Final Friday – October 23, 2009

Today is going to be a kickback day.  We get up at 9:00 have breakfast and we are off to the market.  We buy some salad ingredients, some olives and boquerones and we head back home.  We have decided to have lunch at home, so Susan sets to work preparing a couple of salads.  She uses lettuce, tomato, olives, red pepper, Emmenthal cheese, Serrano ham and onion.  Her salad gets some white asparagus, which is not one of my favorites.  She whips up a salad dressing consisting of oil, white wine vinegar, garlic, English mustard, salt and pepper.  It is a fantastic dressing.  We cut up the bread we bought on the way home and open a bottle of Protos Verdejo and we devour a world class lunch.

The afternoon is given over to reading.  I finish SWIMMING and Susan begins THE HISTORY OF LOVE.  At 5:00 we take a walk and have our daily gelato and a cup of coffee.  We head back home and shower and dress because one of the people that we met at last Saturday’s cooking class, Brian Oberle, has invited us over for drinks.

Brian lives in the Cánovas neighborhood and it takes us about fifteen minutes to walk there.  He and his wife are renting a lovely four bedroom apartment that was built in the 20’s and has been recently renovated.  We have a drink or two and chat for about an hour and a half.

Brian is a retired Foreign Service officer who was last posted in Lisbon.  He has been assigned to a multiplicity of posts including Nigeria, Rome, Cali, Milan and Portugal.  He has also done two tours in Washington.  He is married and they have a daughter, Olivia, who is currently studying at St Andrews.  His wife, Ofelia, is a retired simultaneous translator who speaks six languages fluently.  She is also an artist.  I have included a sample of her work, which is done entirely with paint and needles.  She does not use brushes.  We decide to go out and have some dinner and so we head down the street to a place called Spaghetti and Blues.

I have been jonesing for a pizza for about a week so the choice is perfect for me.  We continue our conversation over dinner.  We are trying to gather information for what is necessary if one plans to spend more than ninety days in Spain, which requires no visa for Americans.  We are almost certain that we will be returning to Valencia again and next time it will be for a longer period of time than six weeks.  I finish off dinner with a little magic and a little after 11:30 we say goodbye.  We are home at midnight and, soon thereafter, we are off to bed.

Susan's Salad

Susan's Salad

My Salad

My Salad

One of Ofelia's paintings

One of Ofelia's paintings

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