La familia ha ido y vuelto!

Madrid Travel Blog

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Marni, Mom and me in Plaza Universitat, Barcelona

Back in Barcelona, once again, but haven´t had classes at all this week (Spaniards don´t really believe in schoolwork... Okay, that´s a generalization, but not a huge one). I missed Monday and Tuesday because I went to Madrid with the padres, came back on Wednesday for class, except that it was cancelled, along with Thursday and Friday because it´s aholiday on Thursday (Día del Trabajador (Worker´s day), which I find kind of ironic considering that Spaniards don´t really work. Ever.) and classes were cancelled Wednesday and Friday also. Just because they felt like it. Oh, well! This semester in Spain is for travelling and learning about life, not schoolwork.

la familia at the fountain show in Plaza España
.. right?

So the visit with the fam was wonderful. They had a great time in Barcelona, Granada, Córdoba, Sevilla, Madrid and Toledo (whew!).  We had tapas and sangría galore, walked a ton, saw the sights, and spent some quality family time together. It was fun playing tour guide and translator. Betty will have a conversation with anyone (regardless of which language the person speaks...) so I had to always be on guard to translate everything she said to my family. My two Mamas liked each other, as I knew they would, and my Mom did a good job with the Spanish she does know! Betty also found my Dad hilarious when I translated his jokes to her, which was great for his self-esteem!

Perhaps the most memorable part of their visit was when we went to Llavaneras (Betty´s second house) on Saturday.

Marn and me
She´s awesome because most of my friends´señoras would never invite their families to their house or show them how to make paella and sangría and feed them afterwards, of course. Anyway, we had a great time making and eating the meal (minus my sister´s queasiness at the shrimp equipped with eyes, legs and shell... or finding out that the clams are alive until you put them in the boiling pot... I thought I was the vegetarian here!). She also got some laughs when she showed us how much alcohol to put in the sangría by closing her eyes and pouring about five different kinds in it (my family understood that part perfectly... ¨Gestures are universal!¨she says). Then we went down to the beach about a ten minute walk from her house, where it is just beautiful, and so was the weather.

So Marni went home the next day and Mom and Dad and I jetted off to Madrid.

Dad skipping rocks on the beach in Llavaneras
We went to the Prado and saw Velazquez´s famous ¨Las Meninas; the Reina Sofía Art Museum to see the Picasso exhibit with the incredible ¨Guernika;¨ Parque Buen Retiro which is GORGEOUS- equipped with gardens, fountains and a man-made lake; Palacio Reial with exhibits of the royal family; took a day trip to Toledo to see the Jewish quarter (Yes, there actually are two synagogues in all of Spain! Damn Spanish Inquisition...), and of course, ate churros con chocolate. Two of my friends are studying there this semester, so they helped show us around the city. I loved Madrid, in general, and I kind of knew I would beforehand since it´s Spain´s most international city with tons to do and see (not to mention that´s where Betty´s from, and I like her better than I like most Catalan people here.

On the way back from Madrid, I sat next to a chatty woman and her sisters and nieces from Ohio. I was tired (had to get up at 6:30 to say goodbye to Mom and Dad), so I didn´t want her to find out that I´m American and start talking to me. But I stupidly pulled out the AAA Europe book my dad gave me and she said, ¨Triple A! That´s an American company! Where are you from?¨So I grudgingly told her I´m from Wisconsin, and she was very nice, but proceeded to give me every last detail of her family´s trip to Spain. She said one of her sisters planned the trip throughout the country and when she told her that Barcelona was one of the cities they were going to, she said, ¨Wait, I thought we were going to Spain, not Italy!¨ Ouch, I know. That´s definitely something I would not admit to anyone...

So I made it back to Barcelona and now I have work to do... Oh, wait, ¨work to do¨ is an oxymoron in this country. So in other words, I have hanging out and planning travels to do (Note to Mom and Dad: Please don´t stress, I´m only kidding. Kind of).

;)  ¡Ciao!


caleb_kreegan says:
First of May is an international holiday, not only here in Spain but the whole world. I didn't know we don't have to work here.. maybe people get their stuff free here, through the air
Posted on: Jun 19, 2010
mamacitapatti18 says:
Linds - we had such a great time with you en Espana. Loved the fam. time. Nothing makes me happier. :) You're a great tour guide and we had a blast. I'm really into sangria now.... Love you mucho and miss you mucho already. xoxox-tu mamacita
Posted on: May 01, 2008
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Marni, Mom and me in Plaza Univers…
Marni, Mom and me in Plaza Univer…
la familia at the fountain show in…
la familia at the fountain show i…
Marn and me
Marn and me
Dad skipping rocks on the beach in…
Dad skipping rocks on the beach i…
la rosaleda in Madrids Parque del…
la rosaleda in Madrid's Parque de…
Betty showing us how much alcohol …
Betty showing us how much alcohol…
photo by: vulindlela