Barcelona

After a crazy week figuring out all of the details for staying another year, a group of us took the train to Barcelona for the weekend. I had been in the Fall but I was so excited to go to the beach! One of my best friends in the world was meeting us there to celebrate her birthday, and I was so thrilled to see her. Bridget was my roommate freshman year at Northeastern and has been one of my best friends ever since, almost 4 years now. She just started a 6 month co-op in London, so she was able to come for the weekend. I hadn´t seen her in almost a year! Two of our other friends from Northeastern also met up with us; Lizzie was doing a 5 week dialogue in Rome and Ryan 5 weeks in Valencia. I´ve talked about this before but Northeastern really offers such incredible abroad opportunities.

In the Fall we saw all of the tourist attractions in Barcelona, so we had a pretty open agenda. The one thing we skipped in the fall was waiting in line to go inside the Sagrada Familia, but when Caroline and Brian visited they informed us we had made a huge mistake, saying it was one of the coolest places they had ever been. Colette bought tickets ahead of time so we didn´t have to worry about the line.

Friday night we took the train to Barcelona, went out for an incredible seafood dinner, and went to a club called Shoko. When the club closed we had a great walk back along the beach to our hostel. Saturday we were pretty slow moving but managed to make it to La Sagrada Familia, which really was spectacular inside. It´s amazing how detailed the enormous church is, I would love to see it once it´s finished…in 2026. We spent the afternoon at the beach and then met up with Bridget and her friend Amy for her birthday dinner. All of us headed back to the bar Dow Jones, then went out to a club in Poble Espanyol, which is a village outside of Barcelona created for the Olympics. It has buildings designed with different styles of architecture from all over Spain, and we recognized a lot of the styles. We stayed all night and even got some sunrise pictures on the beach when we got back. It was such a great weekend, there is nothing like seeing one of your best friends after so long! There are about 150 pictures of Bridget and I hugging at different points throughout the night. Luckily for me she will be in London until December so I plan on seeing her this fall. Barcelona is such a fun city and would be a really cool place to live, I´m so glad we went back.

 

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Año 2

 

Hello readers,

Sorry for the lack of posts, we have all been spending as much time as possible at friends pools or in the shade to try and deal with the hot Madrid summer! Almost all of Madrid is on vacation for August, most of the shops in my neighborhood are closed for a few weeks. After the fourth of July picnic (yes that was a month ago now..) some of my friends and I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers / Deadmau5 concert outside of Madrid. We had an absolute blast, it was so cool to see them in Spain. One of Colette’s life goals was to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers in concert, so we immediately bought tickets when they announced they would be in Madrid.

That Sunday we spent the day at our friend Gabe’s pool and ten of us (Americans, Germans, French, Spaniards)  cooked a big dinner to eat on his patio. It was one of those nights where you sit at a table with some of your favorite people for hours and hours and just feel really lucky. Sorry for the cheesiness but I have a point to all of this.

The next day I was thinking about how awesome the previous week was between Spain winning the Eurocup and the ensuing festivities, the successful 4th of July cookout, celebrating our friend Nadine’s birthday, the Red Hot Chili Peppers Concert, and spending time with best friends from all over the world. After thinking about it for about two days… I decided to stay in Spain for my senior year! It was really hard to decide between graduating in Boston and staying here, but I am really happy and I know I made the right choice. I will graduate with two degrees, one from Northeastern and one from ICADE, and I will get to spend another year with a lot of my classmates here who I just became close with. It really is a once in a lifetime chance and it will definitely be a good year. On another note, I am going home to Boston for about a month in the meantime and I am REALLY excited for that. So many people and places I am dying to see.

I guess you will be reading about my adventures for another year, friends. To read Colette’s take on the best week ever click here.

