Sunday, December 13, 2009

Se fue a Granada para silencio y tiempo, y Granada le sobrendio armania y eternidad...

He went to Granada for silence and time,
and Granada surprised him with harmony and eternity.

-Manuel de Falla

So we made it back from the deep south of Spain, it was a glorius five days spent in Granada. I never thought I would be able to make it back to soon, it truly is a magnificent place. After meeting Em's mom in Madrid we raced down to Granada on Friday morning and went straight up to the Alhambra. One of the oldest buildings in Spain, this muslim stronghold looks over the city, keeping guard over the past. Consisting of three parts: the fortress, the Palace, and the Generalife, the Alhambra is one of the largest collections of mudejar art in Spain. Built in the 7th century it has been added to by many kings, and was once even the court of Ferdinand and Isabel. It is here where they received Christopher Columbus and sent him to the Americas. Anyways as always, the palace was gorgeous with its open entryways and courtyards. We really lucked out, it wasn't super cold outside either.

Mudejar art at its finest...

Just look at that tile pattern....

They sure used water well!

La Alambra at night.

El patio de los leones
One of the roses from the Generalife

Las tres americanas from atop the fortress

After we found our way down the mountain, we definitely made our way towards tapas!!! (Granada is the only city left in Spain that, when you order a drink, they bring a tiny appetizer...for free!) Ohhhhh....I forgot how good the tapas were! Slowly but surely everything became really familiar...almost like I had never left! That night we tapaed at a few new restaurants and then went salsa dancing with my old salsa instructor! It was rad to dance again!

My birthday cooke from Em's mom!....a Polar Bear!!!

The next day, Saturday, I was officially 23! and ohhhhh...what a day we had! We slept in pretty late....cause you know, I actually forgot about he nightlife in Granada. We didn't get home until about 5 am...and thats early! Anyways, we eventually got ourselves up and made our way over to Parque Federico Garcia Lorca, which, I don't know how I didn't know this, actually has the summer house of the Garcia Lorca family in it! I can't believe I didn't know about it. So that was one of my birthday wishes, to go inside. What a surreal experience. He is by far my favorite Spanish author, and here I was inside his house. It was like mecca. We walked the grounds and took the tour of the house which was absolutely beautiful. I got to see the desk where he wrote some of his most famous plays!

Dentro de la fragua lloran,
dando gritos, los gitanos.

El aire la vela, vela.

El aire la está velando.

- Romance de la luna, luna

Lorca's front door!!!!!

It's no wonder he had so much inspiration...he was drowing in it!
The name of the house, after his mother

Later that night we were lucky enough to come across tickets for a flamenco show up in the Albaicin. One of the best shows I have seen there yet, her name was Ana Cali, and she was incredible! Absolutely breathtaking and gorgeous. After the flamenco show, we again trekked down the mountain and set out for more tapas! I remembered a really good Moroccan tapas place that was awesome! The girls surprised me with a birthday couscous...way better than a cake! hahaha. We had a good time though. AFTER THAT we went dancing (but only after spending a couple hours in the tapas bar!) we headed to my favorite club Vogue that plays techno, house, and many memories! haha. we decided to leave around 6:00 and we headed over to another favorite hangout to get churros and chocolate...we didn't get home until at least 7:00 am! Oh I love Granada!!

The Granada Cathedral in all its baroque splendor

On Sunday the four of us decided to drive to Malaga for the night. We stayed in this beautiful hotel in Torremolinos that was directly on the beach. We're talking ocean-view balcony room....I could practically taste the water from my bedroom window. It was gorgeous...I still can't believe that it was December and we were walking around without coats. On Monday we wandered around Malaga for awhile which, like Granada is rich in Muslim influence. Orange trees everywhere, Malaga has this eerie calm to it. City on one side, beach on the other. I don't know, it was a such a peaceful ambiance that was just tranquil.
Karli climbing an orange tree.

Oh, that's just the view from the balcony...

Drive up flower shop!
The Malaga Cathedral

When we got back to Granada, I met up with my house mother, Carmen. It was so good to see her! She hadn't changed a bit and we had a nice visit! Her boys have gotten so big....the little one is bigger than me now...(yea, I know, that's hard to beat) It was really nice to see her. That night we spent one last night tapaing it out....hoping all over the place and just hanging out! I thoroughly enjoyed being there and can't believe how much I missed this city! I mean, Calatayud is nice...but Granada has mi corazon...It was truly sad to leave.

Me and Carmen!

One last birthday celebration at the end of the trip...don't we look a little tired?

So, next stop....America! Can't wait to see everyone!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Just had to say it! Thanks to Kristina for the blog designing!

Love you chica!!! <3

Peacocks, turkey, and Picasso....oh my?

Well hello there, hope all is well. Life in Spain has insisted on passing by way to quickly. Like, way to quickly. I mean, there are aspects of this lifestyle that just feel right sometimes, that you don't notice the world passing on around ya. I mean everyday I wake up to this while I eat my bran flakes....

My living room window

But I guess I should start at the beginning. After I dropped mom and dad off at the airport I decided that it was time to see contemporary Spanish art: first stop, La Reina Sofia. Most well known for the museum that houses Picasso's Guernica. The museum consists of artists from all walks of life, the one commonality is that they are Spanish, (I mean, a few outsiders got in there, but you know how it goes.) My little added bonus to it all was that the museum had many works by Salvador Dali and of course, Federico Garcia Lorca.....can you imagine my excitement?! (There was a lot of it.)

Guernica, with man. Just to show size.
Original drawing by F. Garcia Lorca
Letter from G. Lorca to Salvador Dali

After my Madrid adventure and the parents had left, life came to a pattern. Sleep, school, tutoring, gym. I mean, there's nothing wrong with this pattern. It's just how life happens I guess. So yes, I joined a gym....its call Sporttake, and it's the "trendy" gym in town. Ha. It's fun...and let me tell you, taking a gym class in spanish is tough! (Next time you're in a yoga pose, you let me know how you react when someone starts describing in Spanish!) It's fun though....They offer all types of classes so it doesn't get boring.

School is good, there are of couse good days and bad days, but when is it not like that. The kids always have something new for me to experience, that's for sure. Today I had 22 fifth graders sing Happy Birthday to was very sweet! Which they then proceeded to sing to me, "Happy Birthday to you, we went to the zoo, we saw a big monkey, and we thought it was you!" haha. That was not expected.

Well Calatayud has its own resident peacock family (pavos reales.....royal turkeys) and they like flocks of ducks, have preference when crossing the street....

Well, as you know, Spain doesn't celebrate good ol' turkey day, so us gals had to make do with tacos, which I'm sure the first pilgrims thoroughly enjoyed with their native counterparts. ha. On Saturday, the three of us decided to make a Thanksgiving feast for our english professors from our schools, totaling 11 of us! and yes, we actually cooked a turkey! (karli and I) and it came out awesome! There were sweet potatoes and green beans, all the regular old fixings....the only thing missing from the table was the cranberry sauce, a tragedy. Apparently they just don't believe in cranberry sauce here. terrible.... Overall the night was a success. The teachers enjoyed themselves immensely and literally want our recipes. We have to throw a shoutout to our moms who helped us through the turkey is scary cooking a full bird in your oven!

Overall, Thanksgiving was fun...there was no parade and no football...but c'est la vie. Friday, on to Granada!!!! (my excitement is overflowing...) Birthday saturday, no better way to spend it than in a city a love....(obviously it'd be nice if the family were in that city too....but when in spain, next best thing, right?) More adventures to come!

spain family!