Friday, January 5, 2024

2024 begins

 So on New Year's Day we moved into our Monsalve Apartment (home for the next two months) where we found a few challenges (not unexpected when doing a vacation rental... but we had arranged beforehand to have dinner around the corner at a favorite we went to many times last spring, CASA PUERTA. 

We had a lovely dinner in a very crowded restaurant. It is Christmas week still- until Epiphany on January 6th. On the 5th it is Three Kings Day- another gift giving day for children - so this is a big deal here with a long parade around the city and candy thrown to the kids and King Cakes sold on the street and at El Corte Ingl├ęs. 

We had to go out the next day to buy a new shower curtain rod as the one in the main bath here had lost it's tension and kept falling down (a serious inconvenience) so we managed to go to El Corte to get a new one - big win for the farangs who didn't even know the words for such an item until google helped us. LOL

an adventure in every moment these days... on to photos- 

the street we rented on for the holiday week- tough for larger vehicles to maneuver through- LOL

Our new call box - we are Duplex H.  It's very strange here, they wash the streets every night but this kind of thing looks totally "ghetto" with the old sticker detritus never getting cleaned off...

our new year's day dinner - 

on the 2nd of January we unpacked the remainder of our current luggage and got a delivery from Iberia (who had damaged Phil's large bag on the way over) and went out to our storage locker in the north of the city... then we had more big suitcases and several boxes to unpack in an apartment with literally NO CLOSETS (weird thing about Spain - they don't believe in them) 

That night we went for sushi at what turned out to be sort of faux sushi place - a lot of cooked foods masquerading as sushi and a sashimi selection of three kinds of fish (yes three- rolling eye emoji) LOL

our walk home from dinner - after the streets have quieted down and crowds thinned to nothing...

The next day we spent continuing to search for places for our stuff - bought the shower curtain rod a mentioned above- went to dinner next door to our former school - a really lovely meal and a nice walk home.

a cafe we stopped at a few times on our way to/from school in the spring

We stopped for coffee in at Pikis Labis (the first coffee the group had together last year) and went to the Chinese stores to pick up weird little items (a screwdriver, plastic cup, cereal sized bowl for Phil's breakfast...) By now I have lost track of which day we did the errands, put up the new shower curtain rod- now we need to replace the curtain or wash it in bleach the bottom is quite disgusting...

but we went on - one task at a time and Wednesday night brought us to a meet up with a FB friend Lauren, who recently moved to the area. We went to Triana to a bar owned by an ex-pat with good food and plentiful drinks- 

 amazing boquerones!

a lengthy check- 

At the meet up- L to R: VS, Lauren, PF, and Holly Bee who runs an ex-pat group here for 45+ year olds.

some more odds and ends... Phil got a Spanish phone number - we learned how to pay with Wise - I saw a guy outside the dining room sharpening knives on the street for the restaurant across the street called Los Tulipanes, first our coffee shop at the corner....  

my first attempt at laundry - not as clean as I would have hoped...

our cousin translated the controls for me - LOL

so that's the story of our first week in residence in Sevilla. There will be more - so stay tuned or as Rachel Maddow says "watch this space".

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