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Archive for September, 2010

Dear Lord!

It’s been a while!! Have you all forgotten about me yet (Mom, Dad you don’t count).

I know I’ve been a crappy blogger the past week but I have a decent excuse. Mainly, I’ve been having way too much fun!

So much fun that I’m actually on my way out the door and don’t have time for a meaty post (ironic choice of words for me, no?).

Tonight is Mexican food night at my teacher’s casa. When I say “teacher” I mean the 24 year-old girl from Arizona that teaches my class and invited all of us over for margarita and Mexican food night. Can you tell school is slightly a bit more lax in these parts? 😉

I’ll be taking lots of pictures and will come back soon to post about tonight and my past weekend in Granada 🙂

Much love,

MM

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Mi Paisana

Because I haven’t done this in a while (and I’m slightly bored having already dined on a grilled cheese and packed my bags for ze veekend) here is a little mood music from my paisana.

Enjoy 🙂

In the next 24 hours I will have…

1. Gone to La Media Pinta to meet with the ladies and a certain hombre. Ahem, moving on.

2. Slept HOPEFULLY at least 6 hours and eaten a bangin’ breakfast before jumping on a bus at 8 am for 5 hours.

3. Listened to my “Anna’s Faves” playlist on repeat for approximately 5 hours straight because it soothes me while I’m snoozing on da autobús (pronounced ow-toe-boos).

Oh, hey, what’s on the list you ask? Well, let me tell you:

Anna’s Faves Playlist

1. Boy with a coin- Iron & Wine

2. Keep breathing- Ingrid Michaelson

3. Honey and the moon- Joseph Arthur

4. Sweet Disposition- The Temper Trap

5. Starting now- Ingrid Michaelson

6. The funeral- Band of Horses

7. Elephant gun- Beirut

8. Dramamine- Modest Mouse

9. Sea of love- Cat Power

10. Sparks- Coldplay

11. Let you down- Dave Matthews band

12. Fools- The Dodos

13. Please be with me- Eric Clapton (classic)

14. Look after you- The Fray (oldie but goodie)

15. The Hill- Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova

16. Name- Goo goo Dolls (um ya I still like the Goos, who doesn’t?)

17. All the way down- Glen Hansard (again because he’s brilliant)

18. Reasons to love you- Meiko

19. Countdown- Phoenix

20. Paranoid Android- Radiohead

21. Be here now- Ray Lamontagne

22. By your side- Sade

23. The only living boy in New York- Simon and Garfunkle

24. Word goes round- Slightly Stoopid

25. Set the fire to the third bar- Snow Patrol

26. Superstar- Sonic Youth

27. To be alone with you- Sufjan Stevens

and good ol’ number 28: A little more time- Zox

…and now that I’ve bored you to death (but given you an extensive list of awesome music that you must download right away…now…now…I said now…I’m leaving.

xoxo

Me 🙂

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dancin' on tables

poppin' bottles...and streamers...

puttin' our hands up in ayerrrr

toasting to the good life

…all while enjoying the sangrias/calimochos/cervezas and the company of others 🙂

Wednesday nights…not so much.

Hello, my name is Anna and when no one is looking I dress like a boy.

Brown cargos? pshyea. Didn’t you know I was in the army? Didn’t you know that I rock the school spirit better than Wiblur the Wildcat, himself??

my homeboy

and didn’t you know that, on many occasions, I’d much prefer staying in and playing with a pup than going out, EVEN on a raging Wednesday night. I know, I’m just so boring.

…and since we’re already playing the “didn’t you know” game…

Didn’t you know I love lentils and watermelon?

You didn’t?!!?

Well now you do 🙂

Didn’t you know that the munching mamacita is headed to the travel agency to buy plane tickets to Amsterdam today??? Oh yes she is.

Didn’t you know that munching mamacita also leaves tomorrow for a 3-day weekend trip to Granada and Cordóba??

Didn’t you know that I love to refer to myself in third person? and also as the munching mamacita?

Ya, I thought so.

I’m outtie!

xoxo

MM

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Welcome to the good life

Hello boys and girls.

How are all of you on this lovely Monday?

It’s back to the grind here in Alcalá (hah ya right…the grind…) after a long, glorious weekend in Mallorca, Formentera and the grand IBIZA.

What’s better than taking a vacation? Taking a vacation from a vacation. Oh the beauty of study abroad ;).

