October 12th is a national holiday in Spain. It’s also my birthday every year. In 2008, it fell on Sunday. In many provinces of Spain, it was unexceptable that a perfectly good day off work should fall on Sunday, so many Spaniards had Monday off. Not so in the Basque Country. So we moved my main family birthday party to Saturday the 11th. It was a blast!
First we stopped over to see Grandpa’s house. Which resulted in some snacks of bread, meat, and wine, of course.
Marga, Betsy, Erik, and Paul having morning snacks and wine at Grandpa’s house.
I think Grandpa and Belén’s fifteen-year-old dog, Tiko, was there, too, but it’s hard to tell since he’s the same color as the floor.
At the Extremadura Cultural Center, my mother-in-law is already cooking up some wascawy wabbit. I always laugh at the fact that rabbit is almost always cooked with carrots. It brings up images of Bugs sitting in a pot on the fire, munching on a carrot.
Happy Erik with his Spanish family.
Alejo, a family friend, brings some garlic anchovies out from the kitchen. Yay!
The family sits down to eat.
Appetizers! Bread, cured pork and ham, jumbo shrimp, and garlic-marinated olives, oh my!
These anchovies were unbelievably good. Raw chopped garlic, parsley, and olive oil.
Cake time. Look at all those years candles.
One lighter and some toothpicks and we can all light candles! One thinker in the group suggested that we all light the ones in the middle first. Sort of the opposite of painting yourself into a corner.
Thirty candles, snuffed in an instant.
I remember every single one of those years.
My wife and her grandfather. Two of my favorite people in the whole world.
Paul talks with Diego, a local children’s English teacher.
Drinks after a long sobering walk around town.
As night fell, we made our way to the town hall square and saw some children dancing traditional Basque dances. Worth seeing large.
The last day of my 30th year was full of family, food, drink, and lots of love. I couldn’t ask for more.