Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Carnival, Granada's finale that capped the partying

This is Mike...
   Well we survived two and a half weeks of amazing partying, pounding music and constant bottle rockets. The fiestas started with the running of the bulls and ended with Carnival in Granada. At one point Elise and I thought we would have made great psychological experiments on what exhaustion does to a marriage. We hit that marital "Line in the sand" and repeatedly got snappy with one another over nothing. We sometimes deliriously laughed while laying on the couch with our palms on our foreheads while at the same time bickering over more nonsense. The bottle rockets were the worst for us as they went off at 2am, 430am at any A.M. you can imagine for 17 long days. As it so happens, we live very close to the Inglesia Xalteva which is bottle rocket "Grand Central" for Granada.
   We survived the mass gatherings without getting robbed which is a wonderful accomplishment in this day and age. I did get viciously assaulted though, which was surprising. While I was sitting on the park wall, waiting for the Carnival to happen, I felt a sharp pain to my right chest. I looked over to discover the assailant. He was strong, had brown hair, and kicked me hard once his mom detached him from breastfeeding. Don't get me wrong I'd be upset too, after getting the milk faucet turned off, but I don't ever recall kicking anybody when I was a year old. The boy's mom was so embarrassed by her 26 inch tall ninja warrior that I actually felt bad for her. I smoothed it over by joking with her about how I finally got beat up and it was by a toddler. We laughed and all was good. Jokes aside, I really like how breastfeeding is 100% fully accepted here. No breastfeeding rooms required here just a lactating mom, a hungry child and a comfortable place to relax, just as nature intended it. 
   We learned a lot from our earlier experiences at the Hipica, that a family with kids don't mix with adult partiers in tight spaces. For Carnival we decided to hang out in the women and children's section of the parade route. The biggest threat in our section was someone overdosing on cotton candy or being kicked by a disgruntled breast feeder. The parade eventually began an amazing 4 and a half hours after it was supposed to start. My kids were so over the long wait that they actually went home before the parade even began. I, however, took one for the team and stuck it out, both to witness Carnival and to see if the strobe lights would enhance my appreciation for my otherwise poor tasting beer. Carnival was safe and energetic near the Xalteva church. I hear it was a completely different experience on the Calzada with all of the adult revelers sloshing in deliciously cheap rum drinks. I, however, was happy to be right around the corner from my soft bed, finally without bottle rockets, and the most beautiful sound of all, silence.    

Each school or neighborhood had their own costumes.

Waiting for the parade.

Guess which ones are my kids?

Had to take a picture of one of the more experienced revelers in the crowd.

Here they come, party train.

Party floats.

Neon colors filled the route.

Beautiful outfits marched by for hours.

The music and dance filled the air.

Dancing and swaying to drumbeats.

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