Monday, June 21, 2010

Two Days of Relaxation and Random Sightings

So for the first time in this entire Spain experience, we had TWO complete days where we had nothing to do. I guess technically we had that during our free weekend, but seeing as how we had to explore a city in two and a half days, I don't count that.

See, Friday we finished our classes (hip hip hooray!), and Saturday we had our last excursion to El Escorial and El Castillo de Manzanares. They were both incredibly gorgeous, but I think we were all kind of over excursions by that point. We just wanted to get the Andalucia trip started!

Sunday (yesterday), Karin and I woke up early (only out of necessity) to go to El Rastro once more for the last of our souvenir shopping. Yes, I am competely done. If I have forgotten you, I am sorry, but you can live with it (I'm only kind of kidding...if you were that important, I wouldn't have forgotten you).

After Rastro, we came back to the house and packed a bit while watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (we rented it on iTunes). I had to convince Karin it was worth watching, and I guess she finally came around. Haha. However, I've had the "Sabine Women" song stuck in my head ever since. That, and "Goin' Courtin'."

We wanted some chocolate and churros in the worst way, so instead of a "real" lunch, we took off for Sol and La Chocolateria San Gines. Of course, being as directionally challenged as Karin and I are, we got lost. No surprise, huh? However, we got to explore Sol a little bit (well, the streets around Sol. Sol itself was full of those darn protesters again. On a Sunday of all days!) and I found an even better souvenir for one of the people on my gift list, so it was good.

We finally made it to La Chocolateria, and while we were enjoying our delicious chocolate and churros, we saw the guys who sell the knock-off bags and pirated DVDs running/speed walking through the street we were on...with two police officers chasing/corralling them on their motorcycles. It was really weird/intersting to see. However, what's REALLY interesting is that we saw the SAME guys and the SAME police officers about ten minutes later doing the same little routine. That time it was just straight up funny. Karin and I cracked up about it for a good five minutes.

We then headed to Retiro to walk around a bit. We got some Fanta Naranja and sat down to watch the boaters in the lake. A woman with her friend and her three young kids sat behind us. The oldest boy started poking me in the back, so I turned around to talk to him. He was SO adorable. I spoke to him in Spanish (he understood me!), and his mom had him practice some of his English on me. Too cute. His name was Lucas and he was 5. His younger brother (who I also spoke with a bit), Matteo, was 3, and they had an infant sister whose name I can't remember. It was the sweetest thing to sit there and talk with them for a few minutes.

Our most random sighting in the park was this little girl just carrying around a little white bunny. It doesn't seem like it would be that random, but when was the last time YOU saw someone just carrying around a bunny in a giant park in Madrid?

After one last loop around the lake, we headed back to the house for a much-needed nap. When we woke up (well, I woke up and then made Karin wake up), we mostly finished our packing. After dinner with our madre, we chilled out at the house for a bit before headed to bed (a lot of the others in the group go out at night...Karin and I just can't get into that. After dinner, we just want to go to sleep!)

Today (Monday), we slept in. Those three words are heavenly, no lie. We haven't done that since I don't know when. When we woke up, we took our time eating and getting ready to go out and go shopping on Gran Via. I think we went shopping on jus tthe right day...almost all the stores had massive sales going on! I'm talking 50%+. Unfortch, the one thing I was shopping for was in the one store with no sales. However, I'm VERY happy with my cute rose-red romper (say that five times fast). I'm glad I am, too, as it's the only thing I bought today (did not find a beach hat that was too my liking anywhere today).

Right now we're just relaxing in Starbucks (our WiFi spot) for a bit before dinner with madre. Our last one! We bought her some flowers yesterday at Rastro as a thank you gift. When we brought them to her, she looked at us and said "No es mi cumpleanos!" (It's not my birthday!). She was really pleased and put them on the dinner table in a cute vase.

Not much packing left to do. I'm SO ready to go to Andalucia tomorrow. It's my only vacation this summer, after all...haha.

Hasta luego!

Faith. Trust. Pixie Dust.