Monday, April 1, 2013

Feliz Pascua and our Easter Calçotada

The holidays, any holiday, is a time when I really miss home.  Each one for it's own unique reason.  Easter, for us, is not about the religion.  It's about family and friends and traditions.  Some of those traditions we can continue here in Spain... others, not so much.

At home we have this HUGE Easter egg hunt in our neighborhood.  We are talking a ton of kids, hundreds of eggs, friends just hanging out having a potluck brunch and the kids running around having a great time.  I miss it.  I miss it a lot.  It breaks my heart to look at my facebook around the time of the hunt because it aches to see the pictures of everyone having such a great time and we are missing it.

And so, we try to find ways to create new traditions and new memories here.  Liam and I got together with some of his friends to decorate Easter eggs.  It reminded me of home in a good way.  I remember having kids over to our house to make Christmas cookies (yes, I recognize different holiday) - and it made me think - why am I not getting the kids together with their friends here more to do things like this?  It made me realize that just because we aren't home doesn't mean we still can't get together with their friends that live here.  The challenge is that many of them travel during every school break or long weekend.  But that doesn't mean all of them do.

Liam and his friends getting ready to decorate eggs

Very focused

Regardless, my hope is that in the future that I can do more things like this with the kids and their friends like this.  Liam had such a fun day decorating eggs and playing with his friends.  Aidan was reluctant to join us since it was just the little kids, but when I got home, the 4 us sat down to decorate our eggs as well.

Liam decorating his eggs at home

Aidan and Josh joining in

The completed eggs... can you tell which ones were the kids and which ones were mine and Josh's??

Easter morning, the Easter bunny made his visit to the Marcus house.  I was told that the Easter bunny did not do a very good job at hiding the eggs this year.  I will take that as a challenge for next year!!  The kids ate a significant amount of chocolate before we headed off to meet some friends for Easter lunch and an Easter egg hunt.

Easter baskets ready to go!

It's the Angry Birds they wanted!!

Mmmm chocolate!

Hunting for eggs

Pop rocks...

Our lunch was just 6 miles away from our apartment but it was like a world away.  It was at Restaurante Devesa.  Nestled in the woods down a very very windy road, you enter the road to the restaurant and at first, you think, hmmmm, not quite sure that this is going to be good.  But then you get to the restaurant and it's huge.  Sits hundreds I'm sure (Josh wants to buy this place - he thinks it is such a moneymaker) with a huge outdoor terrace area, a garden area and a playground that dates back to the 50s (easily).

The bonus about our lunch at Devesa was that it was also a calçotada.  A calçot is a spring onion that is roasted over a fire.  Before the calçots is the pan con tomate - and here you do it yourself which is actually part of the fun.  First you take a garlic clove and rub it on the bread.  Then do the same with a half tomato.  A little drizzle of olive oil and you are good to go.  I could still smell the garlic the next morning.  Then bring on the calçots.  There are plenty of phallic references to these delicious onions that you pull from their husk, dip in savory romesco sauce and then deep throat to suck the onion out.  Yes, that is how you eat a calçot.

The calçots on the fire

Aidan eating a calçot and the plate of calçots

Liam and his friend Henry

 But we aren't done yet.  After the calçots comes the meats.  Lots of meat.  Lamb, chicken, botifarra and pork.  And then on to dessert and coffee.  Whew!!  Just thinking about it makes me full.

After eating my friend Shellee and I put together a little easter egg hunt for the three kids.  Once again, I was told the Easter bunny didn't do a great job of hiding the eggs.  What can you do????  But the kids had fun searching for the eggs and coins that we hid for them.  Then it was off to play in the garden and the playground.

Ready, set, go!!

Of course, we know who got the most eggs... and he thought it wasn't fair that we helped the little kids!

Wait for me!

On the hunt...

How much did I get?

Little Stella trying to keep up with the big kids!

Now I should mention again that this playground is circa 1950.  The slide was wooden - and I was waiting for someone to end up with splinters up their tush.  The swings were in desperate need of oil.  There were nails sticking out where they should not stick out.  However, the antiquity of it made it all the more fun for the kids.  When do they have an opportunity to play on such old school equipment?

A happy kid out in nature

Seriously, check out this playground equipment - this would NOT pass muster in the US!

Best buds

Aidan taking charge

Playing futbol with Josh

Just hanging around

Where is Liam?

I don't know if these swings could be any lower to the ground...

But alas they have moved on to bigger and better swings

Liam was telling me all about the view when he leaned back on the swing, so I tried it... he's right, it's awesome!

Where did he learn this?

Joe being attacked by all three boys

I'm pooped!!

We spent the afternoon playing fútbol, playing on the playground and just laughing and running around.  In the end, it was the best Easter we have had since moving to Barcelona.  Great friends, great food, and just great times :)


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