Not Enough Fumes / Pocos Humos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

During a dip in my “happiness” when we lived in Santa Barbara at the beginning of this century, I had suicidal thoughts. We lived in a pink townhouse. Life should have been rosey.

Usually, when I’m that low, I’m simply “passively suicidal.” I go to bed at night hoping I won’t wake up in the morning. Passive. But this time, I developed a plan. I was going to go downstairs, head out the back door, which led directly into the garage, and get in the car. I would start the engine. Carbon monoxide poisoning.

As I started down the stairs, I remembered that we had a Prius. A hybrid. Few fumes to begin with and, if the car were idle, it would simply switch to electric. I’m sure I wouldn’t have gone through with it anyway, but I’m very grateful for hybrid technology. And, yes, I did see the humor, even at the time.

A couple of years ago, we bought another Prius. It doesn’t really matter though; we don’t have a garage.

Durante un chapuzón en mi “felicidad” cuando vivíamos en Santa Bárbara a principios de este siglo, tuve pensamientos suicidas. Vivíamos en una casa rosa. La vida debería que haber sido “rosa.”

Por lo general, cuando estoy tan bajo, simplemente soy “pasivamente suicida”. Me acostaba por la noche esperando no despertarme por la mañana. Pasivo. Pero esta vez, desarrollé un plan. Iba a bajar las escaleras, salía por la puerta trasera que conducía directamente al garaje, y me subía al coche. Yo arrancaría el motor. Envenenamiento por monóxido de carbono.

Cuando empecé a bajar las escaleras, recordé que teníamos un Prius. Un híbrido. Para empezar, pocos vapores y, si el coche estuviera inactivo, simplemente cambiaría a eléctrico. Estoy seguro de que no lo habría superado de todos modos, pero estoy muy agradecido por la tecnología híbrida. Y, sí, vi el humor, incluso en ese momento.

Hace un par de años, compramos otro Prius. Aunque en realidad no importa; no tenemos garaje

One Coín And The Fountain

We took a little drive into the mountains Monday with Judyshannonstreetwhat (click here if you still haven’t met) simply to enjoy the scenery and stop for lunch in the town of Coín (Co-EEN) less than an hour northwest. We arrived just in time for siesta, so we immediately stopped for lunch before strolling the deserted streets of a very small part of this non-touristy town.

Highlight
A 12-year-old with a skateboard whistled at us as we pulled out of the parking garage beneath Plaza Mercado. He followed the whistle with, “Guay coche [cool car].”

Some sights today. Tomorrow, lunch! (Click to embiggerize the photos.)

FOUNTAIN ON PLAZA MERCADO, BEFORE LUNCH.
MIRROR, MIRROR OF THE GLASS…
BACK AT PLAZA MERCADO AFTER LUNCH.

Pirates Of The Mediterranean

While at Viveros Guzmán Thursday afternoon, we… well, I, had a difficult time making up my mind what to buy to add a special touch to our terrace. We had wanted to buy a fountain but, as our astute and extremely tactful friend Tynan pointed out:

“Right! That’s brilliant! You live ON the sea. You can hear the natural, lovely, and calming sound of the surf all the time. So, why not get a fountain and drown out the sound of the sea with the sound of an electric motor pumping tap water over cement?!?”



I paraphrase since I can’t remember Tynan’s exact words, which were more colorful.

But, since Tynan did have a point, I had to start thinking of other options. Here are a few of the things I considered (no, I didn’t really) as we shopped at Viveros Guzmán.

(Click the images to increase the enchantment.)

I QUICKLY NIXED SPORTY SANTA.
FOR ONE THING, THE CAR WOULDN’T FIT IN THE ELEVATOR.
A FULL-SIZE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE. A BIT OVER THE TOP.
AND TOO SEASONAL.
TOO STAID… AND GRAY. NOW, IF IT WERE A PINTO…
DAVID? OH, PLEASE. HE’S BEEN DONE TO DEATH.
AFTER DAVID, I GOT TO THINKING ABOUT BALLS. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.
BUT TYNAN HAD ALREADY NIXED THE FOUNTAIN IDEA. NO BALLS!
THERE WAS ALSO A LIFE-SIZE RHINO. IT WAS ALSO A “NO.”
(NOTE: SAN GERALDO SAYS THIS NEEDS CLARIFICATION. SO, YES, I KNOW
THE ABOVE IS A ZEBRA BUT, IN ADDITION, THERE WAS A RHINO.)
SAN GERALDO THOUGHT I WAS KIDDING.
IMAGINE!
SO ALL WE BOUGHT WERE PLANTS! SIX GAZANIAS (THREE COLORS),
TWO CORDYLINE FRUTICOSA AND TWO CORDYLINE AUSTRALIS.
NO PIRATES. ARRR!!!

