Monthly Archives: January 2012

la cabalgata de los reyes magos

        

I’m sorry for the lack of substance in my posts as of lately.  Between exams, birthday celebrations and starting new classes today, I haven’t quite had the time to sit down and write.  However, Jackie did a fabulous job of describing the Three Kings Parade that we went to in the beginning of January, so for now… here you are!

While in the United States and other parts of the world Santa Claus brings the children their gifts on Christmas, in Spain Los Reyes Magos or The Three Kings do instead. The kids write to the three kings, and on the morning of The Epiphany January 6th the gifts arrive. People still celebrate Christmas, but more as just a day with their family. The tradition says that just like the Three Kinds brought Jesus his gifts after he was born, they bring gifts to the good children of Spain each year. The night before the Epiphany, there is a huge parade in Madrid called La Cabalgata with tons of floats and the three kings at the end. Colette and I went with my roommate Raquel to experience our first Cabalgata and see the kings. There are some notable differences between this parade and your average American parade:

  • The parade is at night. I have never been to a parade in the US and I certainly can’t imagine parents bringing their children into the city for a parade on Christmas Eve.
  • Parents bring actual ladders to the parade and then let their kids climb up them to see the parade better. Clever, but definitely illegal in the United States. Also Colette and I were constantly anxious that some toddler was going to fall of a ladder and get hurt.
  • El Cartero Real literally translates to “the real postman”. The three kings have a postman that receives all of the letters, sorts them, and then gives them to the kings. Colette and I both loved this and wondered why Santa doesn’t have a postman. All of the kids were excited when he rode by, and hoped he had their letters.
  • Most importantly, there are no other three kings like the Santa’s at every shopping mall in America. If you want to see the real three kings you have to go to the Cabalgata on the eve of the epiphany, that is your only chance. What this means is that the children go CRAZY when the three kings go by on their individual floats. It was really awesome and adorable to see.

Overall La Cabalgata was really cool, and I am so glad I saw it. Parades here are a really big deal, and it was so fun to see all of the little children excited.

I’m off to a FIVE HOUR class about “Creating a Business,” but look forward to updates this week about a day trip to Segovia and my birthday weekend:)  Ciao, amores!

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recetas

Hello amores!  Just added a new feature to my blog.  You should see a new widget on the right under my Twitter feed called Recetas {Recipes}.  Per my boyfriend’s suggestion, I’ve added the link there in case you’re looking to find the recipe for one of the many delicious foods I’ve made since arriving in Madrid (including yummy birthday cakes).  If you’re confused, you can also click on the photo above.  Buen provecho!:)

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rock & roll madrid 10k

Big news!  I just signed up to run the Rock & Roll Madrid 10K.  For those of you that aren’t familiar, Rock & Roll Marathon is a marathon (full, half & 10k) series that celebrates the run and not just the finish.  There are live bands, cheer teams and entertaining water stations along the course.  This year, they’re going global with race dates set in Edinburgh, Portugal, and here in Madrid.  I’ll still be focusing my blog on my travel adventures, but you’ll be getting a few posts here and there about my experience training for the race as well.  Hope you’ll enjoy those posts too!

Ciao, amores:)

{photo via lululemon}

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resoluciones para el nuevo año

Every year I think of all sorts of New Years Resolutions that are really more like goals and ways of meeting these goals to be done through out the year.  Usually, I make a goal for each of the most important aspects of my life (though some goals apply to more than one) including: family, friends, relationships, health & exercise, school, work, and play.  I guess those are pretty basic categories to sum my life up into, but they work pretty well for my goal-setting needs.

I just found this great guide on “How to Be More Interesting” on Forbes.com (via SP&A)  that would be great to use in New Years Resolutions or any other type of goal setting.  For anyone about to tackle a new experience (like friends going abroad for this spring semester) this seems like a great way to ensure you make the most of your opportunities!  I plan on applying this to the rest of my 8 months here in Spain… at least after exams end.

Hope you enjoy the silly, but true advice and the fun diagrams just as much as I did!  Ciao, amores:)

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estructura nueva, ¿te gusta?

