How long before we wake up from the paella coma?

I was determined that things would be different this year.

I would be ready to hit the beach the minute I stepped off the plane.

I would rub sun tan oil on my skin as I jumped over bodies which lay baking in the sun.

I would quickly claim my spot by ceremoniously plunging the stick of my beach umbrella into the sand.

I would pack my bathing suit and cover up in my backpack, ready to don the second I made it through my mother’s front door.

My spanking new Diesel sunglasses would also be at the ready–they’d assist me in seeing past the sun’s bright rays as I scanned the perimeter for any sign of Javier Bardem.

My hair would be wrapped in a bright scarf, bohemian style.

I would make Maya Angelou proud as I strutted from one end of the beach to the other, every inch the phenomenal woman–hips swaying, shoulders back, chest jutting forward.

But alas, such has not been the case.

Once again, I have succumbed to the lethargic state that assaults anyone who dares visit Spain in the summer.

As we speak, my bathing suit, wrap, sunglasses, and scarf, are still stuffed in my backpack.

The beach umbrella stands in a corner of the living room, snickering every time I walk past it and whisper, tomorrow.

And the only bodies I’ve jumped over are Olivia’s and Roxy’s.
Oh, and occasionally, my mother’s.

They too have fallen victims to the fatigue that results from the abominable heat and breakfasts’ composed of baskets of churros.

You would think that my desire to find Javier Bardem would motivate me to abandon the chaise lounge that rests comfortably on the terrace.

Sadly, not even the thought of pouncing on the hunky Spaniard has been successful in plucking me from the spot on the terrace where the breeze caresses my skin and keeps me from turning into a puddle of sweat.

The only times I am able to muster the energy to take a few steps is when I have to go to the bathroom.

I’m convinced that if I were a man, I’d be relieving myself regularly in a Coke bottle.

Yes, this heat is not for the faint of heart.

Fortunately, when faced with extreme circumstances, we enter self preservation mode and give in.

We go with the flow; we practice the art of “dolce far niente.”

And in the process, we discover that it feels good to hop off the hamster wheel; to hide our “to do” list under our beach towel.

I mentioned this to the Significant Other on the phone last night.

He replied, “I wouldn’t know. I can’t remember the last time I did nothing.”

“You should try it! It’s utterly liberating. Stop being a hamster and do like a sloth.”

“Have you considered the fact that if I get off the hamster wheel you won’t be able to do like a sloth?”

“On second thought, who says being a hamster is a bad thing? Pedal on, my brother!”

Click.

Moral to this story: Never praise the joys of being a sloth to a hamster.

And now, I must leave you, friends.

In just an hour, Roxy, Olivia, my mother, and I will enter a “paella” coma and we must prepare.

The terrace has to be cleared of all clutter.

A fresh towel has to be draped over the chair.

Orange wedges have to be added to the pitcher of sangria.

My mother has to grab her book and reading glasses.

I must locate my binoculars so as to continue playing, “Where’s Javier?”

A woman could get used to this life, folks.

Hugs to all of you from sunny Spain!

How are you spending your summer days?

XOXO,

Doggie stroller, anyone?

Everybody, meet my Mom’s furry friend, Olivia.

Photo Credit: The Daughter

She’s a feisty seventeen pound Jack Russell Terrier.

Photo Credit: The Sister

Last night, my mom called to tell me that she’s decided to bring Olivia to Spain this summer.

(She usually stays with the Daughter and Lucy)

This is the Daughter’s furry friend, Lucy.

Photo Credit: The Daughter

She’s a natural born athlete and a sweetheart.

She won’t be joining us in Spain, but I wanted you to see how much this family loves Jack Russell Terriers.

I’m excited that Olivia will be joining us.

I think it will be great for Roxy to commiserate with a friend when the Spanish heat hits the high 90’s.

This morning my sister called.

“I heard Olivia’s joining Roxy for a summer of torture, I mean, fun.”

“Yep. I’m dying to see that little bundle of joy!”

“You won’t be saying that after she refuses to walk in the scorching heat and you’re left to carry a 17 pound bundle of joy. Good for you that I have a solution.”

“That we leave them home? Don’t start with the ‘You and Mom think you’re Paris Hilton’ speech.”

“No, I was going to suggest you buy a doggie stroller. That way, you can stroll with Roxy and Olivia for miles without having to call 911.”

“It’s 112 in Europe.”

“Whatever.”

“I think doggie strollers scream, ‘I think my dog’s a tiny human.'”

“Please. Like those dogs don’t eat, dress, and sleep better than you and mom.”

“I don’t know. I don’t think it’s right to deprive them of walking.”

“But it’s alright for them to suffer a heat stroke as they battle the hot Spanish sun? Just think about it. They’re on sale at Target.”

“They’re on sale cause no one wants to look like a loon?”

“No, they’re on sale because normal people leave their dogs at home when they go shopping. Anyway, if it doesn’t work out, you and mom can take turns sitting in the stroller. After all, you’re always complaining about your knee and this might be a good way of keeping mom from breaking a hip. There’s a lot of cobblestones in Europe, you know.”

“I’m hanging up now.”

“Buy the stroller!”

Click.

As I placed the phone on the cradle, I thought perhaps my sister was right.

Olivia’s seventeen pounds coupled with Roxy’s ten was going to take some effort to lug around.

Yep, that doggie stroller is looking more attractive by the minute.

Furry friends traveling in a doggie stroller.

What do you think, friends? Is strolling with furry friends in a stroller taking it too far?

Does it get any hotter than this?

Good day, everyone!

Bella here, reporting barely alive from hot, sunny Spain.

Can anyone say sweltering heat which leaves you dehydrated and one step away from heat stroke?

Whoever said it was sunny in Spain was not jesting, folks.

I’m certain no one, and I mean no one, suffers from a vitamin D deficiency in this country.

You’d think throwing on a hat would help, but the sun is so bright, that a full blown Mexican sombrero wouldn’t make a bit of a difference.

Most days I want to walk through the streets with an open beach umbrella, and if I hit people on the head or poke their eyes out, then it’s their fault.

After all, they should be walking with an open umbrella of their own.

When the lovely Spanish ladies Señora Allnut and Sacramento said it was hot here, they weren’t kidding.

However, I hold them responsible for not warning me to bring an oxygen tank which would allow me to walk more than five steps without feeling like I’m going to pass out.

And given Javier Bardem is not available to give me mouth to mouth resuscitation, this is a catastrophe I want to avoid until he is located.

Hence, the only thing I can do is walk around with a liter of water, a fan, and an ID bracelet.

After all, the hospital staff should know whom to contact in the event I fall and bonk my head, become delirious, or start hallucinating that I’m in the Sahara desert.

The police should also have emergency contact information in case I start removing my clothes to streak through tourist populated streets.

As for the Spanich locals, I’m certain they’ll laugh from their shaded doorways, having come to expect this type of behavior from amateur visitors who cave under the heat.

So what’s a woman to do given these circumstances?

Simple.

Walk around with a liter of sangria water, the European emergency number 112 on speed dial, and huge Jackie O. sunglasses.

Because don’t think for one minute you can leave the premises without a pair of shades.

Unless you want to be blinded by the sun, develop permanent wrinkles from squinting, or walk around with only one eye open.

(The later allowing the non-working eye to take breaks.)

Yes, Spain is not for the faint of heart.

It’s hot, there’s no humidity in the air, and did I mention it’s hot?

But it’s beautiful.

And sometimes, that’s all that matters.

Where are you spending your summer?