The Adventures of Maite and Kepa: Part 83

After lunch, the small cuadrilla wandered to some of the wine tasting rooms that dotted downtown. At each stop, they got a small glass of wine, just for tasting, before moving on to the next one. It really reminded Maite of the txikiteo of the Basque Country and she felt more at home than she had since they had left the Basque Country.

“So,” she heard Kepa asking Julie, “when is Javi going to bring you to the Basque Country?”

Julie shrugged. “Good question.” She turned to Javi. “When are we going?” she asked with a mischievous smile.

The Adventures of Maite and Kepa is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!

“Well,” began Javi, “we haven’t really talked about it. With school and everything else, there just hasn’t been time to think about a trip like that.”

“We can make time,” replied Julie. “It would be nice to go when these two are still there, before they end up over here.”

“That’s true,” said Javi. He turned back to Kepa. “I guess as soon as we can,” he said with a big smile.

“Everyone will be happy to see you again,” said Kepa. “It’s been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Maybe five years, at least,” replied Javi. “Before I started school, that’s for sure.”

Maite turned to Julie. “Just be careful. Knowing his mom -” she nodded in Kepa’s direction “- you’ll literally be eating the entire time you are there.”

Javi laughed. “That’s for sure! Every time I went, I must have gained at least ten pounds. Everyone thinks that the long lunches are for siesta, but it seemed that you all eat the entire time.”

“Bah,” said Kepa, waving his hand dismissively. “That’s only for visitors.”

“Well,” continued Javi, “since I’m always a visitor, that’s all I see.” He turned to Julie. “They all want to play host and have this spectacular meal together, but when everyone wants to do that, well, it can really add up.”

“Tell you what,” said Kepa. “We can organize one big dinner with the whole family so that you can see everyone at once and don’t have to feel obligated to go to everyone’s house. That way, you’ll have time to see other things too. Maybe have a romantic getaway to the big city or something.”

Javi smiled as he looked over at Julie. “That would indeed be nice.” Julie simply nodded and smiled as she took another sip of her wine.

They stopped at a few more tasting rooms, each of them trying different wines and passing glasses around when they found a particularly nice one. The conversation drifted to Javi and Kepa’s family, what everyone was doing these days, particularly all of the cousins. Javi knew who everyone was and had a vague sense of what they had been up to, but was ignorant of the details – “There are just so many of them!” he exclaimed. Kepa was happy to fill in the gaps. Javi, in turn, caught him up on his parents and what they were doing.

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