Relocating For Zara…

San Sabastian Promenade
San Sabastian Promenade

I am considering a move to Spain.

While vacationing in San Sabastian, Spain I came across life altering information which causes me to pause and consider the Spanish way of life.

Zara clothing is 40% less money in Spain…are you kidding me? Don’t you think that is motivation to change countries?!

Spain has great tennis players (love me some Nadal and Verdasco) who are also easy on the eyes, lovely wines, amazing food and bargain priced Zara clothing and accessories.

I planned a sojourn to Basque country primarily for restaurant reviews for the blog. San Sabastian alone has three, 3 starred Michelin restaurants.

I checked the mileage from our home in Blaye and it was a three hour drive…piece of cake. I was ready to go from Oui to Si.

I booked Mugaritz, the #7 ranked restaurant in the world eight months in advance. I checked hotels every week as I was determined to catch a good rate at the Maria Christina, a Starwood 5 star luxury hotel.

Maria Christina Hotel room
Maria Christina Hotel room

Two weeks before arrival I found a great deal. The room was gorgeous…huge, with a view and breakfast included. The hotel, located in the historic city center, dates to 1912 and looks like a palace. The bathroom was inspirational and if we ever acquire one in our Palisades money pit, I have the perfect design concept.

We left Blaye by 6:45 am so that we could have a full two days in San Sabastian. The ride was easy except for the toll stations that seem to appear more frequently than my desire for french wines and bread products.

It seems that Europeans have chips in their credit cards that act like our version of Easy Pass or Fast Track. We backed out of a fair share of toll booths.

I could have bought a new pair of Louboutins by the time we finished driving on French and Spanish highways…but we were educated and entertained so it was worth the price of admission.

La Concha Promenade
La Concha Promenade

After checking in to the Maria Christina, we walked the 5 mile long beachfront promenade, taking in the surfers, statuesque buildings, Rothschild summer home and ending with the metal sculptures perched on the row of giant rocks at the far end of the promenade. The day was sunny and 70.

After the walk, we were hungry and parched. San Sebastian is a very good location if you are craving food.

Foie Gras at Atari
Foie Gras at Atari

We found Atari, the recommended pintxos restaurant and indulged in foie gras (fab and only $5), calamari, potatoes bravas, fresh goat cheese salad, Spanish reds with a full outside view of the  ornate Church of San Vicente.

Church of San Vicente
Church of San Vicente

 Satiated, we explored the old city and then headed for the new section.

Old Town San Sabastian
Old Town San Sabastian

The pedestrian walkways are lovely and the shopping plentiful. All of a sudden I looked up and caught a glimpse of a familiar sight, beckoning me on.

zara

It was the largest, shiniest Zara store I had ever seen. Courtny and I shuttered with glee and anticipation. David became pale and found an outdoor bench in the sun.

We entered and saw so many familiar items. Why just two days earlier Courtny had purchased black satin bejeweled flats in Paris that looked identical to the flats at Prada.

We had been elated with the price point…but Zara Spanish sticker shock eradicated that retail delight. The same exact pair of shoes were 40 euros cheaper in Spain.

We immediately approached a sales person and asked, “Porque?!” “Que lastima,” she said. “You are in Spain and Zara has 3 price points.” She shuffled the price tag and lo and behold underneath the Spanish tag was a European tag 40 euros more and then the dreaded, mood deflating U.S. tag which was almost double.

It was a sad reality, but it gave us pause to consider relocating. I can do p.r. and write my blog anywhere and be well dressed at beyond reasonable prices doing it.

Courtny’s dilemma was a bit more challenging, but she could always send me photos of the desired Zara items and I could mail them to Los Angeles.

Coincidentally, at breakfast the next morning we learned that many of the servers are from other countries who are in San Sabastian  interning through the culinary institute. Zara came up in conversation and our adorable Dutch server told us that her mother emails photos weekly of her targeted Zara items and she mails them to Amsterdam because of the sizable price difference.

Mugaritz Kitchen
Mugaritz Kitchen

Our trip to Spain was amazing. The 21 course gourmet meal at Mugaritz (I will review) was a once in a lifetime experience.

On the other hand, so was Zara at 40% less.

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