A Travellerspoint blog

Just the Beginning

Ok so I've been very behind on my blogging... But that's simply because I have been having such a great time! Always on the go ... (Except when I'm having a siesta but those have been quite necessary in recent days) ... So let's start at the beginning.. The flight. Lynne and I were able to finagle seats together, and then sync up our movies to play at the exact (well almost exact) time. We watched How To Be Single, and if you haven't watched it yet, DO watch it. Then we binge watched 3 episodes of this series Teachers, that I had never heard of but Lynne and I were dying. I don't know if it's because we are teachers but the ridiculous and inappropriate sense of humor was just perfect. Then we passed out for a few hours. When we awoke, we were approaching Madrid. We are both just so stoked to begin this experience. After we get our luggage, we catch a bus into the Atocha neighborhood of Madrid. We both are rolling suitcases that JUST made the maximum weight at Newark by the skin of our teeth. Legitimately, Mine was 49.0 and Lynne 50.0. Oh and then we both have a second piece of luggage that wasn't too light, making it no easy feat. Long story short we opt for the taxi to the hostel. When we arrived at the hostel, of course it's too early to check in so we go grab a café and some breakfast. I totally forgot the coffee here is always served in small doses, so Lynne and I had about 3 before check in. We then did some slight exploring. It's so funny how things came back to me so easily after being away for two years. I begin to recognize many streets, buildings, and squares immediately. It's a nice, comforting feeling. I try and use as much Spanish as I can, but am feeling a bit self conscious. Though, so far everyone we have come into contact with has been very helpful. I think it has a lot to do with the attitude of wanting to learn the language. Por ejemplo, I try to say everything I can even if I know it's not completely accurate, and always drop a ¿como se dice x ? for the words I do not know.

90_91B246E204F2B8B32C391153DD0D1205.jpeg90_image.jpeg

Posted by meg elizabeth 10:50 Comments (0)

HOSTEL LIFE -day 1

Ok time to check in. Lynne and I are staying in a 8 bed female dormitory at Cat's Hostel. I have always stayed in hostels when I travel and wouldn't have done it any other way. But this is the first time I've stayed in a room with that large a number of people (if we don't count the time Brian and I stayed in a mixed 10 person dorm in Barcelona for a night with 8 Brazilian dudes. Brian wasn't very happy to say the least haha) but so this was new and I wasn't sure what to expect. But I know from experience that people who stay at hostels are all trying to get to know a new place while simultaneously meeting like minded people from all over the world. Therefore, there's a ginormous chance that everything is going to be more than alright. And if not, I just think of my mom's advice "even if something goes really wrong, just think BUT IM IN SPAIN!!! " haha ok so when we get to our room, there are 3 girls already in there. We had one roomie from Argentina, one from Mexico, and one from Italy. The 2 Spanish speaking girls immediately start helping Lynne and I practice our Spanish. We were very grateful. Lynne and I had to decide who was going to get a top bunk and who was getting a bottom bunk... Lynne very graciously accepted the top. Of course before realizing the oddly miniature sized stairs on the side. I LOVE YOU LEEEEEN! Thanks for taking one for the team haha I'm glad you survived it. So after checking out our new digs, we decide to stroll around our neighborhood a bit and grab a glass of vino. Ahhh then come the free olives. Lynne and I are both very excited about the alceitunes. It's about this time that the jet lag finally hits us, so we decide to take a siesta before starting our night. When we get up, we are feeling very refreshed and decide to venture for some cena (dinner). We found ourselves in the Plaza de Santa Ana. We sat in the terrazzo and ordered a cheese assortment and of course some seafood paella. The paella could have easily fed a family of 5 😳 but nonetheless it was muy rico! We then decide to go back to the hostel to freshen up and change. We went downstairs to the hostel bar to grab a drink with our roomie from Mexico, Annaith. Lynne and I were able to pronounce it correctly by the next morning. Side note- apparently Lynne is bad with names and somehow there was a Beatrice or Clarice, yet I don't think we met anyone with those names haha but this made for good laughs at least twice a day. Though I probably shouldn't talk because it was my constant asking of names that led to that discovery. We end up meeting a group from Philly, Long Beach CA and Amsterdam. We learned some Dutch. Though I think mine and Lynne's favorite was "Danku Vell". To any Dutch speakers I'm sure that's not how you spell it but it's very much so how we were taught to say it haha. Suffice to say we had many laughs. Many people we met had done the run with the bulls in Pamplona so those made for interesting stories. We decided to do the pub crawl and we had such a blast. The first bar we went to was an Irish pub 🍀 and the song that's playing as we enter is Jay-z and Alicia Keyes' "Now You're in New York". The first sight we see as we enter the back bar is this group of young girls legit belting out the chorus like they're going to lose it. Lynne smiles and says ah you girls from NY?? They reply with NOOOO IRELANDDDD! ... Lynne and I crack up and then take our complimentary shot of warm cheap tequila. We then make our way downstairs to the ladies room where we, naturally, become best friends with these Scottish and English girls. God, gotta love those bar ladies room interactions. Never fails. Any who, we end up meeting some Aussies and continue to enjoy the pub crawl. After heading to another bar, we go to a club, which was a bit overpriced and bougie if you ask me. Either way we had a cool crowd so all in all it was a good night. Buenos noches, or buenos dias depending on how you look at it 😜

