Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Eve in León - the 12 grapes and 60 kisses!

Miguel and I

Alicia (my goddaughter), Susi and Sara (Salita Guapa)

Eladio and our beautiful daughter Olivia

Pili and Andrés in the Chinese hat

Eladio and his Mother at the Palacio de Bornos
Hello again

On Saturday we left in 2 cars to go to León for New Year’s Eve. On the way, Eladio, his Mother, my Father, Susi and I stopped off for a light lunch at our favourite place on the way to León called Palacio de Bornos where they produce the best white wine in Spain.
Lunch was jamón, chorizo, lomo + queso washed down by that superb white wine we specially love called Colagón. Then after a coffee, we drove on to León to meet up with the rest of the family.

This year Eladio, my Father and I stayed at Alejandro’s new house. Susi stayed with her cousin Laura and Oli and José Luis stayed at Marisa’s house.

The dinner was held at a different restaurant from previous years. We had been going to Amancio’s for at least the last 5 or 6 years and it was time for a change. The place was called Zuloaga and was in the heart of the historical centre of León, near the Cathedral. We had a private dining room which, as we were 30 people, was very much appreciated. As usual the 2 generations sat on separate ends of the table but I ended up sitting in between both of them, next to my beloved nephew Miguel and in front of Oli, José Luis and my husband Eladio.

The evening was raucous as usual because we are so loud and just love family reunions. The menu was the same as ever – it never changes in León and consists basically of cold cuts (entremeses) and roast lamb. And, of course, the highlight of New Years Eve parties in Spain is the eating of grapes on each of the 12 chimes at midnight. Then people drink champagne (Cava, of course, here) and kiss each other on both cheeks. When you are 30 people, that means each person gets kissed 60 times and you kiss everyone 60 times, so quite a lot of kissing went on at our dinner.

We went to bed way past 3 o’clock and slept more or less straight through to midday. Alejandro was a superb host and we shall definitely be staying at his house again.

We all left León after lunch as tomorrow is a working day. So here I am at my computer just before midnight keeping my blog up to date – mostly for my dear brother-in-law, Andrés, who will probably be the first person to read it tomorrow morning as he will be avid to see the photos. One of the best ones is of him with his wife and Eladio’s sister, Pili. He is wearing the mandarin hat and it wasn’t even at the party, it was the afternoon before. Andrés is such a great party animal and none of our family parties would be the same without him.

Well, cheers everyone and a very Happy New Year to you all.


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