“You realize what that is, right?” my husband, Brian, asked tonight as I was stuffing my face with another mouthful of gooey, cheesy, hammy, fried goodness.”
“What?” I said, glancing back at the tapas menu.
“It’s a Spanish Hot Pocket!”
I burst out laughing, causing crumbs to spray out of my mouth. Classy. But this was no Hot Pocket. Can I tell you the exact name of what it was? Mmm, no. My Spanish has vastly improved (from near non-existent) since we arrived in Cadiz a few days ago, though — so much so that in this town where nearly no one has spoken English with us, we’ve had some of our best experiences of the trip so far. We’ve not only survived but thrived in Europe’s oldest inhabited city.
We’ve adjusted to breakfasts of bread and coffee, afternoon siestas, leisurely outdoor dinners at 8:30 p.m. and tucking our kiddo into bed around 10 or 11 p.m. But we didn’t reach this point without conflict. I had a minor internal breakdown, which was set right with an international call to my friend/life guru, Christina, who reminded me about the importance of self-care and finding some time and space to take a little solo adventure of my own during our family trip (I’m saving it for the next leg).
We also managed to map out the remainder of our travels abroad and even settle on a date to get back to the States — July 4 (how very patriotic of us). Tomorrow we fly to Paris, where we’ll spend a week and meet up with Brian’s dad, who’s coming over from Atlanta. Then we’ll take the train to London, where I’ve wanted to go since I was a tween and my dad would travel there on business (he bought me my first pair of Doc Martens there in 1992 — may they rest in peace). From London, it’s on to Dublin, where we’ll be for a few days before catching a plane back to the good ol’ US of A. By the time we’re back on American soil (which I can’t say or type without thinking of Reese Witherspoon), we will have been traveling for one day shy of seven weeks — not too shabby. It’s a bit shorter than we had originally thought it would be, but I’m proud of how far we’ve come.
Adios till Paris!