Twins Sawyer and Suzie discover a magical globe in their grandpa’s library that sends them on a wild adventure through Spain. (Duration: 17:39) Theme music by Kevin Macleod – Incompetech.com. Want to listen offline? Click the download icon on the player above to download this episode to your device.
Episode 1: Spain
Sawyer and Suzie stared at the big door in front of them. For twins, they didn’t look anything alike. Sawyer was blonde and short, Suzie was tall with dark hair and freckles. But those were just the smallest differences between them. In fact, they were pretty sure they were born on different planets, on opposite ends of the universe. Even so, they were stuck together as usual and now they stood on their grandpa’s front porch, deciding their next move.
“You gonna knock?” asked Sawyer.
“You knock,” insisted Suzie.
“You’re taller, he’ll be able to hear yours better.”
Suzie shook her head. “From what mom says, I don’t think he’ll be able to hear it either way. His hearing aids are always running out of battery and making that annoying squeaking noise like a dying mouse.”
Sawyer put a stick of gum in his mouth and chewed. It helped him think better in times of distress. “I can’t believe they just dropped us off here,” he said. “I’d rather be dropped off in a girl’s clothing store, for days.”
“He does smell kinda funny,” Suzie added.
“Yeah, mom says it’s cause he wears Old Spice or somethin’. Whatever it is it burns my nostrils.”
“Ew, he rubs old spices all over himself? That’s gross,” Suzie stuck out her tongue.
Sawyer popped a bubble with his gum. “Guess that’s how it was done back in the day.”
Suzie shrugged and then gave the door a good knock. “Well, here it goes.”
After a minute of silence, grandpa finally answered the door.
And when he did, he stood there, with his plaid shirt, high pants, and flat cap, staring down at them. They wondered whether he could even see them.
“Oh,” he said, “You’re here.” and then he turned and walked back into the house.
“Forget this, I’m walking home.” Sawyer turned to leave.
Suzie grabbed him before he could escape. “I don’t think so. Come on, mom and dad will only be gone for a couple of hours. Besides, they said if we’re good they’ll bring us back a treat.”
Sawyer rolled his eyes and together they walked inside.
Grandpa’s house was big and empty and smelled like wet wood. A long hallway led into the Great Room where vaulted ceilings stretched high above them. Big windows opened to the beautiful smoky mountains beyond. Autumn was starting to show its true colors and the rolling hills were splashed with bright oranges, reds, and yellows. Just outside the window was a wood deck with a swing looking out over it all. Good, Suzie thought, something I can actually look forward to.
Sawyer was busy looking at all of the colorful paintings and interesting sculptures and artifacts on the walls. There was an oil painting of a ship sailing into the sunset. And in the far corner an old wooden bow with feathers hanging off of it. African tribal masks lined the upper mantel of the brick fireplace. There were souvenirs from all over the world all over the room. If they didn’t know any better, they’d think they were in a museum.
“I thought mom said you didn’t like to fly?” asked Sawyer.
“Huh? Oh, well I don’t,” Grandpa replied. He sat down next to the crackling fire and started to read an old leather book.
“So how did you get all this then?” Suzie motioned to all the souvenirs.
Grandpa looked over the room through his bushy gray eyebrows. “Those? Hmpf! I came by them, that’s all. Now that you mention it, those are off limits as well as the garden. Other than that you’re free to explore. Break anything and I’ll send an invoice to your parents. Now leave me be.”
Sawyer and Suzie looked at each other. It had been a long time since they’d been over to see grandpa. The least he could do was not be so grumpy. Maybe it was his back again? Or his hip. Mom was always telling them that grandpa’s bones were hurting.
As instructed, they let grandpa be and explored the house. Most of it was pretty boring, nothing like the Great Room. That is until they came to the library.
“Whoa, look at all these books. You think he’s read all of them?” asked Sawyer.
“I don’t know. It’d take someone a lifetime to get through half of them.” said Suzie.
They explored the room and thumbed through the books. Shelves and shelves stretched up to the high ceilings and across the walls. Sawyer jumped on the sliding ladder that lined the bookcases and pushed himself along the wall.
“Suz, look!” he shouted.
“Careful! You’re going to break something!”
