España: Verano 2016

Ok, my goal of posting everything by June 28 is rapidly approaching and I still have a decent amount of posts to write, so I’m really waiting until the last minute and would like to apologize in advance for the frequent posting that will be happening this week. Now back to my adventures in Madrid!


Dia Nueve: Madrid

Today we went to Parque del Retiro to meet back up with the Live N’ Learn group and row boats on the “lake” in the center of the park. The park was beautiful and it was nice to speak English (only a little bit!) and see my American friends. Carmen and Javi met Tori and absolutely loved her and we were all sad when it was time to go. (On a side note- Tommy_boy2020 was in full attack mode the entire boat ride and we had a lot of fun screaming, trying to row away from him and not get splashed, and splashing him back.) When we left, we went and had lunch at Carmen and Javi’s grandfather’s very nice restaurant, Domingo 1920. On the way to the restaurant a group of guys stopped me on the street because they recognized my Citadel baseball cap and told me they were cadets. It was so cool to be able to make that connection halfway around the world.


On our row boat at Parque del Retiro before we got into a splashing battle. June 23, 2016

After lunch the entire Lara Rey family had to go renew their passports so I hung out at the house by myself for about an hour and had another nice break from all the Spanish. As proud as I was with myself for trying to stick to Spanish, it could become mentally exhausting and taking breaks to sleep or read the news on my phone in English was a great way to recharge.

When the family returned, we went to a pueblo right outside of the city to attend their cousins primary school graduation. Juanpe (Juan Pablo) and Zara were so cute and the ceremony was very interesting but long. It was pretty religious (Catholic) and I didn’t understand very much of what was being said and what the protocol for those events was. During the card game Carmen and Javi taught me a Spanish card game that I was actually good at (although I sadly don’t remember the rules now) and we had fun passing the time on a picnic blanket to the side of the ceremony.

After the ceremony we went to Perla’s younger sister’s apartment and and went to the pool. I’m not a huge fan of the pool, but it was fun and I had a good time. Juanpe actually found a snail in the grass and decided to keep it as a pet until he stepped on it by accident and killed it, so the day was full of me asking him questions about his caracol and then trying not to laugh at the silliness of the entire situation.


From left to right: Carmen’s Tia, me, Juanpe, Carmen, Carmen’s abuela. June 23, 2016

When we got home we had grilled squid for dinner and it was amazing!! I felt a little homesick this day, which isn’t like me at all, and I hoped it would go away in the coming days so I could enjoy every day to the fullest. Day 2 with the Lara Reys was a success!

Dia Diez: Madrid

Today we went to the Reína Sofía art museum. The museum is famous for having a lot of Picasso paintings and it was insane. The exhibits were all so large and the topics of the exhibits covered such a wide range of ideas and time periods. A few of the exhibits were about the history of Spain and how the art changed and was influenced by the events of the time. I really enjoyed these exhibits in particular because they gave me more background into the history of the entire country, which I was not, and still am not very familiar with. I also met Carmen’s boyfriend Eduardo (Edu for short) and he was very nice and easy to hang out with!


One of my favorite paintings from la Reína Sofía. June 24, 2016

After the museum we went back to the apartment for lunch and rested before we went to go see Finding Dory (Buscando Dory) in Spanish! The movie was very good, and even though I didn’t understand a lot of the Spanish, I was able to grasp onto a lot of it because I have seen Finding Nemo. Javi really want to see the movie because he loves Finding Nemo and American movies in general, so he was very excited and invited some friends to join us. It was nice to meet even more Spaniards and to have a little group to hangout with.

After the movie we all went to McDonalds and I got a caramel and praline McFlurry that was really good. I’m pretty sure we don’t have that combination at American McDonalds, and besides the difference in McFlurry flavors, the entire menu was pretty different so I enjoyed trying to read it and see what sounded good and what didn’t (they had a lot more fish on this menu then we are used to seeing). For dinner we had pizza, which was fun because we eat that a lot at home and it was nice to see that pizza seems to be the universal dish in people’s homes. Day 3 was great and made me realize how blessed I was to have such a great family!

P.S. I forgot to mention that the Lara Reys live close to the bullfighting ring, so we stopped by there on our way to the museum and, even though I don’t like what it stands for, it is a beautiful stadium. I’ll have pictures of that in the gallery too!

Click on images below to enlarge and view as a slideshow.



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