December 26th, 2014:
We all woke up to a spectacular morning and trickled in to the kitchen for a light breakfast of toast, dulce de leche, and fresh plums and peaches. Ingun was extra excited for the morning because Nacho and the kids were coming up to El Campo to get the horses ready to ride! I, personally, am terrified of horses. Mostly because last time I was at El Campo I was thrown off the back of one after it was stung by a horse fly. It backed up kicking in to a fence and me, not being an expert in anything equestrian, fell off terrified of being trampled. Ingun and the little cousins, on the other hand, love horses and are great at riding them, so I was more than happy to snap photos in the sun all morning, starting with a jumping picture of course :)
While Nacho and Cookie were getting the horses saddled, the cousins decided to play some football with their new Christmas gifts. Alec was half referee (for the on-field arguments that broke out) and half opposing team, and they all ended up kicking around in a circle. It was about 95º outside but they played for quite a while!
When it was time to ride, Cookie and Nacho had saddled up two horses to take turns on. Ingun and Cookie went first, followed by Alec, little Sofia, and Paloma. They were all total naturals… especially Sofi who is only 7 and took charge of the horse as if it was a tiny dog!
My mom and dad helped Nacho cool off the horses at the end of their ride with some cool water straight from the well. I wouldn’t even get close enough to hold their reins, but I did manage to pet one of their noses briefly. Progress!
We were all super ready to take a dip in the water before leaving La Paloma to go back to Montevideo, so we packed up, said goodbye to El Campo, and went back down to the beach house. On my way out, I noticed a list of “golden rules” next to the door on the farm. It was both funny and sweet– a list of reminders to keep the grass cut and plants trimmed, to clean up whatever you make dirty, but also to be good to one another and be happy. I love the thought and humor that went in to this simple piece of paper and it made me smile to know that my family has our priorities in line!
We spent the early afternoon at the beach and enjoyed some final moments of sun and sand. My uncles brought out their small windsurfing/sailboat-thingie and took it out for a spin in the inlet. It was pretty windy that afternoon again and the boat flipped over once or twice even under the firm hand of my expert sailor uncles. Somehow they convinced my dad to go out with them and he took a nice little dump in to the water and walked all the way back from the other side of the shore soaking wet. It was a pretty funny sight to see :)
When it was finally time to say our goodbyes and give the last hugs and kisses to the little ones, we made sure to get a final photo in front of the beach house. I’m pretty sure its the only house in the world that has our name on it, and I know its a special place I can always come back to :)
We got on the road and braved the absolute torrential downpour to get back to Montevideo by the early evening. Because it was my second to last night in Uruguay, we wanted to take Charito out to a nice dinner to thank her for hosting us and being generally an angel as always! A few recommendations for a great milanesa restaurant in Positos, a cute area of Montevideo, took us to a restaurant called “Milamores”.
If you haven’t heard of a milanesa, it is a very typical Uruguayan dish that comes straight from Italy. Its a very thin pounded piece of meat, often beef or veal, breaded and fried with all kinds of toppings. This restaurant’s menu had nothing but milanesas of every variation and it took us a good 20 minutes to even read through (and translate for the non-Spanish speakers) everything that they had to offer. We all ended up with different kinds… from a caprese to one with a mustard sauce, to Ingun’s: a milanesa topped with two fried eggs and three strips of bacon. YUM. Here we all are at dinner!
In my tradition of always finding animals in every country that I visit, I found another beautiful kitten who posed for me in the doorway of Milamores as we were leaving. A perfect ending to a wonderful day filled with dear family!
Stay tuned for my last post about the old city and making gnocchi!