April 13, 2015: Our First European Electrical Appliance

Dominica woke up at five this morning and was unable to get back to sleep.  So even though she got to bed at a good time last night, she is going to be exhausted today.  I got up at nine and showered.  We have to be out of our apartment by eleven today so there is a bit to do before we can leave it.

It took all morning to get the girls ready, it always does. Even though we did a great job of getting them into bed last night, they were still not ready to get up this morning.

I was paged out during the night and again early this morning.  Made for rough sleep and a hard time getting ready.   At ten thirty, while we were waiting for my iPhone to get a little charge in it, I took a big load of all of our stuff to our car, which was about two hundred meters away, so that Dominica and the girls would not have to lug stuff over there.

We left the apartment right at eleven.  We saw several places open for breakfast but we did not want to take the time to try to do that right away.  We really wanted to see the Plaza de España that I had gotten to see last night.  It was high on Dominica’s list to see and I was pretty sure that the girls would love it.

So we walked where we had yesterday and cut through the Prado de San Sebastian and right into the Plaza de España now that I knew exactly how to get there.  It was, not surprisingly, packed with people.

It was appropriately jaw dropping for Dominica and the girls.  They were very glad that we had made the time to come here and see it.  Liesl declared it the best thing that she had seen in Sevilla.  We were at the Plaza de España for at least half an hour.  Maybe it was an hour.  Sadly it was extremely hot with the sun beating down on the plaza and high humidity.  It made it less than pleasant to be out there and Luciana was very hungry and begging us to go look for food.

We spent some time checking out the fountain which had been off when I visited the plaza last night.  It is a great fountain.  One of those giant, classical European ones.  There was a little mist coming off of it too, which helped.

We explored the inner part of the plaza with tons of little areas with art and ceramics from different regions of the Spanish world.  It was really neat.  We were sad that it was so hot and busy and that Luciana was in such a mood that we could not spend more time there.

We talked about taking the City Sightseeing bus that had not picked us up last night and going around the city to get to the El Conte Ingles department store in the north of the city so that we could see if they would have a razor for me, but by this point we were hot, hungry and I was a bit gunshy of dealing with those buses again, especially with my “pager” going off on a regular basis.  So we decided to give up, get lunch near our apartment and head back home instead.

We walked back and got to the restaurant right next door to what had been our apartment and sat out on the sidewalk to eat.  Turns out, they had been open for breakfast but were closed now and would not be open again for over an hour for lunch!  It was twelve thirty now.  That was too long to wait.

We made a quick tour through the local market.  It is a huge building right at the end of our street with the confusing translated name of the Market of the Meat Door.  It was full of produce, though, and was, more or less, a normal indoor market with stalls.  It looks good but had nothing that we needed now.  No prepared food.  There were a few bars in there but none serving food because of the time.

We decided to just give up and hit the road.  We were very near the car at this point so getting to it was just a few minutes.  The girls were not very happy as they were rather hungry.   None of us were all that happy, actually.  But I felt better knowing that we were getting underway and it is a long drive back and I don’t like being so inaccessible when I need to be able to get paged.

Driving out of the city proved to be rather easy and in no time we had fought through busy Sevilla traffic and were on the A92 headed east towards home.  It was about one when we were free from the metropolitan shackles. We were all pretty disappointed that we had to cut the trip short so much both last evening and today but it really could not be helped.  We are very aware, though, that we will be coming back to Sevilla.  This was not long enough at all to experience such an awesome city.

Luciana reiterated this morning that we wanted to live in Sevilla.

We were not far out of town, maybe half an hour, when I stopped for gas and snacks.  We stocked up the car and while I was getting the snacks Dominica investigated a tiny restaurant located right next to the gas station, the Bar La Ponderosa.  There was no one eating there but they said that their kitchen was open.  So we gave it a try.

We sat outside in the shade.  The menus were Spanish only but the owner spoke English well.  I got salmon, Dominica got an awesome egg scramble, Liesl got gazpacho which she loved and Luciana got calamari.  It was all very good.  Except for my salmon.  Fish just does not work for us here.  I think that we are just going to give up on it.  It is unnecessarily expensive and it never seems to make us happy, except for tuna.  No reason to keep experimenting with it.

We all got ice cream too.  Dominica and I got very pedestrian berries of the forest on vanilla ice cream cones.  Liesl got some bag of tiny popsicles in various flavours.  Luciana got an awesome watermelon thing that she loved.

We got back on the road and now everyone was full and happy.  Luciana was asleep immediately and slept all of the way until we parked the car in Granada.  Dominica nodded off after about an hour.  Only Liesl stayed awake with me for the entire drive.  She was perfectly happy playing in the back seat.  She did a lot of colouring and imagination games.

Dominica saw a sign for El Corte Ingles while we were driving through Granada, our local city, so we jumped off of the highway at exit 128 and, after having to drive quite some ways to make a turn around so that we could get into the parking lot, pulled into the huge, classically British styled department store and did some shopping.

This was actually a really cool experience for us.  This was our first time going shopping like absolutely normal Spaniards.  This is the biggest department store in Spain and Portugal (think Walmart meets Nordstroms) and is full of suburban Spaniards doing their normal shopping – clothes, appliances, home electronics, food, you name it.  This was very “normal”, everyday Spanish life in a normal city.  And no one anywhere spoke English.  Not in the least.

We did some hunting around and actually found things that we needed.  Dominica needed a USB WiFi adapter for her laptop as she has a Lenovo and the built in WiFi is useless.  It does not work at all.  And I needed a USB Hub.

The big item that we have been looking everywhere for, of course, is a razor for me.  We managed to find one with no problem.  This is a big moment for us.  This is our first purchase of a European appliance!  We do not need an adapter for this razor, it plugs in in Europe!

It was six when we left the department store.  We drove on to our village as quickly as we could.  It took about seventy minutes, from what I could tell.

I went to the market a little after eight and it was warm so Dominica and I sat up on the terraza and ate fresh baguettes, oil and vinegar and local cheese.  It was delicious.  But we could not stay out there long as the wind was getting to be crazy.

Dominica was completely exhausted and went to bed at ten and got the girls off to bed around then too.  I stayed up until very late.

The wind got worse and worse tonight.  At one in the morning I went outside and brought in the umbrella and some other things that were out there as everything was going to blow away.  The wind was completely crazy.

Before heading to bed I shaved a bit.  I still have a lot of beard but it is not nearly so insane as it was early.  And the neck scruff is finally gone.  I hated that but had no way to deal with it.  I feel much better now.