I don’t get a lot of American influences these days. Yes, I still watch a lot of US television, I still talk to my friends via e-mail quite frequently, and talking to my mom once a week on the phone has given me this strange Michigan twang when I talk. But my everyday life, feels less and less American. I call french fries Chips without thinking twice. I ask questions with some strange English inflection pointed out immediately by any American who makes contact with me. I wear a fanny pack every day only call it a bum bag. Ya. I’ve got identity issues. But fortunately, that’s what friends are for.
The morning after my amazing birthday in Tuscany, the four of us leisurely woke up, showered and dressed and gave ourselves plenty of time for the drive back to Rome. I had a flight out back to Spain at 4 and the three girls were going to spend a couple more days in Rome before Emily and Jennifer came out to Spain to meet me for another week there. I dropped them off at their hostel, got them checked in and settled and then drove to the airport, returned our Clio and hopped a quick flight back to Seville.
My next few days of work were infused with facebook stalking as I jealously watched my girls just a few hundred miles away touring the streets of one of my favorite cities in the world. Fortunately, Wednesday came just fast enough and I drove back up to Seville to spend a day there and pick up my girls. Timing wasn’t perfect, and I ended up having to work Wednesday afternoon, so I pulled into town a couple hours after their flight landed and met them at the hotel.
I was so nervous about showing these guys Spain. It’s my life now, and such an important part of me. My obsession with this place, I think, really demonstrates what about travel and life makes me tick. And Seville was a very gentle introduction into my little corner of the campo.
Fortunately, I know how to find a bar, and I know how to order tapas, which was the first call of business and a rather easy one to achieve. We walked around town past the old moorish palace, the gardens attached and to the cathedral. We wound down some tiny streets, through some bustling markets and down to the river where we strolled along casually, took mandatory group shots in front of the Torre de Oro and were lucky enough to catch a church band practicing on the banks.
After this, things got a bit tricky. I’m not a local in Seville. I don’t know the neighborhoods well and outside of the feria, have never spent a significant amount of time there. I had been recommended to an area by our hotel concierge for a dinner spot. Unfortunately, when we got there, we couldn’t find a single restaurant. Not one.
And this is where I fill in my semi-regular plug for social media and tell you a little story about how we found the most amazing place on none other than, Foursquare. This place was such a gem. We never would have seen it if we hadn’t been looking specifically for it, as it was a tiny hole in the wall with about a dozen people standing outside smoking. The restaurant itself, called Taberna Macuro, couldn’t have seated more than 30 people total and we didn’t make the cut and were put at the bar. The menu was written on a giant chalk board behind the bar and included some really strange things, but everything that was passing us from the kitchen to the tables looked fantastic and we ordered way more food than we should have. It was excellent and comes highly recommended.
I had wanted to show the girls some authentic Flamenco, and what better place to do so than in Seville. Or so we thought. We were given directions, showed up at the bar, which was empty at 12:30 on a Wednesday night. I asked the bartender about the lineup and he said Flamenco would start at 1:30, regardless of how many people were at the bar, and usually, on a weeknight, he said, it would be about half full.
1:30 comes and goes, and we’re still the only people in the bar, and no one has started playing.
So we leave. Call us babies. Call us impatient. But it was a slightly disappointing end to a good day.