90_C2F0D7CAAB6ECD7BEDE3C36F3232728C.jpgC2ED2540F8EBBE1958551C253CBEAA9A.jpgC2E90FAEFB9A20E047C74FCD1436742A.jpgC2E69ACAD7157E1B27D71B23EF695280.jpg
B042C3D4C60C813CE7DCB8458943DFA8.jpgB0443C470160E84F6C2E7AB377ED0786.jpgB045A2E0DB4D91F5F875E66BAFCB307F.jpgB04713A9FBCDFE6BD363610FD570EC1A.jpgB048B7A6D380EAB88BDDCBCBCF9D17D1.jpgB04A1D019F8208DCA52FF966E641F3C8.jpgB04B5214958CFF180B38CC0E9346CDDD.jpgB04CEE02DDD8B661C602A67D0ED7B48A.jpgB04E555B99E589B3B9CA7ED9D8DE6766.jpgB04FB02BF431353718CF2DBA294A43E8.jpg

Posted by meg elizabeth 15:50 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

How do you say "eyebrow threading" in Spanish?!

Ok those of you who know me know I'm not a diva and can definitely rough it when necessary (yes, Mom. It's true) but, I am a female and I like to look presentable. With that being said, I usually get my eyebrows threaded every 2/3 weeks. I have been going to the same woman for the past 4 /5 years and really do not trust anyone else. I mean they are on your face and can easily be handled improperly. But I'm away for 2 months- that's a long time without getting them done. I mean I did it during my first euro trip with Brian. But this time I will not. Ok rant over :D
Even my threader, Tema, recommended I just upkeep them myself while away. I took her advice and brought a tweezer... but I probably trust the bartender who just made my mojito more than I do myself. Anyway I did a lot of research about threading in Madrid. Seriously, if someone were to see my google history they would think I have a strange obsession with eyebrows. And guess what? In the large, modern, and very well-known city of Madrid, no one threads eyebrows. No one. Most people I asked had no idea what it even was. And when I motioned what the process looked like, they looked nervous and uncomfortable.
I had read a blog about a great waxing service within Sephora, known as the Brow Bar. I said you know what, a place that is dedicated and only services to eyebrows must know what the hell they are doing. So I went to the Sephora located within the Corte Ingles shopping mall in Sol. It was early and when I arrived I spoke with the woman, who told me she could fit me in in 45 mins. Good sign that this place is busy with appointments right? So I went to Starbucks and when I returned I was surprised that another female was there, this one speaking no English. All of a sudden I got extremely nervous. I've no doubt improved my Spanish, but I had no idea how I could communicate exactly what I wanted in Spanish. Anyway, I watched her do someone else's before me. They looked really good so I began to feel more relaxed. Then, she gave me a waiver to sign.... Yes a waiver... My anxiety suddenly returned. Once she was ready for me, she asked which eyebrow waxing service I wanted... Yes apparently there's more than one.. Ughhh.. She was very sweet and seemed appreciative that I was trying so hard to speak to her in Spanish. She asked if I wanted the "tinte" service. I said "que es eso?" (What is that?). She said it makes them appear fuller. The previous client got this and I liked hers so I said sure. Then she prepared some concoction that looked like liquid foundation. She "painted" my eyebrows with this cream, and walked away for a minute, I took out my phone and looked at myself OMGGGG I looked ridiculous. My eyebrows now tripled in size. Is this what she meant by "fuller"?!? Omg if I've ever felt regret before .... She came back and almost in tears I'm like mas grande! Mas grande! (Too big too big!). She bursted out laughing and with cotton pieces, she began to remove the excess cream. Then we started talking and obviously laughing at me haha. Long story short- they looked fabulous. Couldn't have asked for better. Though I am excited to return to Tema! :)

