Have you met the razor-blade fairy? They (sic) is wonderful. This may not look like much to you or seem like a bit deal, but to me it is magic. It is wonderful. It’s simply amazing. It represents the fact that I may never ever have to wonder if the razor is sharp. It just “happens!” Out of nowhere, the blade fairy changes them out. Me? I just get to grab the blade without thought or pause and scrape away. Et, Voila! Where they come from, how they get there, where to they go when changed; these ruminations needed me not as they are the problems of the others. I married up. I appreciate it and know it and at this point am glad I get to live without this type of detailed attention.
Chris and I wonder if I am not in a state of negative reincarnation. No, not that I’m a terrible person today (a bit narciSissy, yes) and I’ll come back as a worse one or a bug in the next life, but that perhaps in the past I was high-born, royalty, a monarch, nobility, part of the ruling class and those “needs” (entitlements) are somewhat still in me. I’ll admit it- I love being taken care of. I love other people being in line and getting to skip it. Waiting is for them! (We’ll that is just $85 dollars and TSA Pre-check, but let a sissy dream). Today, vacation-day 12- I’m going to embrace my inner aristocrat. Husband! Fetch me a pastry! [Footnote: I’m SCREWED if he sees this prior to his imminent departure and luckily he doesn’t get cell or WiFi on his device once outside the condo.] I am a puffer fish.
Day 10: Friday – I slept in. Work needed a little attention and I am getting the meat sweats. I do not do this much at home (sleep in), but Friday I was able to stay in and stay quiet. The condo we rented through AirB&B has a sleepy view of the main Church here in Cadaques and a soft breeze. It seems to me that it would be an easy thing for me to do back home- find a cafe or spot where I can sit for a bit and read, chill and reflect. Seems simple, actionable and available. I’ll give it a try. Later that night we dined at Compartir – a restaurant we enjoyed four years ago on our first trip here. We were seated at the same table at which I was able to have an amazing meal and witness the wonder of my attentive hubby.
A bit into the dining experience a puzzled look came across his face. He looked around a bit and stated – “I seem to remember a well-being in this room over there, do you?” Candidly, I did not. I had no reason to doubt him, but it seemed odd – a well inside a restaurant? A few minutes later he popped out with “I’m right” (he genuinely always is)- and pointed up along the wall to the ceiling. A pulley and winch system remained behind and when we (he) asked in sweet broken Spanish (what the hell is the word for well!?) about said well, the staff confirmed that it has been covered up, that the part of the building we were in was built up around the well and was originally a courtyard.
Earlier in the day, we stopped at a local grocery store. They have wines by the barrel and you can pour your own- so we did. A bit of vermouth that is lovely with a touch of lime and ice- perfect for a pre-siesta slumber. We’ll have to do that for the next week. I may need to implement that policy at work.
Day 11 of 17 – Saturday – The celebration of Bliss!
We were up early and off to Ceret, France. Saturday market drifting is one of the passions of our life. It is this ability to just get up and go somewhere like this that is drawing out the wanna-be ex-pat in me.
This market is amazing. We could live in Ceret- and (shocker alert!) we talked to a chocolatier about life in the region. He (an ex-pat from London) and his wife (ex-pat from Belgium) have moved to a nearby village that was the Catalan center of the Cocoa trade. They have a cottage industry business of artisan chocolates. We had to sample a few. He told stories of housing in the smaller villages that cost less than 100k for a multifamily home. Dreams of my real estate empire have begun anew. More amazing than all of this was the wonder in Chris’ eyes as he explored each stall, slowly and attentively. It’s his job to explore, my job to adore. We wandered our way back via the coast and came back to Cadaques for a lunch of gathered items from the market. Yeah, Jamon – a big chunk of it, we now own a made-in-France farmer’s knife (with a built-in corkscrew!) cheese, bread, and dried fruit.
A word of warning. If you have spent two weeks jamming yourself full of meat, especially dried ham and cheese, suddenly adding anything that looks like a vegetable (let alone a piece of dried fruit) could have consequences unexpected.
I’m kinda done with Jamon for a while. Meh… probably just until lunch which is sadly FOUR HOURS away!!
After siesta we rallied for dinner at La Serena. http://www.restaurantelasirena.com They had this magical thing called a salad. It is this appetizer that has vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce and onions. It was a welcomed start given that most of the veggies I’ve had in two weeks have been olives stuffed with anchovies or Jamon or both. My fussy tummy was settled by a pre-dinner cocktail of Pastis (one more reason to love France) and filled to the bursting point with a fish stew. Ok, fish stew is a misnomer. This was bouillabaisse heaven with razor clams, mussels, langoustine, two types of fish, and gambas (shrimp)- all local, all incredible. The Spanish do these and Paella with at least two persons for the portion.
During the dinner, I revealed the Facebook post to Chris where many of our family and friends posted things that we love about Chris. It was a super sweet cap-stone to the “50 moments of Chris bliss” only outstepped by how into us and our reaction to the meal we were having that the staff was. They seem generally delighted that we enjoyed the complex flavors of the stew, that we ate slowly with intention and that we explored the nuances of the various tastes with bits and sips of bread and wine. A blessed life is only as far away as a good meal eaten with intention. We live many blessed lives!
Four years ago Chris succumbed to the ex-pat virus at Cafe De La Habana. The owner at La Serena suggested we nightcap at this Cafe. A local Spaniard and his French wife run this bar where he strums his classic guitar to a mix if sleepy ballads and quirky covers of modern hits. She serves up drinks governed only by the glance at the booze-level in the glass and a whim. Back then we left with a CD and through the interim years, we visit that CD to resurrect some of the most pleasant travel memories we have. It is better live. Travel to Cadaques and see for yourself. Just don’t go in the summer. We have been told it is crowded and can take up to three hours to get into town down the 8-kilometer winding road into town. More reasons we enjoy early Spring or early Fall travel- the offseason- this is spot on for us.
We strolled up the hill to our “home” in Cadaqez with more talk of working the company plans from abroad, learning Spanish and challenging ourselves to embrace the unknown. Back at the house I found yet another magical fairy. The sparkling water fairy had visited and there bedside was a glass ready to accompany me to a restful slumber dreaming of endless Jamon Iberico. Yummy indeed.