Sunday, July 12, 2009

A perfect Spanish day? - eating snails and playing in the plaza

One late afternoon, we made our way to the Plaza de Alfalfa to let the kids run around for a while and enjoy some tapas. This plaza was great - a bit off the beaten path of the tourist areas and filled with local families who seemed to come out in force at 8 pm every afternoon (yes, in Seville 8 pm is still considered the "afternoon"!). Our kids were a bit down and tired of being dragged yet again out of the apartment, but picked up a bit when they saw a huge group of schoolkids in the plaza, many with hand-held videogames. While initially shy, they mustered up the courage to walk over and peer over their shoulders. At first the school kids ignored Kellen and Christian and would walk away from them. But Kellen was persistent and kept following them around. Suddenly, the tables turned and Kellen was surrounded by ~8 very animated kids, who were very excited learn he was an "American boy" . While Kellen was clearly surprised by the rapid transition from being the outsider to becoming the center of attention, he clearly was relishing it, save for the occasional embarrassment of his father walking over to take pictures. For the rest of the time, about 5 girls followed him around the plaza and it was very cute to see him with a smile on his face. One of the specialties here was caracoles (small snails basted in olive oil and garlic). Casey and Christian were very excited to have me order some and watch me eat them. Personally, I enjoy them - they are kind of like eating a small clam or oyster - and wasted no time devouring the pile. Christian mustered up enough courage to try a few and he seemed to like them, although I don't think it will be something he orders again! Casey on the other hand, liked to pose for the camera, pretending to eat them. To be fair, she was brave enough to try them once before in Javea. Suzanne and I sat back and enjoyed our canas (small beers), soaking up the atmosphere and watching our kids play and fit in with the locals. As for an inside peak into Sevillian city life far from the tourists, it couldn't get any more authentic than this!

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