the rest is still unwritten

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An UnBEETable Adventure 3: Nerja, Before the I Do's

The word "excited" is completely insufficient in describing the atmosphere on that Vueling jet from Madrid to Malaga on October 6th.

Yes, Twin, Iron Man, his brothers and I had a little over 24 amazing hours in Madrid; and we had seen other friends throughout the city and at the mini-Reunion at the Madrid airport, but in a couple of hours' time the entire group would be running amok through the sleepy seaside town of Nerja. That's a pretty big deal.

But before we get to Nerja, I want to add a couple more Madrid memories and notes.

1. The BO Taxi Cab.

Twin, I know you're reading this, and now that I think back on it, it's kinda hilarious! =) So after eating at the Mercado de San Miguel, Twin, Iron Man and I hail a cab to get back to the hotel. In no time, one stops and we get in. As we climb into the cab we are punched in the face by what I can honestly say is the strongest emission of body odor I have ever experienced in my life. I had the distinct privilege of sitting behind the driver's seat. Yay. As the car would stop and go, the wind would blow into the cab from the driver's open window and renew and strengthen the malodorous stench I so desperately tried to avoid. Next to me, Twin looked like she could in the next five seconds burst into tears or vomitor both. In a desperate attempt to mask the smell, Twin borrowed my hand sanitizer and used its fumes like an oxygen mask, while I rubbed my mint anti-bac ointment on the insides of my nose. It kinda worked... just kinda. After that cab ride, I am now certain that a scent can in fact strangle you, punch you in the face, lick the inside of your nostrils, tie your stomach in knots and tickle your bladder all at the same time.

2. Reader Feedback on Madrid.

Someone reacted through Twitter about the last Madrid post. They said: "Beni is a hot churro." I say: "Gross."


Before we get back to Malaga, I'd like to catch you up on the goings-on between Twin, Myself and Beets before this momentous reunion.


As you all may know, the Beets would have four-night sleepovers and see each other at least five times a week. In August, Twin moved to Canada and the Manila number was brought down to three. During the first few weeks, T3 and I would still spend a lot (I mean A LOT) of time at Beets' place returning to our own homes only to refresh our over(four-)night bags. About a month and a half ago, Beets' schedule got crazy hectic and I was commissioned to do some pretty demanding projects. Beets and I haven't seen each other in over a month. =( So in effect, this trip to Spain is a reunion for all three of usTwin, Beets and myself. =)


Now, back to Malaga, still the 6th of October.

As we disembarked from the plane, the excited chatter of the wedding party filled the air:
"We're gonna get so butete..."
"Did you bring a blow-dryer?"
"Waaaaaah! I'm so excited!"
"My tummy's feeling funky..."

Suddenly, Emilymy Blackberryvibrates. New text message.

"I see you."

"Beets is here!" I scream at Twin. Immediately our heads swivel on our necks so quickly as we scan the Malaga airport. We knew that Beets' flight arrived ten minutes before ours. However, as we scoured the crowd, there was no sign of Beets...

Emily vibrates again. Another text message.

"Just kidding. Where are you?"

Laughing, I respond to Beets' text saying we had just landed and are about to grab our luggage from the carousel.

No response...

Ultimately, we decide to go ahead and grab our luggage, keep trying to contact Beets and hope to bump into her on the way. After everyone has gotten their stuff, Twin tells us that we should also keep an eye out for a man holding up a sign with her name on ithe'd be the driver of our shuttle to Nerja, which is 45 minutes outside of Malaga.

We keep walking and in no time, we spot a man holding a sign with Twin's name. At that same moment, a girl with a familiar grinning face who was standing next to him seconds before, was now sprinting towards us. It was Beets. Now, remember how cinematic the Twin reunion in Madrid was? Multiply that by three.

More Shrieking.
Speed of light talking.
Huge perma-smiles.
More hugging.
More shrieking.

Reunited and it feels so, you know, GOOD!

