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.
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!).
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.
I knew that I was going to write this post pretty much since the beginning of the school year - I put it on my "Blogs to Write" to-do list back in October and moved it to the bottom of the list as I knew I wouldn't even start till the school year was over, but definitely didn't want to forget to do it. Of course, now that the year is over, I'm lacking motivation and inspiration - school ended a little over two weeks ago - but I'm a slave to my to-do list and thus I must obey the master.
Most Saturdays for us look fairly similar: we sleep in a little bit, make breakfast together (usually one of these recipes), clean up, maybe read or play a game and then realize it's time to start making lunch already so we do that, leave the house in the early afternoon to run some errands or visit a park, then maybe have dinner with friends in the evening or eat else leftovers as we're typically sick of being in the kitchen after all that cooking. They're pretty low-key days, but nice days, and I'd be lying if I said that major changes to those plans don't usually disappoint me.
Just when I think we've seen it all in Madrid, I'll overhear friends or coworkers talking about somewhere they went over the weekend or I'll reopen a guidebook to make sure we've really checked it all off, and sure enough, we haven't. That was kind of the case with Parque de El Capricho - I'd heard a few a friends mention it and had brushed it off like, "I know all the good parks! This one can't be worth it!!" But then...I saw a picture. And someone mentioned only certain amounts of people being allowed in at a time, and I started to get intrigued. I told a friend that we were going to try to go and they encouraged that idea, so Danny and I went one Friday after school and the gates were locked. Well, it must be closed forever, I decided. There was no notice up or anything, but I just knew that must be the case and was all mad about it because it's no short distance from our house. Thankfully, one of our other favorite parks is a short walk away or else I may have thrown tomatoes at the El Capricho gates because who closes up parks without posting a sign?!?!
I started this list well over a year ago, in fact, probably closer to a year and a half ago, but I didn't feel qualified to do anything with it except keep it tucked away, add to it here and there, and if needed, take away from it if the time ever came. Well, I thought about it again recently and scrolled through it on my phone, looking with fresh eyes at all the things my newly-arrived-in-Spain-self thought was worth placing on this list. Nothing was ever taken off the list, and only one or two things were added over the past year.
If you've been following our blog or Instagram this spring, you might be starting to wonder if we really do any work or if we're actually just traveling all the time. Well, I'm here to set the record straight...although Spain has a plethora of public holidays and there's even more for school children, we haven't been on a non-stop trip around Europe and north Africa (as awesome as that sometimes sounds). We mostly do ordinary, everyday things, like work, hang out with friends, go to the park, try new recipes, read books, volunteer, and go grocery shopping, that are just as great as traveling around.