Friday, October 31, 2014

Little Lady Liberty

LITTLE LADY LIBERTY.
PALACE IN BACKGROUND.
I was walking along the beachfront in Torremolinos Wednesday evening and decided to visit a private palace I had read about. As I crossed the street to head away from the beach, I spotted the Statue of Liberty. I had no idea I had walked so far.

I also had no idea the statue had been plated in solid silver. (Nor that the Leaning Tower of Pisa was so near.)

She stands front and center at a "Mini Golf" course. (San Geraldo grew up calling it "Goofy Golf," while I grew up calling it "Miniature Golf"). And, OK, I don't think she's really made of solid silver either. But she did light the way to the Casa de los Navajas, the palace I was looking for.

The Casa de los Navajas is a "small" private palace built in 1925 by a sugar cane entrepreneur named Antonio Navajas. It was built in the Neo-Mudéjar (Moorish Revival) style, and the interior design was inspired by the Alhambra of Granada.

(Click the images to make The Little Lady, and everything else, not so little.)

The nearby sugar fields are now occupied by Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport. And the palace was donated to the Province of Málaga and the City of Torremolinos, although it spent years in disrepair and more years under renovation. It just reopened this summer. And the restoration is magnificent. There was no info available on-site (I'm sure that's on its way). But interior spaces have been redesigned to be used for events, one room is labeled "Bodas," which means "Weddings," and outdoor terraces abound.

THE VIEW AS I CROSSED THE STREET.
WEST TOWER.
TILE AND PLASTER.
THE ROOM ABOVE THE ENTRY.
NICE CHAIRS.  SCHEDULE YOUR WEDDING.
WHERE I CAME FROM:  LEANING TOWER OF PISA CIRCLED IN RED.
CARD ROOM?  MAH JONGG?
YOUR BASIC TABLE AND CHAIRS.
(BE SURE TO USE A COASTER!)
EAST TOWER.
ONE OF SIX PICTORIAL MOSAICS FLANKING THE ENTRANCE.
FROM THE DRIVEWAY.


STAIRS GOING DOWN.  (THEY WENT UP, TOO.)
ONE MORE LOOK BEFORE I GO.
A VERY TASTEFUL CHANDELIER.


Our house might not be a small palace, but San Geraldo makes it feel like one...

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Messing Around

It turns out San Geraldo and I have quite a lot in common with our cats.

Moose is a a worrier. So is San Geraldo.

Dudo, like me, is also a bit of a worrier. But, thanks to his slightly neurotic brother, he seems comparatively stable. (San Geraldo has the same effect on me.) 

Also, like San Geraldo, Moose can be a bit messy. He doesn't care if the bed is made. He'll still make himself comfortable. Laundry on the bed? No problem.

(Don't forget to click the images for the bigger picture.)

MOOSE:  "THE TOWELS WEREN'T AT ALL IN MY WAY.
YOU WEREN'T PLANNING ON MAKING THIS TODAY, WERE YOU?"

Dudo, on the other hand... paw, watches me make the bed in the morning (something I usually do and San Geraldo rarely does) and waits for me to neatly fold "his" blanket (click here for that and here to meet the sender of the blanket). Then he settles down... Once, that is, I've moved the blanket into the sun.

DUDO: "FINALLY!"

Moose tends to sprawl in whatever position strikes him. Dudo carefully circles and then poses himself elegantly. (OK, in this sense Moose and I are much more similar.)

MOOSE...
... AND DUDO

Unfortunately, Dudo's neatness doesn't carry over to the rest of his world. He and Moose leave their stuff (toys) all over the house and footprints all over the furniture. They trail litter onto the tile floor and shed everywhere. That's where their behaviors merge with San Geraldo's... except for the litter and the shedding... And maybe the footprints.

I've told you about the paper shredder (click here) at San Geraldo's desk that serves more time as a snack table. Since said snack table has been overflowing of late, he now has taken to using his book case as a dish rack.

"THERE'S ACTUALLY A PAPER SHREDDER UNDER ALL THAT.

Sadly, the dishes are not clean when they're stashed on the shelf. So I regularly retrieve bowls with dried-on cottage cheese. I've told him they'd be much easier to wash if he didn't let the food dry on.

