Wednesday, July 08, 2015

We Went To Spain - Part 1

I turn 40 this Fall.  So for the last almost 3 years, I've been saving up for my 40th birthday trip to Spain.  With the whole family.  Kids included.  I know.  Everyone did a double take when I told them.  Kids too?  Kids too.

So. Great. Loved. It.

4 backpacks, 3 suitcases, 2 computer bags, 1 purse

We did so much.  Here's part one.

Part one includes visiting my oldest dearest friend, Maria.  She was a foreign exchange student that stayed with my family the summer after I graduated 8th grade.  The story goes...I was all signed up and ready to study French in my first year of high school.  But after her visit, I changed to Spanish and spent a month the following summer with her in Spain.  A few years later, she stayed with us again, I stayed with her again, and the rest is history.

Which means...we have far too many embarrassing photos of each other.

So, of course, our trip to Spain included visiting Maria immediately.

Maria, my boys, Plaza Mayor

Surreal.  My friend, my places, my memories...all coming back to me with my kids at my side.  Worlds colliding.  Ice cream in Plaza Mayor.  Best day ever.

Until the next day.

McDonald's Espana

When we had McDonald's for lunch.  I was told the ketchup tastes different and so do the burgers, kind of.  But the fries?  Same.  :)

And then we visited Maria's ranch and had a tour.  In case my worlds weren't colliding enough already.

Very very close up view.

Maria's family raises hundreds of cattle.  Most for meat, some for bullfighting.  We saw them all.  In a ranch truck, without seatbelts, communicating in different languages.  (Maria's dad speaks no English - my kids speak no Spanish)  It was amazing.  The words were there - but they weren't.  It didn't matter.  Which brought me back to the first time I visited their ranch and had NO idea what her mom and dad were saying to me.  Did I mention my worlds were colliding?

And the next day...

El Tentadero - Maria's brother Curro

They hosted a beautiful party.  In English terms: it was an event to test brave cows and determine which are suited to be sold for meat or kept to bear bulls for bullfighting.  No cows were hurt in the tentadero.  But the boys got a bird's eye view of a bullring, even standing behind a wall inside the ring.  Worlds colliding...!!!

In the end, we got to stage a few pictures.


These guys may not be torero material, but this one might be a framer.