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Český Krumlov, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in the Czech Republic Getting off the bus after arriving in Český Krumlov, I thought, wh...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

HAPPY HALLOWEEEEEEEN!

Halloween when the princesses outnumber
the Ghouls; Lito's little nieces and a nephew
I cannot remember the last time I was at a party on Halloween. Tonight was therefor a rare pleasure, and no, it wasn't really a Halloween Party. It was a 21st birthday party for an old work buddy's daughter. As per normal I met up at Lito's house with friends Jeannie & Ron and soon we were introducing ourselves to friends old and new. Within seconds after the hellos, we were all holding plates, and were encouraged to load up our plates. Let me not be shy about saying that moment was the highlight of October for me.

You see, Lito has a large family and extended very-nearly-officially adopted friends. When Lito & the Mrs. give a house party, everyone - OK, save for Jeannie, Ron & myself - bring food. Not just any ole food, but Philippine food from recipes learned at their granny's elbows: Adobo, Pancit, crispy pata, menudo, and lumpia (spring rolls) and the lot..  Such food... Lito himself barbecued Milk Fish, chicken & pork kababs, eggplants (which I ate an entire one all by myself and damned but it aspirations of greatness). There was an entire roasted-to-perfection piggy - le chón - complete with smiling face. Oh, and Jackfruit in coconut milk which didn't taste like fruit, but more like yam(?). There were dishes of meat, poultry and pork that were mated with coconut milk, such as pork bicol and many other dishes which I still have no idea what they are but only that they taste like heaven. I only ever get this incredible food at Lito's house parties. And did I mention the desserts? Both tables of it, were equally exotic. I took small samples all of which kept me guessing. I would snare a tiny bit of what I was sure was coconut cake only to discover it was no such thing, but was strangely semi-sweet & delish. There was an 'ambrosia' that I asked about and it was made with several different types of yummy yams. There were at least a dozen desserts and the only other one recognized was the red Jell-o.
This was how many main dishes were left AFTER the invading hordes were done.

See? That's why I haven't posted any previous shindigs at Lito's house, because I get so gastric-ally and mentally wrapped up in the exotic fare that I sound entirely mercenary - it's embarrassing. I mean it's supposed to be about the fellowship and comrade, not about 'How freakn' exotic and delish is blood pudding!'

Skeletor deigned to pose for me
Let me get off the chow for a bit. Lito showed us lots of pics of his Phillipine home where he'll visit when he retires in a year or so; a tropical paradise. I was all set to book a flight to visit Lito & his Mrs there when unfortunately, Jeannie & Ron reminded me the Amazon has nothing on the Phillipines for heat and humidity. Perhaps I'll visit Lito & company there and humidity be damned.The pictures Lito showed us will stick with me for a while - a double waterfall spilling into a hidden tropical pond. Ahhh! I can only imagine what incredible wildlife they have splashing around over there.

Also had a lovely chat with Jeannie & Ron whom I will be joining shortly for yet-another what-o'-lord-did-I-do-to-deserve-a-trip-to-the-Aloha-isles!?? I informed Ron I found a place to stay my first night in Maui, necessary because once again I got my arrival date messed up and don't ask me how I managed to do so, I just did. Jeannie and I chatted about travels and I discovered she would have come to Peru with me except she (not to mention I) thought I'd be staying with Ingrid's Peruvian family. ARGH! I could have had Jeannie with me in Peru! Am bummed. Have vowed to make up for it. Jeannie then told me she wants to see the Northern Lights and Iceland. Iceland? I almost fell off my chair. Jeannie hates cold so if she's going there, they'll have to set up heaters all over iceland and it's going to melt by the time she leaves. The challenge: if I can come up with a game plan for a trip, she'll go with me. OMG! I haven't been so excited since Ingrid joined the Peace Corps in Peru and said 'come visit me there'. I shall plot the ultimate Icelandic journey.

Aunties just want to have FUN!

A bit after sunset, when the local bats were swinging wide of their belfries and Lito's household witches, skeletons, ghosts, princesses and Pokemon left to raid the neighbors for candy, I decided I'd better get cracking and return home so I might dole out chocolates to the local urchins. Before we left, everyone made sure we were all loaded up with meal or two for the road (yay! Won't need to cook until Monday!). Reminded me of my Grandmother's feasts back in the day when no one went home empty handed. Thanks Lito!

That was a lovely party and I got home in time to turn on the porch lights and pour the ENORMOUS bag o' candies into the dispensing cauldron. Never get many door knocks on Halloween as my neighborhood is shockingly kiddie-free. But I did encourage a witch, a marvelously sweet Guardian of the Galaxy, and yes, a couple of shiny, glittery little princesses, to grab the chocolate bars by the handful because I do not want leftovers. Bless their royal, galactic and witchy little hearts.

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