Fourth of July in A Coruna: A Galician Celebration

Here is the long overdue coverage of my forth of July:

What an unusual forth of July! Truly this year’s celebration of my nation’s independence is not one I’ll soon forget.

American ex-pat and long time friend Jaclyn was eager to plan our fourth of July gathering. Jaclyn, her Spanish friend Ricard, and I, decided to visit Jaclyn’s friends Lorena and Maxi who live outside A Coruna and take advantage of their barbecue pit and pool.

At the market we did the best we could to buy proper 4th of July meats. Even our best was a bit off the mark though–we bought chorizo sausages, hamburgesas, and chicken wings that resembled their living counterparts a bit too much for my comfort. We also got potatoes and their sweet potato cousins, bananas, and chocolate. And beer of course–Estrella Galicia, the much improved Bud Light of Galicia.

Arriving at Lorena and Maxi’s house, I found much more than a barbecue bit–instead there was an impressive stove that Jaclyn told me was extra-Galician, even boasting a Camino-de-Santiago shell.
While the food cooked, we lounged by the pool. The always-changing Galician weather was sunny and warm one minute, cool and mild the next, but never quite hot enough for swimming.

I was lucky enough to be serenaded by my company, all accomplished musicians. Maxi strummed the guitar, Ricard played the flute, and Jaclyn her viola. The three played old Galician tunes and improvised fun pieces while I relaxed and re-discovered the benefits of musically inclined friends. Worthy of the Boston Pops!

When the food was ready, we dined on chorizo dogs with Tabasco sauce between baguette bread, hamburgers which tasted remarkably unlike the hamburgers of America, but good none the less, and chicken. When Ricard pulled out more than few feathers still attached to the chicken wings, I was a bit put off, but the meat was soft and tasty. For desert we had chocolate melted in banana–a new treat for me and a new favorite!

In the afternoon we played with the incredibly adorable Neno dog who I couldn’t stop petting due to his incredible cuteness. Small body and big headed, he was a strange looking but charming little mutt. Neno was especially fond of Jaclyn, and tried to “get intimate” with her numerous times. Not today Neno!

I won a game of croquet (how I haven’t played this more, I have no idea–it’s so fun!) and played a new card game with special Spanish cards. Finally at 11 we decided it was time to head back to the city…but the night wasn’t quite over!
Upon reaching A Coruna, we decided for one last drink and late night snack, so we stopped by a nearby bar. Outside at the table next to us, a group of men were playing music, one with a guitar, one with a box drum, and another with home-made maracas.

They noticed Jaclyn’s viola and Ricard’s flute and asked them to join in. Soon I was surrounded by a musical ensemble that well represented the Spanish mindset of enjoying food, drink, and fun. It wasn’t a day I could easily imagining happening in the US, and for that I was thankful. It was a truly special and unforgettable fourth of July!

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