Okay, yinz. New Year. New Me. New Blogs. Let’s get back to it!

School (at this point in the game) has finally felt a lot more comfortable. I’m finding my place with my job and figuring out ways that I’m most useful. Although it isn’t exactly what I hoped for or expected, I’m keeping optimistic about where I am at and hopefully can expand much more!

After seeing Alex more or less nonstop, we are back together again in Madrid for 10 days! His flight was much cheaper if he stayed for a certain amount of time and he works remotely, so it worked out really well for us! First thing we did was host a “Line 1 Opening Party” with my roommates at our flat! **Okay, so a back story to this: Line 1 of the subway system here was closed from when I arrived until my birthday and line 1 goes directly from our neighborhood to the center of the city. What would be a 10 minute trip on Line 1 to the city center was a 45 minute trip using two metro lines and some walking. Not the worst problem in the world, but it made it difficult to spend time with friends and explore when you’re worried about budgeting time. Therefore, having Line 1 open was a major reason to celebrate and bring all of my friends who live in the heart of the city to us!** My roommates and I cooked a dinner and then we had friends over for drinks and catching up. It was so great to see everyone since it had been so long and I was now engaged! The following day we just relaxed and then on Sunday we went to check out the zoo and got dinner with Hannah. The zoo was massive and really nice to walk around, but in the cold rainy weather it wasn’t super comfortable. However, we had a great time walking around and just being in each other’s company. On Monday, my bestie from the US, Lauren, was flying home from a conference in Vienna and chose a flight with a layover in Madrid! Although it was a night layover, I went to the airport to spend time with her and we had a little Girl’s Night Out with drinks and some pizza together. It was so amazing to see her again and I can’t to get back home and pick up where I left off with my friends in America!

The next week, I was focusing on preparing the turkey for our American Thanksgiving dinner at my flat. Since I am the only American in my flat, of course I took on the challenge of preparing the turkey and gravy (no pressure or anything). It took me three days to thaw, brine and roast the turkey, but overall I think it was a true success! The dinner went well and everyone else in my flat prepared a dish of their own to share. A few roadblocks came up during the week as well such as the train breaking down on my way to work while in the middle of nowhere and other personal problems, but Alex and I took time to relax as well. We went to check out the Arab baths in Madrid which were wonderful and we also took a half day trip to Toledo, a beautiful and historic nearby city. Figuring out public transit was strange for not knowing what we were doing, but we managed to make it there for a relaxing walking around the area. We toured the cathedral, had homemade desserts by nuns, walked around the city, had lunch, then went back to Madrid. The weather also wasn’t the greatest, but we made a trip out of it and enjoyed each other’s company.

It was an overall relaxing two weeks for us, and all of my busy travels and adventures begin the following week. Stay tuned!



Stephanie in Spain