Wednesday, December 21, 2011


So, I turned twenty-three years young yesterday. It's so odd to think about the fact that my mother was pregnant with me at my age, not to mention the fact that my grandmother had given birth five (!) times by now. Crazy.

That's HP & the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 on the left (unbelievably amazing, I can't begin to explain how much I sobbed); aaaand on the right is this:

This is from my lovely doll, Sarah. I should explain how opening this present went. First, I took off the wrapping paper,

(It's decorated like a beehive in honor of my nickname, "bee.")

and then I saw the cover. And I thought, "Oh, my goodness, Sarah got me a Kate Beaton book! She's amazing." And then I remembered, "Oh, Sarah met her! That's so cool, I'm actually a little envious. Oh, looked at the title page--"

"Haha, the pony's so funny. I love the pony. Wait, that's my name... WAIT, THAT'S MY NAME. AND THAT'S THE COUNTRY I LIVE IN. AND AND AND KATE DREW THE PONY SPECIFICALLY FOR ME. AND THIS IS SARAH'S DOING." Yeah, I was basically squealing at this point.

My birthday card because I have the greatest best friend in the universe.
The next few hours were spent exploring with my parents.

I really think I should mention this was on the exterior wall of a little mini chapel we saw while walking around. Somehow I truly believe it makes this much more interesting.

Remember this church?

Covered baby Jesus (it's not his birthday, yet!).

Every other time we visited this church, this section was closed off. This road is under construction, and there was actually a huge hole in the ground, large pipes everywhere, and, as you can see, gigantic boulders partially blocking the way.

It leads down to a little building and, further down, to a cave called the Cueva de Achbinico or Cueva de San Blas. The cave was, after the Spanish conquest, the first Marian, as well as Christian, sanctuary in the Canarian archipelago. In 1497, right after the colonization, it was declared a church, and it held the image of the Virgen de Candelaria until 1526, when it was moved to a building located where the basilica stands today. In 1789, that building burned down, so the image was returned until 1803, when it was moved, once again, to the site of the basilica. That year, they built the little structure attached to the cave in order to house the pilgrims that visit during the feast day of the Virgin. I also read that anthropological evidence suggests that the cave had been in use long before Christianization, and ashes on the ceiling, from a fire that was perhaps kept on permanently, have been dated back to almost 3,000 years.

The little construction is in pretty bad shape, and there are broken tiles and pieces of plaster all over the ground in front of it.

Just so you get an idea of how large it is:

A very blurry photo of a little Christmas tree at the very end of the cave.

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