Wow, how time flies!
These last few days have been pretty regular, but some great things have happened. On Thursday all the cousins came to the Abuela's for a picnic and swim fun time. There were 8 of us in total, and It was really fun. The two older girl cousins were the ones I was closest with and I gave them each a card and one I also gave a friendship ancklet and the other I gave 1 US dollar. Then to be fair I also gave their little brother a US Dollar and it was SO cute how he treasured that bill. He even said, in english, "It's my first dollar!" to the Abuela! The whole day all the cousins were speaking in little bits of English here and there. I thought it was so sweet, because I remember when I first got here, all the parents would be like, "practice your english with Julia! Speak English!" But all the cousins would completely refuse. But now, they all happily chirp out things like, "I want more meat!" and stuff! I have positively impacted so many Spanish people! Woo! Then the oldest girl, Sofia, handed me a present. It was so cute... A card that all the cousins signed and in a long box was a big beautiful yellow Spanish fan with flowers painted on it. It was so perfect because everywhere in Spain they sell fans, but I would never get one for myself. But this one was so special because I knew the Abuela picked it out for me to match this one dress I have, and it is just perfectly simple and classic... It reminds me so much of the abuela, and what a great trinket to bring home to remind me of Spain!! I just was so touched!
I was further touched when the Abuela pulled me aside later that day because she wanted to show me lots of things around the house. She showed me certificates of achievement of various family members, trinkets they had collected from various vacations, and tons and tons of photographs of family members ranging from great great grandparents to baby pictures of all the people who I knew! It was so cool to see some of the family's background and also I felt very loved by the Abuela that she wanted to let me into her life like that!
Today as we were leaving the abuela's for the last time, she told me to keep in touch, send her photos, and more, and I definitely plan on doing that!! Then my family and Kaja's went to meet up at Escorial, a monastery palace thing near Madrid. On the way I gave Carmen and Rafa their gifts... A puzzle, a box of candies, each a hand drawn card that was SO cute with a US dollar and one of each coin taped inside, and a little hair clip for Carmen and a toy airplane for rafa! They loved their gifts, except Carmen was jealous of Rafa's plane for a while haha. Then Maica and Rafa surprised me with a present of some really really pretty earrings that I LOVE! It was a lovely gift exchange!
It turned out that Escorial closed before we got there, so we could only see the outside, but it was still cool. The area was also a really nice place. We all got drinks and then walked around for a bit before having a really traditional Spanish Tapas meal at a restaurant. Boy, is it easier to try things when you aren't the one paying! We had tons of spanish dishes, chorizo, fried spanish hot peppers, muscles, fried shrimp rolls, calamari, patatas bravas, and more. A lot of the food was things I would not normally eat, but I tried everything, including an octopus dish that was TERRIBLE, and it was really interesting. Maica even bragged to Kaja's Au-Pairents that I always try everything, because Kaja the vegetarian doesnt, obviously! I was proud to have become more adventurous! Doesn't mean I'm eating vegetables at home mom!
Anyways, then I had to say bye to Kaja and her family, which was sad even if im seeing Kaja again really soon. On the ride home Rafa fell asleep on me, which was cute.
Now I'm packing up to to to the CONUS babyyyy!
HOME SO SOON! I CAN'T WAIT!
Also today after hanging out at the Abuela's for the