a detour to south america: my week in Uruguay (Part 3)

December 26th, 2014:

We all woke up to a spectacular morning and trickled in to the kitchen for a light breakfast of toast, dulce de leche, and fresh plums and peaches.  Ingun was extra excited for the morning because Nacho and the kids were coming up to El Campo to get the horses ready to ride!  I, personally, am terrified of horses.  Mostly because last time I was at El Campo I was thrown off the back of one after it was stung by a horse fly.  It backed up kicking in to a fence and me, not being an expert in anything equestrian, fell off terrified of being trampled.  Ingun and the little cousins, on the other hand, love horses and are great at riding them, so I was more than happy to snap photos in the sun all morning, starting with a jumping picture of course :)

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While Nacho and Cookie were getting the horses saddled, the cousins decided to play some football with their new Christmas gifts.  Alec was half referee (for the on-field arguments that broke out) and half opposing team, and they all ended up kicking around in a circle.  It was about 95º outside but they played for quite a while!

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When it was time to ride, Cookie and Nacho had saddled up two horses to take turns on.  Ingun and Cookie went first, followed by Alec, little Sofia, and Paloma. They were all total naturals… especially Sofi who is only 7 and took charge of the horse as if it was a tiny dog!

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My mom and dad helped Nacho cool off the horses at the end of their ride with some cool water straight from the well.  I wouldn’t even get close enough to hold their reins, but I did manage to pet one of their noses briefly.  Progress!

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We were all super ready to take a dip in the water before leaving La Paloma to go back to Montevideo, so we packed up, said goodbye to El Campo, and went back down to the beach house.  On my way out, I noticed a list of “golden rules” next to the door on the farm.  It was both funny and sweet– a list of reminders to keep the grass cut and plants trimmed, to clean up whatever you make dirty, but also to be good to one another and be happy. I love the thought and humor that went in to this simple piece of paper and it made me smile to know that my family has our priorities in line!

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We spent the early afternoon at the beach and enjoyed some final moments of sun and sand.  My uncles brought out their small windsurfing/sailboat-thingie and took it out for a spin in the inlet.  It was pretty windy that afternoon again and the boat flipped over once or twice even under the firm hand of my expert sailor uncles.  Somehow they convinced my dad to go out with them and he took a nice little dump in to the water and walked all the way back from the other side of the shore soaking wet.  It was a pretty funny sight to see :)

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When it was finally time to say our goodbyes and give the last hugs and kisses to the little ones, we made sure to get a final photo in front of the beach house.  I’m pretty sure its the only house in the world that has our name on it, and I know its a special place I can always come back to :)

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We got on the road and braved the absolute torrential downpour to get back to Montevideo by the early evening.  Because it was my second to last night in Uruguay, we wanted to take Charito out to a nice dinner to thank her for hosting us and being generally an angel as always!  A few recommendations for a great milanesa restaurant in Positos, a cute area of Montevideo, took us to a restaurant called “Milamores”.

If you haven’t heard of a milanesa, it is a very typical Uruguayan dish that comes straight from Italy.  Its a very thin pounded piece of meat, often beef or veal, breaded and fried with all kinds of toppings.  This restaurant’s menu had nothing but milanesas of every variation and it took us a good 20 minutes to even read through (and translate for the non-Spanish speakers) everything that they had to offer.  We all ended up with different kinds… from a caprese to one with a mustard sauce, to Ingun’s: a milanesa topped with two fried eggs and three strips of bacon.  YUM.  Here we all are at dinner!

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In my tradition of always finding animals in every country that I visit, I found another beautiful kitten who posed for me in the doorway of Milamores as we were leaving.  A perfect ending to a wonderful day filled with dear family!

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Stay tuned for my last post about the old city and making gnocchi!

a detour to south america: my week in Uruguay (Part 2)

December 25th, 2014:

Christmas Day was beach day for all of us!  I was looking forward to getting some sun, enjoying the water, but most of all, getting to spend more time with family!  Truthfully, we could have been stuck inside while it poured down rain and I would have been happy as a clam getting to play with my little cousins and spend time with my aunts and uncles!  Luckily it did not rain, however, and we had a beautiful sunny day to spend at the beach.  The beach closest to our house, about 10 feet away, is more of an inlet and has tons of cool shells to collect.  The water was beautiful and we set up our umbrellas and towels before jumping in.

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Unfortunately it was pretty windy in the morning, so Yaya suggested that we head to another beach on the other side of La Paloma, about 10 minutes away, where the wind wouldn’t be blowing so hard.  We packed up the army of kids and stuff and piled in the car.  I love the “if you can’t carry it, it doesn’t come with us” mentality, so all the kids helped carry their items down to the shore.  They’re such well behaved munchkins!

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I had a great time chatting and taking pictures and playing in the water all afternoon.  La Paloma is so peaceful and not crowded at all– there were only about 5 other people on the beach with us!

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We decided to take a Boschi grandchildren photo where everyone lined up in height order next to the water.  With a little coaxing and some height disagreements, we ended up with an awesome shot!  The only three not pictured here are Emi, Flor, and Santiago– we missed them!  In order below: Felipe, Agustin, Matias, Sofia, Mateo, Luli, Juan Tomas, Paloma, Agustina, Magela and Diego.

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It started to get windy on this beach too, and the sand storm (although SUPER cool to see!) was kicking up, so we packed up to head back to the beach house.  Nacho guided us home and stopped at this really cool little surfing beach for us to peek at on the way.  Perfect opportunity for another jumping picture!

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We arrived back at the beach house to a delicious lunch of leftover grilled pork, salads, and tons of beautiful quiche: leek and onion, broccoli and cheddar, and an interesting sweet/savory one with ham, cheese, apple, and sugar.  It was the perfect light lunch before the amazing asado we were going to have for dinner!  The kids played with their Christmas gifts outside while the adults relaxed in the shade.

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After a little nap, we came back together for Christmas dinner– a traditional “asado”, or grilled feast.  There were all kinds of meats: chorizo (a type of sausage), ribs, steak, and some of the more exotic parts of the cow: kidney, small intestine, liver, etc. Everything is grilled on these beautiful barbecues that every single Uruguayan has at their homes, with big grates for grilling and a place for firewood that turns in to the hot coals on the side.

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Diego and Jorge Enrique were the grill masters and kept the delicious food coming all night.  It wasn’t like a buffet of meats– they came out in small pieces for everyone to munch on with a piece or two of bread.  When the steak came off the grill, Diego asked us how we like ours cooked.  Susana and I both love our steaks almost “mooing”, so we got beautiful rare pieces that melted in our mouths.  I’m still dreaming about how good everything was!

At the end of the night, we wanted to take a group photo of all the Oyhenarts and all of the Boschis together.  It was not an easy feat but we managed to get some good combinations.  My favorite was the shot of all the adults!  What a wonderful way to spend Christmas :)

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Stay tuned tomorrow for my last day in La Paloma and fun in Montevideo!