My big, fat, EXTENDED Cuban family

3_babies_1955 All cheeks and lips and missing a shoe.

That's me circa early 1956.
My two cranky companions are my cousins, Maria and Ileana. They are not as cranky anymore. In fact, they are downright delightful. ;-)

They live in Miami.
And I live in California.

The reason I'm thinking about them is that I get to close the 3000 mile gap between us in about a month.

I'm going to Miami, home of all-things Cuban. I"m taking Amy and my mom with me.

Primas043 We are going specifically for Cuba Nostalgia. But the family buzz has already begun.

We have our choice between 3 different places to stay. So far. And a car at our disposal. And what would we like to eat?

Already the phone and emails are buzzing:

"Hildita will want to see you. And so will the Lechugas.  Josefina and Alejo want to cook dinner for you."

My birthday falls on the weekend we will be there. It happens to coincide with Cuban Independence Day and I always used to think they were celebrating because of me. Such is my arrogance. =D  So, of course, there will be a party.

And I'm so looking forward to meeting my Cuban blogging friends. That is going to be a big party. I can't wait. Val has invited me to come and cook at the Babalú booth, but I think this being my first time, I will just come and EAT. (which is really what I do best and Miami is the place to get the very best Cuban food on the planet. =D)  Amy and I have committed to help Carrie in the Los Pollitos booth.  I can't wait. (did I say that already?)

I'm so looking forward to meeting all of you.  Please come and introduce yourself if you recognize my smiling face.

My plan is to drink in all this love. My plan is to let them feed me and love on me. My plan is to laugh a lot and see a lot and hug and kiss a lot. I think it's a good plan.

There is nothing like Cuban hospitality. Nothing.