Orchids and alley oop / Orquidias y ale-hop

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

I WENT FOR A WALK on the beach and Paseo yesterday morning and around town yesterday afternoon. Since the borders of our municipality are closed, my shopping excursions are limited. The big retail centres are all just across the border (street) in other municipalities. So, I look at the sights and sometimes visit Ale-Hop, the Spanish chain stores selling gifts, decorations, and fashion — and great prices. For me, it’s like visiting an amusement park (without the rides) and the staff in every shop I’ve visited have been friendly and helpful. They make me want to visit often. I’d call that good management and good hiring. I found some new masks for only 3 euros, with easily adjustable straps and a pocket for a disposable filter. Now I can go more than two weeks without being seen in the same mask twice. Simple pleasures.

On the way home (about 20 minutes from home), I passed a small flower shop with an enormous collection of poinsettias and orchids on the street and in the window. I decided to pick up a bunch of flowers for San Geraldo (and take my chances with the cats), but I didn’t see anything of the size I wanted. Still, while I admired what was on display, the owner came out to greet me. She didn’t give me a hard sell, just visited. I then went inside to see an unusually coloured orchid — and to meet her parents. I liked them all so much, I bought the orchid for SG. That’s the way to do business.

The minute I walked in the door, Dudo was on his hind legs trying to see the orchid. Moose stood beside him. I held it down to Dudo. He sniffed and walked away.

Conversation with The Kid Brother last night: “Did you get any mail this week,” I asked.

“None,” he replied. “I got a postcard.” (‘I see,’ I thought.)

“Lemme go get it!” And he was gone. “I got it,” he huffed.

“What’s on it?” I asked.

“Boats. Really nice boats!”

Mary had given me a heads up that she sent a postcard with boats from the Chesapeake Bay. I asked, “Can you read the name?”

“Yeah,” he quickly responded, “N-A-R-Y.”

“Is that N like in NEW York?”


“Could it maybe be M like in Mitchell?”

“Yeah, it could be.”

“Ah, that’s from Mary from the Chesapeake Bay. That’s near Washington DC. Less than 5 hours away by car. She’s a bird-watcher, too!”

“Oh, so that’s where it is! Ya know, she’s really nice!”

“I know,” I agreed.

“Did you get my box of goodies?”

“I got em! I got em!” (You’re welcome.)


AYER POR LA MAÑANA FUI a dar un paseo por la playa y el Paseo y ayer por la tarde por la ciudad. Dado que las fronteras de nuestro municipio están cerradas, mis excursiones de compras son limitadas. Los grandes centros comerciales están al otro lado de la frontera (calle) en otros municipios. Entonces, miro los lugares de interés y, a veces, visito Ale-Hop, las cadenas de tiendas españolas que venden regalos, decoraciones y moda, y excelentes precios. Para mí, es como visitar un parque de atracciones (sin atracciones) y el personal de cada tienda que he visitado ha sido amable y servicial. Me dan ganas de visitar a menudo. A eso lo llamaría buena gestión y buena contratación. Encontré unas máscaras nuevas por solo 3 euros, con correas fácilmente ajustables y un bolsillo para un filtro desechable. Ahora puedo pasar más de dos semanas sin que me vean dos veces con la misma máscara. Placeres simples.

De camino a casa (a unos 20 minutos de casa), pasé por una pequeña floristería con una enorme colección de poinsettias y orquídeas en la calle y en la ventana. Decidí recoger un ramo de flores para San Geraldo (y arriesgarme con los gatos), pero no vi nada del tamaño que quería. Aún así, mientras admiraba lo que se exhibía, el dueño salió a saludarme. Ella no me dio una venta dura, solo me visitó. Luego entré para ver una orquídea de colores inusuales y para conocer a sus padres. Me gustaron tanto, compré la orquídea para SG. Esa es la forma de hacer negocios.

En el momento en que entré por la puerta, Dudo estaba sobre sus patas traseras tratando de ver la orquídea. Moose estaba a su lado. Se lo sostuve a Dudo. Olió y se alejó.

Conversación con El Hermanito anoche: “Recibiste algún correo esta semana”, le pregunté.

“Ninguno”, respondió. “Recibí una postal”. (‘Entiendo’, pensé).

“¡Déjame ir a buscarlo!” Y se fue. “Lo tengo”, resopló.

“¿Qué hay en él?” pregunté.

“Barcos. ¡Barcos realmente bonitos!”

Mary me había avisado que había enviado una postal con barcos desde la bahía de Chesapeake. Le pregunté: “¿Puedes leer el nombre?”

“Sí”, respondió rápidamente, “N-A-R-Y”.

“¿Es esa N como en Nueva York?” “Si.”

“¿Podría ser quizás una M como en Mitchell?”

“Sí, podría ser”.

Dije: “Ah, eso es de Mary de la bahía de Chesapeake. Eso está cerca de Washington DC. A menos de 5 horas en coche. ¡Ella también es una observadora de pájaros!”

“¡Oh, así que ahí es donde está! ¡Sabes, ella es realmente agradable!” “Lo sé”, estuve de acuerdo.

“¿Recibiste mi caja de regalos?”

“¡Los tengo! ¡Los tengo!” (De nada…)

New interior doors were installed yesterday on our floor.
Ayer se instalaron nuevas puertas interiores en nuestro piso.
The still-t0-be-done elevator.
El ascensor aún por terminar.
The old (elevator).
El viejo (ascensor).
Moose keeps his distance from the construction. Dudo finds it fascinating — when no one’s around.
Moose mantiene su distancia de la construcción. Dudo lo encuentra fascinante — cuando no hay nadie cerca.
Moose was the first to climb up and inspect the orchid. No damage was done. I’m sure Dudo checked it out when we weren’t looking.
Moose fue el primero en trepar e inspeccionar la orquídea. No se hizo ningún daño. Estoy seguro de que Dudo lo comprobó cuando no estábamos mirando.
Mediterranea in the pose I plan to take (without skirt) on the terrace one sunrise soon.
Mediterranea en la pose que planeo tomar (sin falda) en la terraza un amanecer pronto.


Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

33 thoughts on “Orchids and alley oop / Orquidias y ale-hop”

    1. Debra:
      It looks glorious in the natural light in the living room. And the cats now have no interest!

  1. Guess I need to do a better job of printing my name. 🙂 Happy he received it. Commiserating with Anne Marie about her missing card. One of my DiL’s is still awaiting her birthday card that I mailed (to VA) on Oct 31.

    Tried getting a photo for him of a cardinal on the deck yesterday, but not sure it is worthy of printing though–might need to wash the door window before I try that again…

    The orchid is lovely and hopefully remains that way despite visits from the kitties.

    1. Mary:
      Don’t worry about your printing. That’s Chuck. I’ve written things for him and he’s grabbed the pen and closed off the letters (like if I don’t connect the ends when I complete an “O”. I have two panels (of around 40? I’ll have to count) of our glass curtain that I often wash just for photos. They’re due. The cats seem to now have no interest in the orchid!

      1. Mary:
        I wish I knew how many ways to express my appreciation. He’ll love it!

    1. wickedhamster:
      I thought of you and your weekly flowers when I was taking pictures. We’re going to give weekly flowers a try in the dining room.

  2. I like the architecture of the Ale-Hop store. A bit Brutalist, but also a bit groovy. We have an orchid almost exactly that color — it’s called a Golden Leopard or something like that.

    1. Steve:
      That Ale-Hop is on ground level of hotel/apartments near the port. The building is, well… interesting. Thanks for the name (or something like it) for the orchid. The shop owner had so many but that was the last of that color.

  3. LOVELY orchid; SG is a lucky man. thank you for NOT buying a poinsettia, cat poisonous. and WHO is that man reflected in the elevator? that conveyance would NEVER be allowed in the US; it doesn’t comply with ADA requirements. like the new interior doors.

    I am curious about the female ceramic piece next to the orchid; a cake cover perhaps?

    1. anne marie:
      Yep, we know all about poinsettias. Our California cats never ate the plants, so it was no problem. But these two can’t be counted on.

      Our elevators are out of compliance, as well. It’s taken them this long to do something about it. Many nearby restaurants have restrooms upstairs with no elevators. As long as they don’t renovate, they don’t have to solve the problem.

      The ceramic piece is one of two “meninas” we bought from a ceramicist in Sevilla. The figures are a popular theme here and are inspired by the painting “Las Meninas” by Diego Velazquez.

      1. yeah, I can see moose & dudo eating plants. that’s why I don’t have any indoor plants either. and thanks for the explanation about the ceramic piece; now to google the artist.

  4. Gorgeous orchid. Carlos loves them and has a couple here that do very well. And luckily our cats leave those alone.

    BUT … Carlos bought poinsettias the other day, then it got cold and he wanted to put them in the sunroom. I reminded him they’re poisonous to cats and dogs. He said he’d checked and they were “really” poisonous. Luckily I was at the computer and brought it up … rarely deadly but cats are prone to vomit, excessive drooling and diarrhea. I told him if he wanted to take the chance on cleaning all that up … the poinsettias are in the guest room, doors closed.

    Lastly, love the disco elevator!

    1. Bob:
      We had many orchids when we lived in Santa Barbara. I never got them to bloom a second time. I had one in my office at the same time. No window. It bloomed year-round.

      I admired those poinsettias but, thanks to the cats, I didn’t bring one home.

  5. Chuck could have quite the scrapbook of postcards!
    That beautiful orchid blends into the painting behind it.
    Thanks for the warning about the upcoming ‘sunrise photo’!! lol

    1. Jim:
      Chuck told me he has one dresser drawer filled with his postcard collection. I think he’s saved every one he’s ever received.

    1. Cheapchick:
      She had so many orchids. She said she received around 20 of that particular color and that was the only one left. She was elated.

  6. Perfect placement of that lovely orchid near the big-skirted lady – the petals are echoed in the tiers of the skirt. Glad you found such a worthy present for SG.

    1. Wilma:
      And we decided we’re going to try our luck (the cats) with weekly fresh flowers on the dining room table. So nice to have flowers INSIDE the house.

  7. I would have gone nuts in that flower shop!!!!! It’s why anymore I will only shop local or small business. So much more personal, and good service. And I feel they really do appreciate you coming in. Even if one doesn’t buy it starts a relationship. I usually get poinsettias, but may switch it up and do bay berries branches instead this year. And I loved the cow with the mask on!!!

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      I love the masked cow on wheels. Would love one for the terrace. I wonder if they’d notice if I just wheeled one down the street; they have two. The family in the flower shop were so warm and gracious, and clearly grateful for the business. It made my day.

  8. Such an attractive display at the shop. Warning: I’m going to send a Christmas card to Chuck with Mickey Mouse on the front.


    1. Janie:
      Chuck will LOVE the card. I wonder how he’ll get around using Mickey Mouse’s proper name. “It’s a cartoon… A mouse… From that place down south… You know which one…”

  9. I love the orchid. I have 11 of them ( just counted! ) One has been in flower for weeks, and 2 more are in bud. I really need to mark them so that I know if they haven’t flowered for a year or so I might as well throw them out!

    1. Frances:
      I love orchids. As in California, they’re prolific here. I had a collection of them in Santa Barbara and could never get any of them to bloom a second time. At the same time, I had one in my office (at work) with no window. It bloomed year-round.

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