Friday, January 7, 2011

A Good Morning & A Great Lunch at Aromas

I started the day early and active.  I got up, got dressed, and Ana's dad gave me a quick lesson in how to fix a hole in the toilet.  He gave me some paste, and some porcelain paint, a hair dryer, and various tools.  I drove from Cabanillas, where we spent the night, to our apartment in Madrid.  It was about a 40 minute drive, and I got there a little before 9 a.m.  Then I set to work on the toilet.  I took a piece of cardboard, poked two tiny holes in it, and threaded some string through it, so I could have some kind of backing to put the paste against.  Then I put the cardboard into the hole, and held the cardboard in place with the string.  I cut a chunk of the epoxy off and mushed it together, kneading it until it was blended.  Then I pushed it into the hole, and tried to smooth it out.  It was kind of a losing battle, because I would be able to get one part smooth and then another part would separate from the hole, and leave a gap.  Eventually, though, it was more or less satisfactory, that is, the whole was covered and the surface was somewhat smooth.

I left it the toilet to dry and went through the apartment.  The refrigerator was full of melting ice, and there were some spots on the floor to clean up, but there was not much to do, really.  I went for a walk, waiting for the epoxy to harden.  After about an hour and a half, I put the ceramic paint on the epoxy, dried it with the hair drier, and then put another layer, and then a third.  It didn't look perfect, and you would be curious about it if you looked into the toilet bowl, but it was serviceable.  I closed the toilet seat and sat down and waited on the stairs for the landlord.

He arrived only 15 minutes late.  He spent 15 minutes examining the apartment, testing the refrigerator and the lamps.  He looked in all the closets, and turned on the air conditioners.  Then he gave me a paper to sign, acknowledging my receipt of the deposit money, and he gave me the money in an envelope.  And we were done!

Then I picked up Ana's sister, and we went to Cabanillas, and then we were all off to lunch.  We had a great meal.  We went to Aromas, in Guadalajara.  Guadalajara is about 50 kilometers northeast of Madrid.  It is a small city, but a very old one, and the capital of the province.  I've been there many times, but I've never eaten in a restaurant there.  Aromas was tucked into a hilly little street, and had a pleasant bar in the front area.  There was a large melon sitting on the bar.  It looked very nice.  We were led into the dining room, where a very nice table was set.  We ate well.  There was steak and there was octopus, and there were croquettes, and there was salad.  There was calamari, too.  Oh, and Secreto Iberico, which is a pork shoulder cutlet.  We ate and ate and ate, and Ricky colored very nicely.  Then he had some cheesecake.

After lunch, we stopped off briefly in the local mall to pick something up.  The mall was packed, just packed.  Today, the day after Three Kings, the stores have Rebajas.   These are large-scale sales which occur a few times a year, and which draw huge crowds into the malls.  You've seen these crowds recently, taking the parking spaces that are way off in the distance, barely in sight of the mall.  We did not stay very long.

Then Ana's parents got ready to leave.  They are going on a trip to Argentina, visiting the southern part of the country, all the way to Tierra del Fuego.  I drove them to the airport, and now we are here, in their house in Cabanillas, Spain.  We are sort of on our journey now, what with leaving the apartment and all, although we have not gotten very far yet.  I suppose we could say:  First Stop, Cabanillas!

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