Sawyer kept sliding around the room on the ladder. “Who cares, grandpa said he’d send mom and dad some kind of voice anyway. You think that means he’s going to sing to them?”
“I hope not,” Suzie picked up a thick dusty book off the table. The title read, “The Boone Guide.” She opened it and flipped through the pages. It was nothing but hand written notes about different countries, foods, and places to visit. There were even rough sketches of buildings, items and well marked chapters. Weird, she thought. I thought grandpa didn’t travel.
“Oh boy!” said Sawyer behind her. She turned and saw him spinning an enormous globe by the leather chair. It looked expensive. Each country was made of a different type of stone and the rest of the ball was carved out of a dark wood.
“You’re going to get us in trouble!” said Suzie, marching over to intervene. She reached him and stopped the spinning globe with her finger.
In the blink of an eye, they were standing in the middle of a cobblestone street. Sawyer with a confused look on his face and Suzie standing there with her pointer finger pointing down and the Boone Guide book under her arm.
“What just happened?!” cried Sawyer. “Did you put a spell on us?”
“What? No! What are you talking about?”
Sawyer started to panic. “First I’m spinning a globe and next you’re running at me and we appear here!..Wait, are you a witch?”
“Sawyer stop it! I don’t know where we are, let’s just look around and find out what’s going on.” She turned and stopped a gentleman walking by. “Excuse me sir, can you tell me-”
“Lo siento, no hablo ingles.” said the man.
Both Sawyer and Suzie went wide-eyed. They slowly swiveled their heads until they faced a big sign that read, “Bienvenido a Espana.” and in English underneath: Spain.
“We’re in Spain!?” said Sawyer. “What are we doing in Spain?!”
“I don’t know. Calm down. Let’s just, let’s just…” Suzie looked down at the book in her hands and then opened it up. “Maybe this’ll have something.” She scanned its pages and stopped on one with the title Spain in big letters at the top. Two tickets were wedged into the crease of the pages.
“Run to the train station,” she read aloud.
“Why do we need to run?” asked Sawyer.
“Please tell me that’s your allergies acting up again,” said Suzie.
Sawyer shook his head and they both looked back at the gate behind them.
The gate burst open and out ran a hundred raging bulls, charging right for them.
“Run!” yelled Sawyer.
They bolted down the cobblestone street, dodging the bulls’ sharp horns by inches. As they came around the corner they started to notice that people weren’t running away from the stampede behind them, they were running with it. People dressed in white with red sashes tied around their wastes jumped into the street and ran alongside them.
“Are these people crazy!” cried Sawyer.
“Faster sawyer! We need to make it to that cathedral!”
They ran harder and harder, weaving down the narrow streets, through canyons of old bakeries and shops. With every ounce of energy they had, they pushed ahead of the crowd and ran into the cathedral at the end of the street.
The big church was much quieter inside. Its beautiful stained glass windows illuminated pictures of saints and scenes from the Bible. If there was any place on this planet that was safe from a bull, it was here.
“Are we safe?” asked Sawyer.
“I think they’re passing.” said Suzie, listening to the commotion outside. “Phew! That was too close. How are we supposed to get to a train station with bulls running through the streets?”
“Looking for the train station my little Americanos?” came a voice in the shadows.
Out walked a man with a fair complexion, dark hair, and a funny looking costume with gold lacing. Sheathed at his side was a thin sword that clanked against his boots with every step he took.
“You must be new to Pamplona if you don’t know where the train station is,” said the man, “Por favor, allow me to show you the way.”
Sawyer scrunched his nose. “Por favor?”
“Oi, it means please.”
“We’re not supposed to talk to strangers, especially ones that dress in weird clothes,” said Sawyer, getting ready to kick the man in the shins if need be.
“Forgive me oh tiny one. I am, The Matador. But you can call me Mat.”
“Matador?” asked Suzie.
“Si. Un matador is a bull fighter, that is my occupation. You know, the handsome hombre in the arena who holds a red blanket to get the bull to charge, and then I fight it? With-a-dis!” He whipped out his skinny sword and swooshed it through the air.
“Shhh!” said a little old lady sitting in the pew.
