Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Last Week In 1D :'(

The semester is coming to an end. Tomorrow is the farewell dinner and the end of my two years abroad. Well, that's all I'm going to say about that because it makes me sad to think I have to leave Madrid. The ladies and I just finished watching "Jackass" as we pack up our bags. It has been so liberating not having to do any school work or study for any finals anymore.

I did some 'just for fun' reading

Magdalena, doesn't she look relieved? 

Leila slept

Leila's suitcases all ready to go!

Alanna refused to be photographed at first, then reflecting said, "Come back when I'm asleep I won't care.."

Snuck one of the ladies chatting

Room sweet room with all its spenders

Wall sweet wall

Leila teased her hair for the first time: these are the results

Now rocking the Snooki bump
I think what I will miss most about Madrid, are the ladies. I'm happy to say these goofballs are some of my best friends. I'm glad I ended up in uno derecha (1D) at Espiritú Santo. I'm going to miss the small things. Meaghan's 4am tweets about mac & cheese or her impending assignment. Leila's down-for-any-and-all-weird-activities attitude (hence the bumpy hair photos from above). Alanna's willingness to get McDonald's at any hour. Or how when she comes through the door she sends a cacophony throughout the apartment created by her purse and textbooks hitting the floor. On a good day she bursts through the door and calls, "Hello Laaaadiieees!" Mostly, I will miss this little refuge from the city.

Friday, April 12, 2013

End of the Year Plans!

Since I took it easy over spring break by traveling in Spain, I decided at the end of the year I would travel to the places I desperately wanted to see. Looks like Leila, Alanna, Meaghan and myself will be traveling to London, Liverpool and Edinburgh! I have no idea when I will be back in Europe and it is so heart-breaking to think I won't be returning to Madrid in the Fall. Madrid was not what I expected, but I've fallen in love with all of its eccentricities. I've started walking to and from school instead of taking the metro so I can savor the moments I have left (as cheesy as it sounds).

Alanna and I have decided to start eating strictly vegan foods. We recently watched a documentary Forks Over Knives, (check it out on Netflix if you have it) and it inspired us to eat healthier. That's one of the bittersweet parts of living in Malasaña, we have a large variety of fast-food choices. I thought it would be really difficult the first few days of eating vegan, but it has helped me get more creative with vegetables. I went on the PETA website for some inspiration and they have some pretty easy and delicious looking meals. For example these scallion pancakes: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/recipes/scallion-pancakes.aspx They seem really easy to make and I already have most of the ingredients in the kitchen.

Well, I think I may try and make some now.
Hasta luego,

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Spring Break!

I just got back from some much needed relajación in Bilbao and San Sebastián (the north of Spain). It was gorgeous! Meaghan's parents were still in Spain, so they went to Granada, Barcelona, and Valencia together. Leila, Alanna, and myself packed light and took a bus first to Bilbao where we visited the Guggenheim Museum, ate basque pintxos, and surprisingly ate Subway (twice). The Guggenheim was fascinating and at the moment has a war exhibition on the Spanish Civil War and World War two. It also has some really interesting contemporary artists from the 90's such as Jean Michel Basquiat from New York. I was surprised at the amount of American art as well as the amount of Picasso art they had.

 San Sebastian was my absolute favorite place (aside from Madrid) that I have visited. It felt so different from what I have known of Spain. The architecture was far more french-like than I expected. The weather was nice for a few days almost in the 60's on some days, however it rained heavily half the time. We spent most of our time sprawled out on the beach reading and eating picnics. We made friends with our hostel mates and played a few card games before exploring the night-life of San Sebastián (which was actually not much of a party scene). Our hostel was really nice, my favorite I've ever stayed in. It was set up so we stayed in a woman's house that was converted into a hostel, so María, the mother of the house was like a host-Mom.

Over all, it was a very mellow Spring Break. I was so happy I didn't have to rush around trying to catch flights. The buses were long, but we didn't mind because it meant we could sleep or read (both of which we didn't do a lot of in Madrid). I definitely recommend a visit to San Sebastián for anyone visiting or living in Spain!

Adios for now,

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Exploradoras in Mallorca!


