Friday, December 28, 2007

Miami Christmas

Now that it is only my father’s side of the family residing in Miami, the holidays are much less stressful. No longer will I have to tromp all over the city in a desperate effort to appease the demands of both sides of the family.

The holiday festivities began with Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) at Rosa’s house where we enjoyed a beautiful meal prepared in the traditional Cuban style complete with roasted pork, black beans and rice, and (my favorite) cassava . Ana, Betty and I were relegated to the kid’s table and enjoyed an evening of catching up on the details of our lives. We also discussed recent predictions from the Magic Eight Ball concerning our parent’s engagement. Will this be the year?!!! Following dinner I joined my father at church where he sang at the evening Christmas service. How regal he looks in that robe!

On Christmas day Ana, Betty and I held our breath with every gift their mother opened wondering if the next might be an engagement ring. (I don’t think my dad actually reads my blog, so I feel comfortable speaking freely) And so, Christmas came and went without a proposal, but “all signs point to yes” for New Years!
I started Christmas day off with a beautiful morning ride out to Key Biscayne where my father and I met up at my grandmother’s place. It is now too difficult to transport her to the “main land” which means that our Christmas with her was boiled down to a quiet morning of exchanging gifts and limited communication. On the way back Dad and I experimented with a little car vs. bike race. Dad won by 25 minutes. If traffic had been a little heavier I totally would have beat him!

Upon our return home we all set to work making Christmas dinner. Dad was showered with praises for his gravy and stellar turkey carving skills. Rosa buzzed around the kitchen keeping everything on track. I think Abuela Rosa indulged in a little more coquito. Ana, Betty, and I were upgraded to the adult table. Tio Carlos spent most of the evening shuttling family throughout the city. And Benji and Eddie made loud boisterous conversation that added to the festive nature of the evening.

So, the gringos and the Cubans spent yet another happy holiday together. Our families seem to blend together as smoothly as my father’s award winning gravy that poured in copious amounts from its festive Christmas boat.

Holiday Rides

My holiday riding regime consisted of a Christmas Eve ride, a Christmas morning ride, and a day after Christmas group ride. The Christmas Eve ride was not particularly note worthy save for the ingenious dog transport wagon I happened upon on my way home:

Oh, and my detour to Bill Baggs State Park:

My Christmas morning ride was disguised as “environmentally friendly transport to Grandma’s house” out on Key Biscayne. I also met a family of cycling fanatics along the way. What a fabulous way to spend Christmas morning!

Oh, and it turns out Sean Taylor lived in my dad’s neighborhood (a morbid photo really):

As for the day after Christmas ride …it gets its own heading. (see above)

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