This evening, we were invited to join a few of David’s friends for a Croatian Barbeque filled with family and fun. We finally crossed the Croatian border and arrived in the town of Novi Morov close to 8. We walked into a room full of people, with a fantastic spread laid out for everyone to enjoy. We were greeted with warm smiles, handshakes and shots of homemade brandy from the matriarch of the family. When the mother of the house is laying down some shots as you walk through the door, its pretty clear how the night is going to be.
We approached the table like we hadn’t eaten in days; we served ourselves heaping helpings of meats, pastas, potatoes and bread. All so delicious but yet not filling enough, so we kept coming back for seconds and thirds. Man was that good; everything was homemade from the sausage to the wine. Dražen, our gracious host, poured us our first gemišt. Gemišt is vino plus sparkling water. For whatever reason, I thought mixing wine and water would make a hydrating alcoholic beverage but as I continued to consume more, I began to question my original thought. Tomorrow’s trip to the coast may end up being a more painful drive than I expected, fingers crossed we’ll be hangover free. We continued on with noshing, drinking and laughing and then noshing and drinking more. We found out that on top of being extremely friendly, our new Croatian friends are expert instigators. Dražen kept our glasses full with gemišt even when we tried to hide them. Soon, our southern drawls came out and we had filmed a “Wish You Were Here” video for Andrea’s husband. Between cheers, or živjelis, we shared stories about Croatian History, American customs and our slight perplexity of the coldness we experienced in Austria. It was well beyond time to get home, but we drank on.
Tonight was the kind of night that you can’t plan but just happens, where the wine and company are so on point that it’s hard to believe it was real. Andrea and I were drunkenly standing at a sink slurring these very words. In the few days that she’s been here, we’ve been in three countries, shared some incredible experiences and still have one more day to go. It’s sad to think that my partner in crime will be leaving soon. I’m laying in bed now, still glowing in the pleasure of this evening and I’m so happy that I got to spend it with my favorite girl. To this night that we shared, živjeli!