Archive for May, 2011

Spain for a Day

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

I went to Mallorca for one day last weekend.  I was in Europe for work, and Cati was visiting her mom.  Before I flew back home to NJ (workin’ for livin’), I went to Mallorca to celebrate Natalia’s first birthday.  My visit was too short.

My travel adventures are downright yawn-inducing compared to those of my friend LT (I’m ok with that).  He just sailed, solo, from San Diego, CA to the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.  Yep, that’s right, twenty-seven days alone in his sailboat– what a mental and physical challenge, eh?  Lucky for us, he is blogging about it.  Read of his tales on the high seas on his blog  There are even pictures indicating what life on his little 28-foot boat is like.  He intends to sail around the world without taking a long break until he reaches Norway.  I hope to join him for some part of the trip– maybe a few weeks in the Mediterranean.  Actually, maybe a long weekend would be wiser.  It’s a small boat, we are two grown men who are set in our ways, and LT is like family to me.  Hence, when we fight, we fight like drunken family members at Thanksgiving– definitely four days at most would be best.

I have to give him credit, he has the courage to drop everything and follow his dreams.  He also has the discipline and determination to be successful.  If you’re wondering what would compel a person to quit his job, leave his friends, and sail the seas in search of adventure, I think this song might capture some of the sentiment:

But what do I know?   Go LT, go.

Sunday Girls

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Here’s some recommended listening while you read this post.  I challenge you to not like this song– it can’t be done.

For Easter, we hid eggs in the backyard for Nina to find.  She had fun searching for them.  After she discovered they contained chocolate, she was downright determined to find ’em all.

The weekend following Easter we were invited to the 2-year birthday party of our friends’ son– they live in Manhattan near Central Park.  We like parties and we like our friends so we, of course, went.   There were balloons and cake, so our girls were thrilled.

The toddlers partied and trashed the house– then we all went to the park to burn off those lingering sugar-highs.

Our friends, and party hosts, invited us to stay for dinner after the girls went to sleep.  Nina crashed without much effort, but Natalia was still hyper and required that I walk her around the Upper East Side until she conked out. I had to walk about 20 blocks pulling the stroller from the front so she wouldn’t see me and want to play– not fun.

The promise of enjoying a delicious meal while the little ones slept motivated me to soldier on– and oh what a meal it was.  Our friend Jaime cooked arroz negro (or arròs negre in Catalan).

Sure, it may look like something one might use to repair potholes, but trust me on this, it is delicious.  Black rice, made well, tastes rich and briny like a seafood stew.  Add a dallop of freshly made aioli to the plate and there are few things better.

A few weeks after the great meal described above came Cati’s birthday.  I threw a small Thursday-night surprise party with about 12 of her friends (and their little ones).  I arranged for a double surprise.  By the way, that’s the way to do it.  If you arrange for more than one surprise and your significant other happens to figure out there is a surprise brewing, you’ll have a back-up surprise waiting.  So for surprise #1, I left work early and ambushed Cati at what she thought was a routine play-date at a friend/neighbor’s house.  I popped out along with another friend of Cati’s whom she didn’t expect to be there. I informed Cati that I would watch the girls and that she and her friends were free to go get manicures/pedicures on me.  That was just the set-up.  After their salon trip, Cati and her friends returned to our house to find it full of friends, pizza, cake, and babies.  Much fun was had by all.  It was nice to use my diabolical knack for deception for a good cause.

Things were so busy that I took few photos during the party. Cati had a nice time and was pleased she finally got to get her nails done.  Here she is happily modeling her fancy new manicure.  She flaunted it for as long as she could, but alas the call of gardening in the backyard was too strong– the manicure didn’t survive.  Judging from her expression, Natalia was pleased about something too– but that’s not uncommon.

And lastly, here’s a shot of our peanuts (and guest peanut from upstate NY) playing in a jungle gym and having a ball at it too. I like this photo.