ta luego a ronda

About to go to bed after our last night in Ronda. We leave tomorrow for Nerja, where we will meet up with my sisters and their husbands and/or wives. 

We bought a few gifts, ate at a few different places, read (I'm reading Cato's 4th book about LBJ, Robin is reading a Lincoln Rhyme mystery), rested, and finished with one last meal at Bodega San Francisco. 

I told José Maria that we might come visit for a day with the family, and he said if we did, he'd make something yummy. 

Now I'll go to sleep while listening to the Giants game. It is very possible I'll be posting much less frequently in Nerja, since we don't have Wi-Fi where we are staying. 

I think I'll finish by describing where we ate dinner tonight. There are several restaurants on the small plaza near our room, and as we eat, families hang out, kids ride bikes and kick balls, teenagers goof around, and stray cats look for food at the feet of the diners. We sit on the plaza, but the restaurants are across the street, so there is a constant flow of waiters rushing across the street, avoiding cars and carrying food. Here's a photo:


we continue eating

I'm writing this late Friday night. We had a fairly mundane day, even by our standards, and the two highlights were focused on food (no surprise). 

This morning, José Maria made us eggs for breakfast, and when I said the only way I eat eggs is scrambled, he said that when you were on vacation you were supposed to get away from the way you do things at home, and so he insisted that I eat a fried egg. It was prepared quite nicely, served on a baguette with butter and herbs. I confess it was very hard for me to get down, although the toast part was yummy. Afterwards, he asked how I liked it, and I politely said it was OK. But he told me it was very good! 

For dinner, we went to the place Robin had chosen for my birthday dinner. It was as good as we remembered, and the dessert, a combination of white and dark chocolate, was sinful. I paid the bill with a Visa card, and one thing we have come across is that they seem to expect a PIN number, but we only have them for our debit cards. Things went awry, and so I said no problem and paid cash. As we were leaving, the waiter came rushing out to tell us the credit card had gone through, which meant we had paid twice. He returned the cash, and we then exchanged sorries and thank yous. Did I mention this place is considered by many to be the best restaurant in Ronda? 

mi cumpleaños

It was a very nice day. Wherever we went, Robin would make sure people knew it was my birthday. For lunch, our host, José Maria, made a yummy Arab concoction that he cooked in a tangine (spelling?).

I also had plenty of chances to practice my Spanish. At lunch were me and Robin and José Maria, two of his friends who didn't speak English, and a German woman who has lived in Spain for a long time and did speak English. I pretended I knew what everyone was saying. For my sister Chris, I asked what was the best Spanish beer (CruzCampo). 

The place Robin had chosen for my birthday dinner was full, so we made a reservation for tomorrow night and ate instead at a small place on the same plaza. As we ate, we saw José Maria, and he came and sat with us and finished our salad for us. 

Finally, we had a brief Hangout with Sara, limited by our wifi. A nice way to finish my 60th birthday. 

jet lag sux

We left Sunday afternoon, Berkeley time. We arrived Monday evening, Spain time. Who knows where the missing day went. Tuesday, everything seemed ok, but Tuesday night, I slept maybe two hours. Hopefully we'll get straightened out tonight (Wednesday). 

Today was our typical Spain day. Eat, laze around, walk somewhere so we can eat, walk back, take siesta, laze around, walk somewhere so we can eat, walk back, go to bed. I feel sorry for my family when they meet up with us in Nerja, since we are so boring. 

We tried Google Hangouts today. The most successful was with my sister Chris, since we actually had a video chat. 

Here is a picture from dinner tonight. I ordered meat kebabs, but what I got was one giant kebab. I tried my best to finish it. I only came this close :

13 - 1 (1)

it's tuesday night in ronda, i don't know when that is for you

We slept through breakfast this morning, and thus missed our first José Maria repast. We stumbled out a little after 1:00, hoping to get some food before stuff shut down for siesta. The weather is uncharacteristically cool, and we don't really have clothes for that (it will be warm again tomorrow). Robin had some tortilla de patatas tapas and a couple of cafe con leches. I had a bocadillo con jamón serrano y queso. I also had a Fanta Limón. We walked into town and came back in time for a siesta. 

But siesta had to wait. José Maria made a big pan of paella... a lot of his family was here, his mother, two daughters, one grandson, one aunt, and we think one son-in-law. He invited Robin and I to join them, so we all sat down for some midday paella. It was an honor. I got to practice my Spanish with a whole family of Andalusians. Later, a lovely couple from the Netherlands who had just arrived at the hotel joined us, giving Robin a well-earned chat in English. Finally, José Maria's aunt talked to me about ways to find family in Estepona. 

Eventually we took a nap. As I type this, it is about 8:00 PM. I just woke up. When Robin awakes, we'll have to figure out how to brave the cold to get dinner. I expect this will be the last time on this trip that we have that particular worry. 

I'm typing at the blog website using José Maria's surprisingly useful wi-fi, via my Nexus. Don't know if I will be able to post very often in Nerja, but I should manage a daily post while we are here in Ronda. 

Here is Robin in the jardín with her new friend :

13 - 1

day one/two of our trip

One of the oddities about traveling to Spain is that you lose a day. We left California on Sunday morning and now we're going to bed. But it's Monday night.

Flight to Paris was ok, but there's been flooding or something, so our plane sat on the runway for a long time, which meant our flight to Malaga was delayed. So we arrived late to our hotel in Ronda. My first shot at using Spanish came when we got lost in our rental car on the way to Ronda. We pulled into a gas station and I asked for directions. They weren't easy (go to the other side of the Burger King and turn left), but I understood them well enough to get us back on track. 

When we got off the plane in Malaga, we immediately got bocadillo con jamón and two Fanta Limons. Later in Ronda, I had two more Fantas. 

Finally to bed. 


hawaii postscript

A quick recap:

It was hot and humid every day. I looked forward to coming back to the Bay Area, and sure enough, it was pleasantly cool when we arrived. But it had been raining, and the humidity was like 95%. Oh well.

Geckos crawl on the walls. This is supposed to be a good thing.

We saw Obama’s vacation home, the place where they filmed the pilot to Gilligan’s Island, and lots of mountainous forestry that looked like Lost.

And we went to a wine tasting at a yacht club.

Here’s a teaser photo … there’s a photo album on Google+ that is growing as I get more pix uploaded. This is Robin and I, with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the other side of the fence, making out on the beach:

deborah and burt