I Just Paid $30,000 for Chipped Paint?

Well, it has been a few months since I have blogged, so get ready because that means I have a few months of sarcasm and wit to get out in this post.

Wedding planning has truly been nothing but a blast for me. It has been so fun to take this day I have dreamed of and slowly piece together all the perfect details. However, I keep getting stumped by the same question: what is my wedding style? It seems like everyone wants a one or two-word answer to this question and it is incredibly intimidating, not to mention useless, in my opinion. Here are some of the style options one is typically given and my definitions for them:Read More »

Advertisements

Potato, Potahto

In my experience, the grass is not greener in Madrid.  The grass is nonexistent in July because it is hot and dry EVERY DAY.  Here are some other things I learned about Madrileña culture while abroad:

  • People stare. It is just true. If you ever visit Madrid, expect to be stared at…a lot.  People stare at you on the metro, walking around Retiro Park, on Gran Via, and at restaurants.  While I am sure my jumbled Spanish and American clothes didn’t help, I was assured by my host mom that this is totally normal and no one takes offense to being stared at. So if you visit, feel free to make bold, unbreaking eye contact with people!
  • You barely tip…if you tip at all.  AND IT IS AWESOME. I might miss this the most about Madrid.  Each meal’s total cost will equal the sum of all your entrees. Revolutionary!
  • Trash is collected between 2 and 3 am.  I learned this the terrifying way of waking up in the middle of the night thinking people were invading my piso (oh sorry, apartment).  Turns out, since the city is so populated and the streets are so small, they can only collect trash at these times and it is collected every single day!
  • ATMs frequently eat debit/credit cards. Nbd, just a normal risk of trusting banks with your money, right? Well Madrid, that’s true!  It is not insanely common, but ATMs failing to return cards is not crazy in Madrid.  If this happens to you, you just have to go to the bank the next morning at 8am when they open and hope they did not shred your card already!
  • They don’t use salad dressing.  Ranch? Italian? Thousand Island? Raspberry Vinaigrette? Bleu Cheese? Not in Madrid.  The only salad dressing you will ever see is oil and vinegar.
  • Menú al día.  I take back what I said before, this is what I miss most about Madrid. For 10 – 15 euros, you get a drink, bread, appetizer, entree, and dessert. Yup, that’s it.  It’s only the greatest thing ever.
  • Paper is bigger.  I don’t know why, I don’t know how. The paper is just the slightest bit larger than an American 8.5×11 sheet of paper.
  • To-go is a no-go.  People do not eat on the go in Madrid. No granola bars as you walk out the door, coffee on the metro, or doggy bags. All meals are eaten in and you will not see anyone walking around with food or drink in their hands…unless they are tourists.
  • Wedding rings are worn on the right hand.  While this is changing because of the strong presence of the US abroad, traditionally engagement rings are worn on the left hand and then wedding bands are worn on the right.  A lot of times the diamond engagement ring isn’t even worn after marriage and is turned into a necklace or simply safely stored in a jewelry box.
  • Finally, Madrid is the city that never sleeps.  I know, I know…I got defensive when they first told me this too because ummmm New York is the city that never sleeps. LIES.  Marid. Never. Sleeps. Lunch is the main meal and is eaten between 2 and 4 pm, then dinner is typically between 10 pm and midnight. THEN people go out and socialize.  The average person is up until 2 am and young adults are frequently out until 4 or 5 am.  This is just life. The peak time for bars and clubs is between 3 or 4 am and the party doesn’t stop until the sun comes up.  I honestly have no idea how it works because people also get up and have to work at 9am.  The schedule is absolutely baffling to me.  On a walk through Puerta del Sol at midnight or 1 am, you will see young adults, families with toddler children, high schoolers, and grandparents.  Everyone is out. More power to you, Madrid.

 

I absolutely adore Madrid and it truly feels like my second home.  I close my eyes and I’m walking down Gran Via with Tori, coffee ice cream in my hand (yes I was the tourist that ate on the go).  I loved getting to be part of its magical culture for 6 weeks and I can’t wait to go back!

Week 3

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

  • Wake up at 4:30am to catch a 7am plane to Valencia
  • Arrive in Valencia at 8:30am
  • Straight to the beach!! We grabbed some bocadillos on the way and just enjoyed a relaxing morning on the beaches of Spain and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea!
  • We grabbed lunch: paella! Paella originates in Valencia so that was pretty cool.
  • Then walked around the city. We saw Plaza de Ayuntamiento, Plaza de la Reina, and Catedral de Valencia.
  • Got dinner at a fantastic Italian restaurant and saw the Church of St. Augustine before going to bed after a 20 hour day!

 

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

  • City of Arts and Sciences: a very important spot in Valencia! We didn’t have time to go inside, but I did get to try water balling, a technique for training astronauts for walking in zero gravity.
  • We walked through the Tura River Gardens, a park that is in place of an old river that used to go around the city.
  • After lunch: walked around the city more and finally climbed 227 steps to the top of El Miguelete for a 360 degree view of the city!
  • After a delayed flight and a long trip home, I finally got to sleep.

 

Monday, July 18th – Wednesday, July 20, 2016

  • A lot of homework and recovering from the weekend!
  • On Monday night I did go to a bachata/salsa/merengue dance class at a club in Madrid that was SO MUCH FUN! I had an absolute blast and I can’t wait to find places in the States were I can dance!
  • Wednesday night my host mom taught me how to make tortilla con patatas…a very traditional Spanish dish!

 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

  • So I finally took my day off and finished up some sight seeing I wanted to do with Tori.
  • Temple of Debod: a very cool ancient Egyptian temple up on a hill in Madrid with a gorgeous view of the city. I am so glad that I went here during my time in the city.
  • Then lots of shopping in Principe Pio, a cool old train station that has been converted into a mall. Also, it is the home of my favorite dried fruit stand in all of Europe.
  • It was a very relaxing and fun day! I loved getting to take a break and I can’t believe how much of my trip is already over!

It was a really fun week and I will be posting about my trip to Lisbon, Portugal in the next post! Stay tuned!

 

xoxo Marie

¡Adiós mi gente!

Hola! I am fulfilling a life-long dream tomorrow…just another day in the life of Marie. I will be heading off to Madrid to study abroad for the next 6-7 weeks! This is something I have wanted to do since I was around 10 years old and it is crazy that it is all happening in the next 24 hours.

 

That being said, I will be posting on a weekly basis while abroad with a short recap of what that week entailed so that I can remember and in an effort to share my journey with all of you! Also you will be seeing lots of photos on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and hopefully on here too if you would like to see what I’m seeing.

This time tomorrow I will be on a flight to Madrid and I could not be more excited! I can’t wait to keep y’all updated on my adventures!

 

xoxo Marie

10 Ways to Procrastinate Studying for Finals

It is that time of year…one final push for college students before they are done for the summer! Since I have some studying to do, I am going to skip the long intro and just get right into the content of my post.  I have thought of a few ways to help out my fellow students as they try to do ANYTHING other than studying for the worst exams of the semester.Read More »