It’s been a quick minute – sorry about that! Derek and I have been busy perfecting our new apartment and going about our daily Spanish life. It’s funny how crazy moving to Madrid sounds when you’re in New Jersey, but now that we’re here, it’s just home (for now – settle down).
Like I mentioned, this past week and some has been all about purchasing everything we need for our apartment, finding our rhythm and enjoying much-needed quiet time. Some may argue (Dad) that this is a vacation, but let me assure you, while it is definitely not commuting into NYC 9-6 every day, it’s not exactly the same experience as my time in Barcelona. As expected, my master’s program is intensive and many times means 12+ hour days. However, when our classes were cancelled this past week, my classmates acted like middle schoolers the day before summer vacation. You would’ve thought we were given a full reimbursement for the degree – a girl can dream. Because my program is a short 10 months, we have “crash courses”, which involve a week focused on one class for 6 hours a day. Our first crash course on ethics and corporate governance was supposed to be this past week, but due to the professor’s illness, the course was rescheduled for term 2. When I heard the news, I immediately looked up flights home and then swiftly talked myself out of it and appreciated the $900 I didn’t spend on a flight. But of course, I still miss my people.
So instead of flying home, I spent the past week doing many errands that I had been putting off, as well as exploring our beautiful city. We shopped around the weekly El Rastro Market, explored the Tabacalera Promoción del Arte, and visited the stunning Royal Palace. Derek, my friend Ale (pronounced Ally) and I spent the whole morning and afternoon enjoying the elaborate decorations and rooms filled with armor. Fun fact - although the royal family does not currently live in the palace, the palace is still regularly used to host other important people to drink very important tea. Waiting on my invite - will keep you all updated.
Most recently, we spent our entire Saturday in the charming city Toledo. Located about a 30-minute high-speed train ride away, it is the perfect day trip from Madrid. We spent the day walking through the streets, admiring the many religious buildings and taking our jackets on and off. It was an insanely gorgeous day in the sun and a very chilly day in the shade. Don’t you worry, I wore three layers and a scarf. While we do enjoy visiting the many tourist attractions, Derek and I have a deep appreciation for nature and enjoying the quieter parts of the cities we visit. We visited a common landmark, Mirador del Valle, that allows visitors to enjoy a full view of the city. While we admired the city and I popped an excederin for my migraine, Derek saw some rocks up a mountain and decided that was our next destination. My headache didn’t improve on the way up, but somehow was magically better once we reached the top. Haters will say it was the excederin. I say it was the warm sun, comfortable rock and silence. We left the top of the rock, made our way back down to the center and nibbled on some tapas to hold us over until we were back in Madrid.
Enjoy some pictures, but more importantly don't forget to watch Derek's video!
Despite the brevity of this blog post, we do have something exciting for our lovely readers! In the last video Derek created, he hid a set of numbers in one of the scenes. Now the ~fun~ part, if you are interested in a receiving a tiny gift from Spain, go back to the last video from Manzanares el Real and pay careful attention to when I am shopping in the local market. When you find the set of numbers, comment them below. The first person to find the numbers wins the prize! Confused? Too bad. Best of luck!
Ps. Our weekly special people shout out below.