AHHHH So believe it or not I was just about to hit publish as i stepped away to see it on my tablet. It was completely erased. So you can just imagine how I felt at 1:43 a.m. I wanted to jump out of my balcony but realized it is only three flights and I would survive. So instead I went back to bed and thought I may or may not start this post over again.
So i woke up with a clear mind… (somewhat) thought no this is worthy of posting and it is a memory that I do not want to ever forget.
Most of my friends have seen my Facebook post and think well the Spanish know how to party. Well yes they do, but what most don’t know is that Christmas and New Year’s Eve (especially) is spent with family. So when I got invited New Year’s Eve dinner I was not only elated and grateful.
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So let me just say contrary to what some people may think that the spanish are late to events. NOOOOOOO they are not . When they ask you to be there at 14:00 hrs and you hear 12:00 hrs its best to be there early. So yes yours truly was late. However, it was not entirely my fault. The Metro is usually on time and I have to say one of the most efficient public transportation . This particular evening, New Years Eve the lines were not flowing as frequently and we had to switch lines… So my fellow Houstonians who are not aware this is not just an inconvenience it is also a huge pain in the A$$.
So yes dinner started at 9:00 I got there at 9:40 … Then they started with the appetizer… Yes a Spanish dinner is not a quick hour. No I do not think I can emphasize this enough but eating is minimum a two and half hour procession. (Which I love!!!) This meal seemed to be perfectly timed because by the time with got to dessert it was time to bring the champagne and Grapes. Yes, you heard me right “Grapes”.
WHY Grapes ? Funny you should ask… in 1909 Vinalopó a grape producer had an overproduction that year. So this company gave away grapes at the end of the harvest which happens to at the end of December. Ever since then the Spanish have started this tradition of eating 12 grapes, one for each month and this is called las doce uvas de la suerte. Did I mention there is a process ….Ah Ha yes a processes. Most normal people are at home with their families watch their version of “Ball Drop” in Time Square. Except this square is La Puerta del Sol. People (abnormal) camp out by four in the afternoon to get there spot for New Years. So right before the stroke of midnight and the grapes are distributed you have four consecutive chimes. This is saying ” On your mark set …Go” Then there are 12 chimes, on each chime you eat a grape. Keep in mind that there is only two to three seconds break in between eating. So you really don’t eat the grapes as much as you swallow them with seeds and all.
This has made me reflect that If i decide to go back to the states. I will not celebrate my New Year’s Eve with a Friends. I will make sure I am always with family. This experience made me reminisce of one of my favorite New Year’s that was when I was with my family in Panama in 2007.