Stanley’s Sangria Binge

Refreshing SangriaJill sat across from me at the table. I’d had time to reflect since my encounter with the Black Virgin the day before.

“Hey Sis, I think I’ve got an answer for you.”

She smiled as I spoke:  “About church, there is a reason, believe it or not…”

Her smile got even bigger then I noticed her eyes were looking past me. “One second Dad.” She elbowed Caitlin and the two suddenly developed the two biggest shit eating grins ever. Behind me stood a young man that looked like Johnny Depp during his 21-Jump Street years. The sun god was holding a pen and notepad. His long brown hair flowed down upon his white shirt, which seemed way too tight for his bulging damn pecs. He should have been on the cover of a dime-store romance novel.

“My God, he’s our waiter” Jill whispered loudly. The girls had been eyeing him since the moment we walked into the restaurant.

“Dad, what were you saying?”

“It can wait.”

To celebrate our last night in Barcelona – and the last night with our friends – we wanted to try some traditional Spanish tapas – a variety of appetizer sized portions of local foods. Johnny Pecs brought more than just eye candy for the ladies to our table. He brought Sangria! A pitcher started things off. One sip and each of us belted out a collective whoa boy. This was not your Daddy’s sangria. No – much more than just wine with orange slices – this concoction had some real mojo – we detected triple sec and perhaps some brandy along with the wine and fruit. It reminded me of the jungle juice we made in college that nearly got me expelled. I was glad to see plenty of food at the rescue to soak up this naughty drink. Johnny brought plate after plate of everything from sliced ham and cheese on toast to deep fried baby squid and marinated calamari. It was all delicious. He brought another pitcher and topped off three glasses. He was beginning to grow on me. We wanted to toast our wonderful time together, but weren’t sure how to properly do this. Marit and Donna thought we should call our waiter back for consultation. He explained a couple of options, and the ladies, even though they seemed to be listening quite intently, asked him to repeat the options again.

Eventually, glasses of sangria and soda were raised. “Salud.”

Outside the restaurant we found a wonderful clear night and warm air. This was a modern part of downtown and after seeing so much old, it was good to see flood lit office buildings and apartments with enough land for designer landscaping. Best of all, the sidewalks were wide enough to accommodate my stride which was more side than walk at the moment.

“Flat Stanley!” Marit pulled out a little flat doll she had been carting around since Paris. As promised to her nephew, she’d taken photos of Flat Stanley in every notable place we visited. Here in Barcelona it would be a night to remember for Stanley. A shiny new scooter was parked along the street. Snap – a photo of Stanley proudly atop its seat. Poor Stanley, Snap – fell off the scooter and lay on the sidewalk with a broken leg. Good news! Snap – Stanley limping toward the hospital that just happened to be down the street. Too bad his injury drove him to a life of drink. Snap – the downtrodden Stanley fallen beside a dumpster, an empty beer bottle in hand. Stanley miraculously snapped back to health and became a metrosexual. Snap – Stanley, or Stanislaus as he now insisted on being called, struck a pose in a window display between two smartly dressed male mannequins.

We made it back to our hotel without getting arrested. What a night. Barcelona was a cool city and felt like a place I could call home. I wanted to stay here longer. This, along with saying goodbye to our friends brought on a feeling of melancholy. We’d gotten used to having them with us – they were a slice of home that sweetened a rough part of our journey.

Man, I was going to miss them.

Check out a teriffic Sangria recipe on Facebook and Pinterest

NEXT:Good Day Sunshine

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