July 22

July 22

*Fell asleep not long after starting this post, finished the next day, hence the publishing delay…*

Nico got up and went surfing again, while I stayed in bed for a little longer. I would’ve liked to have gone, but with no experience, I didn’t think that this would be the best opportunity. Went down to the breakfast buffet and ate with the family, a plethora of choices available.

Post breakfast, some of us got ready for the beach, and took the 10 minute walk down to the water. It was Jorge, his Mom, two of the three cousins, their Mom [which is Nico’s Mom’s Sister], and I. Although many people were already down there, it was still easy to find a spot to lay out the towels. Ended up forgetting my flip-flops in Zaragoza, so the sand was somewhat hot on my bare feet. Towel laid out, and down to the shoreline we went. In the picture below, a quieter area of the beach is visible, and upon zooming in, you’ll be able to see three small docks, not too far from the beach. These are meant for jumping, diving, and sliding off of. The four of us ‘kids’, the youngest cousin being 9 or 10, set off from the beach. Destination: the docks! Didn’t look like it would be that far of a swim.

Wrong! It was actually quite the swim, or should I say, struggle! I would estimate it was probably about a 10+ minute swim to get out there, finally reaching the the dock, and nearly collapsing once climbing up. After a few minutes, the cousins decided they wanted to head to an adjacent dock, as there were less people occupying it. That was another few minutes to get to that one. After a little bit there, jumping in, horse-playing, etc., we headed back, which was slightly easier than it was on the way there. Perhaps it had something to do with the current, not sure. The little kid began getting tired just over halfway back, so I had to try to keep him from going under, while trying to do the same for myself.

Rinsed off using the outdoor shower on the beach, and then headed back down to the shore, the youngest wanted to build a sandcastle. Building a sandcastle is much more difficult to do without having any sandcastle building tools, such as a pale or a small shovel, so it kind of turned into a few of us just digging a big hole.

A walk back to the hotel, changed, and then a walk into the city [about 15 minutes] for lunch. There were 12 of us dining, and the only table available was upstairs in a private room. Nico arrived and joined us, and we enjoyed a three course meal, which we each decided on upon arriving. The first one for me was a rice/risotto dish, then an egg/fish one, followed by some sort of loaf for dessert.

Said goodbye to Jorge after lunch, his Mom took him to the bus station, he was going to a different city along the coast to visit with his aunt and family. The same aunt which I stayed with in Madrid, but now they are at a beach destination.

Nico rode a bike to go swimming with a few friends, and the rest of us walked back to the hotel. Played pool in the lounge with two cousins and the uncle. I actually taught the kids the word “pool”, as they were referring to it as Billiards. Their Dad [William] teamed up with one of his daughters, and I with the little boy. William is a foreign diplomat currently residing in Poland, but has lived in other countries. Him and his wife are from Spain, the daughters were born in Germany, and I believe the little boy was born in Africa. I could be wrong though.

They eventually left, and I waited in the lounge with Nico’s Mom and Grandparents for him to come back. Finally got on the road and said goodbye to San Sebastian. Everyone that was with us believed that it is the most beautiful city in the country.

Somewhat cramped with five of us in the car, but luckily we stopped for fuel halfway home so we could all stretch. Once home in Zaragoza, the grandparents walked to their house [they live quite close-by], and we went in for dinner. Quesadillas were quickly cooking, and it wasn’t long before we were digging in.

Nico and I went for a walk in the evening [10:30 or so] so I could see how some of the city looks at night. We walked for a while, and then he decided we would surprise his grandparents [the ones from his Dad’s side, not the ones we just said goodbye to] despite it being quite late. Apparently they don’t go to sleep very early, so there was no risk of them not being awake. He rang the apartment buzzer, waved at the camera, and we went up.

We were greeted at the door by his Grandma, a big smile on her face, surprised to see us “popping in”. She hadn’t seen him since he had left for Mexico, so was pleased that he/us had came over. Grandpa had already gone to bed, so we didn’t see him, but he is the one I met briefly when he greeted us at the bus station the other day. She got us some water from the kitchen, and we went and sat down in the living room, where it appeared that she had been watching The Shopping Channel before we arrived. The living quarters were decorated just as a typical seniors house would be, pictures of grandchildren and family on the fridge and bookshelves, a piano which is seldom played, encyclopedias near the ‘fireplace’ [which was just the brass enclosure, there was nothing inside that would emit heat], and anything else you can think of.

She took an interest in me, was asking how I was liking the country, the food, culture, etc. She was also very intrigued to hear about what I do for work, and loved some of the pictures I showed her. Although she didn’t speak a word of english, I was able to understand some of what she was saying in Spanish, and Nico translated as necessary.

We were there for probably just over an hour, and about halfway through, she went and got some snacks. She served some chocolate, and something called Turrón. [More info here] She apologized for not having more to offer [not sure what she thought we were expecting when we showed up near midnight unannounced], but what she put out was more than enough.

Headed out around 12:40, after she showcased some of her family photos on the way to the door. She was smiling for almost all of our visit, and said that she wished she could have had more time with me. What a lovely Grandma. This set of grandparents are much different than the ones which we had been in San Sebastian with.

Had a nice walk home on quiet & empty streets, talked for a bit once we arrived, and then went to bed around 2:30.

Weather in San Sebastian was around 27 and sunny. There was some humidity, as it was a beach destination. In Zaragoza, it was 37 or so when we arrived, but cooled down to 25 or so later in the evening.

A fountain near Nico’s house.

Nico & Grandma

Puerta del Carmen – more info can be read here, although may need to be translated

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