Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Where did everyone go?

Everyday the sun rises over Madrid. 

But in August, it rises over a ghost town. As all madrileños flee to the coast or other parts of Europe the streets are empty.  
Nope...no one here. 
 During the day, the cafés and bars have no customers.
 And many stores simply shut down for the entire month. I can´t really see how this helps Spain´s struggling economy but hey people need their vacation!
 Not even kids in the park??
Needless to say, there ain't too much to do in August. I can't believe I'm saying this but I am actually excited to get back in the routine of working. Bring it on September!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Although CNN would have told us otherwise, Alberto and I successfully avoided the 16 year old rioters and had an amazing time in London. Here is our trip in a nutshell:

We saw all the big sights and had good weather!!

 Visited old friends. 
 Had afternoon tea
 Went on some outdoor adventures. 

 Did embarassingly touristy things like wait for a picture with Big Ben, a telephone booth, and a red bus altogether. And taking pictures at 9 and three-quarters. 

Saw lots of historical things. 

 We took a day trip to Brighton, a city on the coast. 

 Took a stroll through the famous Camden Town and their alternative markets that all sell the same things. Oh and ate some of the best doughnuts ever. 

And probably the best part of the trip. Eating a huge, delicious burrito at Chipotle. Thank God for good Tex-Mex. 

See that expression on my face? That's called pure bliss. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Stop the presses

Two major things are happening right now in Madrid and in the USA. And I'm not talking about the debt ceiling.

Number 1: Although in August Madrid becomes a ghost city as everyone goes on vacation, we are getting a special visitor this week. He is old, has a funny name, wears a lot of gold and hails from Vatican City. Any guesses? 
That's right his Holiness himself, is coming to visit and give mass on Thursday this week in Madrid. The World Youth Day is taking place here in the city and the Pope will be making an appearance. Being blessed in 105 degree heat hmmm, I think I'll pass. Can you be blessed on TV? 

Number 2: Look out America, 100 Montaditos is coming!!! The extremely popular restaurant chain that I know and love in Madrid is going global. The restaurant offers 100 little sandwiches and cheap jarras of beer, so I hope it will be successful. If there is one way to Americans' heart, it is through cheap Budlight. Come on America, lets make this a sucess!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cheerio London!

After having an amazing week and a half in Orgiva, Granada and discovering my inner gardener, I'm ready for vacation. Alberto and I are off to London for the next week to drink lots of tea and eat as much good ethnic food as I can possibly fit in my stomach. Oh and do some sightseeing on the side. I'll also have to work in my new UK English vocabulary of blimey, bullocks, bloody, and bugger. Say that 5 times fast.

scenes from Orgiva

The Alpujarra mountains and part of Kay's garden

The real 3 little pigs!

My environmental contribution for the week: 1 planted tree.

Las Chimineas-my casa for the week

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Birthday notes from the farm

If you didn't know already lovely readers, today is my 24th birthday! And after living almost a quarter century (woah) I have to say this is my most interesting birthday yet. I can't say I will ever wake up again on my birthday morning and turn a compost pile first thing. However, I was greeted at breakfast with flowers from the garden and a birthday card from Kay and Bernie so I get some celebrating in! It has been a refreshing change of pace to live out in the boondocks and escape the urban jungle that is Madrid. After 5 days in living in the country here are some things I've been noticing so far:

1. It's quieeeeeeeeet! I am never woken up in the  middle of the night by an upstairs neighbor who thinks she is a flamenco dancer at 3 in the morning. I can't hear cars or people or music and it's amazing. I am sleeping like a rock with only crickets and cicadas as my orchestra. 

2. The food is fresh. One of the best things about the farm is that what we eat most days is coming directly from the garden. Last night the salad we had for dinner came straight from the vegetable patch and onto my plate. We eat lots of fresh fruit and veggies which is a nice change from Gredos food. Although most food would be better than Gredos food, let's face it. 

3. Dirt, sweat and compost. I have been working outside in the garden everyday and its relaxing to not have to deal with children and teaching for while. I love teaching but I am appreciating working with my hands and being able to see (or eat) what I have done at the end of the day.

4. The British are coming! And there is a lot of bloodys, bollocks, and buggers a-flyin! For the first time in a while I'm outnumbered by the English. Usually its the other way around so I can give them a hard time about weird sayings/pronuciations/spellings and mannerisms. However, Kay and Bernie have a community of expats that live here and visit regularly so I am on the other end of the jokes. I am learning a lot about the residents of UK by talking with them and watching BBC. Bernie and Kay have both been extremely generous and welcoming for which I am greatful. Even if I do have to hear them laugh everytime I say eggplant or zucchini. Oh well, you say tomaaaaato and I say tomato. 

I promise to put up my pictures as soon as I get back to Madrid and find my camera chord. Til then you'll have to put up with Google. I'm off to celebrate my birthday!