Wednesday, June 15, 2011

After our cruise we flew from Rome to Malaga, Spain. For those of you who don't know here is my connection with Spain: 

After I graduated from high school when I was 18, my step-mom and my Dad offered to send me to Spain for a month as part of a homestay program. I told them I thought it would be boring...haha. But then I came to my senses and decided that it might be okay to go to Spain for a month. So I packed my bags and headed to Estepona, Spain to live with a Spanish family for one month. To make a long story short, I loved every minute in Spain and more importantly I loved my Spanish family and every minute with them. I considered them my 3rd family [or 4th with Jason's now].

So over the years I have returned to see them twice since my original visit and this is the third return visit to see them. And it was wonderful as always! I was so happy for Jason to meet them and for them to meet my husband, even if neither of them could communicate with one another since my Spanish family only speaks Spanish, ha. 

On to our visit!

We really didn't do anything but hang out with my family, eat my favorite Spanish foods and go to the beach! It was perfect! We had delicious churros for breakfast, walked along the streets showing Jason all my favorite hangouts from previous years and just enjoying one of my favorite places in the world. 

We relaxed at the beach and of course, had to have amazing Magnum ice cream bars!

 I also got to spend lots of time at home with family just hanging out and particularly eating and cooking with them. Here Manolo [my dad] is squeezing me fresh orange juice for breakfast. They spoil me every time I come! My mom, Mari Carmen, gave me some of my favorite Spanish recipes which I will be sharing on my food blog, The Apron Gal, soon! She has the most infectious laugh and we love to tease each other constantly. Pedro, one of my brothers is so kind, he seems like a tough guy but he is a momma's boy and has always been so good to me. 

My Spanish family is very traditional so they served fish for three meals along with octopus salad and paella. Jason was a trooper trying all kinds of new food and he actually liked everything!

We had such a great trip with them, unfortunately I only got to see my one brother and parents since the other two sibilings live further away and we didn't have time to see them...just means we have to go back again, right?

Here are my parents and my awesome brother, Pedro!

The biggest thing that amazed me about my time in Spain was how much things hadn't changed. My Spanish family welcomed me home with open arms! They call me hija and nina [daughter and child] and we still have all the same inside jokes from over 5 years ago. They cook for me and buy juice and treats just for me. They handed me a key the second we walked in the door telling me how nuestra casa es tu casa [our home is your home]. All the wonderful memories of years of visits flooded back to me instantly. My Spanish came quickly but not without struggles. It was so amazing to be able to show Jason this family and for him to better understand me from my experiences in this magical place. I hope to keep coming back to see my Spanish family for the rest of my life. They were strangers who went above and beyond for me and grew to become my family. I love them and I am so grateful to know them!

Next Stop: Morocco!

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