Once again, my trip was so amazing it has me at a loss for words. I’mma let the pictures do the talking.

Bienvenido a Mallorca

melocoton with a side of metallic fingernail. Mmmm.

off to Ibiza ❤

catching the ferry with the ladies

Welcome to heaven ❤

la playa

bicicletas ❤

pizza vegeteriana

in honor of my motherland

vegetarian nachos. Ohhhh ya baby

Let’s be real. No one goes to Ibiza just to see the beach and eat some sub-par Mexican food ;)…

rawrrr

PACHA. One of the, if not THE, most famous club in the WORLD. Made famous by all the Ibiza hippies in the 60’s and now known for it’s awesome music, outrageous parties and crazy atmosphere. Oh…and David Guetta djs here every week 😉

Goldfish. Hella awesome

Ibiza…where the party don’t stop till 7 in the morning. Well, actually you COULD go to club SPACE and continue the party from 8 am to 5:30 but I don’t think I’m ready for that immense amount of partying…

Instead, I opt for croissants and coffee 🙂

nutritionally-balanced? Heck no. But still, my taste buds consider this THE perfect breakfast.

Delta Vila (Old Town Ibiza)

and of course, you can never have three college girls traveling alone and not make new friends 😉

Once back in Mallorca for our last night, we indulged in some very traditional yummy Chinese food :). So sue me for having enough of Spanish food :p.

mixed veggies with light brown sauce

(and a peak at the shrimp fried rice in the background)

This was possibly the first time in YEARS that I’d gone to a Chinese restaurant and not ordered tofu with veggies, mainly because they did not even have tofu there (what kinda Chinese is this!??!). Needless to say, I was AT LEAST a bit cheerful to get serving of veggies in.

Breakfast was free at the hostel the next morning and, frankly, our stinky, hippie, beach-bum, traveling-selves were quite happy to get any meal in without paying at this point.

muesli with milk (who knows what percentage it was) with a croissant and some café con leche 🙂

TGFL = thank god for lactaid 🙂

Here is my “I haven’t bathed in quite a while” look just before catching the autobús back to the Mallorca airport and heading to Madrid:

Stinky. Nasty. Sweaty. Sandy. Hungry. Poor.

I don’t even care.

I could live like this forever 🙂

Now that I’m back “home” I’ve been catching up on the minimal homework that I have due this week and have started to plan out a few of the trips for the future.

On the agenda (in order):

1. Granada and Córdoba (Andalucía in the south of Spain this weekend)

2. Possible Seville trip beginning of October

3. Barcelona for Ale’s birthday 🙂 yipeee!!!

4. Amsterdam Halloween weekend

5. Morocco sometime in November

and last but not least…

6. The big ol’ Italy trip. Rome (for sure) and hopefully Tuscany, Florence MAYBE Naples if we’re lucky, to leave Europe with a big bang the Italian way.

Mama Mía! So many trips, so little time! I can’t believe it’s almost been 3 weeks since I’ve been here and yet, I have no desire to ever go back :(.

Time, please slow down for just a little longer. Pretty, pretty please.

I’ll now leave you with the top 5 songs I have on repeat right now. All electronica/techno/house/of that derivative, most are relatively European and all fantastic:

1. One (your name)- Swedish House Mafia

2. Rock your body- Black Eyed Peas

3. On the dance floor- David Guetta ft. Will.I.Am.

4. Fort Knox- Goldfish (saw these foos DJ at PACHA)

5. Miami to Ibiza- Swedish House Mafia

Have a wonderful rest of the week everyone!!!

xoxo

Munching Mamacita

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It’s a hard-knock life

Buenas tardes mis pequeños 🙂

Happy Hump day!

Yesterday and today have been pretty standard “Oh hey I live in Spain” kinda days. You know how that goes ;).

Class yesterday was at 10:30 until 2:00 and then I came home to a free day to frolic and do whatever I please!

Breakfast yesterday morning was a little larger than the past few days because Mamacita woke up with an APPETITE. Rawr.

Here we have cornflakes IN the coffee with soymilk (it’s the Colombian in me), plain Greek yogurt with a big ol’ splooge of honey on top, 3 delicious and nutritious homegrown figs (I almost just forgot how to spell nutrition the American way as opposed to nutrición, the Spanish way and it sorta freaked me out…).

