14 Years

Fact: I find Spanish men very attractive. As a whole, they are well-dressed, courteous, attentive, and affectionate. They are loyal to family, love children, and have a natural swagger. On more than one occasion, I’ve blushed, or stammered, or simply stared in awe at Manolo, Antonio, Jose, Pedro, or Julio. (And I’m not talking about … More 14 Years

The Volkswagon Truck

I am sitting in a Volkswagon truck, the ubiquitous European version of a SUV, wearing my brown-and-white polka dot feria dress. My youngest son rests on my lap. Next to me, is a teenage girl in a feria dress—tall, beautiful, and unaware of her power. Her mother pours a rubujito into a plastic glass. In … More The Volkswagon Truck

Blue Period

When the sun shines, and my patio blooms with red roses, I am embarrassed to admit that I have the blues. But then, I think, Picasso was Spanish and had a Blue Period, so I am also inclined to have mopey days. Even in Spain. My mopey days feel a bit like one of those … More Blue Period

The Grace of Cafe

In a country which is 99% Catholic, it’s not surprising that there is a reverence for ritual. This is one of my favorites: You walk into a bar, past the plastic-sheeted patio, towards the counter. “Buenos,” you say. “Cafe con leche, por favor.” “Cafe con leche, vale,” replies the man behind the counter, pounding fresh … More The Grace of Cafe

Still Flaming Red

I am turning 38 on Tuesday. When I turned 37, I celebrated my birthday by running across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and eating a Nutella cupcake at CakeLove in DC. I had announced that 37 was to be my “Year of Adventure,” and that I was going to run across as many bridges as possible. … More Still Flaming Red

Sunday

Corporate Spain shuts down on Sunday. The grocery stores, big box emporiums, local tiendas, and shopping malls close their doors. Restaurants, bars, and cafes, however, remain open. Families and friends gather, drink, laugh, and linger. A holy day. It’s not uncommon, even in February, to see families walk along the paseo, by the beachfront. Children … More Sunday