Friday, April 13, 2012


This week is full of surprises. The world is smaller and smaller. An email came from Spain. I guess I left a lot of "MOI" in Spain, I loved it there and the laissez faire attitude of the Costa del Sol. I am just so delighted that old friends found my blog and wrote this morning. They owned our favorite restaurant and "hotel", Pepe Rico. I have told numerous stories of what had happened to us at that place. Bob, Bobby and I had gone back there so many moons ago and just enjoyed the quiet ambiance of the place not to mention Pollo Africana, our favorite dish. We celebrated my mothers 60th birthday there and I was pregnant with Bobby. When we were dirt poor and tried to sell watercolors by the church a bus of American ladies came by looked at Bob's watercolors, said how great he was and followed with where is that Balcon d'Europa I need a drink.....the two of us were almost in tears. They said his work was fabulous, it was too cheap, and ran to the first bar. When my courage had finally sunk into my shoes and I wondered how much rice I had left and if I could still get some merluzza at the market along came our life savers :The Ankers. Mrs. A. came from the same region as my Bob, Salinas CA, she had inherited her fathers fortune and she was a shopper and the Perle Mesta in Nerja. She knew how to throw a party. She saw us sitting there and quietly said: We do not want to be alone at lunch, we fight too much, could you join us at Pepe Rico's? She had so much tact. Hungry souls loved that place and we rejoiced at the invite. It was that day that Mr A decided he wanted a bar built. He wanted Bob to paint the front of the bar with trompe l'oeil style items. Her cameo jewelry, dollar bills, (he liked these) an assortment of objects. Bob and I delighted at the work and they gave us a down payment right then and there. One night when Bob had submitted some paintings in Brussels for an international contest, he and I went to Pepe's sat outside had a romantic dinner when I noticed the moon and the clouds almost exactly like he had painted this scene. I think I cried, we said it was an omen, it was going to be a prize. He did get a very good prize but for the other painting submitted. I have tried to copy the pollo but never did get it. Must be different spices. Bob and I returned after his diagnosis, we had been in Torremolinos 3 years in a row and would take a tourbus to Nerja. The guide knew we did not want the caves so he dropped us of in Nerja and we would meet later. Guide said: Now do not get lost!!!I just laughed out loud! Me? getting lost in Nerja??They left and we stood in a new modern park. I turned around and just did not have a clue where I was. I asked someone where the Balcon d'Europa was and slowly found our bearings. Trying to find our apartment was a total shock. It had been the first piso building when we purchased it in 1970, farmland around I could not imagine where they had found all this land to built a shopping center, a little park, more high rises etc....where was all that land? Was it behind the wall at Suju's ? We walked with ease to the beach, not all this cement work in such a small place? I was shocked. Bob remembered some of it but I had written down where the new park was so we could get back on the bus. You can't go just can't set the clock back. We had a friend who had been here in the 1950's and she moaned how quaint a village it had been and how we were changing it. She should see it now. A tour bus to Frigiliani was another shock but they had cleaned up the village and all the houses looked like they had just been whitewashed, while there was a parking place for busses and cars below the village, all very well organized. Every thing was changed. Our friend Louis Miles lives near me and he and his wife have been my main support in the last decades it is there that we met and with him we had many, many visits at Pepe Rico. He and I are 80 now and when we have lunch out he starts on Nerja and his wife goes into a sleep mode, after the word Nerja comes the word Pepe Rico and then the famous chicken. Patient Celia (his wife) tries to keep her eyes open as these two oldies talk about a place we loved so many moons ago. Thank you for writing Kathy!!!!

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