Happy Spain Day!Madrid, Fall 2010
I can’t remember the last time Madrid wasn’t on my mind. It’s been so long, in fact, that I’m starting to wonder if there has ever been a point in my life where I wasn’t planning for this. This past year has been filled with preparation beyond preparation (is it okay that I began memorizing Madrid’s metro map four months ago?) and so much excitement behind every bit of it that arriving at this point where I can finally say, “Today is the day” seems nothing short of surreal. Tuesday morning marked my last appearance in Michigan for quite some time, then packed in the car with my parents and sisters, crossing the Michigan-Indiana border and finally into Illinois, I arrived in Chicago for my last stop before making the final leap over the Atlantic and into Spain’s arms. I cannot wait.
Between running down checklist after checklist and the somewhat-controlled chaos of working out last-minute details over the past several weeks, I’ve been trying my very best to soak up the last drops of family, friends, and life at home (for now, of course.) And luckily for me, these wonderful people have been incredibly determined to see me off to Spain in good fashion, with lots of love and happiness. So for every raised glass to my year in Spain, for every hug, good wish, card, and thought sent my way, my sincerest thanks go out to you!
I will be arriving to Madrid early tomorrow (Friday) morning and spending the weekend independently exploring my new home, and as you may be able to guess, I already have a few ideas in mind in regards to my weekend agenda:
- Floating from stand to stand at the Mercado de San Miguel, a covered market with everything imaginable from fresh fruit and vegetables to fish, breads, jams… and the best part? Their hours: 10am-2am on the weekends, and 10am-midnight on weekdays. I already have my market bag and euros ready to go. See http://giancarlodeleon.com/blog/2010/el-mercado-de-san-miguel/ and http://www.spottedbylocals.com/madrid/mercado-de-san-miguel for some neat photos!
- Breakfast in the true Spanish fashion: Chocolate con Churros at Chocolateria San Gines, supposedly the best in town!
- Rummaging through Madrid’s Sunday morning open-air flea market, El Rostro (http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c8/Rastro_de_Madrid_%28Espa%C3%B1a%29_7.jpg)
- Sunday afternoon concert in El Parque del Retiro! (and perhaps a packed picnic, compliments of San Miguel) http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1043/542018690_eb4b0d1e8e.jpg
- Anything & everything else that Madrid brings my way!
But for now, a small photo tribute to the past several weeks at home and to the friends and family that I will miss dearly during my year abroad! I am looking so forward to sharing my experiences through IES with everyone here!
Hasta muy pronto! (And as my sister Stephanie so excitedly greeted me this morning from beside me in our Chicago hotel bed, “Happy Spain Day!!”)
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