From Madrid to Granola

Madrid sunshinemadrid poodleAfter a rather unfortunate (read: embarrassing and expensive) start to my travels, a weekend that revolved around a brunch reservation in Madrid was wonderfully restorative.  The concept of brunch seems to be taking off in Spain’s capital and my friend Britney picked out a fun little spot: The Toast Cafe (this seems like a trendy name for a Spanish brunch spot, actually), where their brunch menu includes a primero plato of a massive fluffy pancake AND a segundo plato of picante huevos rancheros…we practically rolled out of there we were so full by the end of it.thetoasthuevos rancheros at toast cafeThe sun was shining, brunch was bright, and we wandered around the city until an equally delicious dinner.  It was all about catching up and good food. Mostly talking about boys…so, a weekend of food and girl talk. Priorities! (Gracias, mi hermana!) Continue reading…

Mad Dash to Madrid & Sunday in Segovia

20130515-010727.jpg20130515-010721.jpg20130515-010733.jpg20130515-010711.jpg20130515-010654.jpgThe weekend was almost a disaster when I work up 10 minutes before my train was to leave the station. (My fault, but I’ll blame it on the karaoke competition the night before.) By some miracle, I managed to throw stuff in a bag and run the kilometer to the station in about five minutes (definitely a personal best). It was a panicked and dramatic ten minutes!

I would have been so mad at myself had I missed the tennis tournament, so it was my lucky day. I spent the whole day at La Caja Magica. Seeing Nadal play in the semifinals agains fellow Spaniard Andújar, and in front of a Spanish crowd was so much fun…and totally worth the mad dash.

On Sunday, my friend Elvira and I went to Segovia for the day. The streets were full of puppeteers, musicians, and children’s shows. We walked through the entertainment to see the famous (and incredibly impressive — there is no cement between those stoens!) aqueduct, the castle that inspired Disney’s, and the ornate cathedral.

We finished the weekend back in Madrid, and as I was wandering the sunny streets Monday morning it hit me that I only have three weeks left in Spain… a karaoke win (and being subsequently interviewed on Huelva radio?!), a full day of pro tennis, a day trip to yet another beautiful Spanish town, and a last day of exploring the capital city…it wasn’t a bad way to enjoy one of my last weekends here! Hope your weekends were great as well! Un beso:)

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Reunited in Madrid and Giving Thanks [Persimmon Apple Oat Crumble]

Delicious chaos happening in the kitchen.

After spending Canadian Thanksgiving at the beach, my flatmates and I celebrated the American holiday with a slightly more traditional dinner this week.  We were joined by a couple of our Spanish friends, our flatmate’s mum all the way from Atlanta, AND her dog who will be living with us from now on (a little chihuahua, who I affectionately call rat-dog…).  Dinner came together rather chaotically in our small kitchen, as we each made something to contribute to our feast. It was a happy chaos; dancing around each other as we cooked, languages mixing over lively conversation, music blasting, cervezas in hand. We each talked about some thing(s) we were grateful for, and sat down together to a delicious spread of roast veggies, seafood paella, polenta fries, pumpkin pie and this fruit crumble.

Dessert and/or breakfast. Perfect.

My parents and twin made the trip over in October, and I’m so glad I got to show them my home for the year and travel with them around the country.  I had been feeling rather proud of myself, in that I hadn’t been feeling homesick at all since getting settled in, but when Thomas and I met my parents in Madrid I realized how much I had missed just seeing them everyday.  Internet is great for keeping in touch, but it was super to catch up face to face.  We spent a  weekend with all four of us (just missing the two little brothers; you’ll have to come next time, S&R?! xo) exploring Madrid; examining art through the grand museums, enjoying cold sunny days through the streets and the parks, and trying a different chocolateria everday. It sounds cliched, I know, but I really am so thankful for my loving and supportive family — and it’s nice to have two Thanksgivings in Spain this year to remember that, although I know it everyday.

Chocolate, churros, sangria, mojitos…Madrid is tasty…

Gratitude is a nice feeling.:)  Happy Monday!

Persimmon Apple Oat Crumble

Churros Con Familia (y Chocolate!)

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Today marked one full month that I’ve been living in Spain — in some ways it feels like it has absolutely flown by, and in others I feel like I have been gone for much longer. Either way, I’m loving the experience so far.
Thomas and I met up with our parents in Madrid today, and although they were pretty jet lagged from having just arrived we managed to do a good bit of sightseeing and street wandering. My mum and I both had the same thing at the top of our Madrid “to-do” list: San Ginés, Madrid’s top spot for churros con chocolate. We made it there just as the sun was setting over the beautiful Plaza Mayor and enjoyed our churros under cozy heat lamps outside. I’m so excited to be here with my family (or most of it– miss you Sam and Robbie!), and we decided that we should try a different chocolateria every day. I think I’m up for that challenge.

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