I had a feeling there would be magic in Spain, and, boy, my prediction was on the money.
There’s something about spontaneity that just makes you feel more alive and free and…yourself. Traveling to Spain was a pretty spontaneous act, especially given the fact that Blue and I had only met one other time. I felt such a rush every time we took off in the Fiat because I knew each stop was going to be an adventure. And while our itinerary was unpredictable, I had never felt more like myself. Happiness will do that to you. All I needed each day were good tunes on the radio and Blue in the driver’s seat.
My splendid mood brought out the natural optimist in me. And with that optimism, came the magic. You see, when you trust that the Universe is going to steer you in the right direction, you will always be rewarded. I truly believe that. Those rewards, in turn, will seem almost magical. In the five days that followed our first adventure in Spain, five moments illustrated the power of my positive thinking and proved that the Universe was very much on our side.
I hope you enjoy the magic in each of the following stories.
Moment One: The Perfect Beach Day
We fell asleep in Granada on Night One, and woke up at noon on Day Two. After my jet lag and Blue’s day of driving, we were two tired travelers. Before leaving Granada, we made our way to the historic Alhambra palace for an afternoon tour.
From there, we headed southwest to the shore and arrived in Málaga by nightfall. We spent the evening walking around the beautiful city, admiring every little corner.
To end the night, we found an outdoor café near a fountain and shared our first meal of tapas and sangria.
It was a lovely day, but the magic would start on Day Three. Feeling rested and refreshed, we set out to explore Málaga in the daylight. The city was bustling, tour guides were leading their large groups, and Blue’s hand was guiding me through each turn. Our first stop was Alcazaba of Málaga, the best-preserved citadel in Spain. Walking along its many pathways, we explored gardens, ancient rooms, and multiple fountains. The architecture was so intricate and detailed; I kept taking pictures of my feet because each room had a floor pattern more beautiful than the next.
At one point, we took a path that headed down towards a tunnel. Once in the tunnel, we found ourselves alone and, just for a minute, stood in the middle and held each other close. Happiness. Then, we walked towards the light, excited to see what we’d find next.
What we found was the exit.
I knew this wasn’t part of Blue’s plan, but to go back around would take some time and we had more exploring to do. So, I said, “It’s okay. There’s a reason why we’re supposed to leave right now. We are going to find something else that will be just wonderful.” I kissed him, grabbed his hand, and we were off. We walked away from the city center towards the shore. After about 30 minutes, we stumbled upon Playa de la Malagueta, a popular beach in Málaga.
We decided to grab two chairs and two drinks and lounge for a bit. It was a bit overcast, but we didn’t mind. We had forgotten to pack bathing suits anyway. A few other people had ventured out, too. We watched some children run around, dipped our feet into the Mediterranean, and, eventually, I took a little snooze.
I’m not sure how long I was out, but when I woke, I was greeted by the sun, blue water, and another glass of sangria.
What a turn of events! The gray skies had cleared and the whole scene at the beach started to change. More people took spots in the sand, the restaurants filled up, and, next to me, Blue was looking pretty handsome. Thank you, Universe. The temperature began to rise as the sun got stronger. Luckily, we were in Spain and our undergarments served perfectly fine as bathing attire.
Talk about feeling free. I will never forget those few hours with Blue. There we were laying next to the Mediterranean Sea with sweeping views of the shoreline and distant mountains, sipping our drinks, talking about anything and everything – wearing only our plain, black underwear. Yup, moments like that are not easily forgotten. Magic.
Moment Two: The Best Lunch I’ve Ever Had
We left Málaga on the morning of Day Four. We loaded ourselves, the luggage, and two iced coffees into the Fiat and our GPS guide, Linda, dictated the way to our next destination. For the next two hours, we drove away from the coast and through the gorgeous Spanish countryside. The views were breathtaking – just green hills and mountains in every direction.
Our mid-day stop was in the city of Ronda. As we parked the car, I remember thinking how adorable it was that Blue had put so much thought into this trip. He even had a little folder with all of our hotel confirmations and flight details. His preparedness made me feel so special and safe. Wrapping my arm around him, we began to stroll down one of Ronda’s main streets.
Although Blue knew we were coming to Ronda, we didn’t have much planned except to see the sights and grab some food. As we walked towards the Puente Neuvo, or “New Bridge,” the largest bridge in Ronda, we passed some outdoor cafés. At first, we started scoping out potential lunch spots, but then I said, “Don’t worry. Something will happen and we’ll know exactly where we want to eat.” I was right.
The Puente Neuvo spans a 390 foot canyon that opens up to one of the most majestic views I have ever seen. Before crossing the bridge, we spent time at the lookout point on the first side. There was beauty everywhere.
To the left, the incredible bridge:
To the right, a massive, green expanse:
And in front of us, several white buildings on the edge of the canyon:
Zooming into my last picture, I saw that one of the buildings was a restaurant with an outdoor seating area that overlooked everything.
“That’s where we are having lunch,” I said pointing directly across the gorge.
So, we crossed the bridge and made our way to the Albacara Restaurant at Hotel Montelirio. We were led to the terrace by our waiter, a kind older gentleman, and were seated at the table right in the middle. We had the whole place to ourselves.
I was in disbelief seeing as this was the most spectacular lunch venue I had ever seen, but I wasn’t complaining. Having the view of Ronda, the waterfall beneath us, and Blue all to myself was like a dream. Thank you, Universe.
The meal that followed was just perfection: a bottle of rosé, Stewed Oxtail “Ronda style” for him, Roasted Duck Confit for me, and Apple Pie with rose petal sorbet for dessert. Yes, rose petal. I’m running out of superlatives to describe this moment.
The best food, the best view, the best company: our “fourth” date in a nutshell. At this point, I was counting each day in Spain as another date. Ronda was a date like no other – I just kept looking at him, at the view, and back at him in disbelief. Finally, I crawled onto Blue’s lap, hugged him close, and whispered “Thank you” into his ear. Magic.
Moment Three: A Surprise in Seville
We continued gushing over our amazing day as we drove away from Ronda towards the final city of our trip: Seville. Out of all the cities in Spain, Blue was most excited to visit Seville. As you know, he’s originally from Kansas City, and Seville happens to be one of KC’s sister cities. Several parts of Kansas City are modeled after the Spanish architecture in Seville and Blue was really looking forward to seeing some of the real structures in person. The anticipation of this coupled with our day in Ronda made Blue one happy man. Little did we know, he was about to get even happier. (I was, too.)
It seemed our positivity followed us to Seville.
As we made our way to the hotel, we saw a group of women walking along the streets dressed in authentic flamenco dresses. I, of course, was thrilled, ooh-ing and ahh-ing as I looked out the window. But soon we saw another group, and then another. We immediately knew something was up. Blue got the details once we checked into the hotel: we had arrived in Seville during one of the city’s most beloved fiestas, Feria de abril de Sevilla, or the “Seville April Fair.” The celebration usually begins two weeks after Easter Holy Week and runs for six days of parades, partying, and dancing. Thank you, Universe.
We spent Night One right in the mix of it all, enjoying the festivities and, most importantly, each other. Blue was pretty much beaming all night. I loved seeing him so happy. I loved feeling so happy. For the entire evening we roamed in and out of casetas, the individual tents at the fair, listened to music and danced, and drank Rioja in the streets. The final picture of the night was taken in front of one of the entrances, a large, illuminated structure that looked like a castle.
Blue snapped me in my flamenco-like dress, one that I just happened to pack not knowing about the fair, and then walked over to me. Under the bright lights of the fiesta with hundreds of people walking by, he kissed me and said, “This was the best day of my life.” Magic.
Moment Four: Happiness is Contagious
Day Five began just a dreamy as Day Four ended. While I slept, Blue ran down to the lobby and returned with a tray full of goodies. I happily awoke to breakfast in bed.
Romance was definitely in the air.
By late morning, we were dressed and walking the streets of Seville. We walked ourselves to a nearby park and sipped our second cups of coffee on a cute bench. Just sitting with Blue was fun. We’d obviously had a wonderful time so far, but there was something about this day that felt so comfortable. We had grown closer, and as I looked at him in the park, I remember marveling at how we had gotten to this point. New Orleans and Skype dates and even that morning at the Madrid airport seemed so long ago. Now, we were something more.
After a couple swings on the swing set, we continued our tour of Seville. Within a few blocks, Blue did one of the things I loved most about him the first night we met: he twirled me. Now, in New Orleans, we were on the dance floor so twirling was expected. In Spain, Blue would break out his twirl move in the streets whenever the mood struck: after a kiss, when I’d look at him and smile, if we heard music playing. It became our thing.
This time, he twirled me in front of a restaurant window. Grabbing my hand, he spun me away from him, pulled me back in, and guided me into a circular dancing motion. My face, my heart, everything was smiling.
“¡Amor!” yelled a man who was sitting with his wife, watching from the window.
“¡Mi corazón!” Blue yelled back as he kissed my cheek. We smiled and waved at the couple as we walked away. I was overjoyed that someone else had recognized what we were already beginning to feel. Thank you, Universe.
It’s safe to say that we were both loving Seville. We continued to explore, stopped for tapas, and shared two gelato cones. It was another perfect day. It was made even more perfect when, as we were strolling down yet another picturesque street, we walked by the couple from the restaurant window. Hours had passed since we first saw them, but when the man noticed us, he immediately grabbed his wife, spun her away from him, pulled her back in, and guided her into a circular dancing motion. My face, my heart, everything was smiling. Magic.
Moment Five: He Finally Found What He Was Looking For
Blue had been looking forward to traveling through Spain for sometime now. It was always something he wanted to do. When he was able to add me to the picture, he said it sparked some additional inspiration for the trip. I certainly felt and appreciated all the thought that went into his planning.
In addition to the cities on his itinerary, Blue had another thing on his to-do list. He was on a mission to find authentic, black Spanish leather boots. He had been telling me about this for the past few weeks and was really excited that I would be there to help him pick out a pair. So, in every city we went to – Toledo, Grenada, Malaga, Ronda, and now Seville – we looked in store after store.
It was spring, and boots weren’t really in season. But he had his heart set on bringing a pair home. It was late afternoon when we saw the couple from the restaurant window. Still no boots. “Let’s just stop looking,” I said. “Something will appear when we least expect it.”
A few minutes later, I suggested we stop at this restaurant with outdoor seating for some sangria. We sat, ordered, and took a breather. I needed it – my pups were barking.
As we sat, his gaze fell on a store across the street. It was a shoe store, called La Martín Zapatos. He looked at me and said, “I’ll be right back.” I stayed put and enjoyed my drink. Fifteen minutes went by and Blue was still in the store. I ran over, keeping one eye on the sangria, and walked in. I saw him right away and was greeted by a big smile. He held up a beautiful pair of boots, exactly the kind he had been looking for. Thank you, Universe.
“And they’re 50% off!” he beamed. Magic.
To be continued…
Keep Reading: Always Expect the Unexpected
P.S. Missed the beginning of this series? Find the complete Modern Day Love Story here.