Monday, September 13, 2010

¡Yo quiero bailar!

Hola mis amigos, vecinos, familia, y la familia de Pamela. What a weekend we had! We woke up early on Saturday so that we would make it in time to catch the bus that would take us to Almuñecar and Nerja. This was a school sponsored trip so we were led by a professor of the school who was hilarious, although I don’t think that she intended to be. Teresa and Amalia warned us to be there on time as the woman was insistent upon promptness and we soon learned that they were not kidding. Every other word out of the woman’s mouth was “¡en punto!” which basically means “right on time!” Our first destination was the city of Almuñecar where we visited an ancient castle from the ninth century. Much of the castle has been destroyed, but it was very interesting to stroll amongst the ruins and imagine the lives of the inhabitants and to have my day dream interrupted by “¡EN PUNTO!” I was a little disappointed by our trip to the castle because it was much too quick. I would have liked to explore the ruins a bit longer.

Once we had all boarded the bus again, we made on our way for “Los Cuevas de Nerja” or “The Caves of Nerja.” They were rather spectacular and a lot bigger and a lot closer to the surface than any of the caves that I have visited in the United States. After our tour of the caves, we ate at the buffet at the caves’ restaurant. So. Much. Food. However, it was quite a delicious stuffing session. After we finished our meal, we made on our way to the little town of Nerja. Upon discovering that our hostel was closed until 5:00pm (it was 3:00pm) we made our way down to the beach and I swam in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in my life, but much to my sadness, it was freezing cold! However, laying on the silt-full sand, listening to the waves crash upon the beach, and allowing the kind Spanish sun rays to soak into my skin I felt more relaxed than I have in a long time. After deciding that it was time to check into our hotel, we made on our way to our humble abode. I was very impressed with our accommodations (we even had a bathroom in our room!) and pleased to discover the little balcony out our window. After a nice long nap, we were ready to go out for dinner. We were surprised to discover that almost everything in Nerja is written in English. Apparently, this little Spanish town is the Cape Cod of Europe; it is where all the older people go to retire!

The next morning I awoke at 10:54am and realized that I had no idea at what time we needed check out of the hotel. So, in my pajamas, I ran down the stairs to the desk and asked the dreaded question. Of course, check out was anytime before noon so I made my way around to our five rooms and woke everyone up and told them the good news. Luckily, we were able to pack up and get ready for the beach in time for checkout and we made our way to a little English sandwich shop for brunch. Afterwards, we walked to the beach again and were delighted to notice that the water was significantly warmer than it had been the day before. I must have spent the entire day floating around the Mediterranean. A little before 5:00pm we grabbed an ice cream and bought our tickets to return to Granada. Bus tickets, by the way, are ridiculously cheap in Spain. Pamela and I made it back to our house just in time to shower and arrive ten minutes early for mass at St. Matthias’ church which is actually closer to our house and a lot smaller than the Cathedral. Also, the priest spoke much slower, and was a lot easier to understand than the one from the Cathedral. Pam and I were so excited! We decided that we have a new favorite “iglesia.”

9:30am, Monday morning saw us at the school ready for class with a different instructor, Inma. Apparently, she is the expert at the University of Granada in the Subjunctive tense (one of the most difficult to understand in the Spanish language). She was rather entertaining and a great professor. After class, Pam and I returned to our house to complete our homework, take a little siesta, and completely misunderstand some directions entirely. Under the impression that we had to meet Amalia at the EuroArabe building at 6:30pm, we set out for the location that we were completely unsure about but had a general idea of the direction. We got miserably lost. However, before you judge us far too harshly I must let you know that this is the first time that we have gotten lost in Granada and that there is no route 6A here. In any case, we arrived at the correct building by 6:45pm only to discover that our meeting had been changed to Thursday. Ho hum. Amalia felt bad for us as she had not clearly explained to us that she had changed our time, so she bought us each a soda. After we finished our beverages, we decided that we should go for a run. After our nice little run (during which I almost died. Pam’s fast.) we showered then ate dinner with the family- tuna and bacon pizza and jam pizza. I have to admit that I am not the biggest fan of these flavors of pizza. I am glad that I am eating meat while I am here, but I look forward to returning to my Pescaterian lifestyle, it makes me feel better.

After dinner, we ate our dessert of cookies in a bowl of milk and played with the kids a little bit. Pam gave Jaime a piggy back ride all over the house and we joked that it was a parade for King Jaime. Oh! I forgot to mention that he went back to school for the first time on Friday while Anita and Carlos go back on Wednesday. Next, we went across the street to Hannigans’ for our weekly Pub Quiz. We were surprised to find a lot more people there this week, but we had a great time losing miserably.

PS I forgot to tell you, we went out Friday night and we found this little dance club called, the Copacabana. This was probably a dream come true for me, and although there was no girl with yellow ribbons in her hair and her dress cut down to there, it was amazing. It was still a little early for people to be dancing (in Spain, it’s considered early at 12:30pm) so the floor was empty. Frustrated, I yelled out to my friends, “¡Yo quiero bailar!” From out of nowhere Rico (probably not his real name, and according to Pam, “a gorgeous, athletic, foreign model) sailed across the bar, grabbed my hands and swept me around the dance floor. He was a fantastic dancer and it was so much fun! I guess you shouldn’t be afraid to say what you want.

PPS Hope all is well with you. With salt of the Mediterranean Sea still tickling my skin, I wish you all health, happiness, and love!

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