Richard and Vince had traded their one-week timeshare in Hawaii for two weeks in Spain and they were kind enough to ask us to join them. Frank had never been to Europe at this point. I figured he was going to love it so much I might never get him home or hate it so much we would never leave San Francisco again. I knew I would love any culture that believes in siestas and sangria.
The condo was near Málaga on the Costa del Sol, the southern side of Spain on the Alboran Sea. On the flight over, Frank got drunk with the stewards and stewardess’ who could not believe he was going there after the season and called him Málaga for the rest of the flight.
We spent the next several days playing in the sun in and around Málaga, Torremolinos, Marbella, and Gibraltar.
It was during one of these explorations we met Ed in a gay bar aptly named “boys r us”. Ed was a retired educator from Canada that split his year between Torremolinos and Toronto. His eyes shined and his enthusiasm for everything was extremely contagious.
Ed really wanted to paint the town on our final night, so he booked a reservation at the “best restaurant” in town. We were expecting amazing paella, or perhaps local seafood, but we were mistaken. After a few cocktails in town, we walked towards the dinner at a Tex-Mex restaurant…the four of us from California, land of Mexican food, had flown around the world to be taken to a Chevy’s style restaurant. The staff was so wonderful, and the food was quite tasty, that it made the experience very memorable. After the meal, the waiter brought five small shot-glasses, a lighter and several small straws to the table. He proceeded to light each shot glass on fire and handed us the straws and explained we were to drink it down while still on fire. One of us, who shall remain unnamed, proceeded to put the short straw up his nose, a leftover reaction from many years of enjoying nose candy. Oops.
As our last night dinner came to a close, Ed insisted we make the rounds and visit all our new friends in town at various bars they were going to be hanging around out. We loved the idea, but wanted to be back to the condo early because of our early morning flight back to the U.S. One of the largest differences between Europeans and Americans is the idea of an early evening. Most of the trip we had been in the Spanish lifestyle. Dinner at 10 PM and heading out to clubs about 1 AM, but we needed to be at the airport at 8 AM, so asked for an early night. Ed dragged us all over town to say our goodbyes, finally releasing us to go back to the condo about 3 AM. Early indeed.
After a few hours sleep and packing up the condo, we sleepily made our way to the airport. After we had checked in, we slumped in our chairs waiting to board the plane. From around the corner appears Ed with bottle champagne and glasses, wearing his outfit from the night before. We toasted our goodbye to Malaga and we were on our way back towards Madrid, missing Ed already.
By the way, Frank almost didn’t get on the flight back to the states…. I almost didn’t either.
I am a storyteller and I have been my whole life. I don't mean I lie, I just like to tell a tale or two from my experiences... and what is better than to help inspire others to experience something I love.