Monthly Archives: April 2012

corre a ritmo de rock n roll

After the sinus infection I had last week I had actually decided against running the 10k race I had signed up for in December.  I thought I would be too sick, plus I hadn’t been able to train in almost three weeks between Easter vacation and the sickness.  However, all of a sudden on Friday night I just changed my mind.  I figured I might as well just try it, see how it goes, so I did!

Yesterday Dan came with me to the sports Expo in Casa de Campo, a huge park on the west side on Madrid that we’ve really been meaning to check out anyway!  I got a Rock n Roll 10K running shirt, a mug, and a bunch of other random offers when I picked up by bib number.  Then we walked around the Expo, bought some Power bars and enjoyed the 2 euro pasta lunch they had provided.  Last night I went out for a little bit with my friends and Lauren’s parents who had just arrived from the US, but went home early hoping I could fall asleep despite my nerves.  After getting my things together I actually fell asleep very quickly, despite my anxiousness and excitement for the race.

I got to el Parque del Retiro (the other big park we used to go to all the time in the summer) around 7:45am with two friends, and I had plenty of time to check my bags, do a warm up, stretch and prepare myself for the next hour or so of running!  This was my first actual big race, so my nerves were definitely going crazy at this point!

Once I started running though it was so great!  We ran up Paseo de la Castellana to the Real Madrid football stadium and then back to finish in el Retiro; here’s the map!  I finished in just over one hour and one minute, averaging 6:02 minutes/kilometer.  Click here for my full results!  The energy of the race was just pushing me along, especially since there were a few bands playing along the course and lots of cheering by runners and bystanders alike.  I had such a great time, and I definitely plan on running another 10k or maybe a half marathon soon!

I met up with Dan & Gabby around 10:30am after the race (thanks again, guys!!) and then spent the rest of the afternoon at the Templo de Debod, lying in the grass and relaxing with friends.  I feel a lot better than I was expecting, but I will definitely be feeling those 10 kilometers on my commute to work in the morning!  Hope you all enjoyed your Earth Day too!  Ciao, amores:)

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la primera semana

As many of you know, as part of my study abroad program there is also a working abroad component.  On Monday I started the five-month internship that will be occupying the majority of my time between now and my return to the US.  I’m working at Leroy Merlin España, the Spanish subsidiary of the French version of America’s Home Depot.  I’m working for the Internal Services Management Control Team, which is actually part of the finance department.  This week I am just attending different training seminars of each of the teams in my department to see what exactly they do, but for the remainder of my time here I will be working on a Cost Analysis & Operations Report.  I’m definitely existed to get started on that!  I met all 80 of the members of my department on my first day and after “giving kisses to the entire floor” (as my boss described it), I can hardly remember any of their names.  I’ll be working with a lot of them through out the five months I’m sure, but for now it is certainly nice to see familiar faces around.  I’ll try to keep you guys in the loop with monthly updates about what my job is like!  Hope your week is going well:)

(photo)

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la pascua judía

Last week, while I was sick, Dan ventured up to the only place in all of Madrid to buy kosher food for Passover – the Corte Ingles at Nuevos Ministerios.  He came back with a huge box of matzo & matzo meal to last us through many delicious pots of matzo ball soup.  We made a quick batch of matzo ball soup that very first day, but were anxious to make a whole Passover meal like we had done last year in Boston.

Friday afternoon, when I was feeling slightly less sick, we made our own chicken stock, slow cooked the matzo balls and made matzo chicken cutlets.  The dinner was amazing and we finished it off with these flourless double-chocolate cookies (note: I used walnuts) I had had my eye on.  Everything was so yummy and the soup definitely helped with my speedy recovery:)

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semana santa en marbella

As I mentioned in my last post, I spent last Thursday through Monday in beach city of Marbella in the south of Spain.  Although it was only in the 70s while we were there, the trip was everything I could have imagined.  We spent the first two days staying in a hostal in the Old Town of Marbella, a five minute walk from the beach and the last three days at the Marriott Marbella Vacation Club with Jackie and her family!

  

Scenes from the Old Town and the girls out at a club, after a few free glasses of Moet Chandon and Dom Perignon!

