When I was 3 years old, my mom was giving me a bath with the bathroom door just a tad open. Through the tiny door crack, I saw what seemed to be my dad hurrying by, holding a HUGE shiny balloon. I screamed: “Mami! Apurate porque acabo de ver a papi pasar con un globo enorme, y me muero de ganas por saber para quien es!”
Translation: “Mom! Hurry up because I just saw dad walk by with an enormous balloon, and I’m dying to know who it’s for!”
True story. That day I learned what Valentine’s Day was for the first time, and received my very first Valentine’s present: A huge, red, heart-shaped balloon, and some pink and red roses. The card was signed: “To Alexandra, from a secret admirer.” And in teeny tiny letters, on the bottom right-hand corner, the word “Papi.” Then started what was, until yesterday, a 22 year tradition of my dad either sending me flowers or giving me a pretty necklace, and the card was ALWAYS signed as described above.
The year I went to Italy, I told my roommates about this tradition with my dad, and sadly concluded that for the first time in ages, I would not get a Valentine’s surprise from him. Well, on the night of February 14, 2007, someone ran up to me and said: “Have you checked the mail? Who sent you those?!!!” I ran down to the mail room to see what was the matter, and found 3 red roses, with a little card from my secret admirer from the past 19 years, and the words: Te quedaste bien picas! (“I shocked you!”) Hahaha!! Somehow, my dad had managed to keep the tradition going, even though I was halfway across the world!
Valentine's 2007, in Italy!
Flowers from Jeffrey, sprinkled with Sam's little yellow tulips!
Yesterday, Jeffrey and I celebrated our first Valentine’s Day as a married couple… very exciting! Naturally, I couldn’t wait to celebrate with him. Yet, I wondered: Does being married mean I no longer get presents from Papi? I checked outside our door… No packages. Oh well. I left for class, where my day started off with a dear friend, Sam, surprising me and the only other girl in class with a little bouquet of yellow tulips!
(I love this day of being randomly spoiled!)
Then I went home to a surprise bouquet of the orangest and most beautiful flowers Houston has to offer, courtesy of Jeffrey! I can’t wait to take pictures of them again, once all the flowers are in full bloom.
My favorite... What do you think?
The weather was so amazing that rather than dress up and go lock ourselves up in a restaurant, we decided to spend the afternoon at the dog park, and grill burgers outside for dinner.
I think Wolfgang is a fan of Valentine’s Day too…
...and getting filthy.
Dog park = genius idea? I think so!
As mentioned before, Jeffrey topped off the night by grilling bacon parmesan burgers that he made from scratch, accompanied by grilled lemon-pepper zucchini spears. Mmmmm……..
A fantastic day, I still felt disappointed about the end of my Valentine’s tradition with my dad. 22 years! When I spoke to my mom that night, she confirmed that getting married marked the end of that tradition. It made sense, I guess.
When I left for school today, I still held on to the tiiiiiiny hope that my dad was maaaaaybe playing a trick on me and would surprise me with flowers a day late… but there were no packages by the door. When I came back from school, same thing: teeeeny tiiiiiiiny hope. I walked down the hallway towards our apartment, convincing myself the whole time that Valentine’s Day was over, and to not get my hopes up! Still, as I turned the corner, I held my breath and………. TADAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!
Tulips from my secret admirer!
My other favorite
Year #23 of Valentine's surprises from Papi!
Happy Valentine’s Week, everyone! Celebrate love!
(Check out my flowers 2 days later in my next post: “In full bloom“)
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