Meet  the Rotarians: Day 2

April 18, 2024

Grocery Shopping and that’s about it

  The sunny skies were a pleasant surprise based on the forecast, but we took advantage of the break to do our weekly food shopping, now that we were native Rotarians. Well, almost. The natives would know of the Carrefour supermarket around the corner from us about a five minute walk from the apartment. We, instead, chose the one that was 20 minutes away. And by the time we were on our way back, the rains would return and settle in more in tune with the forecast for the week.

  I like cooking because I like eating.

The grocery basket was filling quickly, though, and the trek home was beginning to look like a long, uphill slog with multiple plastic bags weighed down with several  bottles of room wine. That’s when Carol  spotted the 15-euro push cart that would make the trip home a piece of cake, aided by a stop for a beer along the way.

  For me, meal prep is one of the recreational activities I enjoy when traveling, combining the engagement of a cooking class, with the added leisure of dining without the worry of a restaurant reservation. Plus, when you’re done eating, you’re home. Carol prefers me to cook, while she prefers to clean up, mostly because she’s seen enough of my cleaning up to affirm her cleaning up to be the better way of avoiding future food-borne disease. (“You have to scrape and rinse first; you don’t stack correctly, and you can’t just throw a pod into the middle of everything.”) Also, she knows everything coming out of the dishwasher goes back exactly where it came from, instead of being staged where I think the dishes and pots will be used next. (This is essentially why she packs for the two of us; in that case, better ensuring we don’t have to unpack the entire suitcase when looking for a clean pair of underwear.)

  Carol makes that salad, because I don’t like eating salad.

And that supermarket trip, my friends, pretty much marked the major activity of the day. I made a wonderful lunch with a still-warm baguette we picked up at Liberto’s Pan on the way home. The rain kept us inside the apartment, which is always just fine with me, especially after a good lunch. Dinner was a pre-packaged fettuccine parmesan with the remaining Liberto’s Pan baguette to mop up the sauce. A smart TV provided access to Netflix, and a Nate Bargatze comedy special provided pleasant nighttime entertainment.

 Our own little Italian restaurant with Sinatra crooning from the speaker.

  With the day having unfolded much like a typical one back in Lake Forest, the idea of Rota becoming a home-away-from-home was turning into a literal reality. So much for Carol feeling she had made a huge logistical mistake in booking Rota in the first place. The town oozes charm, with amazingly friendly people, who seem to know what we would soon discover ourselves, especially when we’d be able to compare it to Cadiz a couple of days from now. Rota has quiet streets, very accessible cafés and restaurants that aren’t packed with tourists. The streets, when populated, seem perfectly safe, so much so that by the end of the week, my usual custom of patting myself every two minutes as my personal method of avoiding being pickpocketed (which has failed on a couple of notable exceptions anyway) was gradually abandoned by the end of the first week. We’d soon be dubbing Rota a true hidden gem, and before this first week was complete, we’d both independently secretly explored extending our stay here.

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