Sunday, November 27, 2011
Given the fact that we put an end to our visa marathon on Friday, I find it most appropriate that a marathon is being run today in Valencia. On my way to El Parisien bakery I saw them setting up the water stations, but there was no sign of any runners.
After Friday’s long wait in line, we decided that we would enter into Saturday very gently. We got up at 9:00 and after breakfast we either worked on the computer or did some reading. A little after 1:00 I headed to Neo Gym to set up a time for my evaluation, which they require before they allow you to use the gym’s facilities. I scheduled an appointment for this coming Tuesday at 9:00 AM and we shall see where we go from there. I will definitely use the gym for cardio exercise and I will see how much weight training I will do there versus at home with rubber resistance. On the way back home I decided to make a stop at one of the mini-casinos that have a variety of slot machines. One of my favorites is a machine called Gnomos (Gnomes). On my 20th spin I hit a small jackpot that was worth 160 Euros. That was an excellent return on my 5 Euro investment.
When I got back home Susan was putting the finishing touches on the stock she was making from Thursday’s turkey leftovers. While she was finishing up, I worked a bit on my blog. As 3:00 o’clock approached we decided it was time for lunch and we thought that this would be a good day to visit with Jordi and eat at Carusel.
When we arrived we were pleased to see that all the tables on the terrace were occupied and that there were only two vacant tables inside. We were seated at the only round table in the restaurant and studied today’s offerings. As you may remember from previous posts, the menu is what is called a closed menu. You get all of the day’s appetizers – which change daily – delivered to your table on a rather large wooden board. You then get your choice of one of two main dishes. Today’s choices were a vegetarian arroz meloso made with turnips and white beans or a paella with squid and artichokes. We chose the paella. We also ordered a bottle of “F”, a very good red especially given its price.
The appetizers arrived and once they bore testimony to Jordi’s skill as a chef who realizes that presentation is equally important as the quality of your ingredients and your imagination in combining them. Today’s appetizers were a stew that featured a cabbage roll that instead of being filled with hamburger meat was filled with ground wild boar meat; a mushroom and rosemary broth with a hard boiled quail egg; mussels that were encased in a velvety and spicy sauce, a variety of smoked fish, and home made bread. Incredibly delicious! A treat for the eyes and the taste buds! Our paella was cooked to perfection, also. Our dessert was a white chocolate cream that featured fresh mango and pineapple along with a peach and mint sorbet. We finished our meal with an after-dinner coffee. Our bill for this extravaganza was 45 Euros.
From Carusel we headed to FNAC with a two-fold purpose in mind. Firstly we wanted to get a tarjeta de socio, which, for 15 Euros, gives you a 5% discount on every purchase you make. Secondly we wanted to take a look at TV sets. With the tarjeta in hand we went over to the TV displays. We had been thinking of a 32-inch LG, but as we did a side-by-side comparison of picture quality the 32-inch Samsung LCD TV really stood out. We decided to buy it, but when the clerk checked for stock all they had was the floor model. They agreed to take 10% off the price and given the special promotion that was going on in the month of November we got an additional 12% discount. We got the TV for a 100 Euros less than the asking price. There was no box, so they wrapped it up carefully in bubble wrap and, given the fact that these flat scree TV’s weigh very little, I carried it out of the store. We hailed a cab and brought the set upstairs.
We did a little rearranging of furniture so that we could put the TV in a corner so that it would get accidently bumped by someone going into or coming out of the “office”. We then proceeded to hook up the cable TV connector and plugged in our DVD player and the Apple TV unit we had brought from home. The TV was on store display, which meant that it showed an on-screen display of all the features of the TV that disappeared for a few minutes and then reappeared. It took us a while to figure out how to remove that particular feature, as well as set up the clock and language. Working together we solved the mystery.
We checked out the DVD and when turned on the TV reads it automatically without any need to switch the source. We bought a Blue Ray disc to get an idea of how it would play on the new HD TV and the picture was unbelievable. We next checked out the Apple TV. There was no problem connecting, but we discovered that Netflix films cannot be shown outside of the US. The good news is that iTunes movies are available to us here in Spain so we rented a copy of “Mad, Crazy Love” and settled back on the sofa to enjoy it. We opened up the bottle of champagne that Pepe had brought on Thursday and we toasted to finally having everything literally and figuratively in place so that we could now focus on just being here.