Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jerez, Spain - Sherry Wine Capital

Tio Pepe Bodegas

When I researched a trip back to Rota, Spain (we stay there because there is a US Navy Base there), I started to think about local wineries we could explore. Quickly, I found out that Jerez, Spain, a half hour drive from Rota, is the Sherry capital of the world. Tio Pepe Fino brand sherry, tauted to be the best-selling sherry in the world, is located there. I didn't know much about Sherry, except that it's called for often in recipes. I hoped I would discover more about the wine right there in it's capital. I thought it would be a perfect tour to bring the girls on because the tour provided a train ride around the premises...

Steven Spielberg visited in 1987

I learned only this: I do not like dry sherry. Specifically, Tio Pepe Fino sherry. I like sweet sherry (think aperitif), ice cold (it tastes a little bit like white port), specifically a brand sold to the UK under the Croft name (Croft Port Caves - Porto) and not sold in the United States.

Why didn't I learn much more? Well, have I told you how much I loath traveling with children? I'm sorry. To all of you who like it, love it even, good for you!! I hate it. Call me a selfish, stuck-up, brat of a mother if you want (I call myself this) - but I hate it. Each time I travel with them, I tell myself that I have to suck it up, have fun and carry on. They are only young once, blah, blah blah. The mind games and the power of positive thinking never work well for me. I have a dull headache on each and every trip with them.

Now that they've ruined a second wine tour in a row, I've decided I must give up touring wineries with them. It was a waste of my time to even try. But, damn it! How many times in my life will I be in Jerez, Spain or Porto, Portugal (Sherry and Port wine capitals of the world)? Each time, I wanted my kids to magically disappear. Instead, they screamed about characters from Lord of the Rings hiding out or that they were hungry, scared of the dark, or had a sudden desire to reach out and touch something 175+ years-old, labeled, "Do Not Touch!"

This one I like!

A little too much apple juice for her!

Despite the "experience", time does heal all travel pain and I am able to post about it in much better spirits. I'm over it. However, I AM looking forward to taking visiting family members on a local wine route in April, for the day...without kids!


Anonymous said...

I'll totally travel with you sometime sans children. I couldn't agree more. But sometime soon, you'll look at one of them, and realize that somehow, someway, they became charming companions. I think this about Emily all the time. I'm not sure when it happened. But it has. I wonder if it was about the same time I let her walk across a parking lot by herself - an event I can't remember either. Yet suddenly, you realize that you're asking her to run back out to the car and thinking, "Holy crap, when did she start doing this? When did she become so capable. And why don't I remember???"

Mom said...

Traveling with kids...hmmm lets try to think about the Cross country trip, with 4 children, you being the oldest, and the slamming of fingers in the door twice, leaving a child behind, and the "are we there yets"! Traveling with children is a challenge to say the least, but later on...the memories are Wonderful!! I wouldn't trade the trips with you girls for anything Love ya Nat...

The Dunns said...

I don't care for dry anything, either. My tastes tend toward sweet wines.

I totally sympathize with you about traveling with kids. For me, even living with kids is awfully hard at times. I haven't really tried doing anything "grown up" when they are around. I just figure I'll try to find fun kid-friendly things to do now and wait until they are up and out of the house and then go crazy! I'm counting on many years with just Steve to check all the things off the increasingly long list I'm making. (But I admire you for trying!)

brenda said...

I hate traveling with the two little ones, but Bennett is the BEST! I think the age 7 ish is the magical number for a great travel companion. The reason why we have not traveled a lot here in Europe this time (we lived in Germany for 5 yrs. from 97-02)is because I don't like to travel w/ the girls. So, we are planning an all inclusive beach trip to Turkey before daddy hits the deployment cycle again in the fall.