I watched intently as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Rafa Nadal yesterday. (What an inspired match from the Frenchman.) Every time I see Rafael Nadal play I think about where he comes from. Mallorca in the Balearic Sea. I wouldn't even know where that was except once, long ago, I was in Barcelona and I met a bunch of young Americans and we took a boat to Ibiza. The boat stopped briefly in Palma de Mallorca. But we were seeking cheap off season accommodations and food and we went on to Ibiza. I remember the boat getting there was exceedingly slow but we were on a different boat on the way back and it must have taken thirty hours. Or so it seemed. What a neat place Ibiza was though. Beaches, seafood. I believe I had a room with bath for about $4/day. It included three meals. But I splurged on a seafood feast I told my parents about in a postcard (above). For $2. I especially remember the delicious fried squid. Funny how when you've been somewhere the geography becomes less elusive.
For the record Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was born in Le Mans. He has an ethnic French mother and a Congolese father. Hmmm, now where exactly is Le Mans? Yeah. I don't think I've been there. But it is north of the Loire. And I've been there.
I hope I can travel more in the future. After the year of real estate hell and assuming we find some good help for the parents. Because travel is the best geography lesson in the world.