4th of July

Since my friends and I knew we all would be a little homesick for the USA on the 4th of July, we planned a big barbeque/cookout for all of the Americans and our non-American friends in Spain. We had it at the picnic tables near my house after work since unfortunately we had to work for the first time ever on July 4th! It was a gorgeous night and we brought tons of classic American food like clam chowder, potato and pasta salads, shrimp, buffalo chicken, and more. We ended up having around 40 people show up! It was a huge success and we were able to introduce some Germans, Spaniards, and French to one of the best American holidays. They all said they want to celebrate it every year, even if we aren’t there! It was weird not being home for the 4th but it was still really fun, and awesome to spend it with old and new friends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campeones!

As some of you may know, two Sundays ago Spain won the Eurocup championship, becoming the first team in history two win back to back championships. They also won the world cup 2 years ago, so their three consecutive championship titles are causing some to call them one of the best athletic teams of all time! I am so lucky that I got to be here to witness the madness that is European soccer and the excitement when they win. Sunday night we all watched the match at a bar near our school, and when they beat Italy everyone poured out into the streets. I have never seen anything like it, hundreds of thousands of people of all ages dressed in the jerseys and the Spanish flag walking towards Cibeles, in the center of the city. Some of my friends jumped into a fountain, and we eventually made our way into the madness at the center. Everyone was singing and chanting all of the Spain cheers for hours. It was really awesome to see because there is no equivalent in the USA. We all agreed that it would be awesome if the US had one sports team that everyone was so passionate about, and if they won all the cities in the country were filled with people of all ages in red, white, and blue. Maybe someday!

Monday night the Spanish team arrived back from Poland, and there was a big parade and celebration. Luckily the parade went right by the top of my street! Again it seemed like the entire country was out celebrating. It was really cute to see the little spanish kids eagerly awaiting their idols Iker Casillas, Gerard Pique, Fernando Torres, and more. When the bus finally arrived (on spain time…two hours late) everyone went crazy. We walked down to Cibeles again and there were even more people. David Bisbal performed “no hay 2 sin 3”, the anthem of Spain during the eurocup. The team arrived on the bus after a little while and the crowd went wild. They took turns speaking to the crowd while everyone cheered. It was really a crazy and unique experience, I have never seen energy like that for a sports team, because even though I am from Boston this was on a national level. It was awesome! I am so happy it happened while I am living here.

Feliz Viernes

Happy Friday everyone! I have a lot to post about Spain winning the eurocup, the 4th of July, and this past week and weekend. I ran out of time to post them because it has been a crazy week, and now I am off to Barcelona for the weekend! In the meantime here is a picture that I thought was funny. Have a great weekend! xoxo

Repaso de Junio

Again I have let blogging get pushed to the side with all of the nice weather. June FLEW by but it was a great month! After Sally and Meg left I went to a personal shopper event for work which was really cool, then met up with my friends to go out. I discovered these picnic tables near my house so one night Gabby, Lauren, Colette and I had an awesome picnic dinner with summer salads and white wine.

A couple weeks ago was the birthday our our friend Ana, Gabby’s roommate. We started at Lauren’s apartment then all went to those same picnic tables to drink before going out, and then to a club called Copernico. A ton of our friends were there and it was a great night.

The next weekend Lauren’s two cousins were visiting so we took them out to a heineken bar and then to Huertas, a street full of bars in Madrid. It is always fun taking new people out at night in Madrid! I love it. The next night was the Fiesta de Graduación, a huge graduation party for the grade above us at ICADE that we all went to. We had an awesome night with tons of our class friends, and Lauren and I even ran into a Spanish guy we had class with at Northeastern, even though he didn’t really remember us. After the club closed Gabby, Lauren and I ended up going to an after party at someones enormous apartment and watching the sun rise, it was great. The next day I relaxed all day with some german friends near a fountain in the Parque de Santander.

One day Lauren and I went to our Spanish friend Andrea’s house in the suburbs to swim in the pool and have dinner, it has frequently been 95 – 100 degrees here. Andrea’s mom was so nice to make us food and kept asking us if we wanted anything else, which reminded Lauren and I so much of our moms and we had a joint moment of missing them, haha.