We walk to the shuttles, still chatting and smiling and hugging the entire way. When we reach the shuttles, we realized that both have almost filled up, with two free seats in one shuttle, and one free seat in the other. Naturally, we take our time to get or luggage loaded, make puppy dog eyes and do the pretend "What? We'll have to split up?"schtick  until finally, two people switched shuttles allowing the Beets to stay intact.

Much like the way the Twins dove right into conversation, it was the same with the Beetsit was like no time had passed at all. The ride to Nerja was a constant stream of storytelling, laughter, OMG's, hugs and knowing smiles. Before we knew it, we had arrived.

The entire wedding party was billeted at the
Paradores de Nerja.
The Parador's indoor courtyard.
Imagine, around fifty of Twin's and Iron Man's family and closest friends staying in the same hotel. F.U.N. Twin doles out the room assignments with the help of her sister, Penny. Naturally, Beets, Twin and I were roomies.
The hallway to 315.
A room with a serious view (and a terrace). This is what we woke up to every morning. No biggie.

After settling in and freshening up, we were down for some exploring.
Lovers' Lane. Iron Man and Twin leading the way.

Saying Nerja is picturesque is a grave understatement. It is so picturesque that it earned itself a theme song. Now, if the hidden walkways of Madrid reminded me of the RENT song La Vie Bohème, then the song many of us attached to Nerja is Belle's opening song from Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Someone from the wedding party would burst into song every five minutes. No joke.

Speaking of Beauty and the Beast, I just have to share this really funny video one of my friends passed on to me. Seriously, everyone. Click here! It is hilarious.

Funny, right?! Anyway

Back to Nerja. Seriously. It is so pretty.
Little town, it's a quiet villaaaage
Everyday, like the one befooooore
Little town,
full of little people
Waking up - to - saaaaaay


We walk along Nerja's quaint cobblestone paths and reach the Balcon de Europa, the town's famous square that looks over the Mediterranean Sea. SO GORGEOUS.

Twin, Iron Man, Beets and I decide to take a late lunch at the restaurant of the Marisal hotel. We order two paellasone to be shared by Beets and Iron Man, the other between Twin and Iand a couple of free-for-all seafood platters.

The problem was that before the food even came, Twin and Iron Man had to meet with Sonia, the wedding coordinator at the hotel lobby. About five minutes after they left, the food arrived. Beets and I decided to wait for the couple to return before digging in. But the powers of the butete triumphed. "It wouldn't hurt if we ate our halves, right?" In no time, each of the two paelleras contained exactly half of its contents when it arrived. We tried to leave Twin's and Iron Man's halves packed ever so neatly in their dishes to show that we had really just eaten our own shares.
Artist's rendition.

As we waited for Twin and Iron Man to return, we were joined by Futbol and Soccerhontas. But since Soccerhontas was to be the lector at the wedding, she and Futbol soon left to find Twin and Iron Man in the lobby. Oh! We also made a friend. As we ate, a very friendly cat kept rubbing up on us. We named her Meryll. Soon after Futbol and Soccerhontas left, Twin's sister, Penny and her husband Pablito joined us.

We ordered a round of drinks and had a very enjoyable and enlightening conversation. As we sipped on our cocktails we absent-mindedly kept on picking at the paella and seafood dishes that were still on the table. Realizing what we had done, Beets and I decided to 'flatten' the paella in an attempt to cover half of the paellera to make it appear like there was still enough for Twin and Iron Man. The problem was the paella left in the dishes was only a grain-of-rice thick.

As the sun began to set over the Mediterranean, Twin and Iron Man finally returned. Beets and I sheepishly offered them 'their share' of the paella. "Are you sure you still want it? It's cold..." we tried to say, hoping they wouldn't try to eat it and get shocked when their forks would hit the paellera and barely scoop anything up. Luckily, Twin said that she had no time to eat (Phew!) since she had more errands to do for the wedding and that she'd meet us for dinner.

As Twin and Iron Man left with Sonia; Beets, Penny, Pablito and I did a little more exploring. We happened upon an artisan shop that specialized in ceramics.
Beets and Bowls.

