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  • Writer's pictureDiann Schindler, Ph.D.

Oliva Beach, Spain

It was November 2015 and I was sitting at a table at Little Tommies Tiki Bar in Gulfport, Florida. This little bar is such a great place...good food, wonderful owners and staff, terrific clientele, and every Wednesday, Open Mic when musicians and musicians wanna-be's sing and play guitar.

This Open Mic night, a man and woman greeted me, shouting over the music, "We hear you are planning to travel throughout Europe. We are Brits and we live in Spain. Please come visit."

Of course, I thanked them profusely and requested their contact information.

Five months later, I was in Oliva, Spain, staying in the basement apartment of the mountainside home of Brits Ann and John Sharples.

The Sharples have been playing music and singing together for years. Ann plays the Irish drum called a bodram. John plays guitar and banjo.

We played music and drank vinho tinto (red wine) nearly every night for hours and hours. Other nights, we went out to dinner for delicious tapas and more vinho tinto. It was magic.

I had planned to stay three days, because, like fish, company stinks in three days. But three days turned into THREE WEEKS!

And, of course, I returned a year later and so as to not truly wear out my welcome, and with John's and Ann's help, I found a lovely high rise apartment just two miles from their home.

Yes, two miles from their home in Olive Beach, one block from the Mediterranean Sea. The Sea in front of my and the mountains behind me.

In a word: INCREDIBLE!

And, I return every year for a glorious month, during low season so that I virtually have the massive beach all to myself.'s May, 2018, and I'm B.A.C.K!

And, now John and Ann and other friends are insisting that I return for THREE months next time.

(Why three months? US citizens are limited to a three-month stay.)

I DO love it here...and, I just might do that!!!

Please take a moment to enjoy my latest photos which actually do not do justice to my only only home, because this a place to which I return every year.

Same beach, same apartment, same wonderful friends, same tennis courts and professional, same vinho tinto....

Thank you, Ann and John Sharples!

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