27Feb2019: I’m 35 today. It’s my last birthday where my own brain- where my mind, heart and soul won’t be significantly occupied with the emotions of a parent. I’ve been lucky to enjoy my pregnancy, yet I can’t help but feel that I’m closing a chapter on being a single person where all of me is in one place– not having another part of me out in the world when our baby arrives.
Breakfast was a double order of bread: a serranito sandwich and a croissant with butter and jam. After filling up the tank, we drove towards Sanlucar, a small town that boasts large sherry and manzanilla bodegas. The town is set up along a riverfront but hasn’t been overrun with tourists.
We walked to Barrio Alto to check out the facades of small churches and cellar fronts. We took a cheeky peek into a sherry cellar where a few delivery men didn’t quite close the door behind them. The scent of the sherry was thick and the sweetness hit us before we could even see the barrels.
Solear Barbadillo produces about 70-80% of the manzanilla in this town so it made sense that we found the tasting room open and welcoming just past 10:30am. The host poured Corey the same manzanilla into two different glasses to highlight how different the taste can be based on where the concentration hits one’s nose. A wine glass should be had with a meal, and a smaller sherry glass for dessert. That seems obvious but it was fun to test the variety of tastes. He also tried a manzanilla made with raisins that was a definite dessert option.
The host recommended Babino as a spot to tapear. This place was also listed in our guidebook so we walked down the hill to the self-serve, point and order bar. The servers rushed about the deli glass picking out and scooping up small plates of tapas. Tortillas camarones were better than our first try in the Triana neighborhood, and I’d also suggest the fried eggplant with shrimp. The place was buzzing with tourists and locals alike.
Hotel Guadalquivir is a short walk from the plaza and we enjoyed chocolate cake on their rooftop. Pick whatever postre and tea you’d like and go for the views of Sanlucar. You can also take the opportunity to get on wifi and facetime with your older sister 🙂
Corey took the lead on driving this entire trip which was luxurious. Cadiz was another hour away so I took a nap as he wound south on the Costa la Luz. Driving to the Andalusian towns was easy but navigating the narrow streets upon arrival was more challenging, especially ones with old town walls. We found ourselves on a pedestrian-only street by accident and were detoured by Cadiz residents prompting us to make a k-turn (Jersey language) or 3-point turn (Cali language). Once parked, navigating on foot is easier and it wasn’t hard to find the Catedral Hotel, complete with a room with a view for my birthday.
I felt proud of using my Spanish with the receptionist to learn about the key sites in the city. We took her suggestions to see a birthday sunset along the shore, and then to take a bus ride just outside the old town walls to eat seafood at La Marea.
Sidenote: I really liked the doorways in Sanlucar.