Archive for the ‘Partying’

State of the Offspring Address – March 2014

March 31, 2014 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos

Nora and IanThis March has been a pretty big month for the offspring, not quite as big as the one five years ago, but pretty huge. Nora turned five years old! It still sounds amazing when I say it. She’s been with us for five years, the majority of the time we’ve been living in Spain. Crazy!

Ian has hit some milestones, too, as he completed his eleventh month. He can now pull himself up to standing on the coffee table and take one or two tentative steps between outstretched adult arms. He’s found that he loves little pieces of bread, and can usually entertain himself in his high chair while the fully teethed members of the family eat by grabbing and eating little bits of bread we break off for him.
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Carnival 2014 – Cops and Robbers and Bees

March 07, 2014 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

After my impressive performance her first year, for the last two years of Nora’s daycare, I was ordained the official daycare photographer for the Carnival parade, where all the kids and parents (from all the daycares and preschools) dress up and parade around town. Since I was out of town for last year (it rained, anyway), and Ian hadn’t yet shown his face, this was the first year that I had ties to both the local school and to the daycare. Several months ago, the daycare boss, Adela, approached me and said, “We can count on you as photographer again this year, right?” I said, well…since I’ve got Nora in school, I’m not sure which group I should participate with. She said, “But you’re dressing up with us, right?” I said, “Well, that depends…Nora’s class is dressing up as bees, which is pretty cute. What is your costume?” She explained that the kids were going to dress up as cops, and the parents as prisoners. I was sold immediately. She always has the most creative ideas, like when the grown-ups were angels and the kids demons.
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State of the Offspring Address – December 2013

December 31, 2013 By: erik Category: News, Offspring, Parenting, Partying, Photos, Videos

Ian PortraitAs we have in past years, we decided to leave the offspring with their maternal grandparents for the last week and a half of the calendar year. I used to think it was pretty liberating with just one kid, but with two, it’s exhilaratingly so. All this free time to do whatever we want. Of course my wife and I are pretty career oriented, so we’ve mostly just been working extra hours, but it’s the choice to be able to do so that it’s amazing.
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Buying A Christmas Tree

December 13, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, USA

Decorated Christmas TreeI think my parents normally buy their Christmas tree around mid-December, but this year, I requested that they do it a little early, during our visit with them. As good hosts, parents and grandparents, they obliged. It’s been years and years since I took part in the Christmas tree selection process with still-alive firs in a lot. My wife, who hasn’t had a real tree since she was a little girl, and daughter also enjoyed the experience. The trees at the lot were so fresh that they still had unmelted snow on them from the night before up on the mountain.
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Pumpkin Carving Party 2013

November 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

Halloween Pumpkin Party 2013As in previous years, I was given two little pumpkins by daily grocer, and we invited a kid or two over to participate in the annual ritual. The first year, we invited our neighbor, Oscar. He seemed more interested in Nora’s toys than with the pumpkin carving, so the next two years, 2011 and 2012, we invited a friend from three floors down, Carmen. Oscar has a three-year-old sister, Gabriela, now, and Nora has a best friend from school, Claudia, so we decided to invite all of them this year, including Claudia’s infant sister, Mara. Seven children!
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Bar Culture in Spain

July 30, 2013 By: erik Category: Partying, Photos, Spain, Travel

Which way to the nearest bar?After living in Spain for so long, I have internalized so much of the culture, that I forget what is quirky about it and what seems weird to outsiders. One aspect of Spanish culture that visitors often misunderstand is just how central bars are to Spanish society. When you first visit Spain, you will notice that there are a lot of people in the bars every midday and evening (and even for breakfast), and you might think, “Wait, where’s the economic crisis?” There is one simple fact that you need to know to understand almost anything about Spanish social culture:
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July 4th Party – Hamburgerfest 2013

July 10, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, USA

July Fourth Party InviteIt’s July again, and time for my annual party I’ve dubbed Hamburgerfest, because it’s mostly just be cooking hamburgers for some friends. This year was a little more relaxed than previous years, with a considerable drop in alcohol consumption and general rowdiness that makes parties good, but it was still very nice company and also very nice to have someone to take our children’s laser focus off of us for a few hours. Nora had fun playing with our friend Elena, who was very patient with her, and was immediately accepted into the Grandmother role (a playmate for Nora to boss around). And there were plenty of women queueing up for a chance to hold baby Ian, which is all he needs to be happy.
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San Juan – Beans in the Park

July 05, 2013 By: erik Category: Colindres, Offspring, Partying, Photos, Spain

Drinking Wine from a Spanish BotaLast Sunday was the annual Cocido Montañes in the Park day here in Colindres. Every year, around the summer solstice, the Peña San Juan (Saint John’s Club), named after the town’s patron saint, throws a huge cookout in the local park. They make a Cantabrian specialty, known as cocido montañes, which is a white bean and spinach soup with pieces of meat in it. Each serving contains a pork rib, a piece of chorizo, and a piece of morcilla (blood sausage). Over the eight years we have been attending the festival, it has been evolving and improving. When we first went, you waited in line and then asked for as many servings as you wanted and paid 1€ each. So some groups of four would order eight servings to have leftovers later that week. But it was hard to calculate just how much to make.
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Ian is Two Months Old

June 25, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Offspring, Partying, Photos

Ian is Two Months OldIan has turned two months old today. He’s quite a bit bigger, and seems slightly more aware of his surroundings. He’s quite a demanding lad, always preferring to be held, and not just “sitting on the sofa with a baby in your arms” held, either; his holder must be pacing around the room to satisfy him. He also enjoys being pushed in the pram, but no matter how peacefully he appears to be sleeping, if you stop for a moment, he’ll wake up and complain. When I’m out for a walk with him, I’m often reminded of that bus in Speed.
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Return to Restaurante Solana – Michelin Star Dining in Cantabria

June 22, 2013 By: erik Category: Food, Partying, Photos, Spain, Wine

Coconut and pineapple ravioli with passionfruitWhen our friends Simon and Paola were visiting last week from Brussels, we wanted to show off our local cuisine. As you can see from Simon’s blog, they are fine dining hobbyists, taking advantage of their location in Brussels to try as many Michelin Star restaurants as they can. After I visited them and they took me out to one of Brussels’ finest establishments, the fine dining bug bit me as well. It really is a fun experience.

After I visited them in October, I took my wife out to our local Michelin Star establishment, Restaurante Solana, and we were wowed, especially my wife, who had been dubious about the whole thing. So naturally we wanted to take Simon and Paola to Restaurante Solana to show off what Cantabria has to offer.
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