A CASUAL 'HI'...AND THEN YOU'RE BESTIES
17 October 2015 | MADRID, ESPAÑA
When our friends, Jesus and Dorrie, met us for lunch last week on their way to a wedding in Morocco, they invited us to visit them upon their return, at their home in Madrid. Since our boat mechanic was going to a trade show in Barcelona, and some of our boat chores need to be done closer to D-day (departure day), we decided to take a mini-vacation, rent a car and accept their offer. Meanwhile, our adopted son, Guillermo, has been working on the next chapter of his life. He and his girlfriend, Aina, joined us for a week. She left to return to school and Guillermo has been with us for almost a month...and haven't we been most fortunate!! However, Moonbeam will be departing for points west, and Guillermo is into the 'what next?' phase of his life. During the time he has been with us in Benalmádena, being bilingual, he has impressed many people by his ability to translate English Spanish on technical boat repair issues, and help with the diagnoses of the problems, and improve the communications between the mechanics and us on solutions. Consequently, the contacts he has made have presented him with several possible options for work. Since originally he only thought he would be with us for a week, he left most of his 'stuff' at his family's home in Madrid. Now that he will be staying down here, he accompanied us to Madrid so he could get his 'stuff', and catch up with his family and friends before embarking on this new chapter.
It was a five hour drive...past gazillions of olive trees. Guillermo told us that most of the olive oil from these trees is shipped to Italy. Who knew! Obviously, he did. 'Mini-Muffin' my phone's GPS took us exactly where we needed to go. You know those magic words that let you breathe a sigh of relief: "your destination is on the right (or left), I'm still amazed by the technology.
As we already had figured out, Jesus and Dorrie are a most interesting couple. They met in Cadiz, Spain when they were in their early 20's. Jesus was on the beach, painting (art, not walls), and Dorrie was on vacation from her home in the states. They have been together all these years (an unfortunately uncommon story) and have three kids, and six grandkids to prove it. In addition to his art (much of it beautifully displayed in his home), he has many, many, (did I say many?) other interests. He has retired from his two dental practices and two of his kids (both dentists) have taken over the clinics. So...what does he do in his spare time? Pretty much what he always did...but more of it. We met them at a marina in Greece, and sailing is still a big part of their lives. He likes cars...and has six of them, because for some reason, he forgets to get rid of the old ones when he gets a new one. He likes motorcycles; he told me he has fifteen in various stages of renovation or perfection...but when we walked around and counted, we found that he had seventeen. Many of them are real beauties, but I could see that the ones that are works in progress are well on the way. But...these are not just for show. He participates in motorbike rallies all over Europe. And, in addition, he is a private pilot, so, between sailing and flying, he and Captain Ken had many war stories to share. Not to give Dorrie short shrift, while she doesn't do the bike thing, she has shared many of his sailing adventures, she has been an amazingly supportive wife, worked in his practices, runs a wonderful home, is a super cook, and is a wonderful, enjoyable person for us to hang out with.
Dorrie suggested taking a trip to Segovia, where neither Ken nor I had ever been. It's a one hour drive from their home through and over the mountains. Like many of these old and historical European cities, it is beautifully maintained. We toured the old town, and visited the Alcázar castle, sitting high up on the cliff, (which was supposedly the inspiration for Disney's castle in the Magic Kingdom). For lunch (which was more like dinner), we ate at a 200-year old, family owned restaurant, (now run by the fourth generation) filled with tradition; we started the meal with a local garlic and roast pepper soup, devoured an amazing roast pork with the crispest skin ever and a roast lamb, and ending with torrija, (sort of like french toast with a caramel topping) another recipe to research on the Internet,....all eaten while overlooking a 2000-year old aqueduct.
We all swore off dinner that evening....but then Dorrie, the wonderful cook, brought out a delicious roasted pepper salad, and other tapas dishes, which we washed down with a very light, not too sweet, not too dry, French Champagne...to toast our new alliance...and we started all over again.