Penny excitedly purchased a couple of items, but Beets and I couldn't decide on exactly what we wanted. By the time we were just about ready to take our picks, we were already late for dinner. We rush out of the tiny shop and head to the Restaurante Pinocchio, which is funny, because earlier that day, I did mention that Nerja also reminded me of Pinocchio. I swear I said it.

We entered Pinocchio and asked for a table for six. By the end of the night about half the wedding party was there.
Cheers to Twin and Iron Man!!!
For future reference: Standing (l-r): Me, Beets, Sweet Pea, Penny. Seated (l-r) Cammy, Momsy, Twin and Iron Man.

Ambiance: 9 (candles, open air terrace shabby chicness!)
Food: 8.5 (yumtastic)
Service: 6 (a bit on the negligent side...)
The Company: I'm pretty sure you can guess. It's more than 10.

After a super filling fun-filled dinner, we decided to walk off the 10,000 calories we had just eaten. We walk straight to a gellateria and buy gellatos. I mean, we've already eaten so much, a little dessert is nothing...

As we licked our different-flavored treats the group started discussing what to do next.

A little known fact about Iron Man: he's a triathlete. Luckily, most of the bridesmaids' (who obviously are close to Twin) boyfriends are also Iron Man's close friends. Aaaand some of them are triathletes as well. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly), they decided to call it a night so that they can do some running/swimming/exercising in the morning.

Vacation. Exercise? I don't get it...

Sadly, we let them go along with most of the other bridesmaids who wanted to get some rest for more adventuring the next day.

So in the end, our cheerful band of merrymakers which included myself, Twin, Beets, Iron Man, Q, X, Penny, Pablito, and the groom's cousin
Baby Girl
decided that the night was young. We went to check out a bar we spotted earlier that night: Buddha Bar.

As we walk up to the bar's entrance we are met by an interesting sight. One half of the bar is empty, the other half is occupied by a group of tourists who seem to be having a bachelorette party and were celebrating very very hard. As I listened to their accents, I felt like I was in an Irish pub rather than a Buddha Bar in Nerja.

Lucky for us, the Buddha Bar's setup allowed for us to have a quieter corner in the lower half. We order a round of cocktails, and almost immediately, Beets gets a brilliant idea.

The Beets have a few favorite drinks: Amaretto on the rocks, Amaretto-sour in a champagne glass, and the Twins' favoritethe Weng Weng.

And aside from the cliché Patron shots, another favorite shooter is
The Gunpowder
The Gunpowder involves a shot of Sambucca, a saucer, a straw, a lighter, a tall glass, a table napkin and cinnamon powder. It's a three-step shooter. The first step is... wait. Lemme just show you.

Here are Beets, Twin and I introducing the group to the Gunpowder by preparing one for Iron Man.

Pretty cool, right?! It's definitely a crowd-pleaser. As we ordered the ingredients and materials necessary, the bartender was intrigued. What in the world are these crazy Asians upto? he must've thought.

As he watched the magic that is the Gunpowder shot, he was immensely impressed. He had never seen that done before and told us that he was adding it to the bar list. And guess what he's naming it: Las Filipinas.

After a couple more rounds of cocktails and Las Filipinas fireworks, we decided that it was getting pretty late and we should probably head back.

As we pass the through the bar to leave, we notice that a few of the Irish partygoers were no longer screaming at the top of their lungs because they were super sucking face. I mean, the girl was sitting on the bar and the guy was... Nevermind...

On the way back, we hear music coming from a small hole-in-the-wall and decide to investigateand by investigate I mean take more shots...
I see you lurking, Iron Man!

Finally though, we decide that we really should get some rest and head back to the Parador.
What a great first night in Nerja!

Bedtime: 5:00 am...ish.


9:00 am

Awakened by an uncontainable excitement (and an uncontainable hunger for breakfast), I awoke and quietly made my way to the bathroom. I tried to make as little noise as possible as I went about washing up and getting dressed. As I crept back into the bedroom I find Twin sitting up in bed and Beets covering her face with a pillow.

