Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Outstanding Out-of-Towners (Part 4 - Cathy's Guest Blog)

Today Amanda requested me for a guest entry for her blog.  I have followed her many words these past years and my first thought is "yikes". . .  But then I immediately think of this most amazing time that we have just spent with her and Joseba here in San Sebastian and I think yes "this is easy".

My journey actually started almost exactly one year ago when Paul and I visited Amanda for the first time.  We would see her new home in Spain and meet a lovely young man that she had written about so often.  We were totally taken by this most interesting part of the world - beauty and culture in every direction.  And best of all we met Joseba - this man who would, in a few months, be her husband.  In our short time here we got acquainted, ate pinxtos, and learned the Basque stroll.  We were so excited that we could return home to report to the family that she was in very good hands - both with the country she had chosen and the man that would accompany her on life's journey.

From the moment I arrived home I knew in my heart that Auntie Hazel should have this same experience.  A few months later I asked Amanda her thoughts of a possible visit by Auntie and myself.  You can all imagine her reaction to the notion that Grammy might visit her in San Sebastian.  Next, was the question to Auntie . . . now affectionately referred to as Auntie/Grammy by Amanda and me, and of course, she was MOST excited too.  The plans were made and here we are.

We arrived nearly one week ago and from the moment we arrived Auntie has had a smile on her face that has not faded.  And I see the same joy in Amanda as well.   We have met Joseba's family, who opened their arms and embraced us in such a loving way.  We know they have been such an important part in Amanda's life here in Spain and have embraced and cared for her as their own.  We know that she is very special and it is obvious they feel this way too.

As we are nearing the end of our time here I am filled with joy that I was here to have this most glorious experience.  Amanda and Joseba have been the most perfect hosts to Auntie and me.  Each moment, whether organized or spontaneous,  was so carefully and lovingly orchestrated.  The "walking" tours, home cooked meals, road trips, pinxtos bars, and best of all the lunch with Joseba's family will be in my mind always.  Auntie has always been such an important person in my life and I am so happy that I was here to share this with her.

Auntie and I are sad that our time has come to an end here in San Sebastian but we know that we will see Amanda and Joseba in just a few months when they come to the United States for their visit.  So, our words at the airport will be a bit more palatable when we say "see you soon" rather than "good-bye".

Lots of maite (love) to Amanda and Joseba --  xoxo  Cousin Cathy

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