Could it be…friend season again at long last?

A brief summary of the past two years: plans were made, plans were dashed. Plans were made and dashed so often we stopped making plans. Now we’re staring to see hopeful, glimmering, bright spots. A few brave souls are venturing out to travel and meet up again, not without all due caution and precaution. Does it mark the beginning of the end, or is it just another hiatus in this long, grey emergency? It’s far too early to say, but I’m getting a small taste of how life used to be. If I’m wrong, I don’t want to know about it right now. I can wait for the next shoe.

Our friend Michel, who was with us in Seville in February 2020, when Covid was just a hard-to-fathom news story from China, has joined us here again and I can’t shake the feeling that his visits are book-ending the past two years, encapsulating this whole mess and tucking it away somewhere. Although that is excessively neat and tidy, like too-predictable fiction, it is in keeping with the bad fiction story line that has been this disaster, with its cartoon villains and zombie hordes happily making themselves virus fodder. However, this is meant to be a cheery post, so onward!

To recap: we abruptly left Paris for sunny Seville in late December, where we reunited with various members of our Montpellier Covid circle.

Me, Debra, Paul, Paula, Kate and Picasso Mark
Seville’s iconic Setas are stalking us.

Seville’s latest thrilling archaeological discovery while we were away: the arches of a 12th century Arab bath, complete with murals, were hiding under a false ceiling of a bar, Cevercería Giralda, not far from the cathedral.

Practicing safe dining at one of Seville’s many rooftop terrace restaurants

We resumed our day-tripping ways and hit the road to visit one of the Pueblos Blancos, the white hill towns of Andalusia, Arco de la Frontera.

This church has a marble circle out front where the priests would perform exorcism on newborns because original sin and all that.

An inordinate number of buildings in town are lock-up-yer-women-for-life convents. The carved out walls were to allow them to better peer out the windows and see what was happening in the streets. And you thought the past two years were bad.

The view from all the way up there

The blog post where I mentioned our abrupt change of address south prompted Dianne, an old friend, to let us know she would be nearby in Portugal for 2+ months. So hell yes, another road trip! We spent 5 days exploring the Algarve, the southern coast.

Tiles everywhere!
Near Lagos, Portugal
Megalith in Sagres, the end of the earth

Dianne is the kind of foodie you want to travel with. A former pastry chef in Paris, as well as a now-retired food stylist (which is how we know her), she’s a happy and enthusiastic eater. And did we eat well!

Our friends Karen and Rich, who live here in Seville, took an omicron-inspired break from socializing since Christmas. They are now poking their heads back out and we had a delightful coffee with them. Other friends are starting to send out tentative travel probes for their first adventures in a long time.

What will the future hold? Time will tell. It’s anyone’s guess. I like the French saying, qui vivra, verra. (She who lives will see.)