How do you like the new blog layout?  It is the fruit of my procrastination.  But can you really blame me for not wanting to studying International Economic Theory after already studying for and taking three exams in the past week?  I didn’t think so.  I’d love to hear your thoughts on the change (and actually, on economics if you have any insight for me, hehe)!

Ciao, amores:)

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jamón en el nuevo piso

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My boyfriend has wanted a ham leg in his apartment since we moved to Spain.  They’re all over the place here and I see Spaniards buying them every single day at the grocery store.  Since him and Mikey just moved into a new two-bedroom apartment, they decided it was time to make the investment.  Today, after watching a few educational videos, Mikey undertook the challenge of buying a ham leg & stand and getting the whole thing setup.  (Read: perfect procrastination strategy).  Hope the photos don’t make your mouths water too much, since Spanish Jamón is actually illegal in the US!

Ciao, amores:)

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progreso con examenes…

January is a pretty quiet month in Madrid.  Students here are studying for exams, making their way back and forth between the gym, grocery store, library, their apartment and that’s about it.  My first exam, Human Resources, was on Wednesday and it was much easier than expected… so that’s a good sign.  Unfortunately, I have six more to go: tomorrow, then Monday, Wednesday & Friday of next week, and Monday & Wednesday of the week after that.  Since I’ve been somewhat preoccupied with studying (and procrastinating), here is a video my friend Kathryn shared with me that really captures the usual energy of Madrid.  Enjoy, amores:)

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2011, un resumen

I spent New Years Eve eating 12 “lucky grapes” for the last 12 rings of the clock bells as is the Spanish tradition, having the pleasure to be out at a huge club by the river with 15 of my friends, and wishing all of my family and friends in America Happy New Year when it turned midnight on the east coast!  Yes, it was 6am … but, the club was just closing!

 

As we stride into 2012 I’d like to share this summary of everything that happened on my blog in 2011, thanks to WordPress.com.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.  Enjoy! & Thank you all for your continued support!

Ciao, amores:)

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madrid por la noche

madrid por la noche

After my parents left, I had a siesta and then explored Madrid with Dan’s cousin Michael, since Dan and his parents weren’t going to be home until around midnight. With all of the Christmas lights, it was really a great first impression of the city for him. And I snapped this fun photo on Gran Via. Ciao, amores:)

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January 8, 2012 · 2:24 pm

madrid con mis padres


When we arrived back in Madrid after visiting Prague, my parents, brother, and I were all pretty tired of site-seeing.  We opted for a more relaxing two days with less early mornings and all day walking tours and more leisurely walks and quite afternoons.

Luckily, we had fabulous weather – sunny, light breeze, and mid-50s.  We started the morning with a typical Spanish breakfast of café and pan tostado con tomate at a great bakery my dad discovered on the corner of Vallehermoso and Donoso Cortes.  And we spent the afternoon at El Parque del Buen Retiro (remember how I was there every weekend in the warmer months?) and finally rented a row boat in the Estanque (man-made lake).  During the off-season it costs 4,55 euro for 45 minutes, a great deal especially since we got so lucky with the weather!    

Didn’t get any pictures of Mom rowing (we kicked her out after her a few minutes) or Alex (I was sitting behind him!)

I treated my family to kebabs for lunch, which they thoroughly enjoyed although they were expecting barbecue kebabs (as in on the stick), haha.  And after a nice siesta, we spent the night over in Opera, showing them the Teatro Real, Catedral Real & Palacio Real and having delicious tapas in the Plaza de Isabel II.  It’s really a cool area over there, and I hope to explore it more often now!

{Parents in front of the Royal Palace}

The next morning, my parents got up early to explore the Thyssen Museum while my brother and I slept in, but we met them afterwards at Zara.  After a little bit of shopping we headed over to Cien Montaditos  since it was 1 euro Wednesday with my roommate Bruna and Dan’s cousin, Michael, who had just arrived from New York.  Though their trip was short, I think we packed as much into it as we could, despite all of the time spent in airports.  I can’t wait for them to come back again!

 

Miss you already, guys!  xxx

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