Tag Archives: Retiro

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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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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el rastro

{Just one of the many peculiar stands at El Rastro}

After relaxing most of the weekend due to the driest, sorest throat I may have ever had, I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning to head over to El Rastro.

El Rastro is acclaimed as one of the “must-see” sites of Madrid for any visitors, and according to it’s Wikipedia page, a Madrid visitors guide does not exist without a mention to El Rastro.  It’s an open air market in the historical center of Madrid that flows down streets and into a few small plazas.  Nearly all of the goods are second hand, and though there are a lot of cool stands, there is also alot of junk.  Among the

handmade jewelry, Moroccan tapestries, and leather bags, there are also As-Seen-On-TV stands, piles of clothing that can only remind me of Boston Costume, and random collections of everything from old cameras to wrenches.


Needless to say, it was a sight to see, but I am going to take it off of my recommendations list.  There are so many great places to see in Madrid that, in my eyes, El Rastro is not worth waking up early on a Sunday morning for.  The best part of it was walking through Plaza Mayor on our way there, which was empty and silent compared to how it is at all other times of day.

Fortunately for me, my Sunday continued as usual, unaffected by the morning’s odd trip, filled with bread & cheese, a nap, and some homework in El Retiro.  We even got to see an outdoor art show among the beautiful trees, which are actually starting to show signs of changing colors!  Can’t wait to experience fall here in Madrid.

Ten un buen semana, amores:)

{Artists painting before the showcase}

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feliz cumple a jackie!

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.


Happy birthday, Jackie! I hope you had a wonderful day:)

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