I flew to Spain to join DH. He was in the U.S. Navy and this was his duty station for the next 3 years and two months. He arrived in Spain near Christmas the month before, and started looking for an apt. for us to live in off base.
He ended up finding one on the beach, for $75 a month. We were on the 5th floor of an 8 story building. Our apt. faced east so that we always saw sunrises over what we called hump-back mountain. From our apt. we could also see the gold dome of the cathedral in Cadiz across the bay. We could see ships coming and going from the port and little fishing boats as well.
My family took me to the airport in Miami, and my flight was late afternoon. This was my FIRST airplane flight, so I was a bit scared. I landed in Madrid after a long flight, and had to wait for a connecting flight to Sevilla, where DH would pick me up. I could not speak Spanish, couldn’t find any information booths open early in Madrid so didn’t know where or when my next flight was. I had about a 3 hour wait and just wandered near the information booths. After some time and much worry and prayer, an American gentleman came up and asked me if I needed help and I told him my situation. He showed me the flight board and told me which flight and when my plane would be leaving. He asked if I’d had anything to eat and I said no, so he bought me an orange juice and a pastry. I thanked him. He had said he was flying to Rota too, but not on my flight. He saw me to the gate of my flight and I got on board.
When I got to Sevilla, DH wasn’t there to greet me. He had gotten lost. He had stayed the night before in Sevilla, and had left early enough to get to the airport, but being a newbie in a foreign country, got lost. He asked directions and headed to the airport which was on the outskirts of the city. I probably had to wait 20-30 minutes. What joy when I finally saw him. I told him about the gentleman in Madrid, and we waited for the next plane from Madrid to thank him, but the man wasn’t on it. We left and headed off to our new home as newlyweds in Rota, which was several hours away. We said the man must have been my ‘guardian’ angel, and I still feel that way to this day.
We were blessed to have gotten the duty station in Rota during the Vietnam war. We were blessed to have started our life out there. The influence and the memories of that time are still with us.
We loved living in Spain and traveling around the country.
I’ve no pictures to share as they are all on slides right now.
Our adventure is still going on.
Be glad of life
because it gives you the chance
to love and to work and to play
and to look up at the stars.
Henry Van Dyke