"Twin!" Twin exclaims, "What were you doing in there? It sounded like a warzone!"

I was (and still am to this day) very very confused. I seriously honestly thought I was being super careful.

But since the butete force is stronger than sleep, both Twin and Beets decided to get up, too, and get dressed to make it to breakfast.

After my usual three plates of food (breakfast is the most important meal of the day!) and coffee; Twin, Iron Man, Beets, Q and myself linger on the breakfast terrace and enjoy the sunshine and magnificent view of the sea.

What started as usual conversation quickly turns into an on-the-spot celebrity interview, with Beets asking the hard-hitting questions. The couple talked about the wedding, love, their love, the future and each other.

Iron Man: "I promise to be the best for her that I can be."
Twin: "I want him to know that I feel very very lucky to have him."

Needless to say, everyone's eyes and cheeks got a little bit wetter.


Since our schedules revolve mainly around food, soon it was time for lunch. Beets and I had been invited to have lunch at AYO's with Twin and Iron Man's families. We were more than happy to accept. Most of our other friends had decided to explore Nerja's neighboring towns and cities that day. As expected, we got our butete on.
Here I am probably already worrying about what to order next...

Oh! We also met Iron Man's eldest brother
Iron Chef and his girlfriend Yogi Bear
who had both just flown in from Canada.


After lunch,we head back to our hotel rooms for a quick costume change and decide to spend a day on the beach.
X, me, Beets, Twin and Q.

Later on, we played some volleyball with Twin's nephew, Fletcher.

After about an hour or two of intense volleyball we decide to wash up and get ready for a dinner with the entire wedding party. Our trip back to the hotel was a bit delayed as we passed by a bar on the shore and took another Sambucca shot.

As Twin, Beets and I took turns getting ready, our beautification was interrupted by a knock on the door. It was Iron Man and he looked distressed. We were going to be very late to the pre-wedding dinner. In a short amount of time, the discussion between Iron Man and Twin got quite heated. Beets and I, sensing trouble in paradise, deet-dee-dee away and exit into the bathroom where we suddenly became very interested in gathering up our toiletries.

We walked to the Italian restaurant with Twin and Iron Man in the lead and an invisible wall between them. It took very little imagination to imagine fumes blowing from their ears.

Beets and I exchanged  a knowing glance: "Pre-wedding jitters." (A lot more of that in the next post!)

After dinner, Tito Madrileño invites the men to a Boy's Night Out. Not wanting to be outdone, the girls decide to go out as well.
Girls' Night Out? I seriously think Iron Man sent his brothers to keep an eye on us...

So the boys do their thing
I use antlers in all of my deeeecorating!

and the girls do theirs
There's something there that wasn't there befooore

As a peace offering, Iron Man sends three long-stemmed red roses to the bar where the girls were at. Twin's reaction: "Gross."

Now I dunno if it was the intense volleyball, the Sambucca shot, or the lack of sleep, but that night, I was out for the count. I don't mean drunk, I mean I was dead tired. As early as dinner I knew that I wouldn't last another night out. At about 1:30am, I finally surrendered, and with her signature eye roll, Twin said "Fine..." and I headed back to the hotel with Baby Girl.


At about 3:30am, I am jolted awake by a pounding on my door. I suddenly realized that I had taken the only key to our room. As I open the door, I see Beets' flustered face ("After ten years!" she exclaims) and behind her, Twin's green face resting on X's shoulders.

As the three of us help Twin into bed, I am regaled with the girls' antics that night. Don't worry guys, it's all harmlessI promise!

After making sure we were all ok, X finally takes his leave of us and returns to his hotel room. Whatta gentleman!

And at 5 am, as the three of us laid down to sleep, Beets on the right, me in the middle, and Twin to my left, I knew that I was sleeping over with a single Twin for the very last time.

NextChapter 4: The BIG Day.


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