Plaza de Arenal in Jerez.

“Son las veintiuno y media” I wrote, showing both how tired I was and how quickly I was immersed in Spanish again. It was indeed 9:30 in the evening and we had just returned from our first evening out.

Our trip from Santa Fe to Jerez went quite well. We left from Santa Fe’s tiny airport to Dallas and then to Boston and on to Lisbon and Madrid. All those flights were—pretty much—on time or early and we were comfortable on them. The flight from Lisbon had a surprise for us; we had seats in row 5, but as we boarded we were told that we had been reseated to row 37–all the way to the back. Due to a plane change, the weight distribution algorithm said more people in the back and fewer up front.  Since we had paid for good seats up front, and not cramped seats next to the lavatories, I was not happy. But we got to Madrid and took a commuter plane to Jerez. All in all, it took about 24 hours to get here.

At Las Banderillas taberna in Jerez

The weather here was nice. It was clear and warm and Jerez looked as it did when we left 2 years ago. We were too early to get into our Airbnb apartment, so we spent a pleasant hour at a small tabanco called Las Banderillas. We had some sherry and tapas (When in Jerez…) and listened to some local music. “Tabancos” are a mixture of taverns with food, wine/sherry sellers, and local hangouts. They are representative of Jerez.

The apartment is nice but a little smaller than the pictures led me to believe. We will be comfortable for the next 9 days. It is in a good location for us because it is within easy walking distance of most of our music venues.

First evening in Jerez eating at Gabriella’s

After a quick rest, we did a reconnoiter to refresh our memories of the area. We chose to eat at an outdoor place called Gabriella’s where we have had good meals in the past. While we were waiting for our food, we saw Susan and Shawn (two friends from Santa Fe) walk by. We knew they were going to be in Jerez, of course, but it was funny to run in to them without any pre-coordination at all.

Plaza de Arenal is a landmark in this part of Jerez. It looked nice this evening as we walked past on our way back to the apartment. It cooled off quickly this evening, but the forecast is for nice weather for the next week. Quite a contrast to the last time we were here when it rained—heavily—nearly every day.

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