Spain Day 4 - Oviedo

Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Asturias,
Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Dark clouds this morning. Feels like Sf on a rainy day. We had to scratch the day's original plans ... but a good opportunity to hit up another place on our 'must do' list. Oviedo ... a city three hours to the west of us, our first adventure outside of the state of Cantabria. This city was recommended by some long time clients of mine as one of their favorite Spanish cities. Thank you Heinzer Family!

Before I go too far in to today's blog entry, a couple of things that I've meant to blog about for a while. First of all, had the coolest experience last night. After the fam was all settled in to bed, I walked through town back toward the library where the internet is. Library was all locked up, but I hoped to connect tot he wi-fi from the street. No luck. Maybe I wasn't close enough? So, I hopped the fence and got closer and VIOLA! ... connection! So here I am, senior gringo ... 11pm - 1am ... under some flood lights ... working on my laptop battery with wi-fi, so no cables ... and I have a 30 minute phone call with my buddy Jose, I call my office and run through some accounts with Jenny, I get some continuing education classes done that are necessary for my licenses ... and then just after 1am ... start walking back. What an amazing experience. Total silence all around, and technology connecting me with people literally on the other side of the world ... no per minute charges, no glitches or difficulties ... just good effective work time. So stinkin' cool.
Second item I wanted to mention is that the Burt Family (Ron, Debbie, Christian, Micah, and Daniel) made us an awesome gift for our trip. Among other things, they recorded the kids reading books and I then put em on our ipod. The kids LOVE listening to them. Also, they made two really neat travel journals, one for each of the kids, that has a section on each of our destinations. There are pictures, flags to color in, a world map to draw the airplane ride, connect the dots, pictures of our actual homes that we are trading ... the list goes on and on. Very very neat, loving gift and every day since we've been gone from Sacramento, the kids have looked forward to spending some time coloring in their journals. So, THANK YOU BURTS! ... Also, the other day as we were in Miengo, out of nowhere Samuel says, "Next time, I really want to bring some friends with us?" ... "Like who, son?" ... "uummm ... Daniel." ... ; )

Third, we LOVE LOVE LOVE all your comments and input on our travel blog! Its such a nice way for us to share our trip with everybody, preserve our memories, and feel like we are still connected to all of our friends and family. We read every single comment with glee! THANK YOU!

Last, you should all know that Ella has a second victim. A poor Italian baker magnet is now decapitated. This one really was an accident. I saw it happen. And now, all you Ella defenders, it didn't make me second guess what the cow's true fate was. Ella was guilty as sin on that one.


With rain forecasted all day, we decided to take a drive outside the stomping grounds that we have begun to get familiarized with. En route, we stopped at a recommended restaurant for a local treat, arroz con leche. The gal who opened up the local internet library for us yesterday called ahead to verify they were open and off we went. And of course, when we arrived ... the place was closed. What the heck!! After some chatting, the hostess runs to the back and the cook agrees to serve us up some food since all we want is the arroz con leche. ... YUMMMY! They say that Cantabria is the dairy of Spain, and this dish is evidence that they know what to do with milk products (although oddly enough, you cannot buy MILK anywhere here! None of the stores carry actual milk. Weird. I'm guessing its because they don't have the whole processing/safety thing down pat yet ... but I could be wrong.) ... This arroz con leche was superb, but I have to admit it wasn't too far off from what my dad used to make us growing up. He'd take leftover rice, soak it overnight in milk with sugar and cinnamon. I never knew my dad was such a connoisseur of exotic world cuisine! This was a similar sort of deal, just much richer and (sorry Dad) ... better. Hehe.

Then, we hit the road for a neck workout. I say that because now that I'm back home my neck is aching from all the back and forth careening I was doing while driving trying to take in the majestic views of the coastline. Just crazy beautiful and unlike anything I've seen. Words can't properly do justice, and I'm not feeling very poetic at the moment, so I'll just leave that be for now.

We finally drove in to Oviedo around 2pm, found parking and strolled through a really neat shopping district near some historic plaza. Every city we've gone to it seems that every other street has some gorgeous, historical cathedral or plaza or government building. Partly because of the difficulty traveling with two kids, ... I've stopped trying to place the buildings and monuments in history. I'm just trying to enjoy some new experiences and see some sights (even if I don't know precisely what I'm looking at).

Part of our goal today was to progress our effort to eat like the Spaniards (small breakfast, huge lunch, small dinner) ... so we'd saved up room for our lunch. The great thing is that at lunchtime, you can either order specific items from the menu OR take the 'menu del dia' which is a bargain priced three or four course meal. With all the restaurants around, we had a great selection of menus to choose from and finally settled on a 9 euro deal that included bread, a big plate of pasta, a three fish plate or ham n fries plate, choice of dessert (we got an awesome flan and some ice cream), and bottomless wine or whatever drink you wanted. We ordered one for Janice, one for me, ... kids shared. Got a coffee at the end ... 22 euros later, we were HAPPY AND STUFFFED! Some more walking and then we headed back home.

Another stop in a town called Somahoz to try to get dinner at another recommended restaurant. Guess what? CLOSED! Son of a ... .... good news is these guys re-open in ten days so we should have time to check them out before we head out. We ended up eating at a local grease pit just so that we could do Churros con Chocolate with the kids. Basically, freshly made churros with a side of a hot chocalte milk/pudding thing you dip the churros in. Total 100% fat free. ... ... Well, tasted good anyways.

Today at 7pm marked exactly seven days since we departed our Sacramento home at 10am for the SF airport. What a week.

And now we are back home. Kids in bed. Janice in the tub. I'm heading out to the town hall again to upload this here blog entry and get some more work done for as long as it remains dry outside. Tomorrow, we plan a relaxing day in our village. Our whole family is ZAPPED after the last couple of days driving around.
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lyss77 on

Son of a.....Ha Ha That is my favorite saying! Hey I never defended Ella cuz those cow legs looked straight demolished but I was defending her bizzness/shame being advertised on the net with that note ha ha It was funny tho and I HAD to share with the girls at work. Each day that is blogged the food SOUNDS so good! I appreciate you guys taking the time to blog because I am living vicariously through your adventures! Ha Ha Keep it coming!

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