28.09.2012 - 28.09.2012
Happy International Day of Gluttony!
This is the first year we'll actually be spending it internationally. Zac turns 30 today, and as is tradition for every birthday we must be gluttons. It's the rule, nothing I can do about it!
We had several options for what to do on Zac's birthday, but none of them began with getting up early. We slept in and tried to get as well rested as we could to prepare for the full day ahead of us. Yes, I used the word "full" purposefully. That also had "full" in it. See where I'm going with this?
First thing is first--coffee. I think we've invested enough time and money into drinking coffee here that we could have just opened our own coffee shop in Spain.
After coffee came showers. The water had been turned off for some strange reason, and when we left the house the only promise of a cleanse was from the clouds above Sabine's house.
Showers of the non-rain kind felt really good, especially after all the wine we'd had the night before. I drank too much and had woken up with a slight red wine hangover that left me feeling really gritty and grimey. Savor that image.
Zac ultimately decided he wanted to spend the day in Puerto de Santa Maria looking around and seeing the city. We talked about going elsewhere, but realized we'd seen little of this adorable town itself. We'd also thrown out the idea of a day trip to Morocco, but were told Tangiers is a bit of a shit hole and tourist trap. When given the options Puerto seemed like the much better decision.
Puerto de Santa Maria is such a cute little town. Walking around was fun, and we had a yummy lunch along the waterfront.
Tapas after tapas came out as we began the day of gluttony off with a good start. Our waiter was impressed with the amount of food ordered, and eventually he said we couldn't have any more. The food was pretty good too, despite some apprehension upon delivery. One of my favorite tapas was also one that I almost refused to try (insert life lesson here). Smoked salmon wrapped around some sort of soft cheese and pineapple, topped with chocolate sauce. I know, it sounds gross, but it was great.
Puerto is a small and very walkable city. Here is some of how we spent our day:
After walking around with full bellies we stopped for pastries. It was only appropriate. Then Sabine and Zac each took a siesta. I decided I wanted to see more of Puerto and went back to the beachfront path that I'd jogged along the day before. The clouds had begun to part and the sun was slowly creeping out. The weather had warmed and the breeze was warm enough to feel comfortable without a long sleeved shirt, but cool enough to feel refreshing. It really was a beautiful walk.
Workout gear along the boardwalk--Spanish parks have outdoor workout equipment all over the place
Along the way I spotted a hoard of cats that live on the rock wall. I met a man who was fishing down by the water when he embarrassingly caught me taking his picture.
He told me that the cats are wild, but he feeds them and they really have taken a liking to him. He fishes in the waterway, but doesn't keep the fish because the water is dirty. Instead he feeds whatever he catches to the cats and has thus earned their trust. The cats seemed pretty sweet to me and they didn't seem to mind when I stood nearby, but I refrained from petting them nonetheless.
My walk was really nice. It was slow and leisurely, with an undecided end point. I just walked and watched. Watched the sunshine reflect off the water as waves rolled into shore. Watched as boats cruised through the port, shuttling fisherman to and fro. Watched as children played on the gym equipment strewn about the boardwalk. Watched as old couples strolled arm and arm, enjoying the afternoon. That was my favorite part.
After my walk I returned back to Sabine's just in time to eat cake. She was really thoughtful and bought Zac a delicious chocolate cheesecake and some birthday presents to celebrate. We ate most of the cake and watched as Zac got himself a fantastic new Spanish cookbook and a few other goodies. What a great birthday!
Not so excited about turning 30
Very excited about cake
Having cake before dinner is the way to go, at least on International Gluttony Day, and definitely after a big lunch followed by pastries.
Soon it was dinner time, and we got all snazzy and sassy for a night on the town. Sabine made a reservation at a lovely Italian restaurant where we all shared wine and inappropriate dinner conversation that was embarrassingly overheard by the table next to us (and the couple stared gaped mouthed at us the entire time). It was wonderful.
A bottle of wine and a belly full of pasta wasn't going to be good enough for International Gluttony Day. We needed more. Bar hopping was next on our list, but not before a stop for gelato. Yes, I got Bueno gelato again. I don't know what I'll do without it back home
We went to a few bars, I think. I can't remember. Here's what I do recall: one bar played a lot of older American music that the Spanish went crazy for. To watch a room full of Spaniards singing along to the Rolling Stones and then Nirvana was great, particularly since there was a DJ spinning the songs. If I were a DJ I can't say that Nirvana would be on my dance playlist, but what do I know? Some people might find the tune to "Rape Me" kind of catchy (and yes, that was the song they played). Still, it was really wonderful to see that Livin' On A Prayer is an international and timeless sensation for all. Who would have thought that Bon Jovi would be the thread that connects the world?
One of the amusing anecdotes of the evening was an old man that essentially grabbed Sabine's beer straight from her hands and drank it himself, holding out his arms afterward as a point of pride that his lips did not touch the bottle. This made it okay, he said. We then watched as he walked from table to table, picking up unattended beer bottles and glasses and drinking whatever was left in them. If that's not a reason to keep an eye on your beverage at a bar, I don't know what is.
Eventually we moved on to another bar, the life of the party bar, if you know what I mean. You don't, that's okay. It was a coke bar. We didn't know it until we were waiting in line for the bathroom and a man who looked like Doc from Back to the Future rushed into a single stall toilet with a couple of other people. A kindly young man waiting in line behind us informed us of what was going on. We couldn't stop laughing. Or I couldn't. Of all the bars we picked!
We mingled for a while, talking to locals and transplants before deciding to leave. It began to pour again and we were shuffled back inside the bar from the terrace outside. Huddled in a doorway with everyone we stood and watched as Doc and his friends openly snorted coke. It was time to go, we confirmed.
Go figure we ended up at this shady bar. Still, we had a fun time out in Puerto. If anything it made me feel really old. I clearly am not a young party animal. I'm an old married stuffy woman who likes to drink wine and scoffs at people using club drugs.
I still laugh a lot though, and I laughed a lot on International Gluttony Day. I even danced a little.
The night ended at 4:30 a.m. in Sabine's kitchen, soaking wet from walking home in the rain, huddled around her kitchen table eating the last of the cheesecake and a pack of crackers that we'd taken from the restaurant earlier in the day.
I'd say that was a success.