Just got back from a long-weekend in Mallorca! Leila, Alanna, Erica, Jessica, Eileen and I headed out on Thursday for the Island city Palma, Mallorca. We had the beach to ourselves because it was off-season, yet it was still sunny and in the 60's. However, the wind once the sun went down was fierce. Erica and I arrived first on an early flight so we got to see a lot of Palma before Alanna, Eileen, Jess, and Leila caught up with us. We read our books by the beach and then killed some time in a café. Once everyone was here we went straight to our hotel on the other side of the island in Sóller. We laid out on the beach for most of our days and had picnics to save money. Our other room mate Meaghan aka Magdalena was away in Ireland to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in style. On Sunday we went on a hike and then spent the evening playing card games while we waited for our extremely early flight back to Madrid Monday morning.

Spring Break is here! Magdalena's parents are here for the duration of Spring Break. They found a hotel at the bottom of our street on Gran Vía. It has been really fun hanging out with them and showing them around Madrid. Magdalena has been an excellent tour guide and translator (since her parents do not speak Spanish). Although seeing her parents makes me wish my parents would come and visit so I could do the same. If my parents were here I would bring them to SUMC and show them all the places I like to go in Madrid.

Here are some photos from Mallorca:
Beautiful Landscape of Sóller

Erica relaxing with a good book

Alanna right before our hike in Sóller

Eileen on the rocks on our hike

Avocados were the key to our lunch time success 

Having lunch outside our hotel in the sun

After our hike we ran into a swarm of mountain goats, however this one was very Pride Rock-esque


Lunchin' in the sun

Our crew the last day in Sóller


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Bargaining: A Lifestyle

Howdy Yall,

This weekend the roomies and I went to Retiro Park and played some soccer, well actually we played fútbol. The weather was lovely this weekend aside from some rainstorms, so we were outside a lot. While in the park some mormon missionaries approached us while we took a break from running around playing soccer. They gave us the Book of Mormon and were very polite. Although we aren't big on religion we tried to be respectful of their beliefs. I might read it, after all we almost had a Mormon president in the United States.
Last night our favorite bartender Javier aka Javi threw a 20's themed party, so Magdalena and I put together our best flapper duds and headed over to La Psiqué. I happened to own a skirt with tassels in flapper fashion and Magdalena styled her short hair like Mia Farrow in "The Great Gatsby".

Framed!:Magdalena, Myself, Javi

The One and Only Javi
Today while Leila and I went grocery shopping we noticed a garage-sale thing going on at a store on our street. Multiple vendors were selling second-hand items for between 3-5 euros. I got some great stuff there and it felt nice to be buying something with a history behind it. I got a pair of earrings that a woman's friend had got her in Mexico from a Frida Kahlo museum. Leila got a really cool leather jacket and Magdalena went ham in there buying all sorts of neat stuff. She did some crafty bargaining and ended up with plenty of clothes to take with her to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day. 

My favorite revolutionary, Che Guevara immortalized on a jacket I got for 5 Euro

Frida Kahlo earrings
Over all, I had a really great weekend, just hanging out with my room mates. I am lucky these girls are so great to be around 24/7. Well that's all for now. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lazy Weekend

Considering it's still mid-terms for some of us, me and the roomies had a lazy weekend in. We watched "Superstar" the SNL classic and ordered dominos Saturday and Sunday Alanna and I went for a stroll around downtown. We sat near Templo de Debod and watched the horizon change from vibrant orange to grey-blue. It hadn't started to rain yet so we were able to read in the park for about an hour. After the park we met up with our other roommates for dinner at a Mexican restaurant near Tribunal. We paid the entire 55 euro check in cheques gourmet, to the dismay of our melancholy waiter.

Big Lanna and Leila enjoying some salsa.

Alanna resisting this Kodak moment

"big" plate of food

Magdalena aka Meaghan con tortillas

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Alanna's Birthday

This Tuesday was Roxy aka Alanna's birthday! She and her other half turned the big 2-0! No longer a teenager. In celebration of the glorious birth of our dear friend we made not-so-perfect oreo cake (hey the instructions were in spanish) and wrote some funny cards to her. Magdalena and I went to the American Store “Taste of America” to get Alanna some special things to remind her of home. I got her pop-tarts and a box of macarconi and cheese, Magdalena bought her a vanilla coke and coffee mate. Leila gifted her with hummus and pita bread. These were not exactly conventional gifts, but Roxy isn't exactly a conventional girl. Her parents are still visiting until thursday, so they celebrated by taking her to Tierra Burritto Bar (which I gave up for lent). Alanna, Eileen, and Luke went to see Crystal Castles (an electro dance duo) Tuesday night as well. They are awesome live (I've seen them in Boston) but I have an ear-infection, so I thought I'd better skip it.
To her alter-ego

Cards for Alanna