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.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Valencia Vacation Day 2

  • Breakfast of Champions
  • Arm of the Hermit
  • Skull of St. Thomas
  • Nappy Time
  • Arctic Char Sammy
  • Cruising the Old Town
  • Piece of Crap Dinner 

Day two started much better than the first one began and ended. I awoke with a start at 0700, my body clock already telling me I’m late, which means it’s been reset in less than a day. It’s a gift I have. Thank you body.

After getting ready, I went into the main salon where there were over fifty items laid out for our breakfast. Many of them Dutch and English favorites, there was also Spanish ham and cheeses. And of course cava and orange juice, which makes great mimosas. We feasted for an hour and a half.  If we do this every morning, we’ll kill ourselves, but maybe we’ll do it for just one more.

Then it was off to the Valencia Cathedral to see the Holy Grail, the Arm of the Hermit and the Skull of St. Thomas. It’s so hard to describe the absolute grandeur of the place. I’ll let the pictures do the describing for me.
Arm of the Hermit

Skull of St. Thomas and his bones beneath

According to the Roman Catholic church, this has been certified as the Holy Grain

Then it was back for a little nappy time.  Yvonne and I rested on an immense sofa as the sun poured heat onto us and soft music played in the background. Sigh.

Then at two it was lunch time. Yes folks. Lunch is normally from two to three here in Spain. We had a small pasta salad and two sandwiches. Yvonne’s was Spanish ham and cheese and mine was arctic char and boiled egg. Fab-you-less!

At that point we decided to walk off yet another meal. Two hours later we made it back to the Bed and Breakfast. Scott Marshall and Rosa Samuels will be glad to know that we bought shot glasses for their tequila habit.

Now it’s time to rest. No dinner until at least eight, maybe ten. I’m thinking possibly of Lobster Paella.



This is why guns should be legal in Spain.

I feel used. I feel taken. I was tricked. As Samuel L. Jackson would say, "You motherfuckers!"

Ocho y Medio Restaurant. They once had a Michelin Star. Let me tell you folks, the tread has long fallen off that sad old tire.

Here's what I posted on Trip Advisor. I think it says it all--

Title: I Feel Taken and Used

I kept clicking for the option to give this restaurant no stars, but it isn't an option. Hey, Trip Advisor Gods. Please add that option. This place needs it.

So I'm in Valencia for a week eating special dinners (see my other reviews). I especially want to show my wife how much I love her through food. So when we saw this place during the day and the waiter told us about the food as if it were something to make him swoon, well, we decided to come back. The four lobsters on the paella we saw on someone's table did a lot to convince us too.

So we came back.

And the waiter was indifferent. We were shown our seats. My wife had sangria so watered down it was pink-- and they made her buy a liter of it, rather than serving it in a glass. We ate carpaccio for an appetizer. If there were two ounces of it on the plate i'd be surprised. Then we waited for the paella.

Cut to a scene earlier in the day where our host at the bed and breakfast tells us that there are no good paella restaurants in the vicinity. He's given us a list, which doesn't include this one. 'The one's around here are tourist traps. Don't fall for it,' he says. Yet somehow I guess I think I know better. After all the waiter swooned. After all, I saw the lobsters. Plus, it's not reheated paella, it's 'cooked in the moment' so it has to be good.

Back to the restaurant. I watch as a cook comes out of the kitchen and tosses something on top of a tall table with such disregard, it could have been a platter of spoiled eggs.Then he and my waiter talk for a few moments as the dish cools. Then the waiter brings it over. He places the paella platter before us as if it's covered in gold.  

Another waiter sashays over and in perfect English says, 'This is the best paella you're ever going to have in Valencia. Afterwards I'm going to ask you and that's what you're going to say." Hand over my heart, I swear this is what he said. And i reply, "I've had paella a dozen times in Valencia, so I'll let you know." He frowned and was never seen again. I guess his attempt to do a 'these aren't the droids your looking for' didn't work.

Then we viewed the sad, hard, crusted, sea of dried rice and the tired, tiny, twisted pieces of what had once been a microscopic lobster tail on top of it. The Prisoner of Zenda has better bread and broth.

I ate in silence trying to find something redeeming, some way to save the meal. I sought something to say to my wife who knows I'm mad about the meal and wants to be nice.

But the words aren't invented to help me save the day on this one. 

97 Euro later we leave in silence.

They don't call these tourist traps for nothing. It was a trap. I was lured in. They got me. They took my money... more importantly they took a dinner in Spain away from my wife. For that I will never forgive them and I will never ever darken their doorway. I recommend you don't either.

Here's what Yvonne thought of it:



  1. Howdy Weston,

    I have never, never ever read such good and funny posts.

    How ever, to 'sashay; is not a bad thing, really!

    Please do not confuse sashaying and tourist trap Paella tomorrow!




    1. Don't forget our famous Dutch clowns....