Sunday, December 31, 2023

We finish 2023...

 as we usually do- we are staying in for New Year's Eve  and enjoying new traditions.  But before we get to NYE we will finish up the rest of our activities in photos.  We had a wonderful lunch with my intercambio Julia and her husband, Pablo and the new baby! 

We had a nice meal at AMARA (we had gotten there once last spring and again found it - an interesting change of pace, with creative cooking and professional plating and service.)

First our lunch at Casa Robles with Julia, Pablo and little Pablo.

and our "family photos from the meal"

Then the photos of our AMARA dinner- 

 If we didn't mention it - we got to Justa Rufina for one of our better meals this week. 

so now here we are with a new tradition for New Year's Eve - 

Preparing for our New Year's Eve celebration.  Our classmate (and Spanish speaker of six decades) informed us on Friday of a tradition that my intercambio verified for us yesterday at lunch. 
"Eating 12 grapes at midnight on New Year's Eve is both a tradition and a superstition in Spain. One grape for each month because you want every month to be lucky, right? They don't have to be special grapes. Standard table grapes will do."

Of course by yesterday late in the day December 30th there were no grapes to be found in the city center Carrefour Express stores. So this morning on the last day of 2023 Phil went in search of grapes for us.  He came home from the entrepreneurial merchant's sandwich stand which conveniently carried grapes today!  

And so we will eat our grapes at midnight as we enter 2024. A year which brings us a new adventure of living in another country and our 70th trip around the sun. #GONOW


Friday, December 29, 2023

we leave for Spain

 so we arrived early afternoon on the day after Christmas having taken an overnight (seemingly interminable) flight--- ORD to MADRID to SVQ (Sevilla) 

Our driver dropped us at the end of the street "one week rental" for the holidays - as we don't get into our long term place until January 1st... 

I took a brief nap (never able to sleep on planes) and we went out for an early dinner and crashed. Of course the next morning we were both up waaaay too early - wandering around a dark apartment hours before it got light.

Sevilla is beautifully lit for the holiday season. 

   dinner the night of arrival- 

We had a banking appointment and had a lunch a Guichot (a place we always ate near school in the spring). We had dinner at Seis - horrible service and food came cold - so despite loving it last spring we won't be back-  We had another dinner at Torres Y Garcia - OK ut this was place we liked better at lunch time (also near school) 

Today we went to a hardware store where everything is behind the counter- no browsing LOL and bought some duct tape to temporarily repair Phil's damaged large duffle (that Iberia is replacing on Monday via DHL)  Had lunch at a diner place off Sierpes and ice cream from Gelateria MITO (Phil's favorite!) We hope to see my intercambio and her husband and new baby tomorrow.


Pablo, baby Pablo, Julia (my intercambio from the spring) 

Julia and baby Pablo... 💖

so I am still finding Sevilla a photographer's dream city- just in ou walks to and from the meals and shopping we have seen so many beautiful buildings -  and window displays etc... 

hardware store was up by the Setas-  lost our blue sky today but they still impress with sheer size!

below- taken from our front door looking up our small pedestrian street Calle Estrella- 

So obviously more to follow- watch this space....