The Rain in Spain

The Rain in Spain

by Laura Wood

 

W

e were running through the train station in Barcelona, Spain, like two frantic people when a man yelled out, “Run, Forest, run!” After forget- ting our tickets in the cab on the way to the station, it took forty-five nutes to get new tickets. We missed the train anyway. We almost missed the second train because, frankly, we couldn’t speak any Spanish. Jerry and I were definitely not in Kansas anymore. Why didn’t we practice Rosetta Stone?!

It was a series of unfortunate events beginning with the first place we stayed on our trip to Spain. It was a lovely penthouse surrounded by a plant-lined terrace and had unbelievable 360° views of Barcelona. Little did we know, it was owned by a famous Spanish movie director named Manual Huerga. Our charming and eccentric host could have been the next “Most Interesting Man in the World” spokesperson for Dos Equis beer. It was all too magically perfect. Then the elevator broke on our first night there and our place was nine stories high. Thank the Lord we had been going to the gym before the trip.

Enjoying the beautiful town of Pamplona during the San Fermin festival in July.

We finally made it to Pamplona after almost missing two trains. The city became famous after Ernest Hemingway wrote about the San Fermin festival in The Sun Also Rises. This leg of the trip was totally about Jerry participating in the Running of the Bulls, which takes place every morning of the nine-day event. The first morning our alarm did not work and we were late for the race. We had to run what would have been a twenty-minute walk to be on time. I had a reserved balcony to watch the race which I had to find as Jerry lined up with the scores of others to run. The rockets blasted announcing the releasing of the bulls, the runners were off, and the entire race was over in a matter of a few thrilling minutes. Where was Jerry after the race? He was not outside the arena where we had agreed to meet. As he had no cell phone with him, what was I to do?

 

This damsel in distress was almost immediately rescued by two very cute, young Irishmen named Liam and Neil. They asked me what I did and when I told them that I published a magazine, Liam asserted that he needed to write an advice column for NW Georgia Living called “Dear Liam.” Jerry did finally catch up with us and we all had a few celebratory after race drinks. The two Irishmen insisted that they be invited to our wedding, which I explained was premature since Jerry had not proposed. “Man, get down on one knee, I tell you!” joked Neil. It was all in fun and we hated to part ways with our new buddies.

After surviving Pamplona with all the revelry in a sea of thousands dressed in white and red, we went for a little R & R in the beach resort town of San Sebastian where I received an unexpected email. There was an offer on my house which had been on the market for six years. I accepted it. By day we toured the old forts and the historic district, but at night we watched “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” on Spanish TV. Since we understood not a word, my thoughts were about where would I be a year from now.

After our trip, my contract went through to sell my house and I had less than three weeks to pack and move. First, I had to write a letter. “Dear Liam, Jerry got down on one knee and proposed. I said yes! See you next year in Pamplona for our wedding during San Fermin. Wear white and red. Black tie not optional!”

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