Last week I went to dinner with my host parents and their Fallas friends at one of their favorite dive bars, Los Serranos.
We were the second group to arrive after their friends Maria and her husband.
The third couple to arrive was Monica and Jose Enrique, Cristina's sister and her husband. The men migrated to one side of the table and the women to the other, where we stayed as the remaining couples arrived. But before they arrived, Cristina told me as Monica listened, that Monica was pregnant and she would tell the group that night.
Maybe five minutes after everyone (making us a table of 14 or so) arrived, the new arrivals were looking around at everyone's drinks, discussing what they would order.
Laura, who was sitting beside Monica, gave a sigh, saying she wasn't sure what she would order. She turned to Monica and grabbed Monica's drink and under her breath said "Monica, what do you have?" as she turned the bottle to view the label, revealing a non-alcoholic Amstel. Laura saw the label, looked at Monica, who was pleasantly smiling, looked back at the bottle with wide eyes, then back at Monica as she gasped "Wait, are you..."
and before she even finished the sentence, Monica quietly nodded, as Laura let out a squealing scream before shouting, "MONICA'S EXPECTING A BABY! MONICA'S PREGNANT!" to the rest of our table as she bounced up and down in her seat.
The girl's side of the table erupted in "Congratulations!" and happy applause and laughter as Monica rested her elbow on the table and covered her mouth with her hand, hiding a smile. The news traveled to the men's side of the table where the guys turned to Jose Enrique, shouting "Dude, another kid! Congratulations!" and "Epa!" as Jose Enrique just laughed.
As for the rest of the dinner, it was fun getting to know Cristina and Monica's girlfriends, who varied in what looks like ages 27 and 36.
Laura was very friendly and energetic, especially when talking about her recent trip to the United States where her and her newlywed spent a couple weeks driving from San Francisco down through California and over to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I recently saw some pics of her on Marina's blog, modeling some of Marina's jewelry.
Marina was the quiet but whimsical artistic type who works with her dad designing and making fallas for the big festival in March. She makes jewelry, too, in a style that I can only describe as cute, light, and cheery.
This past Monday we went to Marina's gallery. While we were there, Monica filled up a large cookie tin with various wares to peddle to the other moms at her kids' schools, after which she gives all the earnings back to Marina. We also saw the sketch for this year's falla, titled Algodon de Azucar, or Cotton Candy. She also had a few paintings of people's faces, and I told her I was already somewhat familiar with her work because of the painting she did of Lucia that hangs at the foot of the ground floor staircase in my host family's home.
It was great to go out and meet/see more people, as I get to know my host family and their friends.