How to vacation 18-30 in your 60s


After almost two years of being stuck inside, I was worried that I would need a self-help book for social lepers. But the Catalan caballeros are so warm and friendly that it wasn’t long before I captured their attention like a rescue dog from the pound. Eager to try out the new flamenco-inspired routines I had learned, I then visited La Monumental, a beautiful disused arena of Art Nouveau design that is now used as an outdoor dance venue.

Now the thing with Spanish dancing seems to be to never tell your left butt what your right butt is doing; then say the opposite at your feet. As I tried out my new steps, other clients looked at me like I was a science experiment gone wrong. Fortunately, help was at hand. A Latin love god picked me up for a quick fandango. His hip pivots have given a whole new meaning to “turning the other cheek”. Our bolero quickly turned into a passionate paso doble. No need for Craig Revel Horwood’s best advice. The best thing about dancing with a Spaniard is that you don’t have to know how to dance; you’re just hanging on to him while he’s doing it.

Everything was fine until I awkwardly hit my toe on his boot. Hopping on one foot, I was clearly more flamingo than flamenco. Sadly, my Rambo de Rumba disappeared into the crowd – hips passing through the night. Still, I had arrived in Barcelona thinking I had two left feet, but left the arena that night with both feet firmly planted in the air.

That was until I observed my reflection in the mirrors of the hotel elevator. I looked pretty good for an 80 year old; Too bad I was only 63 years old. I hated to admit it, but after two days of cocktails and castanets, I needed a day off to recover. And no wonder – I had drunk so many martinis, if I had given a urine sample there probably would have been an olive in it.

Fortunately for me, hidden under the bridges of W Barcelona is the most discreet and luxurious spa. I used the emergency entrance and collapsed on the massage slab. The excellent masseuse quickly smoothed out my knots – it was so nice to feel myself knead. A hydrating facial later and I was ready for my birthday dinner.


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