Málaga, Spain. See Any Celebrities?

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The Roman and Moorish ruins are beautiful in Málaga. Very accessible by foot or vehicle.

Every morning the Captain comes over the speaker system and tells about the port of the day.  Today is Málaga, and he says it is frequented by celebrities, so keep our eyes out.  It is a beautiful beachfront city, lined with hotels as far as the eye can see.

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No celebrities were spotted, but the Octopus, one of the world’s largest yachts was docked near us. Owned by Jody Allen, the sister of Paul Allen, she donates the use of it for research and humanitarian purposes. I think it was being used for party purposes on this day. A rock band was heard practicing and they were taking on supplies. Funny, we weren’t invited….

We are interested to see Málaga, for a couple of reasons – none of them involving celebrities.  I hear quite a few people move here for the beautiful weather.  George has a Facebook friend who loves it here.  It is also the birthplace of Picasso, and there is a museum of his art.

Not willing to repeat the long walk to town, George convinced me to do the Hop On, Hop Off Bus.  They picked up right outside the ship.  We decided to do the tour and get the lay of the land.  It drove right up a mountainside to a Moorish castle.  We hopped off, and George didn’t want to walk around the castle.  I was feeling guilty for leaving him so long yesterday, so I longingly looked at the castle and didn’t go in.  George urged me to do it, but I was wearing my martyr hat – which just sets me up for feeling sorry for myself.

On the map, there was another Moorish castle attached to Roman ruins and a great looking Roman amphitheatre.  I don’t know why, but I just love old amphitheatres.  One of my greatest thrills was sitting in the beautiful ruins of one in Ephesus, Turkey.  Almost perfectly preserved, it is easy to be transported back in time.  Ever since, I just hate to miss one.

We next hopped off at the closest stop to the birthplace of Picasso.  It is now a museum (not the one with his art), but it was closed.  It sits on a large square, filled with little cafés and shops.  Of course, I needed another bathroom, and the plaza also had the guaranteed bathroom stop of Starbucks.  No matter where in the world – Starbucks has a toilet.  This builds customer loyalty like no other.

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If you look closely, there is a Starbucks between the red and white umbrellas. Most reliable source of free bathrooms around the world.

We sat and sipped coffees, enjoying the warm sun.  Málaga has a different sort of beggars.  It varies from city to city.  There seemed to be younger men, and they were very pushy.  If you said no, they wouldn’t leave and kept politely saying please, over and over again.  It is such an uncomfortable situation.  We both are soft-hearted and probably look like good potential from the beggar point of view.  If disabled or elderly, or really look in need, we are there.  As fat cat Americans, sipping our coffee and seeing the world, it is hard for me not to share.

A younger man came up and asked for money.  At some point you have to decide who to give to, and younger healthier guys are not on my list.  I said no, but he didn’t go away and kept saying please, I’m so hungry.  I really looked at him and felt he truly was hungry.  I offered to get him a coffee and sandwich.  He was so happy and thanked me.  He went off and sat munching his sandwich.  It is so hard to know what is the right thing to do.  We obviously get taken advantage of at times, but we have so much and it feels wrong not to help another human being.  George is more generous and never hesitates to help someone.

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Besides Starbucks, you can always find those Golden Arches.

It wasn’t far to the Picasso museum, so we strolled to it.  It is a surprisingly large museum, the contents having been donated by his family.  I can’t pretend to be a huge lover of Picasso.  Don’t judge me, but faces with uneven eyeballs and body parts shooting off at odd angles has never rocked my boat.  But perhaps I don’t understand the meaning behind it all, so here is an opportunity for growth.

I did grow some from this experience!  They have a lovely individual audio headset, which explains it all.  The uneven eyeball thing?  Well, as Picasso rightly noted, our eyeballs ARE uneven, and shouldn’t be portrayed otherwise.  While I don’t think my left eyeball is located near my chin, I do get the point.  Picasso was a gifted artist as a child, and they had some of his paintings, which were far more conventional.  And very good.  The museum begins with his childhood and chronologically follows his life, which shows the evolution of his work.

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An early work of Picasso at age 13. I snapped this photo and was gently told not to take photos. We all know his more modern art, so I’m glad I captured this one.  Talented child!

