My Blackberry Is Making Me Blue – September 20, 2009

Susan and I spent a good deal of time yesterday trying to figure out why our phones were not working correctly.  We both have Spanish SIM cards which we have inserted into our respective Blackberries.  Whenever we tried to dial a number from our directory we would get a voice message telling us that there was no such number.  When we looked closely at the display we discovered that the Blackberry was adding a “+” before the number and that was what was causing the problem.  However, we had no idea where the “+” was coming from.  Thanks to Google we discovered that the Blackberry has a function that is called Smart Dialing and you need to access that feature in order to change the country code to wherever you are abroad and adjust the number of digits that comprise the phone number.  Spanish phone numbers have nine digits.  American phone numbers have ten.  The Blackberry was adding the “+” to make up for the missing digit.  Who knew?

Pepe came by at 9:30.  His friend, Sara, was with him.  The four of us headed out, on foot, to a restaurant called El Asador de Leandro.  It took us about a half an hour to get there.  We had a lovely meal that started out with a plate of Idiazabal cheese slices accompanied by some rose petal jam.  That was followed by a salad of fresh tomatoes and the main course which was a sampler of sirloin steak, slices of pork loin and baby back ribs.  We sampled a bottle of red wine from the Ribera del Duero, which was good, but not exceptional.  Dessert was a fresh fruit sampler, which we followed up with coffee and after dinner drinks.  While we were finishing up our meal, Pepe and I did some magic.  We paid our bill and then we headed back to the apartment.  We got back home at 1:30 and by the time we made it to bed it was close to 2:00 AM.  That is unheard of for the two of us who are usually in bed by 10:30 back in the States.

We awoke at 10:30 today and put together made up of yesterday’s leftovers.  We feasted on bread, cheese, ham, sliced tomatoes, yogurt and a fresh peach.  We also used our new stovetop espresso pot for the first time.  After doing the dishes and putting them away we decided to go for a walk.  Most restaurants and businesses are closed on Sunday.  It is a day when you find families taking a walk, going for a bike ride or watching their children play in the park.  It turns out that today was the 13th annual Bicycle Day and we passed a group of about a thousand people of all ages on bikes who were part of the celebration.  Our last stop on our morning walk was at a bakery where we picked up a loaf of bread and some other goodies and we proceeded to make our way home.

We rested about a half an hour and then headed out in search of an OPENCOR, which is a convenience store owned and operated by El Corte Inglés.  I would compare it to a Walgreen’s or a CVS store, except you can’t get a prescription filled there.  The range of products is quite similar.  As it turned out we had taken a rather indirect route, following the directions we had been given earlier in the day.  It took us about an hour’s worth of walking to get there.  We treated ourselves to a cab ride to get back home.  Once we had put the groceries away, we decided to go out for lunch.  We finished lunch at 5:00 and returned home.  That is where we are now.  There is a chance that we may meet up with Pepe tonight and have a drink.  If not, our Kindles will keep us occupied.

Today's breakfast.

Today's breakfast.

A view of the bridge designed by valencia's most famous architect, Santiago Calatrava.  The locals call it "The Comb".

A view of the bridge designed by valencia's most famous architect, Santiago Calatrava. The locals call it "The Comb".

The sign announcing BICYCLE DAY.

The sign announcing BICYCLE DAY.

The participants in BICYCLE DAY.

The participants in BICYCLE DAY.

A photo of my photographer taking a photo of me.

A photo of my photographer taking a photo of me.

My official photographer revealed.

My official photographer revealed.

Valencia's Arch of Triumph

Valencia's Arch of Triumph

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