I’m a Summer kind of girl. I love the warm weather, sunshine, flip flops, laying on the beach, getting a tan, eating BBQ, and having some chilled sangria on the patio. However, I do have a summer threshold… a line that can be crossed in regards to TOO MUCH Summer. Not to ostracize Madrid… but you’ve crossed the LINE!
As I sit here and write this on a sunny Saturday morning in my room in Madrid, I am enjoying a warm cup of vanilla caramel tea and feeling the cool breeze sneaking in through my window. It’s BLISSFUL. Yet, my current comfortable state still does not relinquish the fact that we had multiple heat warnings and roasting hot weather throughout my second week.
I am not an indoors kinda gal… it makes me feel like a caged animal to be surrounded by four walls all day (hence my issue with a normal “office job”) – BUT with temps nearing 100 degrees… the idea of walking outside rallies with getting a bikini wax (which I recently tested out for the first time – that shit HURTS. Gold star to all you women who go on the regular…. I’ll stick to razors… and shaving. Waxing “down there” is simply unnecessary torture).
All in all, my second week in Madrid was a mixture of trying not to melt outside, A LOT of laughter with my hosts and their friends, and learning more “necessary words” in Spanish (like burp, fart, motherf’er, don’t touch me/touch me). So to tally up my knowledge of Spanish… I can order a drink, curse someone out, talk about gaseous excretions, and control the amount I get touched. To give myself credit… I have learned quite a bit of Spanish (that I can actually use in normal conversation) in the past two weeks here!
Read below for some highlights and photos of my SECOND week in Madrid!!
Day 99 – July 24 (8) – Thursday
Tania, Zaida, and I went to Parque Madrid Rio (a park along the Madrid River) to go rollerblading. I used to rock the rollerblades quite often in my younger years but it had been a few years since I tried it out… it was just like riding a bike. BAM still had it in me! It was SO HOT out that it was a series of skating for ten minutes then finding shade to cool down! We skated around a bit, got ice cream, then had lunch under a tree along the river. Post lunch Tania had us do some exercises. She is very fit and active. I did fairly well given I haven’t been to a gym in 4 months (I just walk, hike, bike, and do “at home” exercises)… lets just say push ups aren’t my thing. I always feel like I’m just going to smack my face into the ground. As we headed back to the metro we stopped at this zip line type of swing. Just know that you are NEVER too old to goof around on playground equipment! It’s always good for a laugh or two. Given we weigh more than a child… our asses would brush the gravel at one point as we made our way down the line. It left super cute dirt marks on all our butts. Once back at the house it was time to cool off, order pizza, watch Once Upon a Time, and drink some summer wine (which is red wine mixed with carbonate lemon drink – it’s super popular here!).
Day 100 – July 25 (9) – Friday MY 100TH DAY OF TRAVELLLLLLLLLLLLLL! I totally wanted to do a special post for this but didn’t realize it was my 100th day at the time. OPPSIE!
Spent the morning working on Zaida with her writing stuff for the exam. It was nearly 100 degrees out so we stayed inside for the day. At night we were going to take the bus into city center so we didn’t have to walk to the metro (which is only a 10 minute walk but in the heat feels like miles!)… but the second we walked outside the bus was pulling away! We sweated our way to the metro and took it to city center to meet Inma. We had a few drinks along Mantera street before heading to a venue to watch a Rolling Stones Tribute show. After the show we headed to a bar to meet Tania and Anna and hung out there for a bit before we went to another place to dance dance dance til 5am (AGAIN!). As we were walking to find the car I stepped into a wet spot on the side walk in my flip flops… welllllllllll it turns out it was urine! GROSSNESS. There was lady in front of us who was adjusting her dress — THERE was the culprit….who just pees on the street in the wide open? AHHHH! I don’t know what Tania said to her but the woman said she was sorry. I couldn’t get home fast enough to jump in the shower and hose my feet down. I don’t know why I shared this story but I know one day when I look back and read my blog I am going to appreciate the documentation of this horrific sidewalk encounter.
