Monday, March 21, 2011

Spain--Day 1

I was awoken at about 1am, on my body's time, for a breakfast of Milano cookies and bright red orange juice. These are the sorts of things that happen when flying across oceans and time zones, and about 24hrs after our original departure, things were still a bit odd.

We left Boston on Al Italia, bound for Rome, Italy. Because of the easterly trajectory, sleep was elusive. Essentially, three hours after an airline seafood dinner (which was actually fairly good), Jean and I are being yelled at by a surly Italian flight attendant wanting to know if we wanted breakfast. Having spent the fast few hours desperately trying to find a semi comfortable position in a vain effort to get some sleep, the abrasive breakfast call was startling. I guess, if the lack of sleep and the cranky flight attendant are the only things I can complain about, then I guess it was a good flight.

We connected in Rome, and continued on Al Italia to our final destination of Malaga, Spain. Side note--the flight attendants on our second flight were much nicer, the coffee was great, and our landing was one of the smoothest ever.

Upon landing in Malaga, Jean and I were impressed with the airport: large, bright, and beautiful (Rome was kind of a pit). We found our luggage, found our rental car, and were on our way. I still don't know what kind of car we had, but it was a mini-mini van, and it worked. It's had plenty of room for our stuff, and while the brakes and clutch were a bit touchy, it would do.

With our possessions in hand and our car in control, it was time to make our way to our first (and second) night's accommodations, Tapa Luz in Solano, outside of Malaga. We got a little lost, but one of the proprietors was out looking for us, and he guided us in. Tapa Luz is situated in a rural hillside about an hour north and east of Malaga. The drive was beautiful, but nothing compared to our actual destination. I'll be honest, we drove though a couple of sketchy areas, and the roads were pretty rough and steep in sections, and was a little concerned that I had booked us a room at a run down old goat shed.

Going through a large front gate, we entered a courtyard with a large fountain, crushed stone grounds, outdoor tables, and amazing views. The weather was a tad cool and grey, which was unfortunate because there's also a hillside swimming pool.

We met Jean-Francios and Luc, got the tour of the property, and my expectations weren't exceeded, they were blown away. Jean and I sipped some champagne as we settled in from our flights and drive. The champagne sipping went on a bit longer, because, what hell, we were on vacation and we were in Spain...

Pretty soon, it was time for dinner. Early by European standards (7:00pm), way early by our body's clock (2:00pm), but late considering the amount of time that had passed sine our Milano cookies.

Dinner, was, in a word, unbelievable. Luc, was a personal chef for the rich and famous, and after getting tired of flying all over the world for people with multiple houses, he and Jean-Francios started this B&B. Luc's skills in the kitchen are the stuff that legends are made of. And, nearly every item starts out with "oh, this is from the lemons from our trees out back," or, "this is from the strawberries in our garden," or "this bread just came out of the oven." I'm not a food person, and would be happy eating Builder Bars all day, every day, but my taste buds have been awakened. Between the homemade peach liquor, the fresh bread, the hand picked vegetables, and the smoked salmon (that Luc smoked), it was food heaven.

Jean and I took our full bellies to bed, and slept for 13hrs!

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