We left Estepona last Saturday and headed for the coast. Packing everything in the car is always fun. We rented a mid size car- and received more of the twiddle-bug family car from sesame street. Every. Time. The funny thing is that the boys do nothing but complain about how small the car is and how much luggage we take blah blah blah-when all the while they are sitting in the front with all the room in the world, and nic and I are in the back looking like we’re on a slow train in India. Nothing but luggage and limbs and regret. Not to mention I’m freezing. Gary and Chris ran me a bath last night-I’m not sure how that came about…..I just remember saying that I want to have a bath tonight because my hands are hurting-Chris going to run one for me and Gary hopping up and saying “WE HAVE BUBBLE BATH!” And a lot of giggling. And finally Chris came out, with his sweatshirt soaking wet, telling me my bath is ready-I walk in to Gary lighting candles and handing me a glass of wine-only for me to put a foot in the tub and find out that it’s approximately the temperature of Diet Pepsi straight out of the fridge. The hot and cold taps are backwards here-and apparently bubble bath and candles are much more important then temperature control. I don’t have the heart to say anything to them-so I just sit there in my prison bath huddled around a burning candle rubbing my hands together for warmth.
So yeah. I’m still cold this morning.
Anyway-away we went for the 4 hour drive to our next stay-a villa somewhere in the mountains overlooking the sea near Mojácar (pronounced moe-hock-ah).
It’s a beautiful drive-most of the way overlooking the coastline and the light blue Mediterranean-and hundreds and hundreds of greenhouses. This is clearly the growing district -a-la hunger games- and EVERY square inch of the land is covered in these short plastic covered grow ops. I do a quick google and find out that this area can actually be seen from space very distinctly because of the number of greenhouses that blanket it. They grow everything from vegetables to fur trees. It’s a little strange to not see any houses or roads-all you can see is plastic! We drive through them for about 2 hours. (See in pics above the view from space)
We we finally reach the town of Mojácar we try to contact our person for the meet up to get the keys to the house we’ll be in for the week. The coast is to our left and directly to our right are the mountains-and peppered throughout the mountains are white and Terra-cotta stucco homes. While we wait to hear back about directions to our house we fantasize about which one could be ours. Nicole and I point to one that’s particularly big and in exactly the location we’d want-impossibly high on the cliff with an unobstructed view of the sea and coastline, and what looks to be full sun all day long. And we are shocked when we find out that this IS in fact our place!!!! We twist up the dirt roads and climb the hill and are met by the most breathtaking house-with a huge pool and full sun, along with about 6 sitting nooks/decks for various degrees of sun and wind. It. Is. Perfection.
We dump our things and off we go for supplies. The caretaker of the house tells us the best grocery store to shop at (she’s British and understands our need for vinegar and beer stocked shelves). So we get back in the family car and off we go.
I can sum up all of this weeks Grocery store hi-jinks by saying I’m pretty sure the locals think we’re here to feed all of Spain’s homeless. The groceries are priced somewhere Between France and Italy. Much cheaper then home-and how can I resist all the cheese and bread? A huge block of parm is about $1. I mean come on.
So we stock up in everything we see. Never shop hungry. I have enough ingredients to make pasta for a few nights, appies like crostini and nachos, and enough cheese to save us a TON on toilet paper. When we reach the counter the cashier looks at us like we’re the most lavish and uncouth white people she’s ever seen. It could be because Nicole has stocked one full cart with $0.22 beers and is growling like a Chihuahua every time anyone attempts to so much as look at the cart.
We clank all the way back to the house and we do this trip 3 times in the week we are there. Each time getting scowled at by the cashier.
Most of the rest of the week is a mixture of floating in the pool and playing washer toss on the cliff with the magnificent view of the sea in front of us no matter where in the house we are.
We brought floaties from Home and spend the days floating around with mango rummy drinks and sunburns-while Chris tries not to burst in to flame. We consider rigging up some sort of beach umbrella harness for him-but in the end he realizes that there is shade to be had somewhere on this property at all times of the day. We do Dorito body shots (it’s like regular booze body shots except with Doritos – it’s the drover way) and read. We find that we all fall asleep if we are in the same position for more then 3 minutes-so there’s lots of snoring.
I paint most afternoons -and I’m at peace again-feeling the calm wash over me and the past months’ stresses get diluted with happy sighs.
One afternoon I go up to the second story large sitting room that overlooks the pool and sea to take a picture-and am met with a gecko-who looks at ME like I’m in his space. We’ve spent time in the room-it’s become the game room at night-but always at night-so clearly we’ve never noticed the large lizard in the corner. But when I look around and chase him from curtain to curtain I can see he’s been here a while. And he’s eating good. If you catch my drift.
So I chase him from corner to corner and take snap chats – of course. The other muppets see me dancing in the huge windows and wonder what’s going on. I run around trying to get him to go out one of the doors, but he’s just playin with me. He knows this place better then I do, so I just end up with a bad attitude, a stubbed toe and gecko Guano all over my feet.
