Monday, January 28, 2008

the weekend in photos

hookah, a belly dancer, and apple tea with my favorite girls

snuggled up and studying starbucks
(it's too comfortable to pass up!)

tried to order a tall iced coffee and i got an espresso shot with a separate cup of ice.
(at least the cups were the cutest tiniest lids ever)
(and they didn't think my name was Amalia this time...)

my favorite word

Sunday morning at El Rastro
these are my favorite things in the world

antique goodies at El Rastro

cloth lanterns

perfect day

post-game victory feast with my hermanas
(even though we didn't really watch any of them game...)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"You look like a milkmaid."

First, some photos that don't really require an explanation but I'll give one anyway...

Jess and I having the time of our lives on a merry go round that was turned off...the people who were watching us do this acted like nothing was going on so it was somewhat awkward.

Jess, Jess, Maya, and I had an amazing peanut-butter and jelly snack time extravaganza. (10 slices of bread, 6 p.o.s., half a baby jar of peanut butter, half a jar of strawberry jelly, and four happy tummies!)

When we visited the "mezquita" of Madrid we had to use scarves to cover our hair. I think Jess and I look like Arabian princesses.

I successfully completed my first load of laundry! I hung up all my clothes myself and surprisingly didn't drop anything even though my soaking wet jeans seemed to weigh 20 pounds and I had to reach all the way to the fourth line out to hang them. When I got back from Toledo today (see below) my Senora had folded everything for me, even my underwear into cute little squares! She was a little bit confused about what to do with my mismatched socks (she obviously doesn't realize that white sock with blue whales clearly matches the gray sock with yellow whales...) and my clothes are a bit too crispy for my liking but I suppose that's how we roll in Spain.

* * *

Second! Today we had a group trip to Toledo. The town itself is really pretty and very cute. During the 14th and 15th centuries Arabs, Jews, and Christians all coexisted in Toledo which makes it a pretty unique place. We saw the "Catedral," "la iglesia de Santo Tome," two Synangogues: "El Transito" and "Maria la Blanca" (the latter of which was built by Arabs and later converted into a Christian church). During our free time we wandered the narrow streets, escaped the cold with some warm drinks, and Vera told me that I looked like a milkmaid.

"Vista panoramica de la cuidad" (click it to englarge-it almost looks fake!) and our group in the tiny streets

illegal picture from inside the cathedral and AZULEJO

cuddling in a park after a long day of walking and goodbye to Toledo

* * *

Also, last but not least, I booked Amsterdam with Jess, Maya, and Vera (and others??) for March 7 - 10!

and oh yeah, NILS I MISS YOU SO MUCH.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

board games and the royal palace

First of all, this kitten is adorable. Second of all, we finally figured out how to say "to cuddle" in Spanish. ACURRUCARSE. click here to learn how to conjugate it.

Last night a bunch of us went to this bar/cafe that has basically every board game imaginable (well, minus "Vida" and "Manzanas a Manzanas"...), it was amazing. We played Scrabble (in English and Spanish...and I used a French word), drank sangria (obviously), and ate chocolate cake (obviously).

Notice the LL and RR...and a total lack of Spanish is that? We also played a pretty heated game of "Tabu" in Spanish like the true Spaniards that we are.

Today Maya, Vera, Jess, and I ventured out to the Palacio Real. The weather is really beginning to warm up so it was the perfect day to wander around and the interior of the palace is the most insane thing I've ever seen (photos weren't allowed so you'll have to just take my word for it).

in the courtyard and a fountain (notice the little dog!)
(click to make enormous)

view from the palace and part of the building

the main entrance

then we were all so excited we couldn't stop jumping...

After visiting the palace Maya and I went on a hunt for a store we heard of called The American Store. According to their website they sell goldfish but unfortunately the website lies. In an attempt lessen our feelings of disappointment and despair Maya settled for Pizza Combos and I opted for Ritz Bitz. We then proceeded to get extremely lost trying to walk home (my spidey sense failed me.) but finally made it. Unfortunately I'm about to give into one temptation in order to avoid another: going to Starbucks to do some work instead of taking a nap. Oh well, at least I lasted two weeks without my drink!

