After a long week of finals, it was an amazing feeling to get off the plane at PBI and feel the heat and humidity of home hit me as I walked out to short term parking with my parents last Thursday morning. There is no place like South Florida. It is always consistently oppressively hot year round, and always so green with life no matter what the season is. We get our breeze from the ocean, it whispers through the palms and breaks through the heat of the day. I couldn’t wait to be back home and indulge in everything that I had been missing out on while studying.
On the 23rd
Sam and I met up with our long lost friends, another set of twins: Sam and Lucy. We’re both off to college in two other states and it was amazing to catch up, first by a bonfire on the beach and second over tapas, which is one of the best ways to consume food. The sand between my toes, my inability to stop laughing at their stories, and our obsession with candid group shots made for one amazing comeback night. I won’t say that things haven’t changed, but for me they have changed for the better. We have this wealth of different experiences to discuss, to learn from each other, and to really grow closer. I was afraid that the distance between us would create a distance in our friendship. If anything it has strengthened it, and has made me cherish our time together even more.
On the 24th
I celebrated Noche Buena with my family. This is basically the lit version of Christmas. Many different Latin cultures have variations of this tradition, but this is how ours goes down. Mi abuelo cook the lechon outside in a homemade cinderblock oven in between two pieces of chain link fence until the skin is crispy and the meet inside is tender and soft. Mi abuela works inside on the traditional Cuban sides: arroz, frijoles, and yucca. The food is the main attraction, definitely a change from the beloved ffc. Still, it was great to see family again, especially after such a long time away and a distance that seems impossible to cross. The beats of salsa music and the next door neighbor’s bachata are a background to endless conversations about school, life, etc. Even some gifts were exchanged at the end of the night, for those we wouldn’t see on Christmas day.
On the 25th
My mom made croissants for the family, a Christmas breakfast tradition. Afterwards we opened gifts from each other. It was a bit like an exchange between Baltimore and Palm Beach Gardens. Sam and I bought the origin story comic books of Silver Surfer for my dad at Atomic Books in Hampden and a blue glazed bowl from Wild Yam Pottery. My parents bought me warm weather accessories to make up for my lack of preparedness for the cold, as well as many long sleeves items and even a leather jacket. Surprise! I even got a new laptop to replace my dinosaur on its last limb. So now my blogs will be written with the typing of my fingers on a new, sleeker, most importantly, more reliable laptop. Can’t promise anything beyond that though. There’ll most likely still be a lot of stylistic/unintentional repetition and rambling on and on and on. We watched Rouge One with the family and honestly it should be a government mandate to watch it. It is the best movie I have seen in the longest time, and for Star Wars nerds it blows The Force Awakens out of the water.
I can’t wait for the rest of break, to hang out with friends, and relax in the deepest way possible, watching Netflix in bed while eating Tostitos. At the same time I already miss Hopkins. It is a completely different type of place, that after this rest, I can’t wait to start getting back to work into.