Last weekend James was here visiting me for the 4th and last time in Madrid, which was so nice. Now that he has been here so much he really knows his way around, and we didn’t need to go see all of the touristy things. No one could believe her was here again in Madrid, we were really lucky he got to come back, thanks yiayia!! We went out to nice dinners, cooked a lot, hung out with my friends, saw the gay pride parade, and shopped. Unfortunately they lost James’s luggage and it never showed up, so he had to buy clothes for the weekend. It was a really relaxing visit and it was so great to have him here again! June was a really busy month, starting with Sally and Meg here and ending with James leaving. I can’t believe I have less than 2 months in Spain, it is flying by. Hope everyone enjoyed their month!

Lisbon

After the awesome week we all had in Madrid, Sally, Meg, Colette, Lauren, Gabby and I headed to Lisbon for the weekend. I have luckily been on a lot of weekend trips this past year, but this one was definitely at the top of the list. I was with some of my best friends in a gorgeous city with great weather, sights to see, and awesome nightlife.

When we first arrived we were a little sketched out by the location of the apartment we rented, and everyone was a little tense. There was no toilet paper, the bathroom door wouldn’t shut, etc. Meg, Gabby and I left to go buy some snacks, wine, and breakfast for the next morning and immediately realized that if we walked the other direction from the apartment it was 3 minutes from the main square and much more normal. After finding the grocery store really quickly, we returned in good spirits and immediately the 6 of us were ready to enjoy the night. We found a cute restaurant for dinner, and even though it was by FAR the worst restaurant service I’ve experienced, none of us cared because the food was good and we were all excited to be in Portugal. After stumbling upon a street fair that was selling cups of wine for 1 euro (which we sampled), we headed to Bairro Alto, a part of Lisbon where the streets are lined with small bars and everyone brings their drinks out into the street. There was music and tons of locals and tourists, it was really cool. Eventually we regrouped and got in taxis to go to Urban Beach, a famous nightclub on the water in Lisbon that Lauren had heard about. We stayed really late and had a great time, we all were startled awake the next day by my alarm clock at 1 pm!

Saturday we had a delicious lunch with a hilarious waiter named Bruno, and then wandered around the city. Since Lauren had been there before, she was able to show us around a little. I don’t know what I was expecting Lisbon to look like, but I was surprised at how beautiful the city is. It reminded us of Prague, and it also is on the coast which is an added bonus. We hopped on a trolley to see the sights, then walked up to a lookout, did some shopping, and just strolled around all day. We took a late nap at the apartment, thenwent to see a Fado show (Portuguese Flamenco). The Fado was really pretty, and once it ended we decided to go to another nightclub called Luxe. Luxe proved to even crazier than Urban Beach, and we had the most insane night. Beginning with Gabby, Meg and I meeting a group of Volvo employees from Namibia, reuniting when a Brazilian businessman bought Colette and I a bottle of champagne after we told him we were International Business majors, and ending with Meg, Sally and I buying 6 delicious chorizo/bread rolls at 6:30 in the morning to bring back for everyone…plus a lot more in between. It was a great night to say the least.

Sunday morning we forced ourselves to get up at 10 (ouch) so that we could make it to the beach 45 minutes away. We stopped to get the famous Pasteis de Belem, which was definitely good but not as incredible I was expecting considering the hype and the line outside. We randomly had a cab driver who lives in New Bedford but is temporarily in Portugal, who told us his life story on the way to the beach. We spent the afternoon on the beach in Cascais, eating gelato, and just laughing and being goofy and sleep deprived. We were sad to leave Sunday night but we all agreed it was one of the best weekend trips any of us have taken. I don’t know if I have ever laughed so much in 3 days. I am so glad that we went and I hope to make it back to Lisbon someday, if not to eat the chorizo bread again at least to see more sights!

ps. read more about our weekend on Colette’s blog!