When our editor first asked the four of us to write another SEALs series, I decided I wanted to bring in as much authenticity to my story as possible. Aside from actually having dated a Navy SEAL (which I haven't - sigh...), I did marry a Navy man and we spent the first three years of our marriage stationed at Naval Station Rota, Spain. So what readers read in Touched by Midas comes straight from my memories of living in Rota, working on the base and being with my huge military family. The blogs for this week will include pics, experiences and information about me and my life in Spain.
I arrive in Rota and reconnect with my husband-to-be. I am 22 and I recently graduated with a degree in History from Southern Illinois University with visions of being a high school history teacher. Our plans are to marry in Gibraltar once my mother and sister arrive.
At the time my husband-to-be is living in a typical Spanish house. Between you and me, the house is a disaster. There are cat print curtains hung in the windows of his tiny kitchen. There is a bike in a back room that he has no idea who it belongs to or how it got there. (He later vaguely remembers "borrowing" the bike after getting thoroughly plastered at a local Spanish bar named Zeppelins.) And his dog Mozart, a German Shepard mix, has pooped so many times on the terrace roof-top of his home that it's impossible to make my way across the roof without walking in one of his landmines. I immediately decree we need to move.
Luckily, we find a brand new apartment we can afford. The truly lucky part of finding this apartment are our landlords, a wonderful Spanish family who will eventually become our second family, as well as my daughter's caregivers.
I wish I had a video or a picture to show our move from my husband-to-be's old house to our new apartment. I guarantee, you'd fall on the floor laughing. The picture I'm posting (which is not of us but the closest I could find) simply doesn't do our situation justice. Imagine putting a full-sized refrigerator in the trunk of a tiny Fiat then driving several blocks with two guys tagging behind making sure the fridge doesn't fall out. That would be us.
Aside from the fridge, we had no furniture in our apartment while we waited for our things to arrive from the states. So for the first few months we got to sleep on floors, eat from a folding table and sit on lawn chairs. These were great times.
But Rota was our playground and we spent little time in our apartment. Our mornings consisted of wandering around the small shops. In the afternoons we lounged on the beach. And we pissed away our evenings in local eateries or bars.
(Yep. That's me 25 years ago. Skinny, tan and sporting a short haircut.)
One of our favorite places to eat was a little place called Shorty's. It was across the street from a discotecca called La Playa. Those were the days when staying out until 2am was the norm. How we ever managed to get up at 7am and go to work is a mystery. Oh youth.
|The view from our bedroom window. That dome marks the main Spanish market in Rota.|
|The Rota harbor|
|Down the street from my husband-to-be's house. You can't see it, but the beach is at the very end.|