As much as I’ve loved just lounging around having no aims nor ambitions, anyone who knows me a little bit probably knew that wouldn’t last long. So, I am very much looking forward to moving to Bristol, getting all my suitcases UNpacked, and waking up every morning with a plan. Jock has secured a fine job that he accepted (although there may be another one in the pot), and it starts March 30th! I can’t believe we’ll have been here for over 3 months by then.
As I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and life always works out…even if in peculiar ways, we have also secured a very nice house in the middle of Bristol with a spare bedroom for our visitors – hint hint. And a backyard (or garden as they call it here) to lounge and do some writing. I have yet to see it, but Jocko assures me it is stunning, and very modern. I am also excited for a separate dining room where we can have dinner parties – something I have been dying to do for ages!
Apart from that – we had a whirlwind tour when my sister arrived- complete with trips to London, staying in an apartment across the street from where they were holding the BRIT awards (their Grammy’s) to make me feel a very brief nostalgia for LA (VERY brief), a short trip to Spain where we rented a Spanish Villa for two days in the mountains before sailing off to Barcelona for the rest of the week. We ended the tour back in England at Jock’s parents’ home in Portsmouth.
Her 4 year old in tow was amazing birth control secondly, thirdly a real glimpse of how a 4 year old sees traveling through Europe – only caring about when the next playground will show up and if those kids will pass him the soccer ball; but firstly, a real respect for my sister doing it all on her own. I don’t see how my mom did it with two of us, and I can only imagine that my sister and I were ten times worse than Brayden. It is HARD only having to count on yourself to parent…and Amanda is amazing at it.
The best part of the trip was stumbling upon a tiny restaurant in the small town called Palafrugell. It was one of those days that you hoped you would have when traveling through Spain with the sun just touching your skin enough to warm it and the wind blowing just enough to tousle your hair and not allow for any sweatmarks. It was a Sunday just before a Carnaval finished a few miles from us and the hoards of people were let out. No one was in this town we found except the few stray Spanish cats and dogs, and the lonely sound of the 900 year old church bell. There may have been five buildings and one scooter that passed us as we approached the restaurant.
A nice shortish man (as most Spanish people we came across) came out of the restaurant as we were peering at the menu. The language that Amanda learned in her private school in Mexico didn’t help us much here since they spoke Catalan – a strange mix of Spanish, Portuguese and French it seemed to me. You could tell he was trying to figure out our nationality because he said hello in every language he spoke a bit of. When he got to “Hello!” we perked up, and he said we could sit outside. I was so pleased because the view from outside was that of the mountains and the greenest grass you’ve ever seen.
Instead of going for anything on the menu, we asked that he just bring out his favorite tapas and the best Sangria he had to offer. This proved an excellent choice as I don’t think I’ve ever tasted seafood like that before – calamari that melted, clams that wouldn’t shut up, and prawns that looked at you (no seriously, they still had their eyes attached). Brayden found a small Spanish boy to run around the field with as we dined and wished we were no place but there. We thought we had found a gem, an undiscovered restaurant that was lost next to the churchbell dong; but were proven wrong when the entire Spanish population piled in about an hour after we sat down. It’s just that we had gotten there on American time rather than Spanish time. And the Carnaval was over.
Now, heading downstairs for a cup of tea – trying not to eat after this passage is going to be hard, but after all that traveling, it seems I have gained some weight! So, 15 lbs off ya go!! (Maybe I’ll just think about the prawn eyes staring at me.)
Thank you for reading, and write back. I love hearing how everyone is doing more than you know!