Mat looked disgusted, both for being interrupted mid-demonstration and because they’d never heard of a Matador bull fighter. “Oh nevermind, let’s get you muchachos to the station. Vamonos!” He opened the cathedral door.
“No, don’t!” Sawyer and Suzie cried. But the man was already outside. Was he nuts? they thought. That’s where the bulls were. After the sounds of a some grunts and scuffles, they hesitantly stepped outside to meet him.
There sitting tall atop the biggest black bull they’d ever seen was Mat, puffing out his chest.
“Hop on!” he said.
Sawyer was confused. “But, I thought you said you fought bulls?”
“I never was very good at my job. Now vamonos ninos!”
The kids hopped on the bull and away they went, zig-zagging through the stampede, the narrow streets, and the crazy people until they skidded to a stop in front of the train station.
“Where to my little Yankie Doodles?” Mat asked.
Suzie continued reading the Boone Guide’s instructions. “It says we need to take the next train to and-uh-luss-I-uh”
“Ah, andalucia! Muy bien! Perfect, it leaves in just a few minutes! Hurry! Take your tickets up to that mujer there and she’ll get you seated.”
“Oi!” came a voice by the booth. A man with a dark mullet and mustache stepped out of line and headed for Mat. Both men drew their swords.
“Who are you?” aked Mat.
The man pointed his sword at him. “My name is Enigo Mantoya, you killed my father, prepare to die.”
“Excuse me? I don’t know your father.”
Sawyer called out from the now departing train. “Come on Mat! The train’s leaving!”
“Go on muchachos! I need to take care of this misunderstanding. Hasta Luego!”
“It means see you later!”
And with that, the train left Mat and the mysterious man to their sword fight.
When their train arrived, Sawyer ran out into a plaza full of lush flowers and old buildings. “I can’t take it anymore! I gotta eat something!” he said.
Suzie looked in her Guide. “Maria’s” try the Paella and Spanish Tortilla. She looked up from the book and saw a sign above a small stone building that said, “Maria’s Restaurante.”
“In there,” she said pointing Sawyer to the restaurant.
They took a seat at one of the tables and ordered as the Guide suggested, using only the words in the book. There was even money sitting on the page, several Euros which was just enough to cover the meal. Moments later, hot plates were placed before them.
“Mmm this is amazing!” said Sawyer, chowing down on his Spanish Tortilla which looked like a disk of egg and potato swimming in Olive oil.
Suzie enjoyed her Paella, a bowl of rice full of an assortment of delicious seafood.
Sawyer looked around the room. “What’s that?”
Suzie glanced over the tables and saw a stage where dancers, dressed in flowing red dresses stepped out and started to dance. They were clapping tiny cymbals together with their fingers as they twirled around and around.
Suzie looked down at the book, “Stay and enjoy the Flamenco Dancers. They give out free castanets after the show,” she read.
Sure enough, once the dancers were finished, one of the women came over to them and gave Suzie the little finger cymbals. “Castanets,” she whispered.
“Don’t get me wrong this is awesome, but are we gonna be stuck here forever?” asked Sawyer. “I mean, are there any tickets in there to get us home?”
Suzie flipped through the pages. There were no plane tickets. Not a single one.
“No. But there is one last set of instructions,” she said.
They headed back to the station and took the next train to A Coruna, a coastal city on the opposite side of the country. After a long ride, they hopped on a bus to the beach, a beautiful coast with the world’s oldest working lighthouse watching over it.
They stopped in front of a statue of a surfer and took a seat on a bench.
“Did we get the Chuches like it said?” Sawyer asked.
Suzie held out the baggie of sugary gummies they’d been devouring on the bus. “Got ‘em right here,” she said with a mouthful.
“And you’re sure this is the right statue?”
“You see any other surfer statues around here? It says to sit here and look at the clock behind us at exactly 4 ‘O Clock.”
So there they sat, waiting patiently for 4’ O Clock. Finally, it came and they stared hard at the clock.
Sawyer talked out of the side of his mouth. “Everybody’s looking at us like we’re nuts.”
Suzie jabbed him with her elbow. “Just do it!”
They stared harder, but still nothing happened.
“We have to be missing something,” Suzie said, looking around the bench.
