessons to MommyMusingsBlog.com and at Blogs.DemocratAndChronicle.com/Moms. And I'm working on a book inspired by these lessons and their resulting conundrums.

Spanish-style soccer

Granada CF team
Here in Granada, Spain, the boys practiced with two teams: Albolote soccer and Granada CF youth academy. The idea was to give the boys an opportunity to learn and play the Spanish style of soccer with other boys their age. Antonio Barea Villegas, vice-president of training and methodology for international soccer training organization AddSoccer who helped coordinate the trip says this style of play is called tiki-taka, which means to “keep the ball with short passes, be patient and progress all together.”

Antonio believes that the main difference between American and Spanish soccer is that “in Spain there is a structure and a philosophy. The teams select the player who plays according to this philosophy (tiki-taka).”    

Important to this philosophy is not only the player embracing the tiki-taka style, but also the development and training of Spanish coaches. Results speak for themselves. In the last 15 to 20 years, Spanish youth teams (u21, u19, u18) have won many European and world championships. The Spanish National team won the UEFA Euro Cup in 2008 and 2012, and in 2010 the World Cup – a feat that no other team in the world has ever achieved.    

Even if the boys can’t execute tiki-taka all the time, there are many life lessons they are learning from playing Spanish-style soccer in Granada, especially patience and progressing together.

Alhambra Adventure

imageOur merry band set forth one morning to  explore the Alhambra – an ancient web of palaces and fortresses built by the medieval kings of Granada from the 9th through the 14th century. Our tour guide showered us with competent details that unfortunately lacked the spellbinding quality of enchanting tales of love, war and chivalry. Alas for both teens and grownups it proved too much information to digest beneath the gloomy canopy and cold drizzle. Instead the boys made their own fun taking selfies amidst hand-crafted mosaics and geometric tiles, fountains carved from marble, open air courtyards and shivering gardens.

Don’t get me wrong, the spectacular Alhambra is an artistic-historical icon that should not be missed during a visit to Granada. It is a surviving testament of the Moors period through the last Islamic kingdom of Spain when the city of Granada was finally conquered by the Catholic monarchs Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand at the end of the 15th century.

I’m travel blogging from February 14-23 here on Mommy Musings and on the Democrat and Chronicle Moms blog. I’ll also share photos and videos on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think?

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook, or tweet me @kristinebruneau.

A night of futbol and tapas


The evening of our arrival in Granada we attended a top division futbol match (of course) at Estadio Nuevo los Carmenes. Granada Club del Futbol fought hard against Athletic Club Bilbaoing, chanting and screaming bloody murder at the referee and players is all part of the fan experience. Our boys cheered and ate pipas (sunflower seeds), spitting the shells upon the ground – also part of futbol tradition. Another tradition is seeing Granada’s most dedicated fan: La Papa (the pope) who wandered the stadium dressed in flowing red and white robes, bestowing blessings upon supporteGranada futbol game – Kristine Bruneaurs. Alas, team Granada had many opportunities to score, but no goals. The final score: 0-0.

Our caravan tried to get into a restaraunt near the stadium that would seat all of us (about 20), but everyone who attended the match had the same idea. So, we split up into smaller groups and headed our separate ways. My group “took tapas” near James’s host family’s home.

James and his host-siblings planted themselves at the bar – not allowed at American bars, but no problem in Spain – with water, fanta limon, and tapas, or small plates of bread, cheese and meat, or other food served on the house whenever you order drinks. Tapas is truly a social experience and a wonderful way to end a very, very long day.

I will be travel blogging here on Mommy Musings and on the Democrat and Chronicle Moms blog from February 14 – 23. Check out more photos and videos on Facebook and Twitter.

This is my best work today. Thanks for reading. If you like this post, please feel free to share it with your friends or send me a comment. You can also post a comment on my blog or Facebook, or tweet me @kristinebruneau.