When we first arrived to Madrid I received a Facebook message from a Robert Georgen...I asked Trey if he knew him? He immediately said yes, why!? I said because he just sent me a message on Facebook. Should I open it? He ran to the computer, saying yes yes, as looked over my shoulder waiting for me to open it. He had tried to contact Trey, but since I typically manage Trey's social media for him, he rarely logs on to check his mail. Trey and Robert grew up together and played soccer together. They grew up and attended different colleges and when Robert moved to San Diego for the military, they unfortunately lost touch. What we didn't know is the reason for Robert reaching out was because he and his wife Suzanne where in Spain too!
Robert and Trey began corresponding again and planning times for us all to get together in this beautiful country. Robert and his wife kindly invited us to their home in Chipiona, Spain! We accepted of course without hesitation, not knowing where Chipiona was, or anything about the area, but Trey was excited to catch up with his old buddy Robert, and I was excited to hear some "Trazy" stories and meet Robert's wife was well!
When we arrived at the train station we walked out and there was Robert and Suzanne waiting for us in their made in the good ol' US of A, Honda Accord, this was the first one we have seen in Spain, so far that is! Trey and Robert didn't miss a beat! It was as if 12 years hadn't gone by at all. In fact it was Robert who reminded poor Trey that his birthday, coming up in just a short week, would make him a year older than he expected. This of course made for an interesting and very comical next hour of Trey wondering where the missing year went. We all jokingly agree he lost it in the process of moving to Spain; Which with all the paper work, late night applications, and Spanish Bureaucracy losing a year is not too far from the truth.
We were all so excited to see each other and we all talked non-stop for the next 3 days. There was never a dull moment! In the car on the way there we switched topics maybe 15 times because there was just that much to catch up on and talk about our new lives in Spain. As we traveled down the highway there were fields and field and more fields of sunflowers. Unfortunately, we were visiting in the dead heat of the summer so they were looking a little dry, but I could imagine they were just unbelievably gorgeous! We approached Chipiona and we could begin to smell the ocean. Trey and I began to get more and more excited considering we had been land locked for the past six weeks. We were more than ready to get our sea legs back. When we pulled up to the driveway, waiting for the gate to open to enter the home of the Georgens, we coasted on into the huge large underneath the house garage "aka" Robert's man cave. I remember thinking oh my goodness our entire apartment was smaller than there garage.
We were shown our room and it was the cutest guest room! I instantaneously felt right at home...we told Robert and Suzanne they better be careful having a guest room that comfortable some guest may never leave...secretly implying we might just be those guests! We were shown the grand tour and out to the back porch for an afternoon drink, hummus, and the most amazing olives ever. On the train ride to Chipiona one thing we noticed was miles and miles of olive orchards. We were happy to taste test the local olives of Chipiona. We then walked just across the street to the beach and began our journey on the Atlantic coast in Spain. The sand felt so good on our toes. We were shown some of the landmarks in Chipiona, like the lighthouse, and then headed to Pena's for a fantastic lunch! The Gumbas were fresh, local, succulent, and sweet. The pairing of excellent local cava, food, and familiar friends made for one of our favorite lunch's thus far while in Spain. As we were leaving, Trey and Robert noticed our server was in every picture hanging on the wall. His service was some of the best we have received, and when we asked him if he was the owner he modestly said yes. He was a very down to earth man, and a true gentlemen. We asked to take a picture with "The Señor Pena" and he humbly accepted!
The weekend continued with true southern hospitality! We met some amazing people that Robert and Suzanne knew that were living there in Chipiona and working on base. We had fun conversations and were welcomed into their community as if we were their neighbors too! We attended a cookout just next door from Robert and Suzanne. It was a pitch in with the cutest little bar set up and some homemade All American cookin! For a while I couldn't find Trey, and then I thought again, duh he is where the food is...when I found him he was elbows deep in food advising all the other guests what to try out because he tried it and it was awesome! Needless to say I am pretty sure he mentioned every item and explained why each was so tasty! We then ventured onto the next dinner party where we enjoyed more company and conversation as if we all had been friends for years! All in all our experience in Chipiona was exactly what the doctor ordered for Trey and I, as we were finishing up our first month in our city driven life's in Madrid, a little taste of home! Who knew... its a small world after all!