Sunday, September 11 was Jackie’s 22nd birthday!! Even though we continuously made fun of her for being soooo old, we had a great night and day of celebrating!
Saturday night we cheers-ed while painting our nails at midnight before going to meet some friends for a botellon. “Botellon-ing” is a fairly loose term that refers to the act of having a few drinks with friends generally outside before going to a more traditional nighttime destination (club, bar, etc.). We met up at Parque del Oeste, which is very close to our apartments, to hang out for a few hours before going out to celebrate!
Our original plan had been to go to Buddha del Mar, which is in a suburb of Madrid, but we wound up at Coco, one of the many discotecas in Purta del Sol. We ran into a promoter Dan had already met while walking to the club. Since it was Jackie’s birthday he let us cut the line, which was awesome! At 3am the lines are ridiculously long, especially in such a busy place as Puerta del Sol. After dancing until 5am we decided it was time to go home and had planned to meet for a birthday picnic in Parque del Retiro around 2 or 3 in the afternoon on Sunday.
Well, after waking up at 2pm with no word from anyone else, I gathered the assumption that they were all still asleep. Nevertheless, I started getting ready, reheating foods to bring to the picnic, and making sure all of our bases were covered for the day!
I guess I skipped a part… my french friend Lauriane and I spent a good part of Saturday cooking and baking for the picnic! Lauriane taught me how to make four different French dishes, which I am very excited to try out again.
- Cake au samon: a light and fluffy bread with dill, tomatoes, and
smoked salmon baked into it.
- Shoux: for all intensive purposes, cheese puffs
- Pastel de chocolate: very similar to a flourless chocolate torte (aka deliciously decadent)
- Pastel de manzanas: an apple cake
And I digress… anyway, we served these four wonderful dishes on Sunday upon Jackie’s arrival (around 4:30). It was great to relax in the park after a long weekend and just before our first day of school with old and new friends!
El Retiro is one of my favorite places in Madrid thus far… if it was closer to my apartment I think I would find time to go there everyday. We had a great conversation with our new friends from France, Italy, and Germany about the different sounds that animals make in different countries… you can only imagine how silly it was!
We also finally got to see “el angel caido,” a statue of the devil in El Retiro. It was comissioned by the mayor of Madrid a number of years ago and is still a popular tourist attraction. We also found out that it is the place to be around sunset for rollerblading.