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (0)

A little taste of motherhood....

So I've been having such a great time exploring the city! But I can't fail to explain how much of a wonderful time my mornings and early afternoons have been, spent with Celia and Natalia. I thought I may have jinxed myself by saying how sweet they were so early on, but I did not! They are still absolute dolls. Celia has improved her English immensely!!!! And Natalia has opened up to learning more English. Aside from speaking English around them almost all of the time, I try and make it fun and interactive for both girls. English books, movies, flash cards, art projects, etc. I am a teacher after all ;). Aside from teaching them English, we have so much fun swimming in the pool, playing "beauty salon" doing each other's hair, nails and make-up, playing Spanish board games, drawing pictures ( I have become quite the artist ;) ) and we watch this tv show "lightning point " everyday. It's an Australian series but I've been watching it in Spanish with Spanish subtitles. I've gotten to know the characters and the series so well here, I feel like it would be so strange to see the original, them speaking in English haha. I honestly feel like I've gotten a small taste of motherhood through this experience. It's been scary and frustrating at times, but most of all amazing. I plan on continuing to have a relationship with my chicas for years to come!

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (2)

Do I really have to leave this place??

I have actually spent this week exploring new neighborhoods. I swear I'm already thinking about my next trip back here. It is such an amazing city! So easy to walk from one area to another, and there is always something happening somewhere. It has such a fresh and exciting energy. Though the heat in the summer is brutal, :/ once the sun begins to die down is when the real fun begins anyway. :)
What I've discovered on my recent adventures:

Malaseña- chic, exciting, vibrant area. Shops and bars everywhere. If you turn any corner, you will surely stumble upon an antique book shop or a bar with funky decor. Comparable to our East Village.

Chueca- love love love. Of all the streets/ cafés/ bars/ shops I've discovered here, most of them have been in this neighborhood.

Sol- the center. Has anything and everything you need. But, like all city centers, the closer you are to the middle, the pricier your excursions will be!

I finally visited the Prado museum! Though I'm not super artsy, I have to say I enjoyed myself and the museum overall is quite exquisite. But... It is very overwhelming. I'm probably one of the only people who didn't first stop at information to get a floor map. I had the "must-see's" written down and as for the rest of my visit, I walk around.. Look at paintings.. If something intrigues me and I want to learn more about it, I read it's description. :P

After the Prado, I did what I do best - Walk, or Wander, whatever you'd like to call it. I was getting a bit thirsty and after walking along Paseo del Prado, then Calle Santa Maria, I stumbled across this small side street with a few bars with tables set up outside. Looked like an excellent spot for some mojitos and blogging. I chose the most interesting looking bar "El Imperfecto". Psychedelic is the best word to describe this place. I took some pictures because I found it that fun. I ordered a mojito, received my complimentary potato chips, and began to catch up on my blogs. Once a table freed up outside, I moved myself to the terrace. Ahh, delicious mojito, sun shining, slight breeze, streets buzzing with people. Did I mention how much I've fallen in love with this city?

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

El imperfecto:

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Posted by meg elizabeth 17:00 Comments (1)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 29) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 5 6 »