In 1991, two doctor/scientists from Barcelona arrived at NIH to spend two years doing research. Elias worked at the National Cancer Institute and Maria worked in Hynda's lab. After those initial two years they returned each summer for ten years with their three young children. We have visited them several times in Barcelona - the last being this February when the Queen was invited by Maria to chair a thesis defense. We learned that their daughter Maria Jr. was getting married in April when we would be in Rome and they invited us to the wedding. Since we were going to be in Rome we told them we would love to come so Hynda and I flew to Barcelona for the wedding.
The wedding lasted from 12 noon until we left and went back to our hotel with Maria and Elias at 11 PM.
Elias delivered a nice speech in Catalan to start the proceedings at the church in downtown Barcelona. The reason that I know it was a nice speech was that he repeated it in English just for us - we were the only non-Spanish or non-Catalan speakers at the wedding. As a note we believe we were the only Jews at the wedding out of 250 invited guests.
The youngest of the children is Clara. Many of the women at the wedding were wearing what I referred to as Easter hats. Clara is an architect and will be living in New York. She is engaged to a young man who is a sports psychologist working for the NBA. Her speech was in Catalan and unlike her father she did not translate for us.
This is the oldest of the three children - Elias Jr.. When he was 14 and spending one of the summers in DC with his family he was bored with camp. I told Maria and Elias that he could come and work for me at my company for the summer. He was a very good worker and loved learning about computers. I used to pay him in cash and he would go home and spread out the money and lie in the middle of it and then give one of his sisters a dollar and tell her to get him a coke. He eventually started his own company in Barcelona repairing and unlocking IPhone when it was not allowed. He later worked as a programmer for WhatsApp and now works for Telegram. He lives in San Francisco. His live in girlfriend was a Vice President of Waze and now works for Google.
After the service in the church we all got into buses and were taken one hour outside of Barcelona into the mountains. The wedding continued at this beautiful estate that consisted of a huge amount of lawn, a medieval castle and a very nice large dining room and dance area. This photo is of the Queen on the lawn where tables were set up. We had appetizers and drinks for about two hours.
This is a photo of Maria and Elias and the King and Queen. The King was the only one not in a suit and tie. I had no idea that the wedding was going to be this fancy. Maria and Elias are extremely unpretentious and I expected the wedding to reflect their taste. It did not.
The women at the wedding were in very interesting outfits. The theme seemed to be dresses without backs and very interesting shoes. This pair was one of the more interesting. When you entered the lawn there was a box for women with heels where you could select some wide circles that you put on the bottom of your heels so you were not aerating the lawn.
This giant cheese wedge was one of four that was out on the table. They would shave pieces of it as it was eaten. When we left after several hours of appetizers I saw that far less than half of each cheese had been eaten. What did they do with all that uneaten cheese after it had sat in the sun for hours?
This looked like a piece of the New York Times wrapped around some ground meat. It was actually edible and not paper.
A Spanish tradition of waving napkins when the bride came in for the dinner.
The chef outside cooking an octopus appetizer was a Michelin one-star chef. He and his staff all had jackets on with the one-star while the ordinary staff had no stars. We had just watched the movie `Burnt' with Bradly Cooper about a chef trying to earn his third star. I had no idea about these stars and how they are earned until the movie. Even one star is hard to obtain.
This is the Queen with Maria Jr. the bride. She is an attorney in Barcelona and her new husband is an undertaker.
This is a friend of the bride who I tried to talk into coming back to the placecountry-regionUS with us to meet one of our sons. She works for Mango an International designer and maker of clothing. She goes to Israel often where there are a number of Mango stores. The owners of Mango are two Jewish brothers who were born in Turkey but live in Barcelona. One of the brothers is listed as one of the top 25 richest people in the world.
At the dance party they had a bunch of props that you could wear and have your picture taken and they made it into a bookmark. This is the King and Queen with Maria and Elias and some of their family.