Taking the overnight bus there proved to be a great choice, although we spent the morning hours between 6 and 9 checking things off the to-do list at the 24 hour pharmacy, enjoying a leisurely 2-hour breakfast feast and taking a very cold nap on the beach.  Besides that minor hiccup, we spent the rest of our two days in the Old Town of Marbella lying on the beach, enjoying great restaurants on the boardwalk and going out at night in Puerto Banus.  Puerto Banus is about 7km from the main center of the old town and is just filled with shopping, bars & restaurants.  It was really fun, and we even ate at a delicious American restaurant with the boys over there!

   

On Saturday afternoon we met Jackie, her boyfriend James and ten members of her extended family (from Boston & Ireland) at the Marriott Marbella.  After checking in, we explored the resort a little bit and then went over to the Irish relatives’ villa for a delicious Irish lunch (they brought 10 kilos of food with them on the plane!!)  That night we sat around with the whole family.  It was great to sing and play games with Jackie’s relatives; they were so fun and I’m so happy that I got to spend a few days over Easter with them.  It did make me miss my family, but I’m very glad I got to Skype with them and a few of my aunts & uncles on Saturday!

    

Sunday we went to a typical Andalucian church in the Old Town for Easter mass and then devoured a delicious brunch at the beach-side restaurant back at the resort.  Holy Week is such a huge celebration through out Spain, but especially in Andalucía, and it was really great to hear the Priest’s sermon on such an important day!  Other than that, we spent most of our free time relaxing between the beach and the multiple pools and hot tubs all around the resort.  Thank you so much, Donal, Claire & Jackie, for inviting us to celebrate the Holy Week with your family!

This trip to Marbella was a lot of fun, and I’m definitely glad that we took advantage of the very long weekend to get out of the city for a bit.  Unfortunately, I’ve spent the past few days since we returned from Marbella sick in bed, but with an antibiotic I picked up yesterday, I am already starting to feel a lot better.  The plus side is that I’m half way through the first season of the HBO series Game of Thrones.  If you never saw it, I seriously suggest downloading it; it’s amazing!

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter weekend as much as I did!  Ciao, amores:)

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paella con bea

  

Feliz Semana Santa!

Last night my roommate Bea showed me and a friend of her’s from class how to make paella.  She explained that everyone has their own ways of going about it, what vegetables to add, what order to add things in, etc, but she sticks to the way her dad has been making it her whole life and it was absolutely amazing!  She even called him in the midst of cooking to check if the chorizo sausage being spicy would change the flavor (it would, so we skipped on putting it).

After dinner we enjoyed homemade torrijas, which are basically slices of french toast toasted in cinnamon & sugar made out of a special type of bread.  They’re so common during semana santa (holy week), so Bea decided to make those too.  We talked about all sorts of things from our different cultures to music festivals.  I always like hearing people’s thoughts and opinions about different things, since we all have grown up in such different environments.

It was the perfect beginning to holy week, and I’m heading to Marbella tonight for the long weekend.  Thursday & Friday are both official holidays here in Madrid, so nearly everything will be closed.  We’re spending the first two days in a hostal by the beach in the old part of Marbella and then Saturday, Sunday & Monday with Jackie’s family.  I’m so excited to meet all of them and relax by the pool & beach all weekend.  It’s going to be weird not being at my house with my family for Easter, which makes me even more appreciative that Jackie’s parents have taken us in to celebrate the holiday with them!  A post with plenty of photos to come on Tuesday.  Enjoy your weekend & Happy Easter, amores:)

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las comidas del fin de semana

This weekend was filled with lots of fun with friends, seeing as we were celebrating the end of our spring mini-semester classes.  It’s so nice to have nothing to do, besides look for a co-op job, and I’m so happy to be done taking classes for a  little while.  I love my program and all of the students in it, so it will definitely be weird not seeing them for six hours every single day.  However, I’m certainly not going to miss all of the hours spent in the same classroom at ICADE.  I’m so happy to have had the experience of taking classes in another language though, and it has definitely helped in improving my Spanish so much since September.  Here are some snapshots of this weekend, and you’ll see that all of the celebrations were accompanied by delicious foods as well!

Homemade blueberry scones & peanut butter chocolate chip shortbread cookies at the Templo de Debod, my favorite spot in Madrid, on Thursday instead of studying.

First brunch & first bagel since I’ve been in Madrid on Saturday afternoon.

 

An assortment of dips and the first cake I’ve made with American baking soda (also made here), which we enjoyed at a surprise graduation party we threw for Kenny.

Amazing Greek food for lunch today from this place at some food markets that have been set up for the past week on Calle Fuencarral.

I hope you guys have eaten as well as I have this weekend!  Ciao, amores:)

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