Yesterday was one of Matt's really busy days, where he had practice pretty much all day long, so we are celebrating my birthday today (only one practice - yay!). Last night I went down stairs to the restaurant to eat dinner (while Matt was at practice), and I was a little sad about eating by myself on my birthday, but I figured it was better than eating by myself somewhere in America, at least here I didn't know anyone or speak the language, so I don't really care as much what people think about me (yet).
I was also nervous about eating alone because I don't speak any Spanish! But Matt and I have eaten at this restaurant several times, and I know several of the waiters, and usually they just bring us whatever food Matt gets without us ordering (his food is provided by the team, and they usually just bring me a plate of the same thing). I like not ordering, because I wouldn't know what to order in the first place. So I go downstairs last night, and of course there is a waiter that I haven't met yet. So I smile and point to myself and say "solo" which means only (me). He sits me at our usual table, so at least he knows who I am. (Another thing - Matt and I aren't really sure if we are being charged for my food or not...the hotel is a sponsor of the team, and we haven't seen a bill yet, but they may be billing it to the room...but we aren't paying for the room....anyway). I didn't bring any Euros with me so I rub my fingers together (in a money gesture) and point to my room key (I think I'm asking "Can you charge it to the room?"), but the waiter says something in Spanish and makes a gesture like "Don't worry about it" - so maybe we aren't being charged for my food. Who knows.
Anyway, to the good part - the waiter brings me a menu (which luckily has English on it also), but before I order he brings out a plate of fancy bread and something else. I point to Dessert on the menu, asking if that is what he brought me, but he points to Appetizer. So I tried it - the middle was a delicious caramelized apple like tastes, but I have no idea what was on the outside and it wasn't very good...looked like meat? Not sure. (Luckily Matt had told me the day before that in a restaurant it was not rude to not eat all your food, so I didn't eat the meat part). Then I try to gesture to ask the waiter what entree he would recommend (none are familiar to me, roasted pig suckling, lamb something, no normal food - it's a fancy restaurant by the way). We settle on "beef steak", which turned out to be just regular steak and was so good. The waiter brings out a plate of the steak and fries, then adds a salad which was nice. Then he comes out with some wine, and asks if I would like some, but I say no because I figure it would be expensive. He says a lot of stuff in Spanish then pours me some anyway! Haha. At this point he's bringing me so much food to try I assume we aren't paying, at least not for all of it. It was red wine, which I haven't liked in the past, but this is my first wine in Europe, and it was delicious! It was so good, especially for red wine. So then he brings me ANOTHER plate (my 6th plate of food sitting in front of me!) of this fancy looking ham that Matt likes. I wish Matt had been there to help me eat everything! At this point I'm starting to feel bad because there is no way I can eat all this! It was so much food! It was so sweet of him to bring me all the different food to try and the wine, and he didn't even know it was my birthday. So I did my best to make a dent in as much of the food as possible, then he brought be not one but two yogurts for dessert! It made me feel so special to have such a nice dinner on my birthday, I just counted it as Jesus taking care of me :).
Anyway, so it was a great dinner, but not long after I go back up to the room Matt comes back from practice and he got elbowed in the eye and had to get 2 stitches! They were going to give him 3, but they said for the 3rd one they would have to shave off his eyebrow, so they just gave him 2 and told him to be careful - haha I'm glad they didn't shave his eyebrow! So he is at practice now but sitting out for a day so he won't start bleeding again. After his practice we are going shopping for my birthday, so I'm excited to go out and see a different part of the city. I want to backtrack and write about my flight and being over here, I will get to that eventually! I will sum it up by saying 1. I'm so happy to finally be with Matt again and 2. I already miss the states a lot!