Day 101 – July 26 (10) – Saturday
Went to bed at 6 and woke up around 9 – NO BUENO. I laid in bed as best as I could (which wasn’t long) then joined Zaida and Tania in the living room. They couldn’t sleep either because it was SO HOT. Zaida and I were feeling rather BLAH so we laid around some more before going over to Inma’s to relax a bit and order kebab’s. Tania and I somehow got into a burping contest. I blame my older brother for any skills I mave have acquired in this department. I totally have manners and wouldn’t engage in such activities in public… but behind closed doors- YOLO! When else am I going to find myself in Spain challenged to a burping contest? I think as adults we become so accustom to manners and “being an adult”. I’m here to report that if you put it all aside once in a while and just LET GO – you may end up laughing so hard tears come out of your eyes (which totally happened to me because I found it hysterical… even though I totally lost… which I’m ok with 🙂 ). We came back to the flat to eat cake for Inma’s birthday and I went to bed early… but couldn’t fall asleep so I had one of those nights where you just lay there… and lay there some more! SUPER productive day as you can see ;-).
Day 102 – July 27 (11) – Sunday
Went to the Farmer’s Market in the morning with Tania & Carmen (a friend of theirs that was visiting for the night from Tarifa – a city in the south of Spain). With the extreme heat there was really only one place to go… the local swimming pool! Tania, Zaida, Inma, Sarah, Carlos, and I went for the afternoon into the early evening. At one point when we were in the pool we were all joking around and pushing each other under water… well I got pushed several times in a row and seriously thought I was about to drown!! I was trying to signal no more and finally got my head above water with minimal choking. Phew – call me a baby but I was a little freaked out haha! As the group was chatting I tried my best to understand their conversation (with some translation). There was some prime people watching at this crowded pool… but one lady caught our attention and we just couldn’t stop looking at her. BECAAAAUSE she had a serious case of pancake boobs… and wasn’t wearing a top! It was the strangest pair of breasts I had ever seen in my life. I totally get it that when you have babies and breast feed your boobies go through some changes… but to put them on massive public display is a WHOLE other thing. They hung to her belly button and when she laid down they sank into her armpit. I’m usually not one to be rude and keep looking but I was intrigued. I totally give that woman credit though!! Once back at the flat it was the usual shower, relax, and get in a few episodes on Once Upon a Time.
Day 103 – July 28 (12) – Monday
Went hiking outside of Madrid at La Boca Del Asno for the afternoon with Tania & Zaida. It was a nice 3 hour walk along a river. I had a vision of taking some pics at this one spot in the woods. Lets just say the results aren’t exactly what I had in my head – but at least they make me laugh!
Day 104 – July 29 (13) – Tuesday
Worked out with Tania in the park then went shopping with Tania, Zaida, and Sarah. FINALLY bought new flip flops. My 1 Euro Primark flip flops had an impeccable 2.5 months with me exploring Spain – but given the heel was paper thin and the left strap would break off at least three times a day… the time had come for me to upgrade to 3.99 Euro flip flops. OOOOOOH I’m fancy now!! Yeaa ! We went to get a cheap beer (and olives – i’m an addict) at 100 Montaditos in Plaza Castilla (which is a business plaza in the north of Madrid) . Later at night went to eat at Inma’s house. I had such a great time talking, laughing and celebrating Inma’s birthday! Once again I can’t say how much I enjoy these times when I am seated around a table with people from different countries and backgrounds… sharing stories… laughing… to me THIS is what travel is about! Yea its nice to see “the sights” – but I feel its even more special to have the chance to connect with people. It is truly priceless.
Day 105 – July 30 (14) – Wednesday
Relaxed during the day given it was so hot again! In the early evening I went to the park with Otto (my host’s dog) to get some exercises. Zaida and I were relaxing a bit before Inma and Alejo (a friend of theirs who lives in Brighton, UK but is from Spain) came over.We were hanging out at the flat but then everyone started to get up to leave – I asked what was going on and was told we were going out to have drinks with some of Tania’s coworkers. No one had told me so I had to bust a move to get ready! Lucky for me I have perfected the art of getting ready in 5 minutes or less! We went to the coworker’s house 20 minutes outside of Madrid and had snacks and drink then went to Alcala de Henares (a college town) and walked around. We had some interesting food in the one place (pig ears, octopus, and crispy small fish) then went to another college pub and played fussball (My lack of sports skills on the field also translates to table sports – it’s fun but I’m just not gifted in this area haha). Lastly we ended up at this small little place where everyone was chowing down on sunflower seeds. We had SUCH a late night again! Didn’t get home til close to 5:30am!! My body still isn’t adjusted to the Madrid schedule!