Super Girls’ New Year’s Visit

May and Mel, Spain 2010

I missed my family a ton on Christmas this year but luckily a little bit of my family came to visit us here in Barcelona! My beloved niece Mealani and her family friend Melanie came and spent 10 days with us. May arrived recovering from the stomach flu but we all packed up in the car the same afternoon and drove to Toledo for New Years. Juanjo called his family from the road to tell them we were on our way (we’d planned to stay in Barcelona), and we had the traditional New Year’s Eve dinner and grapes with the family. It was really special for the girls to see New Years with family, a tradition that is completely different than New Year’s in the US. Then after dinner we took out the girls for the night, and stayed out ’til 5am, an early night by Spaniard New Years’ standards but more than enough with our jet-lagged girls!

Mel eating New Year's grapes, 2010 May with the New Year's grapes, 2010

On New Year’s day, after waking up just in time for the family lunch, we took the girls to Madrid for the evening. We wandered around, took pictures of the Holiday lights, and saw a movie. Both fell asleep on the way home!

in Madrid, january 1, 2010

The next day we went to Valencia for one night. Juanjo and I had been wondering how much longer the trip would be from Toledo to Barcelona if we took the coastal route (instead of the usual Zaragoza route). According to GoogleMaps, it takes the same amount of time. So we thought it would be fun to go back along the coast and spend a night in Spain’s third largest city, Valencia. We walked around there, enjoyed wandering through the old town, eating chocolate and churros on the main square, and meeting Fulbright friends for a drink. The next morning: breakfast at a cafe on the beach (including delicious Valencia oranges, which got us strange looks because Spaniards usually eat oranges for dessert after lunch or dinner), and a quick visit to the Ciudad de Artes y Ciencias, designed by Santiago Calatrava, Spain’s most famous architect today.

Valencia, January 2, 2010 chocolate in valencia, 2010

the girls in valencia, 2010 Ciudad de las Artes y Ciencias, January 2010

Sunday after New Year’s we drove back to Barcelona, where we stayed for the rest of the week. It was really fun for me to show the girls around Barcelona! We made a list of places to see and things to do (the Gaudi architecture, Ramblas, the port, the Cathedral, beach, Montjuic, after-christmas shopping…) and set about checking things off the next day. We walked a LOT, always the best way to see a city. We also cooked dinners at home with Juanjo, and watched quite a few “Lie to Me” episodes.

may and mel, parc guell, january 2010 the girls

All in all I loved being an aunt for the time they were here, hosting both of them, showing them new places, and revisiting old ones (it was fun for both of them to be back in Toledo). I loved talking with them about college, high school, family, and life. I got a much-needed break from my work while they were here, and really enjoyed their company. Thanks for coming to visit us girls!

niece and loving aunty, january 2010

3 Responses to “Super Girls’ New Year’s Visit”

  1. Kristina Says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. This is beautiful!! And the pic of you and May. I must have a copy. It is gorgeous. I love you.

  2. alethea sussex Says:

    Awee such a sweet blog entry:)

  3. alethea sussex Says:

    Love the picture of you and May, you look beautiful sis!

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