Sawyer walked up to the surfer statue. “Forget it. We’re stuck here forever. And I don’t even know a word of spanish. Okay, maybe a couple thanks to Mat…” He stopped when he noticed something on the plaque under the surfer. “Uh, Suzie?”
“What’s grandpa’s first name?”
“Come look at this.”
Suzie walked over and read the plaque. “Dedicated to the greatest surfer A Coruna has ever known. The Legendary Kip Boone.”
They both slowly looked up at each other and then at the statue, which had the same pointy nose they’d seen earlier that day.
The clock echoed over the boardwalk. They stared at it, not because they were instructed to, but because they were in awe of what they’d just discovered.
In a flash of light, they were back in the library. Standing next to them was Grandpa Boone with his finger stopped on Spain on the globe. There was something different about him. He didn’t look crabby, he wasn’t hunched over, and he wasn’t bossing them around. He stood tall with a twinkle in his eyes.
“Your parents are here,” he said warmly. “I trust we can keep this little secret between the three of us?”
Suzie and Sawyer nodded.
“Good, now off you go.” He led them down the long hall to the front door. Suzie noticed on one of the far walls of the entryway was a blue surfboard that looked like it had been well used. Old wax had hardened to it and their grandpa’s initials were carved into the point.
“Can we come again, next week!” asked Sawyer with an added sense of enthusiasm.
“I don’t see why not. As long as it’s okay with your parents.”
Their parents nodded.
As they walked out to the car they turned back. “Bye grandpa!”
Grandpa winked, “Hasta Luego!”
Have a conversation with your child about what you’ve learned about Spain from the episode. Locate Spain on a globe or map and discuss how far it is from your home, what continent it’s on, and what countries are around it. See if they can find the cities mentioned in the episode: Pamplona and A Coruna.
Walk down the streets of the places mentioned in this episode using Google Street View.
Pamplona (below is the street where they have the annual running of the bulls)
Andalucia (Walk around a plaza in Granada, Andalucia, Spain)
A Coruna (Go on a digital tour of the oldest lighthouse in the world)
The main language spoken in Spain is Spanish. Practice the following vocabulary words with your child:
Adios – Goodbye
Hasta luego – See you later
Por favor – Please
Muchas gracias – Thank you very much
Como estas? – How are you?
Muy bien, gracias – Very well, thank you
Como te llamas? – what’s your name?
Me llamo (name) – my name is
Donde esta..? – Where is the….?
One – uno
Two – Dos
Three – Tres
Four – Cuatro
Five – Cinco
Six – Seis
Seven – siete
Eight – ocho
Nine – Nueve
Ten – diez
A Taste of Spain
Make these popular Spanish dishes together:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 white onion, chopped
4 eggs, scrambled in a large bowl
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil until the pan is filled halfway. Once the oil is hot, add the potato slices and onion, making sure they are well-covered by the oil; add more oil if necessary. Cook for 20 minutes until the potatoes and onions are soft. Drain the oil and combine the potato mixture with the eggs. Add the salt and mix well.
In a 10-inch by 2 1/2 inch deep nonstick skillet, add the olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Pour in the potato, egg, and onion mixture. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the bottom of the omelet is very light brown. Using a flat ceramic plate, cover the frying pan and flip the omelet over onto the plate. Immediately slip the uncooked side back into the pan. Cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the other side is a very light brown.
Remove the omelet from the pan to a plate and cut into 4 wedges.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons dried oregano
salt and black pepper to taste
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups uncooked short-grain white rice
1 pinch saffron threads
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 quart chicken stock
2 lemons, zested
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 Spanish onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 pound chorizo sausage, casings removed and crumbled
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
Ready In 1 h
In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons olive oil, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken pieces to coat. Cover, and refrigerate.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet or paella pan over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Cook, stirring, to coat rice with oil, about 3 minutes. Stir in saffron threads, bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a separate skillet over medium heat. Stir in marinated chicken and onion; cook 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and sausage; cook 5 minutes. Stir in shrimp; cook, turning the shrimp, until both sides are pink.
Spread rice mixture onto a serving tray. Top with meat and seafood mixture
Also from the story
Here is what a matador looks like
And here is what a Flamenco dance looks like: