Because I’ll be out all day tomorah, you get Travel Thursday a day early. Easy on the champagne, you have to work tomorrow. . .
Being a relatively small town, we’d left the car at the horse show and walked downtown, finding it pleasant because everyone seemed to be out with the horsies. According to her–she’d read the tourist stuff at the hotel–the town dated back to Moorish times and “possessed a charming old town with beautiful palm lined squares.”
“You know what kind of feeling I get here?” she mused as she held my arm during the walk. “Aristocratic is the word. Maybe it’s the horse show, but I don’t feel at all like this place appreciates the common man.”
“And you haven’t even seen the liquor places. I think it’s the wide streets and overabundance of squares.”
Thrilled to find me agreeing with her, she added, “Plus all these rows of jacaranda trees.”
“Is that what they are? Thought you said you were only into flowers.”
“Read it in the brochure,” she quickly tried. “What liquor places?”
“Place is famous for sherry, and brandy too, I guess. You can go in and sample them and most likely buy some expensive bottles.”
“Not me! I’ve saving all my money for the horsies!”
“How many you gonna buy?”
“Depends,” came her usual impish tone; she even twirled around in a not-bad dance move before falling back into my arms, but after the customary fake sigh she as usual switched emotions like gears. “Hey, where are we, anyway? I like this fountain.”
“Looks like Plaza Simon Bolivar.”
Bending to sniff a flower, she queried, “Who was he?”
“The George Washington of South America.”
“A bunch of them, From Panama in the north to Bolivia in the south.”
“Holy cow! That’s what I call being influential!”
“Yeah, I’m surprised they gave him a statue here.”
“Hmmm?” She was taking a photo of the statue with her own tiny digital.
“Who do you think he was fighting to get independence for all those countries?”
“The Spanish, of course! Still, there’s a statue of George Washington or Benjamin Franklin in London, so why not this?”
“True, but that Mediterranean blood holds grudges a lot longer.”
“Don’t generalize, dear. Now tell me, what does it mean when the statue has a hoof raised like that?”
“That’s an urban legend,” I grinned. “It’s supposed to be that if the statue guy died in battle, the horse has two legs up. If the horse has a leg up, so to speak, then he was wounded and died later.”
“And if the horse is well-grounded?” she prompted, not that I needed it.
“Died of natural causes. But it’s not true. Depends on what the people commissioning the statue wanted, or else they left it to the sculptor to do whatever he wanted.”
“What about our buddy Simon here?” Of course she pronounced it Americanishly.
“Died of tuberculosis.”
“There goes that theory!” she frowned at the offending foreleg. “Well, that’s not really a natural cause, is it?”
“It’s not dying in battle or of battle wounds either.”
“Well, what else can the poor horsie do? Jump in the air?”
“The horsie might, but not the statue.”
“Right!” she laughed, tapping her blonde head. “But when we get levitation technology invented–”
“You’ll get the first one.”
“That’s all I ask. Okay, nuff of that. Flower time!”
For the next few minutes I shot about an equal amount of flowers and blonde, and of course some shots of both. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before she switched gears again. “Can we go back to the hotel? I’m pretty tired.”
“Gotta walk back to the car. . .”
“You can do that,” she yawned yet again; nap time, no doubt. “I’ll wait here and you can pick me up.”
“And who’s gonna protect you from all those rich assholes who come on to you?”
“I’ve been doing it since I was fourteen!” she grumbled, but saw my point. “Okay, I’ll walk back with you, but you gotta make it interesting. Different route, different sights. Make me forget my weariness.”
“You’re a tall guy.”
“Not that tall. But you’re definitely a tall gal.”
“I could use a tall glass of water.”
“How ‘bout a fat one instead?” I pulled her pink canteen from her bag, which made her laugh and gave her a little more energy to start the walk back.
Which was ultimately fine, since Jerez was a nice little town to wander in, full of monuments and museums and such. She was too tired to show off the moves she’d learned that night in Granada when we walked by the Centro de Flamenco, which advertised itself as a library that housed pretty much every document, song and video ever made about the dance. “Something I would usually be all over,” she moaned. “Why am I so tired?”
“Couldn’t be all the sex.”
That made her laugh. “Trust me, baby, that wouldn’t make ME tired! You’ll find out one day.”
“Looking forward to it.” But I put just enough doubt in my tone to bring on her giggles. While she wasn’t paying attention, I ushered her into a nearby shop and quickly ordered in Spanish, simply telling her I knew exactly what would perk her up right now.
In only a couple of minutes a smiling man brought us a huge platter on which sat a giant coil of what at first she thought was a cinnamon roll, but the brown doughy surface sparkled instead of glistened with frosting.
“Okay, what is this?” she muttered, also staring at the cups of thick brown semi-liquid placed in front of us.
“You forgot already? You did seem to like the churros in Granada.”
“These are churros? How come they’re not in long broken sticks?”
“Guess they figured you’d have enough energy to break them yourself.”
She made a face at that, then a worst one at the cup. “And this?”
“Boy, your memory sure requires a lot of energy to work! Chocolate! You dip the churro in it!”
“Right!” But then her eyes fell on the giant pizza-sized coil again. “Do they seriously think we’ll finish all this?”
“If you don’t, I will. Think of it this way: the sugar rush will get ya to the car.”
She made a “yeah, okay” bob of the head and dug in, holding her own in the mutual demolishment of dough, sugar and chocolate. She didn’t even kid me about my supposed distaste for the sweet stuff.
Unable to stop herself, she looked up at the menu on the chalkboard behind the counter, but could only recognize one item, which led her to screech, “I hate beans!”
“Really?” Grin. “Coffee and chocolate come from beans.”
“Shit,” she mourned, then stopped dunking her churro, in fact stopped eating altogether. And it didn’t help that I was giving her the patented, “It’s your own fault” grin. . .
The chocolate churro had indeed given her the energy to make it to the car, but from there she’d struggled to keep her eyes open long enough to get to the hotel, and I’d practically carried her to their room. She managed to grope her way to the bathroom, at times irritated with the heretofore loving-them! jodhpurs, but finally managed to completely denude herself in a way she knew no man would pay to see before running out with a last burst of energy and throwing herself on the bed.