My host-mama picked these figs from the backyard of one of her best friend’s homes. If you’ve never been lucky enough to try an amazing green fig, well…best get on that.

mmmm sooo juicy. Isn't that from some commercial or something?

OH! I almost forgot! Last night, when I got home, there was a little surprise waiting for me 🙂

little chiquitin!!!!

Here’s the story: I’d been pretty much whining everyday to my host mama how much I miss my little gremlin. I mean, how could I not? He is my little ray of shining happy light. My jumpy, skippy, bundle of furry joy! My favorite little…

Ok…you get the picture.

Oh, my little one, how I miss you so 😦

So, to make me feel a little bit more at home, my host-mama brought over this little guy, “Ralph” to cuddle with for one night before having to return him home to her sister.

scruffy wuffy 🙂

Lunch was a plate of cooked spinach and potatoes, drizzled in olive oil and seasoned with salt. There was also plain salad and a hunk of baguette. I can assure you the average Spaniard has never heard of the “no white foods diet” nor “high fiber bread.” Such a thing does not exist in España. We like our carbs here.

For future reference, I’m only going to take pictures of the really interesting meals, or rather, things that aren’t very common in the States or that are supah spectacular. Such as these glorious churros con chocolate…

I like to think that calories don't exist here in España 😉

Kaitlin and I enjoyed these crispy, foodgasmic, melt-in-your-mouth churros con chocolate yesterday afternoon in a small café off of the main street, “Calle Mayor”. They were the perfect afternoon pick-me-up ;).

We did about three hours of walking, looking for dresses to wear out in Ibiza and going to the supermercado to get some toiletries and other necessities.

I arrived at home a few hours later to shower, skype with Seester online, finish some tarea (homework) and to eat dinner.

Dinner was more noodle soup (three times in one week works like a charm!) which was still just as delicious and, I swear, has helped cure this cough! I no longer sound like an asthmatic chronic smoker with emphysema! Hooray!

After dinner, I got ready to meet some friends at the bar just down the street to sip on some sangria and enjoy each other’s company. While the rest of Alcalá was raging on a Tuesday night, partying harder than any of us do even on your average Friday, the rest of us stuck to the one drink limit and then headed home to be well-rested for class today.

Ragers:

that would be the bartender standing atop the bar, pouring liquor into the mouths of thirsty collegiate students. Minus myself.

Us:

(ok soo maybee their “one beer” was an exaggeration but I stuck to my one sangria. Bible ;))

This morning I had my earlier classes, which meant one big ol’ cup of Joe (or should I say Jose) to get me through the next several hours. The first class was muy aburrida (very boring) and my second one was un poco dificil (a little difficult…freakin’ fonetics).

As for the rest of the day, I’m working on some homework right now then having lunch with the H-mama before I head off to a mall outside of Alcalá to keep on the search for the perfect Ibiza dress. I also want to be all packed up by tonight because…well…I leave TOMORROW, so I should probably get on that, dontcha think?

Just think…in less than 48 hours I will be lying on the beach, hopefully sippin’ something nice, fruity and cold and catching some glorious rays on a beautiful Spanish beach thinking, “This is not reality!”

I live a hard life.

Catch up with you peeps later!

xoxo

MAMACITA

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Hello World!

Whatchu been up to?

Life has been pretty good around these parts (are you getting sick of me gloating already? ;))

Saturday night was La Noche en Blanco en Madrid. A huge culture festival that brings out thousands and thousands of people to enjoy the many festivities the city has to offer.

The crowds were incredible. Getting into the city was the hardest part. First of all, we were a group of 12. Why we decided to all go together…who knows? But somehow we all managed to not lose a straggler. Second of all, the trains were packed to the brim with people. When the doors of the metro would open, people would literally be spilling out like beans from a torn bag, while others tried to push their way in.

…And the European dude who decided that deodorant was not a necessity that day (or probably in his life) and proceeded to hold his pungent armpit a few inches away from my face? Brutal.

For dinner, we all decided to hit up a Thai restaurant that we found on a random street. An entire group of traveling Americans who have a love of all things cultural and all food Thai? I have clearly found my people.

