October 14, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Uncategorized

Wow, the last week has been a bit surreal! This last weekend was my birthday – Jacob wouldn’t let me in on pretty much any of the details regarding what had been planned…and I had a feeling that my pleas for a puppy would go unanswered (and rightfully so). But little did I know what he had in store for me.

On Thursday of last week, Jacobo told me that he would like to meet me at my work for lunch. I headed down all seven floors to meet him outside. When I approached him he seemed really nervous, telling me that he had to show me something, that even though it wasn’t my birthday, bla bla bla (it’s really all a blur)…then he turned my around, and my dear friend Kenny was standing there!!! Oh my gosh, I screamed and cried, and cried some more, all on this busy street in the middle of Madrid. I spent the entire lunch and the rest of the day nearly sick from the shock of the surprise. Apparently Jacobo had been planning it for months, intricately coordinating to have Kenny fly out and blindside me completely! I have never been so pleasantly surprised in my life!

As if that weren’t enough, really! The weekend rolls around and I am expecting nothing special expect for dinner on Saturday night…I did start to suspect something was in the works, but couldn’t quite figure it out. I decided that it must just be a dinner with more people than I expected, and that that would be it. There was something fishy about it all though. We ended up driving by Jacobo’s sister’s house, and somehow we just had to go inside. I was onto them at that point – not really knowing what to expect, but knowing that something was up. We got into the house and his sister gave me a healthy shove into the living room at which time a group of probably 25 people screamed “sorpresa!!!”

Nope, that wasn’t on my radar at all. A dinner with the family and a couple friends, sure, but all of these wonderful, generous people came just to wish me a happy birthday and make me feel at home because they knew it would be my first birthday here and away from the States. Jacobo’s sister, with the help of others, so generously coordinated and hosted the whole thing – his family continues to make me feel like this is my home away from home.

On top of everything else, here I am an ocean away and so many of my friends and family have called and/or sent emails, cards and packages, all making me feel so close even though I am so far away. What could have been a very lonely day was really one of the most special days ever. Oh, and they even threw a parade for me here in Madrid!! Ummm, ok, it wasn’t actually for me, but you know that guy, what’s his name – Christopher Columbus, that’s right, he made his little discovery a few years back and as a result the 12th of October is Spain Day. Lucky ol’ me gets my exact birthday off every year, no matter the day of the week ;). Not too shabby!

My friend Kenny will be here until this Friday, and then that same day, Jacob and I fly to Rome. I know, my life is way, way too rough, it’s quite ridiculous actually. Jacobo has to work in Rome next week, so we are flying out early to enjoy the city. So, until next week, ciao!!!

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