"Just add water and it reconstitutes!" he says.

UN-RECONSTITUTED. AND THOSE BOOKS!  VOLUMES I THROUGH V ARE OUT OF ORDER.
IT COULD DRIVE ME CRAZY.

Over the weekend, I found the remains of a cheramoya on the bookshelf.

"What?!?" he said again.

"What?" I returned. "It's going to smell! It's unsanitary! It's going to attract bugs! That's what!"

"The cats like bugs!"

NO ROACHES... YET.  JUST CHERAMOYA SEEDS.

And to be clear, living with me is nothing like living with that guy from "Sleeping With The Enemy"!
SAN GERALDO FINDS MY CANS ENTERTAINING.
I WISH HE HADN'T USED TWO OF THE SMALL ONES.  NOW I HAVE TO REARRANGE.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cypriots, Pregnancy, And Recouped Losses

The other night, San Geraldo and I drank coffee and had our fortunes told. San Geraldo was told something about a second home ... or selling a home ... or a move. (Noooooo!!!) The good news is that he's about to recoup some losses. Now, that would be nice.

My grounds indicated that I was creative and that I either already have or am soon to have some pain in a toe. Important to know.

Oh, I was also told I have a pregnancy in my own personal future. Yes, that's what he said.

This all happened at a charming restaurant in our friend Kristina's neighborhood called La Cocina Del Cipriota, Taberna Griega (The Cypriot's Kitchen, Greek Tavern). The "coffee grounds reader" is the owner of the restaurant, which has been in Fuengirola for 30 years.

The food was excellent, as was the atmosphere and service. And it was fun for a change to be in a neighborhood away from the beach, the street vendors, and the tourists. We plan to go back often.

We arranged to meet Kristina as she finished her evening walk with Elliot and Ukko — her two dogs (one belongs to her aunt). We went upstairs and enjoyed drinks on their balcony as we watched the sunset over the mountains, the historic hillside town of Mijas in the distance.

AS WE SAT ON KRISTINA'S BALCONY.
(CLICK TO ENLARGE.)

We three then headed over to the restaurant just a couple of blocks away. It wasn't easy to leave our two new pals. Ukko is a year old and acts like a puppy. Elliot is 7 and, when it comes to Ukko, he can be a bit of a curmudgeon. I'm sure I caught him rolling his eyes a couple of times. Elliot is clearly the boss.

KRISTINA'S DOG:  SWEDISH ELLIOT.
SPANISH UKKO (WITH A FINNISH NAME).
KRISTINA AND ELLIOT.
THE UNSAINTLY SAN GERALDO CAN NOW ORDER THIS FOR HIMSELF IN SPANISH:
"A LARGE CHOCOLATE SAUCE WITH A LITTLE BIT OF ICE CREAM."
SAN GERALDO'S HANDS ARE UNUSUALLY LARGE.
THIS WAS A GINORMOUS PARFAIT GLASS. 
ANOTHER OF THE EVENING'S MANY HIGHLIGHTS:  MY TAN JEANS, BROWN  SHIRT,
AND BLACK SHOES MATCHED THE RESTAURANT'S BATHROOM DECOR.
(CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED.)

Now, back to the grounds: 
To have our coffee grounds read, we first had to place the saucer atop the coffee cup and flip it over (once we had finished our coffee). I was a bit anxious about this step since, in my book, it qualified as cooking. Oh, yes it did! But I managed on my own — which did not go unnoticed or unappreciated by San Geraldo. We then had to cover the flipped cup with a hand for five minutes. Our host then sat down and read the results.

SAN GERALDO WAS TAKING NO CHANCES.
TOO MUCH PRESSURE FOR SAN GERALDO.
MY CREATIVE HAND.
OUR HOST "READING" ME.
MY SAUCER WAS MESSIER THAN SAN GERALDO'S.  I REALLY HATE TO COOK!

When San Geraldo was told about recouped losses, Kristina, being Swedish, did not know what that meant. I explained it meant to recover or gain back something that was lost (like most of our money). Unfortunately, to San Geraldo it means it's time for him to head back to the casino.

As for my preganancy, I was told that could mean the birth of a new venture. And here I thought I was about to make millions. Pregnant? At my age?


I should have gone back to my friend the witch doctor...