ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Valencia Vacation Day 1

  • Early start
  • Dallas with no Hail
  • Mime Airlines
  • Wine Crotch
  • No Pictures (Now with pictures)
  • Butt Hurt
  • Androgeny

First of all, we have no pictures to share at this point and it’s my fault. You see, it’s hard to take pictures if the battery is dead. We now sit in the Madrid Airport watching our battery charger stuck into a wall while we wait on the last leg of the flight.

Things started out well. Although I woke before the alarm at 0443 hours, and we were out the door by 0530 hours, we were more than ready to go. After all, this is SPAIN! First leg from Tucson we were upgraded to first class. For Yvonne, it was only the second time in her life. She thought it was cool. Me, too. Love the extra space. Sigh.

Then we arrived in Dallas for our –cough cough—five hour layover. Hey, I had no control over that when I booked the tickets. Thankfully, there was no hail and no tornadoes. If you’ll remember my last visit and video you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Then comes the overseas flight. Let me just say that in the hierarchy of airlines you want to travel on overseas, American Airlines comes somewhere between Nepal Air Freight and Congo International. I prefer Virgin Australia, then in no particular descending order, Lufthansa, Air Singapore, Virgin Atlantic, United, Delta, and Jimmy Joe Raybob’s Fly By Your Ass Air over American when it comes to international travel. The only saving grace is I went on seat guru and got the seat in cattle class with the most leg room. And yes, people were staring in envy. American didn’t have any onboard entertainment—I guess the video was broken in cattle class—but they did offer to perform mime acts. God. I hate mimes. But seeing the suffering in our eyes, they gave us free booze. Yvonne had a pair of splendid Bailey’s Irish Cream bottles which I call mouse magnums, and I had three slightly larger bottles of wine. The first two went in my stomach. The third went on my lap as some ditsy doowop gal shisked by and knocked it from my tray into my lap, thoroughly soaking me from crotch to knee, not turning around, not even caring, just in her own freaking world. And the worst part about It wasn’t that I now smelled like a New York wino. No. They were out of wine.  So there was nothing to wash down the worst airline food I’ve ever had. And dudes and dudettes… this is no exaggeration. I actually thought it might have been spoiled, but I was so starved I ate it waiting for my stomach to explode backwards. The one piece of luck-- it didn't.

I have been enjoying a tremendous book, living the lives of Desdemona, Lefty, Cali and the rest of the Greek family in Eugenides’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel MIDDLESEX. I’d heard of his book and had wanted to read it, but wasn’t sure if I’d like the story of an androgynous person. The name gave me the sense of some English romance, like Bronte on Bronte. But it couldn’t be farther from the truth. The book is absolutely mesmerizing and the writing is achingly perfect. So at least I had them. About halfway through. Let  you know about it later.

So now we sit waiting for the Valencia connection on Iberian Airlines in about thirty minutes. I’m butt hurt. As big as my ass is, it needs to be bigger if I’m going to be sitting for 19 straight hours. But it’s all going to be worth it. A quick flight, a taxi ride, then a bag drag to the Bed and Breakfast. If everything is as anticipated, they’ll be waiting for us at the door with ice cold glasses of cava (Spanish Champagne) and smiles. Then it’s all sun and Vallencia.


We arrive at the Bed and Breakfast

No one is here. After knocking, we bag drag to a nearby plaza and have jamon sandwiches and wine.

Back at the B&B. Still no hosts. Oh shit. Yvonne says, "Just our luck. We’ll send all of our friends an email asking for help because we are stranded in Valencia and they’ll ignore it, thinking it’s spam.”

No shit. Double shit.

“What’ll we do now?” she asks.

“We wait.”

“Wait until what?” she asks.

“Errr.” I had no answer.

Finally, just as we’re about to leave our luggage with a restaurant nearby who knows them, they show up. Contrite. Upset. Extremely sorry they were late. Time mix up, they say. But it all was made better with a bottle of Cava and a plate of manchego and olives.

Now it’s time for a nap.

Then up for more food.


Ahhh. The food. Yes, the evening went well.We went to a restaurant called Las Cuevas. This is a pure tapas restaurant. We had fava beans and sausage, baby squid sauteed in black leeks, goat cheese and zucchini pastry, curry pork empanadas and potato with paprika and red peppers. Joined by sangria and a bottle of estate wine, this was a perfectly succulent meal.

Our hosts went overboard too. They offered to pay for our first night's meal for the inconvenience, and bought us bottles of Bailey's, Cava and red wine for our personal use. I think we'll contribute those bottles to the honor bar. Truly, we've stayed at a lot of Bed and Breakfast's over the years and this one is by far the best... over the top with expectations.  (Valencia Mansion)

The honor bar... yeah... about that.

It consisted (note the past tense) of a small wine fridge with glasses on top, then a small shelf with a dozen bottles of liqueur on top of that. Here's what happened. We came home. I put five euro into the piggy bank. I poured a glass of wine for me and a glass of 43 for Yvonne, put the bottles back, and the entire shelf pulled out of the wall in a thunderous avalanche of booze, glass and embarrassment.

For the next 45 minutes we cleaned up everything as best we could.

Lost - bottleof gin and bottle of something scotch.
Lost - three glasses.

Gained - +4 Cloak of Embarrassment
Gained - +8 Ring of Humility

Let's call it a night.

And now for some pictures....

The rest of the pictures with captions can be found at the THIS LINK.



  1. What happens if three very good writers meet?

    They match, that is, when the host shows up on time.

    Lots of love from Joan & Jackie Collins...


    (Joan & Jackie @ VM)

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