Meet the Parents

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Janel and Dario have planned a surprise for today – we are going to be meeting Dario’s parents for lunch! Rich and I are excited to meet them, but we have a little twinge of nervousness.  They don’t speak English and our Spanish is barely enough to get by.  We hope that with J & D along as translators for each side, that we can understand each other.  Should prove to be an interesting day to say the least.

Breakfast at the Gran Sol Hotel is ok, but nothing to expound on (especially after the awesome dinner we had last night).  We pack up and say adios to Sant Pol de Mar.

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For our meeting point Janel has chosen a place that is about halfway between each of our locations.  Darios’ parents will be coming from Jerica – the small village in which they have a summer home.  We will be meeting at the delta of the Ebro river about an hour and a half south of Barcelona. The Ebro Delta  has a National Park and is the largest wetland area of Catalunia. Janel has previously visited a restaurant there and thought it would make for a nice gathering place.

As we near the delta of the river the landscape changes drastically.  There are fields of rice as far as you can see.  The land is flat and flatter.  Looks pretty cool.  With a bit of challenging navigation we finally reach our destination – the Ebro Delta National Park and home of Restaurant L’Estany Casa de Fusta. We have arrived before Dario’s parents so we take some time to visit the overlook.

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rice fields forever
rice fields forever

When Dario’s parents arrive they admit that they had some trouble finding this spot that is “in the middle of nowhere.”  We all are introduced and gifts are exchanged.  They brought for us some of the precious olive oil from Jerica and we love it.  They also presented us with a beautiful wooden fruit bowl.  We brought them some Blanton’s Bourbon from Kentucky and also a box of See’s Chocolates.

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After all the introductions are made, we make our way inside for lunch.  Janel and Dario choose to each sit in the middle of their respective parents so that they can translate.  It is not long, however before the conversation becomes animated and lively.  Dario’s parents are delightful and we get along splendidly.

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The specialty around here is rice, of course and we order plenty.  Lunch starts with some lovely salads and grilled vegetables and moves on to an awesome Duck and Rice dish (super “duck-y”) and then a platter of assorted fishes.  A lovely bottle of Cava (the kind that Janel brought to Evansville) rounds out our meal.

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Stories are shared, food is passed and everyone enjoyed the afternoon together.  Sometimes a language barrier is not a barrier at all.

Both families:

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One selfie:

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You can tell that none of us know how to have fun
You can tell that none of us know how to have fun

Look at the tiny new reading glasses that Dario Sr (Dario’s father) gave to me:

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New earring?
New earring?

After lunch a little stroll back to the lookout point was in order.

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IMG_3588We are so happy to have met Dario and Maribel.  It was a pleasure to spend a long lunch with them.  We hope they will have an opportunity to visit us back home in Arizona.

The drive back to Barcelona seems long and some of us nap along the way.  We return the car and now Rich and I will check into our new place: Ca La Maria – a beautiful B&B located in the Eixample area close to Janel’s apartment. Maria has already been so kind as to let us store my large bag there so we did not have to lug it all around on our little trip. Now we actually get to see our new place and it is gorgeous. (More pics of this place tomorrow)

The main salon lounge with hundreds of books and a huge dvd library and projector/screen
The main salon lounge with hundreds of books and a huge dvd library and projector/screen

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Liceu suite (ours)
Liceu suite (ours)
HUGE bathroom
HUGE bathroom

We only make a brief stop here before meeting for dinner at La Xula (where Janel and I went last week).  It is not our usual MO to go to a place twice, but La Xula is perfect for tonight.

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The awesome "bikini" sandwhich (ham/cheese/truffles) makes another appearance
The awesome “bikini” sandwhich (ham/cheese/truffles) makes another appearance along with a killer tuna belly and tomato salad
Succulent Rabo del Toro (oxtail) with potatoes - a standout
Succulent Rabo del Toro (oxtail) with potatoes – a standout

Another dish we had was Cap i Pota which I think is made of beef snout (If you ask Dario, he might tell you it is beef “snot.” I hope he is wrong.) It is amazing! We munch through everything and solve several of the world’s problems over dinner – maybe some of our own problems as well.

The meal is finished with a very typical little treat of dark chocolate on crisp toast sprinkled with a touch of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.  Try it.

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4 thoughts on “Meet the Parents

  1. We are very happy to have been with you and hope to see you again, I hope the oil does not have problems with customs, festivities begin in September Jerica, my email is dariops@gmail.com, send yours to send you things in the holidays Jerica, I really like writing with Google translator, languages ​​need not be a problem when people of good heart are known. Warm greetings and Maribel Dario.

    1. Thank you so much for reading along. We enjoyed meeting you so much and hope to see you again in the near future. If you ever want to come to the states, just give us a call and you have a place to stay.
      The oil is amazing! It made it back safe and sound and we are using it like crazy. Thank you so much for your thoughtful gift.

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