I go downstairs and tell the boys and Chris’s eyes light up like a fat kid hearing the ice cream truck. A JOB!!! He loves a job. So off we go to capture the gecko. Or at least that’s what Chris leads me to believe. It isn’t until I see him with the “kill kit” that I start to freak out. A broom and a pillow case. Basically a murder weapon and a tiny body bag. I scream at him until he agrees to let the little guy live, but Ferdinand the gecko sees us coming and makes his escape into the air conditioner. We go back to the pool defeated-outwitted by a lizard. We strategize around the floaty-all the while with Ferdinand the gecko flipping us the bird from the picture window above. And then Gary steps in. Says “come on chris. Let’s go liberate this tiny crapper.” I’m not sure if he acts like an incredibly large fly, or fashions a tiny cape-but whatever it is he does-Ferdinand is in a red solo cup and released outside within 5 minutes.
As we are releasing him Chris glances to his right and we are all captivated by a chameleon that is doing a slow progression across the driveway! It’s the exact one I’ve seen my whole life on tv-back and forth taking a step forward and half a step back-spending a good 15 minutes to cross the 10 foot span. He’s one color on the dirt of the driveway, and changes color as he reaches the grass!!! From a pale white with a little green to full deep forest green with dark black spots. I. Am. Fascinated. All I can hear as he does his little dance is “all the single ladies”. Cracks me up.
I do all the cooking for the villa. See food pics above. But Gary has been wanting to cook also-so as much as I feel like nice sugar cookies cut form a Pillsbury freezer roll would be a more suitable Gary cooking activity-I give in- and we decide he will help with the bacon arribiata as its Nicole’s fav. It actually goes really well! He enjoys it and there is a lot of wine (I could get used to cooking with him!)….and it all seems to have gone without too much of a hitch until Chris goes to clean up-and we both get a stern talking too about how it’s not acceptable for him to have to clean sauce off the ceiling..humph.
We go to market day mid week in the town square and I am in heaven!!!. If you’ve read any of the blogs you know that I’m a sucker for large baggy Italian clothes. And I’m not disappointed here! I stock up!!! At least 10 outfits!!! And Nicole? These are her people. She grabs 7 pairs of shoes (she always says her flip has lost its flop- a side effect from her brain tumor is she can’t wear just any shoe-she needs them to latch tightly around her heal-but not too tight-it a whole thing) so she’s in her GLORY as she finds the exact shoe she can wear-in every color and style. So a pair of each it is!!! We shop and shop-and then find the European market staple-the chicken truck. Rotisserie chickens dripping fatty goodness into a vat of French’s fries. Oh yes we will thank you very much. So we grab a chicken and large fries and head to the beach-after a stop at the grocery for ketchup and vinegar and beers-WE smirk at the checkout clerk this time- with our 3 items. We enjoy a great picnic and wade in the water-and try to avoid boobs-oh Europe. You do love your topless tanning don’t you. And everything is good until Chris turns even whiter then normal and says “I don’t mean to panic anyone-but the keys to the car are no longer in my pocket…..”. So the search begins. After 10 mins of looking around our general area the boys decide that they must have fallen out on the walk down to the beach so off they go to search. They are gone for 15 mins-heads down searching the ground-when Nicole suggests I look in his bag again-maybe he didn’t look hard enough. And I find them. Safely tucked away in the zippered compartment inside his bag. We let them search a while longer. And finally let them off the hook. Relief doesn’t even begin to describe the look-and then horror as he realizes that we are going to tease him about this for days.
In other mentionable news- remember how I said I was the Michael Jordan of washer toss? Well, even after being in hard training the entire week (drinking gin-it’s my washer-toss training regimen) I appear to be more of the Kurt Browning of washer toss. Like, I’ve choked. I mean it’s bad. I don’t think the self proclaimed Washer toss William Sisters have even won a game. But we play every night and enjoy wine and giggles. Nicole is an unforgiving washer-toss coach. “I thought you were good at this???” And “Spain changed you…..” said in a deep raspy voice like Antonio Bandaras. We contemplate breaking Chris’s throwing hand or Gary’s knees. But in the end we decide that this is getting a little too KarenTonya Harding and leave things alone. We decide that even though the plan was to leave the box here-we’re going to make it our official traveling washer-tosser game and fill it full of bumper stickers from everywhere we’ve been. Not sure how India is going to take it……..
But it was an extremely relaxing week that was needed all around.
The last night is always the best. You are really in the swing of relaxing and have your routine down pat-and you get to do my favorite thing. Eat everything left. I mean-the pasta I make Friday night is EPIC. Sausage penne with all the left over vegetables and spices and CHEESE. So much Cheese. And I think we make it through 1/10th of what I make-leaving the remainder for the maid with a thank you note (and “sorry about the tomato sauce on the ceiling”).
So that’s it. Now we’re on our way to Madrid for the weekend-all packed up in our family car. I’d recommend this house to anyone-so if you’d like details message me at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ve decided that we will be back-but it will be a while. We have an entire world to see. And I have a movie to make about a failed washer-toss career. I-Karen.