Ah, is is so good to be here. This is like "family time." This familly is so special to us because they are Petar's family.
We are in Croatia and are at Zrinka's home. Zrinka is the mother of Petar our exchange student. She is a delightful woman...the director of a puppet theater and an actress. The last time we were here, she won the equivalent of a Croatian Oscar. On Monday, she will be in a soap opera for the first time.
This is the reason we are here...for the wedding of this handsome young man and his bride-to-be. This is Petar, our Croatian "son", and his mother, Zrinka. Petar was our exchange student the year that he and Kat were both Seniors. We are so happy to see him again. We have been together three times since he lived with us. I love this young man very much!
Kat joined us in Croatia. This is Kat and Jelena, Petar's beautiful wife-to-be. She is perfect for him. Jelena is a third grade teacher and sings in a jazz/gospel group. They are terrific. We have one of their CD's now. They won a Croatian "Grammy" for their version of "Hallelujah."
Here we have Roxy, Petar and Jelena's dog. We told them about "fur-babies" and how they were preparation for real babies ;-). Next to Kat is Sven and Ema. They are the children of Ana (Petar's sister) and her husband, Igor. We will get better pictures of them later, as they will both be in the wedding. We brought them a picture dictionary and a face-painting kit.
At the left of this picture is Igor, wife of Ana and father of Ema and Sven. We were also joined by Maria and Zlato. Zlato is Zrinka's brother.
Zrinka (and Maria) fixed us a FEAST! They had been up since the early morning cooking. After hors d'oeuvres (cheeses and meats of great flavor), we had a traditional Croatian dinner. Homemade chicken and pasta soup, followed by beef and mashed potatoes and parsnips. Then had another course of roast turkey and baked potatoes. We had lots of wine. The cherry wine was delicious. We also had a very good sweet Croatian wine and many wines similar to what we have in our country. There was a lot of toasting, "chin-chin" and "giveli"! Then we took a break from stuffing ourselves.
The food here is fantastic. Everything is fresh and nonprocessed.
The kids had a good time with the face painting kit and painted on the best palette they could find...Jud's bald head! This is Jud, Ana and Ema. The kids are so cute, fun, and very well -behaved. The last time we saw Ana, she was pregnant with Sven!
After we had rested our very full stomachs, we had some fantastic dessert. Ana has a baking business. This is a picture of her wonderful chocolate torte! You can't see the delicious homemade cupcakes she made for us. Oh dear, I see a few slices left.
Beware of the Chocolate Monster!
Beware of the Chocolate Monster!
Zrinka has some incredible art in her home. This was a wooden picture, given to her for thirty-five years in the Croatian National Theater. Kat took a final opportunity to ham it up a bit before we left for our hotel.
Then it happened...the Chocolate Monster came and ran away with the torte! We let him have it because he is so frightening...he even has fingers growing on his head! We certainly did not want to aggravate him!
Thus, a warm and loving meal with our favorite Croatian family came to an end.