Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Whirlwind Anniversary Weekend

Life is Spain is good. The past few days have been great. Saturday, February 14 marked not only the feast day of Saint Valentine, but also my one month anniversary in Spain. To commemorate this special occasion, we had a weekend of adventure and fun.

Thursday night I went with my friend Julia to see The Hullahoop at Café Garsilaso. The flier I found stated that this band covered Elvis and 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll classics. So, I was pumped. I found them on MySpace and discovered that, sure enough, this Spanish band, sang American English music. So I was definitely pumped. Thursday night we met and began the search for this café/bar. WE made it, but it is in a semi-sketchy part of the Casco, but we braved it and entered. I am so glad we did! This place is cool, like Picarro, but better. We got there at 10, the show was suppose to start at 10. We sat down and ordered a drink. I ended up being a glorified fruit smoothie, not what we were expecting, but still really good. So 10 came and went. No Elvis. But, some Spanish bikers did come to crowd the bar. I love Harley men. At 10:30 the band finally got on stage. SO worth the wait. An old man and his younger entourage started in on their Presley medley. They were actually really good, and equally horrid. English with a Spanish accent, and Spanish in between songs. SOOO GOOD. So we laughed, danced, and sang along until a little after 11. Sadly we had to leave so we could catch the last bus home at 11:30, but, if you ever get the chance to check out The Hullahoops, DO IT!

Friday I went on an “excursion” organized by the Fund to El Escorial, this little city to the northwest of Madrid is home to the royal families summer home/monastery. Built after some war, or something, I can’t remember (Wikipedia it if you’re interested). It was neat. The best part being that it is set surrounded by mountains and snow. It was refreshing to see nature. I like nature (sorry Popp). The palace was interesting too. Philip II, or Charles III or V ( I can’t remember who built it) was very religious, so half the palace is a monastery, and the half that is royal residence looks more like a monastery that a palace. This was a good day, sunny and educational. My history prof. was actually my guide, so that was fun. I got to chat with him a little and score points 

Friday night we decided to go to a comedy show (Monologos de Humor) in Circulo de Arte. We got there at 10 again, but because we are in Spain, it didn’t start until 10:30. We tried, but it really isn’t that funny when you understand 90% of the joke but then don’t get the punch line. So, around 11:30 we decided to head into Poligono and see a movie. We went to a 12:30 showing of Slumdog Millionaire. SEE THIS MOVIE!!! It is so good. After the movie we hoped on the Buho to get home, only we got on the wrong one, so we made it home late. I got in about 3:30. My mother wasn’t home yet. She had gone out with her girlfriends. I found out Saturday morning that she did not get home until 6AM. Apparently they met some nice men and went dancing. Oh, my mother. I want to be more like her.

Hmm, Saturday was a lazy day. I woke up late, worked on homework, had lunch with Mom and heard all about her night. We talked more about traveling and what not. Then I walked to the Fund to max out my credit card.

Saturday was the perfect day in Toledo, sunny but not too hot. 10,000 tourists from all over the world. And plane tickets to Granada, Santiago, Barcelona, and Bilbao. I also now have a place to sleep when I’m in Rome.

Saturday night, after all the spending, Julia and I went out for a romantic sunset bottle of wine. We stopped at a market and picked up a 2 euro bottle of wine and some cheese and headed west. Problem, finding the west. We made it as the sun was just setting. We ended up perching on a wall outside of La Catedral de San Juan de Los Reyes, which was only slightly awkward. The sad part, we had bought wine but did not have any means of opening it. So we ended up watching the sunset eating cheese and being sad that we had no wine to cap off our romantic valentine’s day date.

After this we met our group of friends for an anniversary picnic. We got bread, chorizo, and fruit and made sandwiches (bocadillas actually) on the steps overlooking Rio Tajo. It was so fun, a great way to celebrate one month together. After dinner Laura, Julia and I went in search of a gosh darn bottle opener. After success we went back to our scenic vista and tried our wine. It was terrible. We ended up dumping the bottle. Sad, but still a blast.

This weekend I came to a realization: I am going to miss this place and these people. I’m not kidding. This was monumental for me. When I started to think about not seeing everyone everyday, I got homesick for Spain. While it’s sad, it also makes me happy because I know I am making a home here and I wasn’t even realizing it. The rest of our time here together will be amazing though, and now I just have an excuse to visit Minnesota and Milwaukee more often.

I love my Spanish family and friends. They make it feel like home.

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