I can’t remember when… maybe it was January or February. It has to be one of those dismal months when you can’t go outside. I got a nice text from my sister-in-law. It said:


My family knows me so well. They know I’m a sucker for period dramas and Spain. Because I lived in Spain for a bit.

I watched. And I’ve kept watching. I’m now addicted to this show. I wake up in the morning and exercise, then as I get ready I watch Gran Hotel. I put on the subtitles so I know what’s going on even when I blow dry my hair.


The story is set in 1905 in Cantaloa, Spain. It’s a fictional town that’s located near Santander, the northern coast of the country. So there’s this grand hotel (I know… the irony!) and a young man named Julio arrives. He’s looking for his sister, Cristina. Except she has mysteriously disappeared. So Julio takes it upon himself to try and figure out what happened to Cristina. He thinks she may have been murdered and as he digs deeper, he discovers some things about the hotel and the servants and landlords that just make more intrigue.

If the mystery doesn’t get you, how about the forbidden love between Julio and Alicia, the hotel owner’s daughter? She’s engaged to the hotel manager, but is drawn to Julio who is now taken the job of a waiter.

Oh there’s ADORABLE Andres who is just trying to find love and happiness and do his job. But he has to cover for Julio and he gets into some scrapes. (Also, I just realized that the actor is in another Spanish TV show that’s on Netflix. I may be watching that next).

So now I’m watching these shows and just loving every minute. I’m okay with staying in and doing push ups while catching up on the latest mystery (Season 3 is going to be the death of me). This ain’t no Downton Abbey. This is WAY better. (Except for Don Javier. I could do without him.)

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I tell myself that this is the best way to get my language skills up to date. And because they’re using Castilian, the Spanish that I learned and perfected before I ventured to learn the Spanish of South and Central America. When I’m nervous (in Spanish), I rely on that Castilian. And now, my head is so full of Spanish that sometimes I’m losing English words. I kind of love that.

Luckily, the subtitles are also in English. As I’ve watched more and the language has come back to me, I chuckle when the subtitles in English are just a little off of the real translation. I feel quite orgullosa proud that I can tell the difference between “There, there” and “Calm down.” Not a big difference, but still. It’s a difference that I like to recognize.

I’m definitely not watching this show because I’m wondering where these attractive Spaniards were when I was there (because you don’t think about these things as a missionary). Although, there’s nothing better than seeing an attractive guy say the most romantic stuff in Spanish. I don’t know why that creeps me out in real life, but it makes me swoon on this show.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is exhibit 247 of why I’m still single. Because my period dramas are giving me all the fantasy I need. And reality is kind of boring—except when a “prince” walks into your life for like a half a second. But that’s another story for another post.