Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Enchufes

In Spanish, an enchufe can be a electrical socket or a connection. As in that guy that gets you into clubs all the time or the bartender that gives you free drinks. They're nice to have. My best enchufe into Spain is my boyfriend Alberto. He is most definitely the reason I have improved my Spanish about 110% but he also has been my window into the real Spain. Lucky for me, I have gotten to do things (ie la boda) , have experiences, and go places that I would probably never gotten to do on my own. This weekend was another example. Alberto's friends Nacho and Celia invited us to come to their beachfront house in Ribadesella, Asturias. I had never been to Asturias so I was really excited to finally get to go for a weekend. Asturias is located in the north of Spain and because it rains a lot there everything is amazingly green. It was a nice change from the desert-like environment of Madrid. We also got to eat some amazing Asturian food (helloooooo sidra!). 

It was a perfect relaxing weekend. We got to see the sunrise at 6 am Saturday morning (coming home from a night out).
Soak in the sun at the beautiful beach. 

Exploring the town Ribadesella and seeing some of the beauty that Asturias has to offer. 



 AND eating at the coolest restaurant I've been to in a while. Sidreria Muros was a place in in a small town off the highway. It was local, had superb food (the best grilled meat I've had in a while) and we got to eat in a sidra barrel. So cool! 
Little machine man that pours sidra and the cutest thing ever.
My enchufe himself and me cheesing. 
Our sidra barrel dining experience. Como molaaaaaaa!





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My Last Day at Andres Segovia

There I was sitting on my last train ride to Leganes and wondering how two years had passed so quickly. I had so many good memories and at the end of two years really felt like I was part of the school. I couldn't walk down a hallway without one of the kids yelling out my name (like I was famous or something) and it was a place I considered to be my second home. The principal even joked with me that she was my Spanish mother. I couldn't even imagine leaving. 

But the day had come. I had to say goodbye to my beloved peques (little kids) and tell them that I wasn't coming back next year without bursting into tears which proved to be impossible. Although it was hard to say goodbye they did give me some excellent parting gifts in the forms of drawings and letters (more on those in a later post). I even got a beautiful orchid from the 2nd year teachers! Although I am excited about my new job next year I will miss the relationships and memeories I formed while working at Andres Segovia. It has truely been an amazing experience. 

One of my favs Hugo, chewing on his finger per usual. 

End of the year fiesta!





Oh, how I'll miss them!





Thursday, June 23, 2011

Going to the chapel...para una boda española!

When I was first invited to a Spanish wedding I had a mix of reactions the first being total excitement and the second being really nervous. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to go to such a special ceremony. But was nervious that this would be an occasion where I would definitely be the odd one out. I was totally wroing. It was amazing! I was going as Alberto (the novio's) date to his good friends Juanjo and Monica's beautiful wedding. After lots of primping we arrived at the ceremony. It was in a small church in Burgos (about 2 hours north of Madrid). The bride was stunning and the groom is in the military so many of his friends went in uniform. 
As the mass was finishing, most of the boys snuck out to "decorate" the car...glad somethings never change no matter what country you're in. 


One of the best parts of the wedding was that the bride and groom left the church under the crossed swords of the military while everyone threw rice. It made for some amazing photos and they even had some regional dancers come! 






And so did we since we were all dolled up!




Then came the good part, la fiesta! First we started (at 9 pm mind you) with cocktail hour and appetizers. There was a leg of ham, obvs and a variety of other yummy things ranging from sushi to croquetas. 






Around 10:30 we moved onto dinner which was set in a beautiful banquet hall. Each person had a card with their picture and a note from the bride and groom. So cute! Let's have a peek at the menu shall we?
















Here's the translation:
Gazpacho in a glass of ice
Foie with goat cheese, membrillo, and green apple
Turbot fish with a ¨false risotto¨
Mojito and Apple sorbet
Massive steak with aged vinagarette reduction and tempura vegetables
Creme brulee with brandied raisins and icecream
Puff pastry with fresh crea
Don't forget this was all accompanied by red and white whine and cava for dessert. Ah-mazing! The bride and groom even cut their wedding cake with a sword. 








































Then we moved downstairs to continue the party by dancing late into the night. Did I tell you there was a full open bar? Oh yes. The bride's mother was by my side at 6 in the morning when they kicked us out saying "Pero bueno, una hora mas!" (Come on, one more hour!) 







The Spanish may not have that whole efficiency thing down but they sure know how to party. Que vivan los novios!!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

the magic 8 ball

I always sometimes wish that I could decide my major future decisions using a Magic 8 Ball. It would be so simple, and if I didn't like it I could just shake it again. This year has brought me a lot of hard decisions concerning my future and whether or not I want to stay in Spain. After all, I am really happy here but a lot of times I feel like I need to start my life in America. Most days I feel like I'm in some way avoiding reality or just not wanting to be a "grown-up." Other days I realize how many roots I have put down here in Madrid without even realizing it. I have started a life here and I'm proud of be able to do that in a foreign country (most of the time). 




In an earlier post I talked about my decision to stay in Madrid for another year but here are some more concrete details. I have accepted a position at a charter school for next year where I will be working as an english teacher. After having such a good experience and always having enjoyed working with children I would like to experience teaching on my own. It also allows me to stay and work legally in Spain (and it pays more!). This summer I have accepted a position as an English teacher working at summer camp with a company called Forenex. I will be working in Gredos a small monastary tucked into the mountains of Madrid. While I am excited about working at a summer camp (I have worked at YMCA day camp since I was 16) I am slightly terrified about being away from home for so long. It will be the longest consecutive time I've been in Spain and its really hard to be away from home for so long. I know that I'll miss hot summer nights, the 4th of July, barbeques, our family trip to the beach and NC peaches. It will be hard but I think one of the many things I have learnt from living is that if anything, I can rise to the challenge. And the future is just one big frightening and exciting challenge right? 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The last Alcorn visits Madrid

All of my family members have come through Madrid. My brother Jack was the first, visiting for 2 weeks last year. Then after months of planning, my parents came for a Spanish vacation touring through Madrid, Toledo, Sevilla, Cordoba and Granada. Finally, it was Sam's turn to visit and he spent last week here in Madrid and 2 days in Granada. 


It is always so amazing to have my family here because I don't get to see them very much and its just cool to show someone else your life in a different country. It is hard to describe the different aspects of living in a different country so it is nice to show my family firsthand. As well just hanging out with Sam, eating great food and drinking lots of cañas. I also got to return to Granada and Sam got to see the Alhambra for the first time. Good times all around.