Friday, March 6, 2015

We're Going to be Grandparents a Third Time!

Thursday, 5 March, 2015:

At last we can tell you all . . .

Although we have known it for some time now, Mike and Vanessa finally gave us the green light to announce that Jacob will be welcoming a sister into the family in July!

A little girl in our family at last.


This great news led to a rather wacky Thursday in Murcia.

Originally I had planned to make it a Travel Thursday but after our two practices last night I got together with a few of the Cobras for cañas and tapas. By the time I got back to La Hacienda, it was just past midnight. I still wanted a little me time so I didn't get to bed until about 1:30 a.m.

On a travel day I like to get up early to catch the early train or bus to the destination of the day. When I finally did wake up I felt it was a bit too late to hit the road.

No problem as Murcia is still full of surprises.

Don't drink and drive

I saw this car just a few meters from the Café D'Lola where I stopped in for the first café con leche of the day accompanied by a tasty slice of tortilla Española while I perused the day's La Opinion newspaper.

They had an article about Giuseppe Verdi's opera Aida being performed tonight only at Murcia's opera house, the Teatro de Romea.

God knows that I desperately need some culture, so I decided to head to el centro to see if I could still score a ticket.

Along the way I saw . . .

Lion head door knockers

A sculpture on a church

A statue dedicated to the Arts . . .

. . . including playing the lyre and tambourine

The Teatro de Romea

The queue to buy tickets can be seen here, it took about 30 minutes but I got a 20 Euro seat in the nose bleed seats that met my needs.

Lots more activities at the
Teatro de Romea are scheduled

Grada, Fila 2, Asiento 8, 9:00 p.m.

I'm all over this!

With Laurie almost here, I decided that today would be a good day to start preparing for her arrival.

But first, I needed to see how La Virgen de la Fuensanta was doing in her new spot for the rest of Lent.

She is in Murcia's Cathedral

Behind the Main Altar

There she is!

I might as well take another look at the inside of the Cathedral while I'm here.

Holy Ghost above
Flames of Hell below

Side entrance to the Main Altar

The Sun was shining outside too

Confessing or talking Barça fútbol?

Is this what they used to transport the
Virgen through the streets last week?

St. Bartholomew being flayed
before being crucified

Sunlight on a Sun

Another Virginal Mary

Is that the Real Murcia logo
in the lower right corner?

A massive Cathedral

Organs are nice

Big Pillars

Nice choir

Inside the nearby Episcopal House

M for Murcia, I suppose

Time for sustenance

Fortunately, Bar Los Zagales was just around the corner.

Good tapas and vino tinto here as usual

Speaking of tapas . . .

Here is what my Lonely Planet
Guide Book to Spain has to say

Bar Los Zagales is the first place mentioned for a place to enjoy tapas.

After this light snack, it was off to the Barrio del Carmen.

Murcia Transportation Center

I was here to buy Laurie a BonoMurcia card so that she can ride the local busses and trams at a greatly reduced rate. The card cost 1 Euro and I then loaded it up with 30 Euros worth of rides.

A small park

This light pole has an address?

Interesting goings-on this weekend

Maybe it would be safer to go to
this festival instead

Roots, its not just a book or
a TV Mini-series

Starting to set up for the Mercado Medieval

Love Heraldry

A good day to be in the Sun

More Mercado Medieval decorations

Murcia's Train Station

I needed to buy a ticket for the train to Madrid next Thursday to meet Laurie when she lands. I order to get to Madrid's Barajas Airport in time, I had only one choice and thus bought a ticket on the 6:10 a.m. train for that day.

Talk to a taxi driver outside the train station

While I walked the three miles to the train station from La Hacienda today at a comfortable, leisurely pace, I did not want to do that next Thursday. Since the busses don't start running until 7:00 a.m., it means a taxi ride is my best bet for no more than 10 Euros I was assured.

The day's haul

Purchasing one opera ticket, one train ticket and one bus/tram card made for a productive morning.

Strike at the end of the month?

A little colloquial love for the neighborhood

Anti-Bullet Train

Muhammad Ali fan

Time for a mid-afternoon café

The guys on the right arguing the fine points of Copa del Rey fútbol were an added bonus.

Some dusty, old bottles

Colorful fruits and vegetables

A leftover pumpkin from Halloween?

The best Pastel de Carne in all Murcia?

Cobra DB Kiki saw on FaceBook that I had tapas at Los Zagales earlier in the day and said that I must try Zaher for the meat pastry they serve, the best ion the ciudad he claimed.

Kiki might be right!

I'll need to do more research to be sure.

Nice day to eat al fresco

Esteve, the Cobras' WR?

They are holding the IBAFF
Film Festival here all this week

At 4:00 p.m., they were showing a movie by a Cuban director named Miguel Coyula who was in attendance and would talk about hide rather bizarre film after the showing.

The movie was called . . .

. . . Memorias del Desarrollo

The main character tells his story of life in Cuba and then in the U.S. with some artsy cuts, pun intended.

It was different. 

Love this Avenida

It was back to La Hacienda to spruce up for a night at . . .

. . . The Opera

Gorgeous Interior to the
Teatro de Romea


Curtain about to go up

Three hours later after strong performances and an excellent orchestra, the opera ended.

I was confused as all of the actresses/singers looked fit. Without a Fat Lady, how were we to know when the opera was done?

HEY, I'm going to be a Grandfather again!!!

 More days . . .

. . . until serious sightseeing begins

Hey, that's only one week!

As it turns out, I don't get to bed so early after the opera either.

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