Monday, January 21, 2008

this post is dedicated to tom stewart


jess, maya, and jess
game face, game face, face?

the bar where we watched

kissy faces for our win!

andddd enough said.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

spanish weekend like whoa

Jess, Maya, Vera, and I made it to the Warhol exhibit at La Casa Encendida on Friday afternoon and saw lots of good stuff...lots of cool collages that he did with photos of Mick Jagger and lots of Warhol in drag:

here we donned our best Warhol faces and took a picture in front of the sign...

After the exhibit Jess and I gave into a craving for churros (quisieramos churros...o no?!) and then I used my spidey sense to guide us home. We ended up at the Chocolateria later that night after tiring ourselves out by dancing at Joy.

After sleeping in on Friday Maya and I ventured out in our neighborhood to pick up some flowers for our Senora who was having a baby surgery on her toes. We both were really wanting some juice so, after wandering the streets for a bit in a desperate search for fresh squeezed orange juice, we convinced ourselves that it would be okay to step into Starbucks. Somewhat surprisingly, the Starbucks across the street actually has exactly what we wanted on their menu: Zumo de Naranja Natural!

(click to englarge, direct your eyes bottom right)

the juice apparently excited me...

Jess, Maya, Jess and I went to this little place around the corner to get some tapas for dinner and they were great. I especially liked the sangria and finished up everyone's glasses as Jess cleaned up everyone's plates...both of which seem to be recurring themes. ("are you going to drink that?" "are you going to eat that?")

On Saturday Maya, Jess, and I checked out the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia. We stuck to the second floor and saw lots of surrealist paintings, some cool surrealist photography, and a whole lot of Picasso. And of course a trip to the Reina Sofia would not have been complete without spending some quality time with the ginormous Guernica:

We met up with some other USC girls for dinner late on Saturday night at the metro stop La Latina. The place was great, the sangria was amazing, and the area surrounding it was very popular. We all walked together to the Sol area where Vera stepped in and used her special spidey sense for hookah to guide us to a hookah bar.

Calla Cava Baja, where we ate
and Sangria :)

the hookah bar

some pretty night pictures

After an interesting cab ride with Maya we decided to hit the hay early so we could go to El Rastro this morning. El Rastro was really neat. It's a big open air flea market that happens every Sunday from about 10 until 2. Maya and I arrived shortly after 10 and the streets were already buzzing. We clutched our "bolsas" tightly (pickpocketing is a big thing here!) and made our way through the growing crowds. The stands sell everything: souvenirs, shoes, underwear, playstation games, extension cords, antiques, etc. Maya and I each got Pashminas for just 2 euros. Although it's not really the kind of place I'll want to go every Sunday I definitely will venture back.

the very crowded streets


Earlier this evening at 7 we all went to a bar around the corner to watch the Real Madrid football game (that's soccer for you non-Europeans :P) and it was quite an experience. Although we were somewhat more concerned with trying to pick out the cutest players than paying attention to who was offsides we were all happy with Real Madrid's 2-0 win. Now that we have our team's colors figured out (blue and white...NOT red and yellow) we're totally on our way to become die hard fans. Unfortunately tomorrow it's back to class. I'm really getting used to these 4 day weekends though.

Speaking of 4 day weekends, Jess and I booked our first trip out of town! We'll be in Barcelona from January 30th until February 3rd, which we try to casually drop into every conversation we have with friends ("well we're going to Barcelona so...").

I also think it's important for everyone to know that mis hermanas y yo have developed deathly chocolate cravings after every meal. And after every snack. And in between meals. We're slowly but surely falling in love with the little cafe around the corner and eventually will probably be buying enough cookies to pay their monthly rent. I currently like the "corazones con chocolate."

Things to look forward to this week: a new washer and refrigerator are being delivered tomorrow (!), Jess and I will have some sort of adventure on Tuesday, and our group is taking a day trip to Toledo on Friday. Also someone is finally peacing back to the states...

Miss you Naisycats.