So the big party was Noche Buena, which is Christmas Eve. Everyone gathers and a whole pig is roasted. Marta and Pupy (Otto's parents) used to host it at there house in Hollywood, and I think Otto's brother Orlando had it at his house one year, but the past several years they've had it at the farm since there's LOTS of room to spread out.
No Cuban event is complete without a game of dominoes. Tia Teresita and Tio Manolito with Sam, versus Tia Vittoria (Manolito's wife) and Otto with Andy, while Marta looks on.
I'm not sure who's winning at this point, but with snacks, beer, good company, WARM WEATHER, and awesome Cuban music playing, you're having a good time either way.
Shortly after that round of dominoes, more people started arriving. A game of catch ensued. You can see the large avocado tree to the left that we helped Marta decorate with giant red balls - very festive! Tio Hector (Teresita's husband) and Aaron pulling the pig out of La Caja China.
Everybody swarms when the pig is taken out so they can get some of the crispy skin, which is completely consumed by the time the pig hits the serving table.
Tio Herveth savoring his chunk. Cuidado, Tio, it's hot!!
This tray cooked the pig from the top down. I stood next to the burning embers for a LONG time, hoping there was some type of heat repository in my body that I could make withdrawals from once we were back in Canada.
The finished plate of food, complete with black beans, rice, salad, and yucca with mojito sauce (olive oil with crushed garlic, not the mixed drink!). MMMMMmmmmm - was it good. Turns out Aaron makes a mean pig, too!
The crowd enjoying their meal.
And a few more group shots. Here's Otto and Aaron with their cousin Hectico (Hector and Teresita's son). For anyone reading that went to our wedding, this if the kid that walked Otto's grandmother down the aisle. Now he's a big, strong fireman and paramedic!
And speaking of Hectico, he just recently proposed marriage to this lovely lady, Maribel. She's a kindergarten teacher, and is sooooo nice. Don't they make a cute couple? :o)
Orlando and his new bride, Yvonne. (See pics from their reception later in the post.)
A picture of us. Hectico, Alejandro's girlfriend (sorry, I can't remember her name right now and Otto's already asleep), Alejandro, and Big Hector towards the end of the evening.
And a parting group shot of Tio Herveth, Tia Ana Maria, Tia Tere, Aaron, Otto, Pupy, Tia Lydia, Otto's cousin Herbie (Herveth and Ana Maria's son), and Marta.
All these pictures and I still didn't get a shot of everyone that wast there! It was a good time.
And two days after this party, Orlando and Yvonne held a reception at their house to celebrate their recent marriage.
I wish I had taken more pictures here because everyone was dressed so nicely, but I guess I was too busy visiting, dancing, and trying to keep Andy and Sam from falling in the pool.
Tia Milagros, Tio Roberto, Pupy, y Tia Vittoria. Pupy isn't asleep, I just clicked the button at the wrong time. :o) El Fin. Hay, Dios Mio - after all this partying, I'm exhausted!