calle de alcalá apartment tour

Well it's that time again.  We're in our third apartment in three school years and so for anyone who may still be interested, I think this one may just be the best yet (the photos are some of the worst, but try to see past the lighting situation we're dealing with here).  Our place was about as clean as it's ever been yesterday morning (we'd hosted people the night before) so I seized the moment and the wee bits of morning light we get to snap these pictures.  

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road trip to ronda and beyond (with my parents!)

My parents came to visit us in Spain this past summer (all about their time with us in Madrid here!), and like I mentioned earlier this week, spending nine straight days in the city just felt like a bit too much.  About a year ago Danny and I spent one of our extended weekends off of school in the south checking out a couple places that are kind of "must-sees" in Spain (Granada and Córdoba), as well as a few others (Ronda and Setenil de las Bodegas) that seemed interesting.  While in Ronda, we decided we really liked it (our first trip here!), as well as the place we stayed at while in Ronda and after spending weeks (okay, months) this past spring tossing around where to go and what to do with my parents, we finally decided on my first thought - an extended stay at Finca la Guzmana just outside of Ronda with a few day trips from there.

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mom and dad in madrid!

Last Christmas break we went back to the U.S. for my brother's wedding, and at the end of our trip, my parents told us that they intended to come visit us in Madrid, so as soon as Danny and I decided on the best time for them to visit, they said, they would start planning their trip.  They booked their flights not long after the initial conversation, and after that point, it was like we were on a countdown - see you in three months...two months...six weeks...etc - June 17th couldn't come soon enough (see, I can still remember the date!).  

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birthday weekend in london!

I've had a penchant for London and all things British ever since Will and Kate married, and over the years, I've come to consider it the world's greatest city.  So this past May (ahem, just shy of six months ago) when we decided to create a three-day weekend for ourselves over my birthday, London was my first, and pretty much only, choice.  Danny and I met each other at the airport on a Thursday after school, and after flying to Gatwick and taking the bus into the city and then walking through the rain to our Airbnb, we finally made it. 

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what's up and a little update, por fin!

It has been one day shy of seven weeks since I last updated the blog, and while I definitely didn't anticipate that being the case, it has been for a few reasons.  One, it took nearly two months for us to get internet installed in our apartment.  Yeah.  I wrote that correctly.  It's almost like we were the first people in all of Spain to get internet service, it took such an insane amount of time, as well as so many trips to the store and phone calls to make it happen...but it's here and it's working, sooo....all is (basically) forgiven.  The other reason that I haven't been around these parts is that while we have some internet access at school, our situation is much different than what we both are used to, and we have had to make a lot of adjustments.  I simply haven't had the spare time that I had during my school days last year to work on personal projects, and without internet at home, many things like blogging have slipped to the wayside as it's just not as important as things like paying credit card bills or planning classes.

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guadalupe, spain

Guadalupe was our last stop on our long-weekend road trip through Extremadura this past May.  It's a tiny little town of about 2,000 people, and if I'm not mistaken, the primary reason it gets visitors is because of it's UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Real Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, or Royal Monastery of Santa María of Guadalupe.  The only way to visit the 14th-century monastery is by taking a guided tour (available in Spanish only)...something we weren't necessarily stoked about doing, but we were willing to put our Spanish to the test in order to get farther than the lobby.

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what i learned this summer

This past Monday we started school, which means that, for us, summer is over.  We're also feeling fall in the weather here in Madrid - it's been in the 50's when we wake up and my choice of skirts and dresses everyday so far this week has seemed a bit unwise until late afternoon hits.  As we talk to friends and new coworkers about our summer and relay a similar story each time, I get a chance to think a bit about the past three months - what went well, what didn't, and even, what I learned.  

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trujillo, spain

Trujillo, a small Spanish town of less than 10,000 inhabitants, has a lot going for it - a well-preserved castle, one of Spain's most beautiful Plaza Mayors, plus churches, palaces, and homes that retain their 16th century glory.  Much of that is thanks to Trujillo's most famous son, Francisco Pizarro, legendary for his capture of the Inca and founding of Lima, Peru.  His brothers were also successful conquistadors during a time when Spain was a global superpower and the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world.  Pizarro and company brought fame and wealth to the area, and a statue of him still stands in Trujillo's Plaza Mayor.

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