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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Granada, Spain – May 2-3, 2012

In this life, you never know what the next day will bring.  So sometimes you do a lot of preparation only to find your plans get turned upside down by, say, a flat tire.

The night we were preparing to leave Las Lomas Campground in Guejar Sierra, a neighbor stopped by to tell us that Pepper had a flat and, if we needed it, he knew just who to call as he had a tire go flat upon pulling into the campground.  (Clearly there was something on the road.)  

Indeed, Pepper's right front tire was practically sitting on its rim.  As we attempted to fill it, we could hear—and then feel the air pressing out of a puncture along the sidewall.  Now, as my older brother can attest, Pepper does not carry a spare.  When you open the back hatch and lift up the carpet, you see a very promising, large, round, black-plastic, cover--clearly marked, “Bose”.  Music first, that’s our motto.

So . . . SP removed the tire, rolled it to the office and the wonderful staff at Las Lomas coordinated the replacement with the tire shop. 

A side note here:  When attempting to communicate in a foreign language, we are never sure if someone completely understands us.  However, we are always sure that we do not completely understand them.  Thus, when dealing with the purchase of an item, we have learned to lessen our expectations. 

The tire repair person said the tire could not be repaired but they could have a “summer” tire put on in one day or, if we waited two business days, we could have a “winter” tire.   For those of you who might have read the blog in the early days of Mrs. Dash, you may recall that we waited four weeks to get our Pirelli Scorpion Snow & Ice tires from Porsche in Orange County, California.  So when the repair shop said they could get us the “winter” tire in two business days, we lessened our expectations from Pirelli Scorpion to whatever might fit on Pepper.

This delay in our departure gave us just the excuse we needed to spend a few nights in a hotel enjoying a little Big City Life.  So we checked our budget:  €200/week for one night in a hotel but we hadn’t used the allotment in over four weeks, so we opted for €400/night for two nights, and checked into The [delightful] Hotel Carmen, in downtown Granada.  A very wise choice; you may not be able to tell by the pictures but the bathroom alone was easily twice as spacious as Salt.  I have to say it again:  Twice.  As.  Spacious.  The bathroom.  Plus the “junior suite” included a small terrace overlooking El Cortes Ingles, aka, Spain’s Nordstrom—with a splash of Neiman Marcus, aka Kit Heaven.

With a wardrobe in desperate need of refreshing, I practically ran across the street at the first opportunity. In less than an hour I had gathered an Escada Sport dress, sandals, a Southern Cotton sweater, and a long-sleeved T (cannot believe I left home without one.)  Tired out and with my new best friends safely tucked in tissue and nestled in a handle bag, I met SP on the street for a snack.  (I did have to remind him that his last words to me were, “Better not to ask if there is budget for this.”)

Granada is a wonderful city:  Large boulevards easily carry people directly through town but step off the main boulevards and you find yourself in a maze of pedestrian-only streets lined with musicians, cafes and shops.  It is delightful even on a very hot day (30/90); not only do the narrow alleys and tall buildings provide a lot of shade but many streets have sun shades stretched across the top.  If you need more of a break, there is always a fountain just around the corner at which you can pause for refreshment or reflection.

We thoroughly enjoyed our two nights in town but that was plenty.  We tire of always having to dine out (the exception being the complimentary room service breakfast) and The Noses, often quite well behaved, are awkward to walk along busy streets.

So refreshed and re-dressed, we returned to find our new tire, mounted and balanced and leaning against the Pepper.  As yet unpaid for (you would never see that in California) and sporting the unbelievable embellishment of “Pirelli Scorpion Snow & Ice.”