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I too am a fighter of windmills.

Photo by Nellu

I never read Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes until I started doing research for this piece. This excerpt, courtesy of the site’s classic lit site, is worth sharing:

At this point they came in sight of thirty [or] forty windmills that [rose] there are on [the] plain, and as soon as Don Quixote saw them he said to his squire, “Fortune is arranging matters for us better than we could have shaped our desires ourselves, for look there, friend Sancho Panza, where thirty or more monstrous giants present themselves, all of whom I mean to engage in battle and slay, and with whose spoils we shall begin to make our fortunes; for this is righteous warfare, and it is God’s good service to sweep so evil a breed from off the face of the earth.”

“What giants?” said Sancho Panza.

“Those thou seest there,” answered his master, “with the long arms, and some have them nearly two leagues long.”

“Look, your worship,” said Sancho; “what we see there are not giants but windmills, and what seem to be their arms are the sails that turned by the wind make the millstone go.”

“It is easy to see,” replied Don Quixote, “that thou art not used to this business of adventures; those are giants; and if thou art afraid, away with thee out of this and betake thyself to prayer while I engage them in fierce and unequal combat.”

I just love how convinced Don Quixote is, that not only are the windmills giants, but that those giants (drama/conflict/obstacle/insert your own demon here) are what he expects and par for the course when it comes to adventure.

That’s me. I have a hard time enjoying the adventure unless I’m making progress on a plan towards a goal, unless I’m fighting the good fight. And if everything is okay, well then something is really wrong.

Nellu usually just laughs when I get going on my giant monologues, which helps.

On our Spanish road trip, we stopped in the sleepy town of Consuegra to visit Don Quixote’s giants.


(I considered setting this footage to “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of La Mancha”— ahahahhahah. Then I remembered who I was and dialed back the cheese…mostly.)

Life lesson #316: If you’ve got your eye out for giants, you might miss the windmills.

~ Molly


I’m obsessed with Spanish wine, specifically red, more specifically Rioja. I suppose I was before we left. To me it’s the perfect balance of fruit and body. Our trip to Spain firmly planted those grapes in my head as the best stuff on earth.

Apparently we were too busy drinking the wine to get any pictures of it. This photo was taken by mj*laflaca and licensed via Creative Commons.

And as if great tasting vino wasn’t enough; it’s also cheap!

Our first stop in Spain was Madrid. We had a Carrefour a block from our apartment that had a large selection of Riojas for five euros a bottle. They even had a Carrefour brand Rioja for three euros! I used this as an excuse to buy two bottles for dinner. Why not!?

In many bars and restaurants throughout southern Spain, you can get a superb glass of wine for three or four euros. In Granada, for every glass of wine you order, they give you a tapas (a small appetizer).

Oh Granada, land of tapas and wine!

One drink, one tapas. One drink, one tapas. I could do that all night and we did. We made a dinner date of bar hopping and tapas tasting.

Unfortunately, Spanish wine tourism as an industry seems to be underdeveloped. We couldn’t find lists or maps of wineries that offered tastings. Locals told us there were a few bodegas, or places where you could taste wine, but we didn’t find any along our route. There are plenty “luxury wine tour” offerings online, but we certainly didn’t need (and couldn’t afford) to be chauffeured around in a Mercedes and put up at five-star hotels.

So I don’t know much about this wine I love,  but it gives me a good reason to go back.

~ Molly

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