Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos
13th-century castle, El Puerto de Santa Maria. That WAS our house to the left and behind the tree!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

A New Year

Happy 2015!

2015:  Already??   After our disco-themed New Year’s bash, a knock came at the door at 11 am, just as we were all stumbling out of bed.  There was our friend Ignacio, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to pay off his debt to Todd.  He had bet Todd that, during our visit to the Spanish side of Rota’s base, Todd could not land vertically in the Harrier jet’s flight simulator.  Now, a Harrier is not your average fighter jet:  It has the capacity to rotate its jet engines downward so that it can land like a helicopter on an aircraft carrier.  But Todd, with his dual fixed-wing and helicopter licenses, nailed it the first time, much to Ignacio’s surprise.  Ignacio lost the bet and found himself obligated to do all the dishes from the party!

Todd gets some well-timed advice
Click here to see a Harrier being landed; it's not so easy!

Of course, on the first day of the New Year you have an obligatory dip in the ocean to wash off the sins and troubles of the old year and start fresh and clean.  So after we cleaned up (with Ignacio at the helm it went quickly!), we headed out to Las Redes beach for a swim.  Then a delicious lunch of leftovers at Montse’s house.  Only the most hardy brave these cold waters!

Into the water...OUT OF THE WATER!

All clean, all fresh, all good

Non-swimming sinners

Of course, Suzi’s arrival meant that the band was back together, and so we booked ourselves a gig at our first-ever locale, Bar Milord.  Juan, the owner, was delighted to accommodate us, and all our friends assured us that we sounded “the best ever.”  We love our fans.  Watch for a return appearance sometime at the end of June this year.

Touring soon in a city near you

January 6th and the Dubrows’ flight from Party Central was approaching much too fast.  We needed another party.  Ado’s birthday, coming up on January 12th, was the perfect excuse to have a farewell birthday bash at friend Kell’s house.  Kell scared up a clambake, and we celebrated Ado’s 7th year with a scavenger hunt and a kooky piñata.

A scary Aunt Steph Special

So the Rico-Dubrows left, and the house again became very quiet.  We stripped the beds, straightened up, and headed out to Bádajoz and Alburquerque to our friend Isaac and Paloma’s finca (country house) to celebrate the matanza.  Again, it was a lovely time, but rather subdued due to Paloma’s mother’s death, which came on the heels of a sudden pancreatic cancer diagnosis.  Which I understood only too well.   We brought the girls this time, and they loved the peculiar chozo that we stayed in. 

Making chorizo the old-fashioned way

Hanging in the chozo

Speaking of mothers, Todd got a surprise trip to Boston.  His mother, Linda, seemed to be worsening.  Linda has had an ongoing, very slow degenerative brain disease over the last 30 years.  She lives with Mark, Todd’s brother, outside of Boston in Westford.  She was having difficulty eating or drinking, so Todd flew out Space-A.  But she recovered nicely (a virus, perhaps?) and Todd had a great visit in snowy New England. 

Linda's 75th birthday

To wind up the month, we zoomed off to an impromptu ski vacation while Todd was in Boston.  The Spanish Sierra Nevada was having the best snow season in years, and we were itching to ski.  So off the girls and I went with our friends Mati, Trev, and his daughter Narissa, and skied our hearts out.   A beautiful day with excellent snow and the worst traffic jam I’ve ever seen getting off the mountain! 

All bundled up

Thank goodness Todd got home, because I came down with the worst sickness I’ve had in years.  The day he arrived, I landed in bed for several days, getting up only to practice for a small gig we’d booked.  It took me two weeks to recover.  Here’s to a healthier Spring! 

Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. It looks so amazing there. I love all the pictures and smiling faces. I can't believe how big your girls look! Still not sure if we will swing by in the fall, but will let you know once we figure things out. We have friends in Madrid and Italy we might see too. xoxox


Feel free to add your comments here!