The parade was a hoot! Every class was dressed as a different sport, the little ones were all white water rafters, and the bigger one's class were surfers. The little ones had paper mache helmets on, giant paddles, and 'life jackets' made of red garbage bags and black tape. They were all dressed in black, and it looked great. It had a neighbourhood feel to it, all homemade costumes and the parents walking along. The elder child's class were all in Hawaiian style and with giant hand-painted cardboard surfboards. It had the goofy sort of feel of the cruisers regatta for those of you who have been there... All the parents walked along with the groups, and the only problem that my kids had were the paparazzi papa's and mama's or grand papa's or grand mama's. They were both bodily shoved aside so that another child's photo could be taken. It is not only in N. America that children's childhoods are being seriously over documented.
There was a car at the back playing music, and they all tooled around the town. A lot of fun. Everyone smiling and happy and laughing. A real neighbourhood event.
My folks arrived last night, which was wonderful, we all met them at the bus, then came home for dinner. The wine was designated as drinkable, although not brilliant. Better than Beaujolais Nouveau, for those of you that know what that is. Drinkable table wine, just not brilliant.
The man and the little one went into one town for her birthday party. No culture shock there, it was in a big indoor play space, the only difference was that the bar for the parents took up about 15% of the space, and the place was big. Well, that adds a certain something to your kid's birthday party. She seems to have had a good time, and came home with some candy.
The elder daughter, my folks and I went into Barcelona, to the National Museum of Catalonia where there was an exhibition of paintings from El Greco to Cezanne from the Metropolitan Museum in New York. It was very good, especially at the end when we got to the more modern stuff...it was really fun to go around with the elder child who was so engaged in it all. They're so amazing to talk to and know what they are thinking and how they are thinking about it.
After the exhibit, we walked down into the town and found a fantastic place for lunch. MMMmmmmmmmmmm. It had table cloths, but was filled with Catalans and their kids, all dressed up for Carnival, and older couples. Well, the girl had salad and Spaghetti Carbonara...the salad was quite typical, lettuce, with a half a boiled egg, tomato slices, and an asparagus shoot across the top. The carbonara was made with some kind of stock, which was fascinating. Very yummy. My Mom had clams and artichoke hearts, cooked together in a sauce, it was seriously good. My Dad had roasted eggplant and red pepper with anchovies, and I got muscles....They were SOOOO good, they tasted of the sea and all that is meaty and delicious....
My Mom had squid for seconds, very lightly breaded, thick and juicy, my Dad got bacalla, which is cod, with langostines, also delicious, and I got some sort of steak. mmmmmmm. For desert the girl got lemon sorbet, which was sour and delicious, and we ordered Crema Catalana. A traditional desert, with a custard on the bottom, which they then sprinkle with sugar, and then burn the sugar on the top with a heated iron, making a crisp delicious crust on top. MMMmmmmmm. And cafe solo, which is essentially espresso.
We staggered off and rented the car for tomorrow and drove back out. It is raining now, the younger one and my Dad just came in from walking Chuck, who is hilariously uncomfortable about being damp. He keeps rubbing himself on furniture, and looking generally disturbed. I am going to take him down to the car and let him check it out, and give him some treats there so that he can get used to it, and maybe even think it is a good place to be before we head off on our road trip tomorrow. The last time he was in the car he barfed.
The car booster seats the girls have to use are apparently uncomfortable. Should be fun.
A pleasant sort of day. What to do for dinner now? Maybe go out again?