While he is still not my favorite artist, I do have a much better appreciation now.  I’m very glad we went!

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George imitating a Picasso picture. I tried to get him to point his eyes in different directions, but he just wouldn’t cooperate. He was pretty happy to go to lunch.

It was lunchtime, and the weather was quite hot.  Soaking up the sun’s warmth has been such a pleasure!  Especially when I hear they have opened up the cold weather shelters back in Oregon.  We found a sunny outside restaurant and ordered way too much food.  George had an entire sandwich that he hadn’t even touched.  An old woman came up to our table begging, and we gave it to her.

George was wore out from the hike in Gibraltar yesterday, and was ready to go back to the ship.  I really wanted to see the castle and Roman amphitheatre.  It was up a hill and he couldn’t have managed it.  It would take at least an hour.  He would have waited for me, but I was in the suffering martyr mood and said it was okay, I could miss it…..  Stupid me!  We got on the Hop It Back to the Ship Bus and drove by the darned thing.  It was magnificent view, situated on a hill overlooking the harbor.  The amphitheatre looked incredibly preserved.

This was not George’s fault.  He would have waited for me.  But at that moment, I was ready to wrap my Hop It earphone guide wires around his neck and given a good squeeze.  He made some remark that set me off and I didn’t speak to him the rest of the way back to the ship.  I don’t even remember what he said!  Something really rude like “The weather was sure lovely today.”  It didn’t matter, I was on a tangent.  Best to leave me alone until I get embarrassed and get a grip again.  Geez, I wish I wouldn’t do stuff like that….

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My pouting face in our selfie. Oh well, everyone gets one day to be snarky, right? But now I have used up my snarky quota. The pressure is on to be nice.

Anyway, it was a lovely day of warm weather and while Málaga is a nice city, it didn’t rock my boat and make me want to live there, or stay for an extended piece of time.  But I would like to see that amphitheatre….

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Interestingly, all the seafood was frozen in this seaside resort town. Not sure if it was because the summer season is over. Most of the stalls in this indoor market were shut down. Prices are for kilograms – so a little over two pounds. Good prices compared to home!

Author: Traveling Grandma

As an aging mother of six and grandma to seven, travel was always a dream. Diapers, work and an eccentric high-maintenance husband just seemed to keep those trips a distant desire. Eventually, however, the kids potty trained, lived through the teenage angst years and left the nest to start their own families. Work still gets in the way for my husband, but it does help pay for the trips! Can't do much about the eccentric, high-maintenance husband; after 36 years I have reconciled that he will never pick up his underwear. He's my partner for life, travel companion and can always be counted on to do something totally odd. It makes for a good story, and besides - without his major financial contribution, we would sitting at home year after year, watching yet another rerun of NCIS. Due to a major health scare, I recently retired - and love retirement! I have always LOVED to cook. My love of food, and birthing those babies, led to an 85 pound weight gain. After joining a weight loss program, I shed the weight, went to work for them and found a new career. For me, it was a dream job. How many people can say they loved their job? I got to work together with people and help them live a healthy lifestyle, and lose weight. And it changed the way I cook! Instead of coating foods with fat and/or sugar, I've learned to bring out the real flavor in foods and keep them healthy. It's a joy to travel the world and explore new foods. I'm always on the lookout for different foods and willing to try almost anything. George, my husband, is always aghast at my choices. He's looking for a McDonald's while I'm trying to find the best local eatery. Checking out grocery stores and food forums in different countries is endless fun. Bringing back cooking ingredients keeps the memories alive every time they are used in a recipe back home. Paprika from Budapest, Sumac from Turkey, dried squid from Japan....what a lucky person I am to experience it all. Life is interesting everywhere, and there is always something humorous to be found, even in my own backyard of Mt Hood, Oregon. I love to journal and people have been telling me for years to become a writer. As Medicare is now a prominent part of my life, I figured this was as good a time as any. If I don't do it now, I'll be writing stories about my neighbors in the nursing home. A big trip will probably be whacking along in my walker to the day room to watch the Travel Channel. I take heart that Colonel Sanders started his finger lickin' fortune late in life because he wasn't afraid to try something new. So here I go!

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