Aaaaaand we’re back! Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!

We had a wonderful trip to the states. A little crazy busy, but soooo nice to see everyone. We were lucky to have been able to cover as much ground as we did in 12 days. Virginia, PA, NJ…a lot of miles in not that many days!

And we managed to make it back to Spain on Thursday, with a grand total of 4 checked suitcases each weighing in at a very carefully planned 49.5 pounds…yes, as we were packing, C got on the scale with each one. We also had two carry-on duffels (which I would estimate at 25 pounds each) and two backpacks (I’d give these around 15 pounds each?). And low and behold, everything has a place already, with room to spare. Even my darling KitchenAid mixer, all 26 pounds of her (I call her my first born)…and my mini cheesecake pan, my bakers edge pan, my immersion blender…what can I say, I was missing my kitchen stuff!

The flight from Philly to Madrid was easy peasy, but the only option when we booked the flights was a 10 hour layover in Madrid. ACK. And of course, I didn’t sleep on the plane. We tried to change our flight, but it was ridiculously expensive, plus we had all the above mentioned bags checked, so C suggested we hop a train and spend a couple hours walking around Toledo…a 20 minute metro ride, and a 30 minute train ride from the airport. Such a pretty city. My camera was in one of my bags, so I’m lacking pics (plus, I’ve been there before)…but it was a beautiful day and a MUCH better option than wasting away at the airport. So, when all was said and done, it was about 24 hours of a trip.

Last night was the big New Years Eve celebration. (I was here last year for it as well, so I knew what to expect.) The WHOLE family descends upon C’s aunt’s house for an absolutely ginormous (and delicious) meal. I think we were 20 last night, each with our own name card, and our own star hanging from the ceiling with our name on it. ­čÖé We sit down at about 10:30 and basically eat our way till midnight. In Spanish tradition, when the clock hits 12, everyone eats 12 grapes, one at every chime of the clock, which is like one per every two or three seconds. Full sized grapes, which were neatly and creatively packaged up by a creative family member for each one of us in individual bags of 12 (and ours had seeds!!! which some people smartly removed before this began…not me of course, by the time I realized it, it was too late). SO. The clock hits 12 and by the third grape, I had started to giggle uncontrollably…I couldn’t even breathe, there is something so funny about a table full of people madly stuffing grapes into their mouths…and with very serious focus too! I did actually get them all in there by the 12th chime, but it was all I had in me to stop laughing long enough to chew and swallow them. I had intended to take pictures of all this, but I was more focused on not spewing grapes and seeds all over the place.

After dinner and grape eating and everyone kissing everyone else and wishing each other a happy new year, it is tradition in C’s family that the kids (and any other participating adults, which of course included me and C) have a big “guerra” (war) outside with cans of what seems like shaving cream but that spray out in streams like silly string or something. We all gear up in waterproof jackets and everything. A total riot, and actually a good activity after eating what felt like three days worth of food at dinner.

Anyhoo, here are some pics.

Everyone at the table. Note one child getting the fever check at the far left end...there's always someone.

C and Janna.

Aida and the newest addition to the family, Sara.

And look for future posts from MY newest addition to the family, my iPad. And yes, in case any of you were wondering, the order of importance in this household is 1) My Mixer, 2) My iPad, 3) C. ­čÖé

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