Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Working visit to Spain March 4-13

Returning to Spain is always lovely. We stayed with my son Michael and his wife Natalia at their apartment in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona. Ian and I slept in their guest bedroom, which has a single bed. Wow, do I love my husband! He is wonderful to snuggle up to. LOL

We rented a car and drove two hours to Riumar, where we own two 3-bedroom side-by-side chalets. The weather was short-sleeve- a treat after Minnesota weather. It seemed like no one was in town. Normally our German neighbors are there and we get to see one of the other year-round residents, but not so this time.

Ian and I specifically came to Spain to help ready the chalets for the summer rental season. Last year we offered guests Internet connection but decided we would not do that this year, so we packed up all of those components. We also set up one bedroom closet in each chalet as a secure maid’s closet. We’ve found that guests rarely unpack completely so the closets go unused. We needed a place that our changeover lady Lisa could access for clean sheets, towels and supplies and the one closet in each chalet seemed the best idea.

Because we wanted to spend as much time as we could with Michael and Natalia in Barcelona we decided we would only be in Riumar just long enough to do this work. We ate twice at our favorite restaurant Casa Nuri, but sadly did not take the time to stroll the beach.

On Saturday Ian and I drove to Sitges and reunited with three women I served with as president of the Barcelona Women’s Network. Two of us have repatriated to the US and two still live in Spain; one in Sitges, one in Sant Cugat. When we met we hugged, which is not very European who tend to check kiss. It felt very nice to express our greetings this way, but admittedly this is much more “American.”

Michael and Natalia suggested a wonderful Argentinean restaurant that specializes in beef. Wow, was it great. Los Asadores is certainly worth the trip. We walked there from their place and really enjoyed our evening together. The food portions were just right – fist size versus the heaping serving we often get in the States. The steaks were prepared rare and came sizzling to the table served in round wooden cutting boards. No A1 or Heinz 57 Steak Sauce and none were needed. I seem to remember we paid around €140.

Because our time was so short we decided to take a mini-vacation and cross the border into France.

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