Friday, April 13, 2012

The Outstanding Out-of-Towners (Part 3)

After a night of face-stuffing and wine-drinking, we let Cathy and Grammy sleep in a little bit and then picked them up to head to Orio to do the same all over again.  Right out of the blocks and we were doing the big stuff - meeting the family!

Between all the sight-seeing we had planned for the week, I think that the idea of meeting my new family was at the top of Cathy and Grammy's list.  Joseba's whole family, especially his mother, have welcomed me into thier circle with open arms and big smiles and it has been really special to be incoroprated with such a great group.  It brings a smile to Grammy's heart knowing that there are people who love me just as much as the ones at home and make sure I'm well-looked-after.  She has heard all about his family and knows all the little details that make them so wonderful, so she was quite looking forward to seeing them in person.
 We headed off to Orio, the little fishing village everyone who reads the blog has heard so much about.  We showed them Joseba's old house, where he lived when we dated, where we go hiking, just little things from our lives, and although it was super foggy, the low-lying clouds couldn't steal the show from the adorable little town.

We arrived a bit early, very un-Basque-like of us, and headed to Bordatxo, the little bar where we had said we would meet up with my mother, brother and sister-in-law and little Irati, our neice.  When I saw them nearing the bar I got a bunch of butterflies in my stomach...this was a moment I never thought would happen and here it was unraveling before my eyes. 

Grammy and Maixus, Joseba's mom, embraced in a hug - a big one!  Maixus has always known how special Grammy is to me and made sure to weave her presence into our wedding and had also been looking forward to meeting this lady I speak so much about.  During the countdown to thier arrival she had sent a lot of messages saying she was excited and then upon thier arrival called to send her love before we even left the airport!

Although Grammy and Cathy don't speak Spanish or Basque and Maixus doesn't speak English, everyone smiles in the same language and the bar was full of teethy grins.  On top of her big heart, Maixus also brought two vivid orange roses for each Cathy and Grammy to welcome them.  They are still going strong on our dining room table now, babys breath and all!  Hugs and introductions all around and then later the conversations came because thankfully my brother and sister-in-law speak great English.

We soon headed to lunch - which just happened to be the place where Joseba and I had our wedding lunch/reception.  Grammy and Cathy were uber excited to see the place and even more so when we sat down (after waiting for a wedding inside to finish, coincidence??) and I pulled out two menus we had saved from our actual wedding day.  While the lunch options were not the same, the food was tasty as always.  Between salads that looked like works of art and pastries stuff with mushrooms for starters to the fish of the day and Grammy's ever-so-delicious lasagna, everyone was content with the meal.  Between courses and drinks, Grammy and Cathy presented Maixus with some gifts - such sweet visitors they were!  From Grammy's smell-good bath goodies and a lovely scarf that Maixus immediatley put on to Cathy's chocolate from her town of Ashland, OR and some tasty teas, there were even more hugs and pics!  The only thing that could make it better was dessert and boy was it delicious! 

Soon after finishing, we headed into town so we could show them the little town that Joseba has always called home.  We explored little plaza with tile work all about Orio's whale-hunting past, the massive stone church that pays respect to the village's fishing ties and the Old Part where Joseba's ancestors lived alongside the short buildings on the cobble-stone road.  We even managed to stop off at the Town Hall so they could see the spot where we came out after the wedding ceremomy and were received with the Basque Aurresku dance.

After another drink we had to part ways, tired but happy after an amazing day of two families, worlds apart, uniting and enjoying each other to the max.  It was a very special day that I know I will remember my whole life.


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