I have a bunch of cousins and I mean a bunch, but Raquelita is special because a long time ago she took a 3 month sabbatical from her high powered job and Miami was one of her stops. She was supposed to say a few weeks but ended up staying the 3 months. I was getting my masters at the time and well because I had a flexible schedule we hung out a lot and did all the touristy things that she wanted to do and I loved it because I was able to get to know my cousin who I admired because she was so awesome. Raquel is one of the older cousins and I am one of the younger ones. So I always looked up to her. So the time that she spent in Miami was great because we became very good friends.
Over the years I have spent a lot of time with her and she has given advice to me and I have learned from her and she has asked me for advice and she had listened and appreciated my off the wall way of thinking. It has been awesome. One of things that I love about her is that whatever I am up to its cool. I remember coming back from a trip to Abu Dhabi and I was telling her about the tobacco that I started smoking in this little pipe. She was like do you have some and I said yes. And she said well you can smoke inside if you want. How cool is that.
I remember a time when I was at her place in NYC and she was giving me the low down on her neighborhood. She told me about the butcher, where to buy cheese, the fruit and vegetable place and then she went to work. I told her to arrange dinner for her parents and her sister and brother and I would cook. It was hilarious. I cooked this great dinner and she was like where did you get all of this food. I was like in all the places you told me. She was shocked. She actually had never been in those places. She always had take out or went out. Well it really did explain the condition of her kitchen. That was like 12 years ago. Today she told me she was re-doing the kitchen because the stove finally broke. Well 12 years ago that stove was ancient. So I guess it is time to lay it to rest. Can’t wait to cook in the new kitchen.
Lately she has been busy so if there is an opportunity to get together even for 3 hours I jump at the chance. Like last year she came down for a weekend and my mom had a party for her to celebrate her marriage and it was the night before the ING marathon which I was running. I was like ok I am not going to miss the party. So I proceeded to stay up until 3am to hang out with her and then ran a half (13.1 miles) marathon. So I was a bit slower than usual but who cares. It is Raquelita.
Last night she sent me a text. Do I want to meet her at 11am to meet with the chef from the Palms hotel in Miami Beach and have a tour of her organic garden. I was like YES. So off I went. Disregarding all other plans. It was awesome. The chef explained all the different herbs, the issues of the garden on the beach and how she over came them. This meeting was perfect as I am working on my own garden. I have a new list of things that I want to grow that I didn’t know about before. We then had some lunch and then hung out at the pool. We talked and then made our way back to South Miami to have dinner with my sister Elena. Some pictures from today.
What I learned today is that no matter how busy we are you have to take time for your family and friends. We both took some time to take care of business but were still able to fit in the garden tour and sit by the pool. We talked a lot and determined that really in today’s time you do not have to sit in an office to get the work done. It was a great day.