|Sitges, Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Day 3 and we're finally feeling like we're in the right time zone at the right time. I'm counting on my 4:45 am early waking today being just a fluke and I'll be sleeping in like I'm on full fledged vacation mode tomorrow.
Our consecutive red eye flights is probably not something I want to do again on a regular basis. We had exit rows from Seattle to Atlanta and did not get much sleep on that leg. The second leg from Atlanta to Barcelona was in the "Comfort Plus" section and I kept waiting to find the Plus. I think we might have had a little more leg room and the seat maybe had just a tad more cushion but it sure wasn't business class comfort.
The highlight for us was chatting up the flight attendant, Laura. She worked the beverage cart like the pro she is and her sparkling eyes, easy smile and red hair styled in a sassy cut let you know immediately that she knew how to have fun in her job. After a couple of minutes of casual banter, she must have decided we were old friends because she broke right into sharing her life history: She grew up in Indiana but now thinks it's a scary place given how conservative that state is. Her sister who lives there had no shame in bashing Mexican immigrants while talking face to face to Laura and her Mexican immigrant husband and their two Mexican-American sons. She lives in downtown Atlanta now with her second husband since the boys are in college. She also happens to have created a foundation with a flight attendant colleague to help poor and abused kids in South America. Delta big wigs got wind of it and now they want to meet her in person and offer her grants to expand her efforts beyond just food, medical supplies, and summer camps. We were duly impressed by all that stuff, but even more so when she made a point of acknowledging us as a couple and chatting us up all about why she thinks it's important gay couples be treated with respect. Thank God our flight was only eight hours. I'm sure we'd be having dinner with Laura and her husband on the way home if we had even more time to get to know her.
We successfully navigated the ATM, the bus to Sitges and the meet-up with our apartment host, Daniel. He and his husband, Miguel, used to live in this old quarter "attico" and now live in a nearby village about 20 minutes away. It's very compact but newly updated with high end appliances, great air conditioning,and two Mediterranean Sea view decks---one off the living area and one on the rooftop. He gets consistent five star ratings on the VRBO site where we found this listing, but clearly, other people aren't as honest as I am. Not one person said a peep about how one's knees touch the wall as one is sitting on the toilet or where in the hell am I supposed to put my watch, glasses and other items near the bed where there should be a night stand, and how about updating those pots and pans while you're at it---that Teflon has more pock marks than an adolescent with terminal acne. I hate to be the one to end his winning streak of reviews, but I do have my standards.
Yesterday, we had a great time walking along the sea walk seeing several of the 17 beaches that give Sitges it's vacation glory. We explored a couple of neighborhoods and had delicious tapas our first night at a restaurant facing the sea. We're fast becoming accustomed to eating lunch at 2ish and dinner at 9ish with a siesta in the middle. We're all about taking it easy this trip. We're planning on taking the train to Barcelona for a day trip or 2 but will do that only as the spirit moves us.
Our only other big adventure so far was trying to buy groceries at the biggest supermarket in town, Mercadona. My valiant but woefully inadequate effort to learn Spanish in 3 months really showed itself in trying to guess which container of milk is low fat (they're different colors but that's all I can figure out), understanding the different kind of cheeses (I think they're labeled soft,semi-soft or hard rather than a name of a cheese), and who in the hell knows how to determine kg when you want to buy produce. I did, however, figure out a brilliant strategy, if I say so myself, for choosing a Spanish wine by knowing only the single word "Rioja" (red). I tried my usual approach of choosing the prettiest label but had no idea about quality. I then focused my sights on a woman who I thought looked local and tried to look nonchalant as I watched her every move in making her selection. Problem was she was too fast for me grabbing a bottle I couldn't quite make out so I had to follow her to the check stand and act like I was looking at other things straining my neck to see the label. Try doing that without looking like a stalker.
John and I are lounging the morning away here on our deck. The weather app says partly cloudy today, but for now, it's sunny with beautiful blue skies as I type this with intermittent pauses to see the sea, if you will. John had a 5 mile run along the sea walk this morning and is in intense communication with his phone trying to post his running route and stats for all to see on Facebook.
We think we'll spend more time exploring neighborhoods today and put off hitting a beach for another day. Till then, adios, mis amigos. (See, I did learn something.)