Surprise Spanish Reunion

Nineteen years ago I spent the best year of my working life going around the world making TV commercials with a fabulous group of people. One of my favorite people was my friend Shireen,my travel specialist, who is probably the happiest most easy going person I had ever met. We were quota pair, I was the hard ass and she was the magic fairy who always made everything good happen.  
Although we were working it was not bad to do it in South Africa, Bali, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Vancouver. The worst part about that assignment being over is that I did not get to work with Shireen again as I stayed in London and she went back to the states. Over the years we have kept in touch through the wonder of Facebook, but have not seen each other since she worked in LA.  

Fast forward to yesterday. Shireen quit her job and is two months into a year traveling around the world. When she saw we were coming to Seville she did too and we have had the best reunion. She arrived last night and we caught up at dinner where she got to meet Carter and see Russ, who she had only met when he came to two days of our Puerto Rico shoot. Carter took an instant liking to her, especially when Shireen told Carter that one of her best customer’s was Joe Jonas.  

Today we just folded Shireen into our family and did our touristy things. We started the day at the Real Alcazar. In this case “real” does not mean the opposite of fake, but instead means Royal. It is a palace of Seville that had once been an Islamic Palace, then a Christian Spanish one. After our great tour of Pompeii last year with a private guide I decided that we should do the same here since I did not know the history of this area very well. So we met Manuel at the Palace before it opened and had a wonderful tour where he explained all the complicated history of Seville to us.
After visiting the gardens Manuel walked us through the Jewish section abutting the Islamic palace and gave us the quick version of the inquisition. History is so much more memorable when you are walking in the place where it took place. 
Before parting with Manuel he pointed us in the direction of a non-touristy area for lunch. Full of gazpacho and tapas after lunch Carter left us to do her own thing and Shireen, Russ and I walked the city for hours. Exhausted and dirty we went to clean up before going to dinner at a most beautiful restaurant on the river that unfortunately had the worst food. The only good thing was the light was beautiful for pictures. We walked back to the area where we all were staying and said goodnight to Shireen with promises for our continued touring tomorrow. Russ and Carter said it was much more fun for me to have a friend on vacation with us and next year we should bring one for Carter too. Russ declined a friend. I’m just glad to spend time with my old friend.

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