Posts filed under ‘Family & Friends’

Saying goodbye to amazing friends

Our year in Barcelona was truly amazing. We traveled around, visited many places I have studied, I collected thousands of documents for my thesis, my cooking has greatly improved, my Spanish improved dramatically and I now understand Catalan well. Barcelona is an incredible city, so creative and alive that kept us buzzed with ideas all the time. Yet, the most important thing we got out of our year here was the number of incredible friends we have made. We feel we have made friendships that will last our lifetime… It was really a life-changing experience for us. The people I have met here really broadened my horizons, made me think in new ways, gave me so much that I’ll never be able to repay them.

Today we had a lunch party with about 15 of our closest friends here. They hailed from all parts.

From Catalunya: Pau & Mireia, Eli & her boyfriend; Mexico: Jesús, Citlali; Uruguay: Andres (who taught me to make mate! more on that later…); Germany: Sebastian, Sylvie; India: Jacquie; Canada: Joy; Australia: Zephyr; Chile: Francisca; Andalusia (Spain): Carmen; Brasil: Carmem

I was very proud of all the food we made. For starters Sebastian made a cured Salmon filet, and I prepared some fresh veggies with dip. Lunch consisted of Chicken Marbella (a recipe I got from a professor in Canada),  Basmati rice,  Gratin de Chou-Fleur, Fennel salad with red peppers & green onions, Spinach salad with pinenuts and honey-balsamic dressing.  Desserts were completely Catalan: Flam de Mató, Mel i Mató (both from Granja Viader, the oldest dairy house in Barcelona and home of the best mató in town), Musik (dried nuts), all served with heaps of dessert wines (Muscatel in a porrón, icewine, orange wine…). Pau has made Alan an honorary Catalan citizen for his expertise with the porrón and will be sending him a Catalan ID card soon 😉

In usual fashion, we sat down to eat at around 3 pm and the first ones left at 8:45 pm while the rest trickled our around 11:30 pm.  We had an amazing time with everyone and will hold each and everyone of them in our hearts when we leave…

[note: tomorrow I’ll post pictures here] 

Chicos, espero veros todos en Canada un dia!!! Volveremos a Barcelona pronto!!

April 22, 2007 at 12:21 am 5 comments

My niece…

She’s three now and she has been the most talkative person any of us have ever met since she began forming full sentences at the age of one… Can’t wait to see her in May.

Lorena

April 8, 2007 at 12:15 am 14 comments

Our friends…

Alan has written a little tribute to our friends. I just wanted to say that I agree with him 100% and would like to add these pictures to the ones he posted:

friends from TO

Tequila

Mel

Karin

Concordia

the philosopher & the computer scientist

Dana

Gen & I

Montreal friends

With the exception of two of these, these are all friends whom we don’t see much anymore because they are either moving or have already moved to different places. But we know they’ll always be our friends 😉

February 8, 2007 at 1:06 am 1 comment

Meeting friends from the blogosphere

Bruna is a Brazilian web designer who spent many years in France and now lives here in Barcelona. Cris is a Brazilian chemist, who lives in Paris where she does a master in chemistry and works for L’Oreal. We first met in the blogosphere and today we met in person for the first time.

Girls out for lunch

I discovered Bruna’s blog when I was searching for info on living in Barcelona. Somehow her blog came up and I got hooked right away. She seems to be a very positive and adventuresome person, and we would post the odd comment on each other’s blog. She’s also a great writer. I’ve discovered Cris’s blog through Bruna’s site recently and have enjoyed reading her impressions of Paris, a city I love.

Bruna and I have been trying to get together for a while and with Cris in town for a few days, we decided to grab the opportunity and have lunch together. We went to Wushu (no, it’s not the only restaurant in this city! this time it was Bruna’s fault; she suggested it) for lunch where Cris and I had the special of the day:

Curry Rojo con Ternera

Curry rojo con ternera & boniatos (red curry with beef & sweet potatoes)

While Bruna had this wonderful dish:Curry Verde con Gambas y Vieiras

Curry verde con vierias & gambas (green curry with shrimp & scallops) [must have it next time, it looked very yummy]

For dessert, we all had the dessert that came with the special of the day:

Tatin de Manzana

Tatin de manzana con gelado de coco (Apple pie with coconut ice cream)

We walked out very happy and I wish I could have gone with them to explore the city. Alas, I had to work…

But now that I know where Bruna lives and since she swims very near where I work, maybe we can get together more often 😉

January 26, 2007 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Holiday message

Alan and I wish all our friends, family, and occasional visitors to this blog a very happy holiday season – be it Christmas, Hannukah, Kwaanza, etc – and may 2007 be filled with new discoveries, happy moments, exciting adventures, a healthy lifestyle, and peaceful interactions 😉

Alan and I in Girona

December 23, 2006 at 3:06 pm 2 comments

Stories of Lorena

Lorena is my priceless two and a half years-old niece. She started talking when she was about 12-13 months and haven’t stopped since. My brother posted this little vignette in his blog and I couldn’t help but translate it:

We were watching Shrek on the weekend when Lorena commented:
“That donkey doesn’t stop talking…”
I couldn’t resist: “You are right! Like Lorena!”
“It isn’t Lorena who doesn’t stop talking, it’s the donkey! The donkey doesn’t stay quiet. Doesn’t stop talking. Lorena stays quiet. It’s the donkey! The donkey who doesn’t stop talking! Not Lorena daddy! It’s the donkey! He doesn’t stop talking… “

I guess after that monologue, my brother was able to stay “I have no further questions your honour”

October 31, 2006 at 9:44 am Leave a comment

Familia Trapo in Europe

After a whirlwind three-day tour of Paris and two days in Rome, my parents, brother, sister-in-law and three-year-old nephew arrived last saturday afternoon.

Familia in Plaza Catalunya

They were tired but seem to be enjoying their trip immensely. We were amazed at how well the little guy is coping – he basically sleeps every time they get into a bus or subway and has been quite a good sport in the many visits to museums and sights. They sometimes have to carry him – he doesn’t have a stroller anymore – but overall he’s pretty good.

Matheus

October 10, 2006 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Family on its way

My parents, my brother, his wife and three-year old child have just left Brazil on their wayto Europe. They arrive tomorrow in Paris, via Madrid, where they’ll spend three days before moving on to Rome for two days. They’ll finally arrive here in Barcelona on saturday. My parents were in Paris last year but my brother and his family have never been to Europe and are VERY excited. Looking forward to their visit…

October 1, 2006 at 9:26 pm 4 comments

Videos of the bonfire

I've never been to a warzone but I feel it may feel like these. The videos don't quite capture how loud and weird the whole thing was but I guess they give an idea. Detail: the street was never close before or during the fire. City buses went right by the fire as they crossed the intersection!

June 24, 2006 at 5:01 pm 3 comments

San Juan (or Sant Joan)

The feast of St John – a religious holiday that conveniently coincides with ancient pagan ceremonies related to summer solstice  (or winter solstice in the southern hemisphere)- is celebrated in many catholic countries with lots of music and bonfires. 

In Brazil, the end of June marks the feasts of St John, St Peter and St Anthony and in the north and northeast part of the country their celebration is bigger than Christmas. In most of Brazil the festvities have a rural flavour and everybody dress as hillbillies and do square dancing, build up big fires, and eat all kinds of food that are typical of that holiday.  Festa Junina, as we know it, is very popular and its celebration has gone beyond June 24 to mark the last few weeks of June and beginning of July. Every school has its own dance and here's my nephew Matheus in his daycare's Festa Junina and my niece Lorena and her brother Luan at last year's event:

 

 

Now, the parties in Barcelona are considerably wilder than anything I've seen in Brazil. The main festivities happen in the beach, where they enact the coming down of the sun and moon and the beginning of the age of hell. I heard there are some wicked fireworks involved. But since we are not into crowded events, we decided to check out the neighbourhood parties and bonfires. You'll see pictures and more comments of the night in Alan's blog . Suffice it to say that it felt like WWIII was on and anarchy had set in. They actually lit a bonfire in the middle of the street – without stopping traffic(!!) – that rose to about 4 stories!!! Very surreal. Anyways, I'll try to put a video of it here later. I'm trying to get them on youtube. Stay tuned. 

June 24, 2006 at 12:26 pm Leave a comment


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