It’s Not A Car; It’s An Adventure

We took a drive again today to our new favorite garden center, Viveros Guzmán in Alhaurin de la Torre. In the mountains. A world away from the sea and the city. (Note: Viveros means Nurseries.)

First we stopped for gas and to have the car washed. At San Geraldo’s request, I bought some treats while we waited to help us survive the long, long, — 25-minute — ride. (Don’t worry. We brought plenty of water.)

I bought too many treats. But I had to; they were on sale. We managed to consume only three PiM’s each (a bit of heaven my sister, Dale, introduced me to when I was still in my teens) before stopping for lunch a few minutes from Viveros Guzmán.

(Click the images to increase the calories… and for a closer look at a hunky bartender.)

50 CENTIMOS OFF IF I BOUGHT TWO PACKAGES.
EVER BUDGET-CONSCIOUS, I GOT ORIGINAL OREOS AND DOUBLE-STUFF!

San Geraldo had done some research before-hand and found what sounded like an interesting restaurant. So that’s where we headed before loading up the car with plants.

THE CAR, AFTER ITS VERY FIRST BATH, OUTSIDE THE RESTAURANT.

The restaurant is called Papas Fritas Y Juevos (French Fries and Eggs). It turned out to be located in an industrial/business park near a beautiful residential area. It’s obviously extremely popular.

Great food, service, and price. We decided it would be worth a drive back up just for a meal. We thought the joint was jumping but our server told us it was a very quiet day. She said if we ever wanted a meal there on a Wednesday or Saturday to be sure to make a reservation. Good to know.

RESTAURANTE PAPAS FRITAS Y HUEVOS.
COCHOPO: A SPECIALTY FROM ASTURIAS (NORTHWEST SPAIN).
TWO LARGE VEAL FILLETS, HAM, CHEESE… FRIED (WITH PAPAS FRITAS Y HUEVOS)
THANKFULLY, WE WERE TOLD TO SHARE.
I HAD THE VIEW THAT INCLUDED THE HUNKY BARTENDER.

Route Recalculation

We’ve both been around the block a few times (well, San Geraldo, a lot more than a few), just not in Southern Spain.

Today we drove to Marbella, about 25 minutes west, to buy some things at the department store El Corte Inglés. Our local store didn’t have what we needed and the web page said Marbella did. Marbella did not. What they meant when they said Marbella was Puerto Banus (10 minutes further west).

As we got out of the car in the garage in Puerto Banus, San Geraldo asked if I could remember where we parked. I said, “Absolutamente, S1, numero 91.”

We went across the street for lunch and then returned to shop. Finally, we headed for the car.

We went from Level 2 of the store to the Ground Floor. We couldn’t find the elevator we had taken earlier. So we took the escalator down one floor but when we entered the garage it appeared to be a different one. We went down another floor and then back up three.

San Geraldo said, “I thought you said you absolutely knew where we parked.”

I said, “I do! Level S1, spot number 91! I never said I could find the parking garage. We were still in the garage when you asked me!”

Finally, I asked for help. We got to the garage and I found our car. (“I told you I knew where it was!”) 

We then followed signs for the exit. It took us only three times around Level S1 to finally escape.

Our new car’s navigation system is excellent and, when we listen to it, it’s a tremendous help. Too bad we couldn’t use it in El Corte Inglés.

On the Road Again

WE PASSED THIS SALVADOR DALI RHINO 4 TIMES.
NEAR EL CORTE INGLÉS PUERTO BANUS.
PHOTO, MANUEL GONZÁLEZ OLAECHEA Y FRANCO.

Leaving the garage, I set the navigation screen for Home.

“Take the third exit from the roundabout,” she said.

San Geraldo took the fourth exit. “Oops, I think I just missed…”

“Route recalculation,” she interrupted.

We found our road, but went in the wrong direction.

“Route recalculation,” she said.

She said “Route recalculation” once more before we finally got on the correct road in the correct direction (having to back out of a car wash along the way).

This was an improvement over our drive to Málaga Friday night. Finding the parking garage took us four “route recalculations.”

And then the parking garage was full!

 



(Don’t tell San Geraldo, but If I had looked around the corner when I took the first garage entrance, I would have seen our car!)