For the most part, Spencer and I travel really well together. We enjoy the same basic daily structure - caffeine, optional breakfast, head out to walk around and explore a bit, do something active, go to happy hour, dinner, music or chess or whatever looks interesting. We both do a bit of research before arriving in a new place, but don't make a lot of plans ahead of time (other than securing a place to stay for the first night or two - do this! It greatly reduces potential stress of travel).
We've found ourselves on islands the size of a city block, lost in Belize City, hiking up an active volcano, passengers on a broken down bus, and sleeping in a hostel that still makes me itch when I think of it. And we very rarely ever complain. We know that we're lucky to be out experiencing the world. Even if the world is sometimes a bit challenging to navigate. I wouldn't trade travel for anything.
Except...when I'm hungry.
And then, things get...interesting. Spencer knows how to spot it long before I do. He'll typically ask about 25 minutes before the hanger hits. He's got a finely tuned radar based on too many close-calls and near misses. When we're in a controlled situation, it's no problem. But last February, walking down the streets of Antigua, Guatemala, tragedy struck fast.
We found ourselves in front of the beautiful Panza Verde hotel. I took a look at the menu and found this lovely gem which sparked my attention:
Yes, that is a roasted beet salad with feta served at a restaurant in Antigua, Guatemala. That is precisely the kind of salad that Spencer would make from beets in our garden if we were at home. I really, really, more than anything wanted that salad.
Spencer was not amused.
He didn't see any point in spending $11 USD on a beet salad in a town where we could buy an incredible pupusa for $1. Sentences like "why did we travel all the way here to eat a beet salad" and creative comebacks like "it's just what I am in the mood for NOW!" were traded back and forth. This conversation took place while we were walking away from Panza Verde, so before I realized it, we were nowhere near that beet salad. Sly, Spencer. Very sly.
It was a pointless argument that could have no winning outcome. Eventually we ate some nachos and they were fine. Just fine. They tasted a little bit like defeat, but at least they were plenty spicy.
Now we laugh about it. Kind of. I mean, yes, it is a bit ridiculous to get upset about a salad. I can't say it won't happen again in some other form. But we survived. I hope that the next time Spencer opts for a grilled cheese instead of a tamale I'll be patient and remind him about the bee--about the fact that he is allowed to eat whatever he wants without judgement. And that I love him.