There were many alternative titles for this post:
Tripping the Light Fantastic
Before the above titles suggested themselves, here were my ideas:
Parador by the Dashboard Lights
Come on’ to My Castle (sung to the old show tune)
I Am the Pink Dot
Can you guess any themes? Let’s just say, it is a good thing I travel with a first aid kit and drugs in my car. On the way home from a road trip/succssful pottery shopping outing to the town of El Puente de Arzobispo, Mood Ring Momma, Leezer and I stopped at a castle cum hotel (i.e. government run “parador” in Spain) we had passed on the way to have lunch.
At the adjacent table, three men were having a primarily liquid lunch and enjoying the view of the teutonic Leezer and Mood Ring. My back was to them so I was not privy to the high jinx. We ladies enjoyed a quick, delicious lunch with few alcoholic beverages. And this is key. The drive home was an hour and a half so there was no misbehaving. After lunch (sadly, the Spaniards did not pick up the tab), we went outside to check out the castle and the surrounding grounds. Outside the cobblestoned arch, which lead into the castle, was a park over looking the valley below, the sierra off in the distance. The sky was a pristine cerulean blue. We took photos for a traveling American couple and they returned the favor. The castle itself opened at 4 so we planned a quick trip up the tower before leaving.
Mood Ring Momma, engrossed in architecture, failed to note the archaic stone lip bordering the park and, apparently in an effort to save her camera, fell to the ground, twisting her back in the process. It was an awful moment – there is no sugar coating it. The American woman, a nurse, started asking questions. A Spanish doctor had her husband call the local medical center. After ten minutes of agony on the ground, MRM was able to manuever herself to the car and wash down some of my handy back candy (no, it is not oxycontin). At home, we instituted a regime of ice and heat and Chinese medicine until the local doctor, a Canadian who lives in my neighborhood, came by to make sure nothing was broken and give her some drugs. Now is not the point in the blog when I tell you how I was loathe to go to the ER, a.k.a. Swine Flu City, a place I have recently visited. Nor is it when I tell you how appalled I am in the socialized medicine health care system near my house. (This story will come soon because it directly addresses the myriad problems associated with socialized medicine and I am unhappy to report being a witness.) So, if I could save my sister at least five hundred dollars, contracting swine flu, and avoiding incompetence, I was all for it. Hence the call to the expat doctor.
The good news is that nothing is broken. The bad news is that, for MRM, touring is temporarily suspended. Leezer has been set loose to manuever the Metro on her own. We are hopeful that tomorrow Mood Ring Momma will be back on her feet and can at least see one museum, as staying in bed with a bad back is almost as bad for it as tromping around. Getting on the plane is another worrisome problem, but we will cross that puente when we get to it. For now, it is tea, sympathy, and lots of love. Please keep her in your prayers. The Expat Princess is not a good nurse.