Life's Little Luxuries

Life's Little Luxuries

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Semana 2

Sign in Sol that I thought was so good. Also, it was in English!

Domingo (May 22) - Went exploring through the city of Madrid. Found out Gran Vía, was connected to Sol, connected to Plaza Mayor, connected to Ópera, connected to Palacio Real, connected to el Parque del Oeste, connected to my apartment! (Clearly, I walked a lot that day.) Took a ton of pictures and had a few flatmates adventure out with me as well to get some awesome pictures!

Lunes - Day whatever of Spanish class at AIL. Had a substitute teacher, and we learned about what was happening in Sol and learned more about the government parties. He had a very different opinion and view of why it was occurirng. Lecture was about La Gastronomía Española (Spanish food). It was annoying in my opinion because I am a vegetarian and people look at me like I am an alien when I tell them that it also includes seafood. Basically I eat pasta, bread, pizza, baked goods, and cereal. Reason I am not fat yet is because of the immense amount of walking. After class Ryan Reis and I went shopping through the touristy areas since he needed to exchange money and the places I wanted to go were in the same area. It was fun, surprisingly; he hates shopping, so 75% of what he said were complaints haha. I also got a lot of great pictures of posters that are in Sol from the demonstrators. Pretty sure I napped once I got back to the apartment, I was still not used to sleeping in a set pattern.

Martes - Spanish class in the AM. Had some personal issues going on at home that I missed part of it. Afternoon lecture was going to the Prado Museum. Cool museum, enormous and definitely will return before I go home. Hung out at the other apartment for the rest of the evening, even napped there.

Wed/nes/day - Spanish class, better day. Lecture was going to the Reina Sophía museum a block away from the Prado the day before. It was nice, but too weird for me. Picasso, Goya, and Dali are all there, too! It was a lot of more recent artists compared to the Prado. We could take pictures as long as there was NOT a Picasso in the room. Went to the other apartment for the remainder of the evening. Everyone went out that evening except for me. Didn't mind it because I needed a break. Funny part: I was the only one of the Pitt kids that showed up to my A2 level class the next day ;)

Jueves - Class was empty salvo me and the English girl, Sarah. It was fun actually cuz we practed and talked a lot :) Went to get 1Euro coffee with her during our short break. Afternoon lecture: 5/13 showed to class. Jesus was the teacher and he was really awesome and nice. And the 5 of us learned a lot about the regions of Spain. VERY happy I didn't ditch like I had originally planned. Relaxed the rest of the evening.

Viernes - LAST day of Spanish class! After our short break we all convinced Sonia to continue class in el Parque Retiro. It was beautiful. First rain in Spain since I have been here! It was some showers there, not bad. Skipped the lecture, it was to Plaza Mayor and I had already gone on Sunday, plus the whole rain thing.

Saturday - Went to the train station to meet Mike because my flat wanted to take the train to Toledo for the day (since we missed the Segovia trip due to missing the train, heh). We arrived with ample time, but the train had sold out and our number to buy tickets at the manual office was super high. As we were waiting for the next train (1.5 hours later) we found out there were automatic kiosks on the second floor. Mike was pissed and it was HILARIOUS! We all walked around the neighborhood Atoche (where the Prado and Reina Sophía museums are located) and we got to the station about 20 minutes before departure and the security line was really long, then the gate line was kinda long. We made it on the train literally 4 minutes before it left.
Vy and I spent a lot of our time in Toledo together and everyone else did their own thing. BEAUTIFUL place. I'm staying for the weekend with my aunt's best friend next week, and I am very excited! I got my first salad since being in Spain in Toledo, as well. I wanted to pass out when I got back to the apartment around 6:30, but after I took my shower, I was invited to the other apartment where Sammy was already making dinner with Stacey and watched the game with them as the guys all went out to the bar to watch the Barça v. Man United game. Viva Barça! Nobody went out that night because we were EXHAUSTED.

Domingo (hoy) - Went to el Rastro (flea market) that is only open Sundays from 10-2/3ish. Then went to Gran Vía, then to Sol, and exchanged some $ to EU. Holy Crap, exchange rate! I still need Birky's...but I bought other cute stuff :) Found my place of work so I am prepared tomorrow! Except I don't know how to get it, but I found the door. There is no doorbell or sign, hmmm. I really need to relax soon. Enjoy the pictures!


Saturday, May 21, 2011

La Primera Semana (Week 1)

I have yet to figure out how I want to organize this but here's one way that I am going to do it.

Sunday: Arrived in Madrid's airport. Coincidentally, behind my friend Kara and I, two other students from the trip booked seats right behind us. Had a long day because we all stayed up until midnight because we were told that was quickest to get over Jet Lag. Once unpacked at our fabulous little 6 person apartment, we went a little adventure in our area - Argüelles. Later that evening, "Pitt" treated us to a dinner in Sol, where the huge demonstration is taking place. In general, it was a great first day.

Monday: Had day 1 of Spanish class at the language school and also learned how to use the metro flawlessly :) A few of my flatmates and I found our "hometown bar" around the corner, and the bartender was really such a sweetheart. In Spain, breakfast is served in bars, and restaurants open for lunch and maybe for dinner. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day, rather interesting. Got a tour of a park.

Tuesday: Had day 2 of Spanish class. I am learning a lot there, very good review. I am learning a lot of common sense and helpful everyday phrases & expressions and even the best places for us kids to party and eat! Missed the afternoon lecture because I was tired and napped in the huge park that I live by : el Parque del Oeste.

Wednesday: Had day 3 of Spanish classes. Had to attend afternoon trip to el Palacio real, it was really nice. In the evening Jordan, Sammy, and I went to the Orange Cafe. Wednesdays are their awesome nights. 5 euro for open bar for an hour. After that, there was some dancing, but apparently the Americans really know how to dance and everyone else thinks we are weird kids.

Thursday: Had day 4 of Spanish classes. Attend a lecture about flamenco music and dancing. It is really boring to be honest. After that we all napped (my flat naps at the same time everyday haha). Then we headed over to the 8 person flat across the city and had a "family dinner," then we all went to an Irish pub in Sol, and it was nuts to get through the crowd, we needed a few detours. After that, some club promoter from Cali got us in for free into a club in Sol called Joy. It was a really fun night. Definitely a great bonding experience with the group! Had to take a cab home because metros stopped running at 1:30, so glad I am confident in my Spanish and where I live.

Friday: Attended class half dead, then I got a lot of energy somehow as we took a walk through Gran Vía and Sol for our afternoon trip. We all stayed in because we were exhausted! (Night 1 or 2 for me of staying in.)

Saturday: So we were supposed to meet by 12 at the Chamartín metro station where, inside, there is a train station. We first ended up in Pinar de Chamartín and missed the train. So we were told the next one to Segovia was at 1:15, so we went to get tickets and the next one was leavign at 2:20 and it was only 12:15 so we 5 flatmates decided to enjoy our day in Madrid. "Sorry aquaducts, I really didn't want to see you anyway." So later tonight more bonding time! :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pre-departure Preparation

Hello All,

I will be leaving for Madrid, Spain for an internship for the entire summer next week, and I definitely plan to be blogging about because I am sure I will have a lot to share about.

I hope to gain more interest for at least this summer!