MMM: Feliz Día del Padre! Happy Father's Day

The Spanish are serious when it comes to fiestas (holidays), especially when they fall on a Monday deeming it a "puente" (long weekend). This past Monday (March 19th) was San José, otherwise known as Saint Joseph's Day. Growing up in an Italian American family, the day was celebrated with a pastry called zeppoles, a Sicilian cream puff, so to speak. Saint Joseph was the patron saint of Sicily, regarded as the one who prevented famine in Silicy during the Middle Ages. Until I moved to Spain, that was all I really knew of the holiday.

San José is a fiesta day in Spain, meaning that businesses are closed and people do not work. What makes this Saint Day stand out from the many others in Spain is that it is also Father's Day, Joseph being the father of Jesus. Given that this was Eduardo's first Father's Day, I wanted to celebrate. It's been a busy few months with work and school schedules overlapping on the weekends, so we haven't had time to do what we love to do most, country getaways.  This would be the first day in many months where we'd both have the day free, so our plan was to get out of Madrid and drive to the country. Destination...Guadalajara.

Our usual plan when we spend the day outside of Madrid is to pick an area (near a main city) and research the nearby villages. Spanish villages have something about them that sets them apart from any city I've ever been to. Maybe it's the ruins, the way the people interact with one another, or the smell of the bread from the only bakery around. Whatever it is, we love to spend our weekends taking long walks in new villages, eating lunch, and enjoying the sights. Give me the simple life!

The first village we went to on Monday was Hita. Like many Spanish villages, it was fairly small, but had a lot of charm. Most of the walk was uphill, which was kind of uncomfortable with a stroller, but well worth it once we got to the top. Sitting on top of the hill lie the ruins of a church, La Iglesia de San Pedro.  Although I'm not a religious person, I find something magnificant in the architecture and overall sentiment of old churches.

La Iglesia de San Pedro

After walking around for a little bit the hunt for food began. This village had one restaurant and it was closed for the holiday. So we took off and went to the second destination: Cogolludo. This village is situated a bit higher, allowing for great views. We quickly found a nice place to eat, and the best part was that Violeta was well-behaved which gave us the opportunity to enjoy our meal. She didn't do too bad either, chewing on a piece of hard bread! Gotta love the bread. It's a parent's greatest entertainer!

A little wine followed by a little coffee.

With full stomachs we were now ready to explore. Walking uphill we came across yet another church and off to the right were some ruins which were very cool. At this point it was no longer sunny, and the clouds began to take over the sky. Again, I have to say that there's something that adds to the ambiance about being in a village up on a hill with gray skies above. We strolled in and out of the narrow streets until we couldn't take the wind much longer. We left feeling satisfied with the way we spent our day, or should I say Eduardo's day. After all, it was his first Father's Day and I was hoping it would be a memorable one. Mission accomplished!

The town church of Cogolludo

Happy Father's Day!

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