Thursday, July 01, 2010

The end - Mollo, Acala de Henares and Seattle

So. It was our last day in Spain to do as we pleased, before driving 8 hours back to Madrid and flying home. One last day in the mountains, breathing in the fresh crisp air and hiking all over the Pyrenees. We woke up bright and early and...

Kyle puked. And puked. And.....more puke.

I felt...sort of funny, but not too bad. I was waiting for it to hit me too, my stomach definitely wasn't quite right. I nibbled some plain yogurt & dried fruit for breakfast. Barely got down some a cod fritter salad for lunch (much tastier than it sounds). Kyle meanwhile said it was "the worst food poisoning I've ever had" and barely spoke a word to me until about 4pm. (he just slept and puked)

I sat in the sun on the balcony and read for hours - "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, a favorite I'd read before that our book club was supposed to be reading. Juan, the english speaking guy who worked/ran the hotel was exceedingly nice. He always asked what I needed, offered to call a doctor and brought me a free "special" appetizer of peppers, eggplant & anchovies for lunch that I could barely stomach.

After lunch I read my Marie Claire magazine from the plane that I hadn't even opened - I'd gotten sucked into a sudoku book on the flight instead. Finally, six+ hours of reading later, I was feeling better, but really really missed the kids, missed my husband and felt quite lonely. So I texted my friend at 7am on a saturday so I'd have someone to talk too. Whoops. Luckily her daughter had already woken her up and she gave me a good lecture on how lucky I was to have a full day of peace and quiet to read. Thanks Liz.

About the time I was ready to take a walk by my lonesome, it got really cold and a storm moved in. So I sat and read some more listening to one of the most intense thunder storms I'd heard in years. It was actually quite wonderful. Of course it poured rain as well. Kyle was finally speaking at this point and we watched some world cup together. Unfortunately, my hotel dinner was scheduled at exactly the time the USA & England were playing, so I had to leave to go sit downstairs and eat alone.

Luckily, my lamb chops were exquisite, so I didn't mind too much. And I was starving - my stomach was definitely feeling better.

I never did get sick. Was it the random pinxto that kyle ate at lunch in Figueres, which I only barely tasted? Other than that one thing, we'd eaten exactly the same. Was it my year spent in Europe, plus 4 months in Egypt that made my gut extra tough? Kyle was sure it was the raw prawns, but who knows....

The next morning, we left by 10am, right after breakfast. Kyle was well enough to drive and nibble cookies/crackers. I got a kick out of the fact that they offered a carafe of wine along with the juice at breakfast...and that I did see a guy drinking it. I think it was the only place we stayed that did this, maybe its a french thing?

8 hours later we arrived at our last stop before heading home. I'd booked a room in a small university town called Acala de Henares just outside of Madrid. It was very close to the airport but was still supposed to have some spanish charm...rather than the bland hotel chains that surrounded the airport.

Once again, as we tried to drive to our hotel, we were blocked by crowds of people and road blocks. Apparently there was some...sort...of festival going on. Lots of kids, a merry go round....and a religious parade off on the side streets. Very odd. No idea. We checked into our hotel finally (the hardest one to find yet) and wandered.

and wandered.....looking for a dinner place.

Unfortunately we'd both lost our appetite for spanish tapas and that was all we could find. We didn't have any recommendations to go on and were wary of choosing something random after kyle's barf experience. But the lighting was lovely.
And there were cranes in nests on the old buildings.
Finally we settled on Donar Kebab. But it wasn't good at all, it had ketchup and ranch dressing for sauce. Gross. Oh well.
Back at our hotel, we realized our double bed only had one looooooooong pillow. Yes, that is right, one loooooong pillow that stretched across the whole bed. Like a body pillow for us to share. It was ridiculous. And kyle saw a cockroach in the lobby but had the smarts to not tell me about it because I would have screamed. It was a gross hotel and I highly recommend staying in a fancy airport hotel next time because they are cheap and clean and have one pillow for each person. No "character" though....if you're into that sort of thing.
We made it through the night with only minor muscle aches and thankfully no more cockroaches. 5 hours later we were flying home on Salvador Dali. (if you zoom in, its the name of the plane??)
On our flight to Chicago, Kyle had TONS of leg room and I had an empty seat next to me. It was heaven.
On the flight from Chicago to Seattle, I had an extremely obese woman and her husband taking up at least 1/4 of my seat, and trying to chat with me when it was 3am spanish time. But that's not all! I also had a child kicking the back of my seat almost constantly and occasionally pulling my hair. (while her mother read a book and ignored her). It was not awesome at all. Kyle had no problems.
Finally we were reunited with our adorable childrens and drove home. But we barely made it because when I turned around, this is what I discovered:

It is not wise to trust a three year old in the back seat with an empty bag. Luckily she was giggling hard enough that it was impossible not to notice right away.
The kids had a WONDERFUL time with their granparents. I was so happy hearing all the stories of how much fun they had and do not regret leaving them to spend time with both sides of the family. I LOVE how much they truly enjoyed their time with both sets of Grandparents and am so grateful that we get to go travel and have our kids get spoiled rotten by their awesome grandparents. We are the luckiest parents on earth I think. THANK YOU to everyone who helped with the kids (and roxxy!) while we were gone. You are amazing.

1 comment:

vickyc said...

okay. i know someone who would drink wine for breakfast. it's not me.