Friday, September 23, 2011

Salmorejo is the new gazpacho

From Meghann:

Way back in July (can't believe we've been here for over 2 months) at the Philly airport, while waiting for the flight to Frankfurt, I picked up a few magazines.  It's a favorite airport indulgence, right up there with having an overpriced pre-flight cerveza or bloody mary at the bar.  This time I went with NatGeo Traveler and Bon Appetit (food and travel, these are a few of my favorite things, not so much raindrops on roses).  The cover of the August issue of Bon Appetit looked especially delicious - look at that pie!  Mmm... 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Graham vs. Agua

This post isn't historical, cultural, or geographical.  But it is comical.  

Ahh, the joys of home rentership.  When you don't know where the water shut-off is, or if there even is one.  Happy Thursday, everyone.  You're welcome.

p.s.  We did get the water stopped.  And "we" means Graham, but Meghann was there for moral support and the very important job of filming, of course.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Get thee to a nunnery!

No, it's not a Shakespeare post.  (10 dork points if you knew that was Shakespeare, 10 bonus dork points if you know which play.)  That hombre was English and we're sticking to Spain in this post.  We didn't forget that we had mentioned an "impromptu stop" in our Arcos post. Graham was driving and Meghann was snapping photos (as usual) when we spotted a church on a hill outside of Jerez.  Before a decent photo could be taken (hey, it's difficult to take decent pictures while going that fast, which we're sure you've noticed from our blog) we went around a bend and it was out of sight.  All of the sudden, Graham pulled off onto a gravel shoulder, which turned out to be the parking area for the church.  And the church turned out to be a monastery.  An incredibly beautiful, 15th-century, still actively used, monastery.  You can read mas about the La Cartuja de Jerez aqui.  We didn't go inside because we didn't want to get struck by lightning disturb any services that might be taking place.  Here are some photos that we took while (very quietly) looking around the grounds.  (Hamlet, by the way.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Graham's Trabajo

From Graham - 

So it's about time I write my own post, and tell everyone what I do on a daily basis.  It's not all tapas and tinto drinking, but I get plenty of that anyway.  I usually get up with the sun (although it's not that early -- sunrise here is about 8) and leave Meghann and Chloe sleeping.  And I usually get to leave around 3 or so in the afternoon, leaving plenty of time for fun Spanish activities like the beach, siestas, and golf.  

While at work, my official titles are "Air Operations Facilities Manager" and "Detachment Coordinator."  For facilities, I'm in charge of over 10 buildings' upkeep -- exciting, I know.  I don't actually have to do the work, just decide which jobs take priority, ensure we have money to pay for them, and make sure they are finished.  Most of the work is done by Spanish nationals, which is one reason I plan on taking Spanish classes.  But, I'm with you, and I'd rather read about fun travels in Europe than fixing leaking pipes and broken toilets, so I'll leave it at that.  For Detachments, I am responsible for any planes and their crews who come through Rota for operations, not just on their way somewhere else.  While I am not in charge of any of the day-to-day flying that the Air Force's AMC (Air Mobility Command), I do get to see them all the time.  AMC flies all the "MAC flights" you hear about, as well as moving military cargo, aircraft, vehicles, and personnel around the world on a daily basis.  I know, I thought it was funny that the Navy at a Navy base was in charge of the USAF, too.  I guess the government knows who actually is the better service.

Overall, it's not that exciting.  At least compared to landing on the boat at night.  But, it's a good job with great hours.  I get to live in an amazing place with my new wife.  I get to experience a lifestyle and culture that I otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity for.  I'd say I'm winning.

A shot of the base.

C-5 Galaxy - The USAF's largest cargo plane.  A lot of these come through every day on different missions around the world.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ronda Roadtrip: Pastries and Puentes

No road trip has truly started until you have your fat-kid snacks.  In the States, we generally stick to swedish fish, sour patch kids, crab chips, and diet Dr. Pepper.  But since we started our drive in the morning (and because crab chips and Dr. Pepper are unavailable in Spain - we've been told that the delicious 23 flavors taste like medicine...que?!?) we went with pastries instead.

"La Perla" is Spanish for "shop around the corner that sells baked goods and puts up with our terrible Spanish."

We washed these tasty treats down with a Coke Light...which we swear tastes better than Diet Coke.

Our first Spanish road trip, to Arcos, was only 45 minutos away, so this time we decided to venture a little farther, to Ronda.  Located in the rocky hills of the Malaga province, Ronda is a larger city, part of which is a traditional pueblo blanco, similar to Arcos.  You can read more fun facts from the interwebs aqui.

Our 2 hour route

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Cute casa, Feo furniture

When we arrived in Puerto in Julio we already had a house, thanks to Graham signing a lease before coming back to the States for our wedding.  While it was great to have a home to move into right away, the fact that it was nearly empty made us anxious for the delivery of our household goods.  We say "nearly empty" because the Navy was kind enough to provide us with some loaner furniture, some of which can be seen in our posts on Chloe or Tinto.  Now that our stuff has been delivered, and our backs have recovered from sitting on a wood and vinyl couch, we think we're physically and emotionally ready to give you the full tour of our casa in all its original, pre-decorated, loaner furniture glory.  This is how we lived for our first seis weeks in Spain.  Warning:  the furniture seen in this post may cause college dorm room flashbacks.

The entrance to our townhouse.

Hola!  Bienvenido to our house.
This picture reminds Meghann of
The Continental.