Sharing everything four ways

Todd and pintxo, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
Todd with pintxo | Photo by Lauren Girardin

Todd and I spend our last day in Donostia-San Sebastián with the Baron and Baroness hiking Monte Urgull and making DIY picnic pintxos from bread, jamón, romesco sauce, and queso while sheltering from the rain under a centuries-old stone archway.

We end with an evening filled with rounds of txakoli and many plates filled with the foodie heaven-on-a-toothpick. You know you are too comfortably co-dependent with friends when the four of you take a bite out of the same pintxo.

Since it’s approaching midnight, the Baron and Baroness don their backpacks and head off to catch their overnight train to Barcelona. Having had enough overnight trips for a while, Todd and I have opted for an early morning bus instead. We’ll meet up tomorrow in Barcelona.

While Todd hits the shower, I hustle to get ready for bed since my belly full of pintxos is already putting me to sleep. I hear an unfamiliar noise coming from Todd’s daypack: it’s his cell phone.

Before I answer, I realize this can be nothing good. There are only two people that have our temporary Spanish phone number, and they should have boarded their train by now.

Farewell with backpacks, or so we thought, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
Farewell with backpacks, or so we thought | Photo by Lauren Girardin


It’s the Baron. “Hi Lauren. So, um, we missed our train. We had the time wrong.”

“Oh no! That sucks! What are you going to do?”

“Well, we’re going to walk to the bus station and see if there’s one leaving tonight. But if not…”

“Ok, if there’s no bus, you head back here. There’s enough space for you to sleep in our room, no problem. Then, hopefully you can get on the morning bus with us. Give us a call whether you get the bus ticket or not so we know either way.”

Todd comes back from the shower and I break the news. Lest anyone get the wrong idea, the Baron and Baroness are among the smartest people we know. They survived a long winter night of sub-zero temperatures by building a snow cave. They’ve renovated a house from the damages wrought by a chain-smoking, hoarding, senile old woman. They designed a monumental shade structure that safely sheltered thirty people from apocalyptic dust storms at Burning Man.

Plethora of pintxos at Ormazabal Etxea, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain
Plethora of pintxos at Ormazabal Etxea | Photo by Lauren Girardin

We’re not just saying this because we might need to live in their guest room for a while if go over budget on our round-the world trip.

Soon enough, the Baron calls back. There’s no way they’re getting out of San Sebastián tonight, so they’re on their way back to our hotel, Pension Arsuaga. After I hang up, I unfold the handy 1980s style convertible foam chair/bed – which had seemed superfluous and tacky until now – layer some extra blankets, and unfold our travel sheets to arrange two makeshift beds on the floor.

I welcome the the Baroness back with a big hug; she’s really upset with herself for remembering the wrong time. I try to humor up the moment, saying “You know, we really appreciate it, but you don’t need to keep doing screwing up just to help me and Todd come up with stories for our website. Anyway, have I told you about the time Todd and I missed our flight out of India…?”

Travel Photos from Donostia-San Sebastián

If you can’t see the photo slide show above, view the photo set on Flickr.