Monday, November 28, 2005

thanks for the yate, hold the bote

It would have been a nearly perfect travel experience, if we hadn't ended up sitting on the runway in Ft. Lauderdale for three hours, stuck and sweating. Finally we got back to the city, too late for P's class, missing my freelancer mixer sponsored by MediaBistro. Oh well. We're home.

So weird to leave early on Thursday with rain and freezing temperatures and end up with sun and heat. I mean, I was born in this place, grew up here, spent my family holidays and summer vacations in S. Florida. Who knew I'd become one of those snowbirds we always ridiculed.

P's uncle is rich, lives in a big ol house on Key Biscayne and, since all the many many rooms were taken up with aunts, cousins, nephews and grandchildren, he put us up in one of the many many rooms in the 100 foot yacht docked in the backyard on the Atlantic.

I mean, talk about strange. These are the homes and boats (or bote as they all called it) that we would see from a distance and mock and wonder who lived there. Now I was there.

In fact, we didn't end up in the yacht (or yate as I heard it called as well) since we arrived only a few hours before the big Thanksgiving meal. Unfortunately it had been hijacked by a gringa daughter-in-law and there were no frijoles or Cuban goodies, instead it was frou-frou stuffings (yes, two with tons of gourmet doo-dads thrown in for color and price) and cranberry sauce. Damn. At least there was homemade keylime pie along with the pecan and pumpkin varieties. Yep, back in Florida.

Being the first guy that Patricio has ever introduced to his extended family, I was getting all kinds of questions and trying to answer them all as politely as possible. Of course there were no less than four family meals with 20+ people at all of them, so I got bored with my own answers and would have started making up new, more interesting ones if I didn't think I would be seeing these folks again sometime in the future.

I was on "tio" duty, uncle to all the little cousins, babies, etc., playing games and watching them drool and cry. But it was fun. I get to play with them, their moms do the hard work.

I was a nephew as well -- got to see my aunts for a day along with my cousins and hear all kinds of stories that I was always too young for before. Plus, it was my first "outing" to relatives outside our nuclear family since I'd been forbidden to bring it up to any of them before. Hmm. What will the gossip be now?

The final meal yesterday was the Sunday family lunch, which didn't disappoint: arroz con pollo, sweet plantains, croquetas. And, along with my stomach bulging, my Spanglish vocabulary is just oh so grande. Gracias por everything.


At 7:11 AM, Blogger Dee said...

I had a Tia Nora when I was young. I had many Tias, actually; years passed before I learned that most of my Tias weren't really related by blood. Lies, all lies!.


Post a Comment

<< Home