Traveling with Family, Food and Good Humor – While Trying Not to Gain Weight
Ibiza – Where Orlando Bloom tried to punch Justin Beiber. Where ARE we?
The island of Ibiza is our last port of call before ending the cruise in Barcelona. I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard of Ibiza. Apparently, I need to get a subscription to some celebrity magazines. Where have I been? Ibiza is a small island (25 miles long and 16 miles wide) off the coast of Spain. Back in the ancient day, the Phoenicians and Catharginians thought it was a hot place for trade, but it was pretty quiet after that for a couple of thousand years.
Spain had a terrible civil war in the 1930’s. Prior to that Spain had become a popular retreat for bohemians like Earnest Hemingway. They wanted off the mainland and moved to the island of Ibiza, which was out of the path of the civil war.
It took the Love Power of the Hippies in the 1960’s to really cement Ibiza’s reputation as a party place. The Hippies came and the parties began in earnest. And apparently never stopped. From May to October this is the place to flaunt what you got, baby! After that it quiets down, shuts down and hits the snooze button on the party clock for the year. But during the peak months of the year, this is where the big names hang and the party goers flock to have a good time.
We were there on a Sunday in November. As you can imagine, it was like visiting a party house after the party is over and the guests are all gone. Almost everything was closed, even the McDonalds! The Hard Rock Café at least had a sign thanking everyone and saying they will reopen next Spring. There were a few places open for the locals, and one dress shop that was mobbed by the cruise ship patrons. But the Burger King was still open – and doing a huge business, because they had the only open bathroom in town!
Best bathroom sign of the trip. Few places were open, but this Burger King was doing a booming business. So was the bathroom lines. These signs were pretty accurate!
My personal award for Best Gender Bathroom Door Sign of the Trip goes to Burger King. It was truly representative of the feelings of the ship passengers who had trekked all over the island and couldn’t find one.
It was kind of surrealistic walking the nearly empty streets. One apparent leftover party girl sat sobbing next to a building like a poor abandoned puppy. She had the thin, aged face of an addict who had been left behind by the party goers. It broke our hearts.
The town is built on the side of a small mountain. The old part of town was built high upon the mountain with a large fortress. It has an absolutely breathtaking 360 degree view from the top. And an absolute totally take your breath walk to the top. George took one look and decided to wait on a bench. I decided not to miss the photo opportunity and started up the old cobblestone street. Which entered the old fort and became fort steps. It went up. And up. And up. Oh my, this was more than I thought. It felt like I hiked up 1,000 feet – straight up. I’m not sure how high it is, but it is steep!
There was a tiny village very near the top, and it had the look of an old greek village – all painted white, with narrow winding streets. It is the tourist spot of the hale and hearty – and, of course, all closed.
Atop the hill there is a quaint tiny village that reminds me of Greece. As it was Sunday, everything was closed except one godless bar.
Walking down was far easier than up, although the winds were so gusty that it literally blew me sideways at times, and my purse was blown so hard that it stood away from my body. I found George comfortably reading on a nice bench under a shady tree.
We saw some real estate for sale posters in a window. For only 3 million Euros you can get yourself a sweet little four bedroom house with a pool. For 6 million you can get six bedrooms. Interested?
Well, I’m not! It’s a lovely place, and when things are open, it must be quite a sight to behold. Yachts and lots of lovely bodies in scanty clothing. Now, if it had a Roman amphitheater, I might be more excited….
Many of the restaurants were closed for the season.
As an aging mother of six and grandma to seven, travel was always a dream. Diapers, work and an eccentric high-maintenance husband just seemed to keep those trips a distant desire. Eventually, however, the kids potty trained, lived through the teenage angst years and left the nest to start their own families. Work still gets in the way for my husband, but it does help pay for the trips! Can't do much about the eccentric, high-maintenance husband; after 36 years I have reconciled that he will never pick up his underwear. He's my partner for life, travel companion and can always be counted on to do something totally odd. It makes for a good story, and besides - without his major financial contribution, we would sitting at home year after year, watching yet another rerun of NCIS.
Due to a major health scare, I recently retired - and love retirement! I have always LOVED to cook. My love of food, and birthing those babies, led to an 85 pound weight gain. After joining a weight loss program, I shed the weight, went to work for them and found a new career. For me, it was a dream job. How many people can say they loved their job? I got to work together with people and help them live a healthy lifestyle, and lose weight. And it changed the way I cook! Instead of coating foods with fat and/or sugar, I've learned to bring out the real flavor in foods and keep them healthy. It's a joy to travel the world and explore new foods. I'm always on the lookout for different foods and willing to try almost anything. George, my husband, is always aghast at my choices. He's looking for a McDonald's while I'm trying to find the best local eatery.
Checking out grocery stores and food forums in different countries is endless fun. Bringing back cooking ingredients keeps the memories alive every time they are used in a recipe back home. Paprika from Budapest, Sumac from Turkey, dried squid from Japan....what a lucky person I am to experience it all.
Life is interesting everywhere, and there is always something humorous to be found, even in my own backyard of Mt Hood, Oregon. I love to journal and people have been telling me for years to become a writer. As Medicare is now a prominent part of my life, I figured this was as good a time as any. If I don't do it now, I'll be writing stories about my neighbors in the nursing home. A big trip will probably be whacking along in my walker to the day room to watch the Travel Channel. I take heart that Colonel Sanders started his finger lickin' fortune late in life because he wasn't afraid to try something new. So here I go!
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