My friend, Alejandra, and I decided to split some shrimp pad thai and some vegetarian red curry. Unfortunately, since I am a nitwit, I only took a pic of the former.

not the best pad thai I've ever had, but it did the trick

While others enjoyed their Thai beers, I enjoyed a humungous, sticky, cold calimocha, which is basically a ton of red wine and splash of coke. It is quite delicious. I’m getting some antioxidants in there, too, aren’t I? 🙂

The rest of the night included a lot of walking, photo-taking, music-listening, street dancing and hooker fighting. Yes, we did indeed witness a hooker fight. The broads were scrappy.

And moving on…

I’ll let some of the photos do the talking because obviously I am just way too inappropriate to write today.

mira la gente!

crazay Asian drummer band

Around 3 am, we all hit up a small karaoke joint where we sang along to the classics…you know, Lady Gaga, The White Stripes…and so on…

It was all fun and games until the lights were turned on and we were kicked out on to the cold and dark streets of Madrid (slight exaggeration for emphasis. It was not cold nor dark but ya know…)

We caught the 6 am train back to Alcalá and arrived home and into my bed at approximately 7 am.

And that’s how it goes down here in the country of Spain.

Pretty effing exhausting.

The next morning um, afternoon, I awoke to a freshly-made lunch left in the kitchen by my host mama who had left with my host papa to…I dunno, do whatever the older Spaniard people do on a Sunday afternoon. Drink wine, eat meat, converse with other Spaniards, smoke a cigarette…

You get the idea.

Perhaps it was my horrific cough and terrible sniffles that gave my H-mama the hint of what to make me for lunch but, whatever it was, it sure hit the sicky spot.

sopa de fideo con huevo

sopa de fideo (noodle soup) is very common in both the Spanish and Latin American…and Mexican cultures. This was exactly what the doctor ordered for little sicky Mamacita that day. The soup also had a chopped up hard-boiled egg in it, which may sound strange but it was actually quite delicious.

On the side, I had half a filet of white fish, which was poached with garlic, herbs and a pinch of salt.

After lunch, I spent a few hours catching up on homework (literary analysis in Spanish is kind of a biatch) and then I had a sudden burst of fiery energy.

Having only had 5 hours of sleep under my belt, it puzzles me as to where this sudden need to partake in a triathlon came from. All I knew was that I should pay attention to it.

At first, nobody was home so I did what I would usually do in my lonely down-time at home (because this is completely normal in my odd mind) and blasted Zumba music while dancing like a wild orangutang in my room.

It. Felt. So. Good.

After about a half hour of that, I heard the clanking of the front door and stopped dead in my tracks, only to realize my host family had come back and I must commence the freakish interpretive dancing until a later time.

Still, I needed to do something active, so I grabbed the iPod, wave good-bye to the host parentals without any explanations of my already-sweaty appeance and bolted out the door for a glorious hour run throughout the streets of Alcalá and into a luscious green park filled with fountains and grass and crispy falling leaves spread all across the greenery (is Fall here so soon!?).

*breaking news* I can hear a little girl outside of my window right now singing Waka Waka. Random.

Anyways, where was I? Oh yes. I ran and ran until my knees gave weak and then I lied down in the grass to work the abbies and to stare up at the sky and think for a while. Then I used a random park bench to do some tricep dips, push-ups and leg-lifty thingies that works mah bootay until I felt all of the energy in me slowly oozing out. Then I ran back home, hopped in the shower and collapsed on my bed, the whirlwind of lack of sleep and 10 hours of relentless walking the night before finally catching up with me.

I was exhausted. So tired. But when my friend, Alejandra, called me and told me she was going to go get some ice cream at the local heladería (ice cream shop), my legs suddenly started working again! How ironic ;).

Now, if you know me well, you would know that my past relationship with ice cream has been sort of a rough one. Having a stomach prone to slight lactose-intolerance, I’ve taste tested probably every non-dairy ice cream product out there on the market. I’ve made the ever-so-blog-popular banana soft-serve, tampered with avocado concoctions to fill in the milkshake void that taunted me since my vegan days and even ate some of that crappy, low-fat, no-sugar-added, fake frozen stuff that SOME PEOPLE might refer to as ice cream but, let’s be real, there ain’t nothin’ like the real thang.

Ever since my discovery of lactaid, I’ve been much more adventerous with the real stuff than ever before. And here, in the metropolis of home-made gelatos, helados and everything sweet and good, there is no way I’m missing out on my creamy, dreamy delights.

Enter this beauty:

home-made raspberry sorbet and coconut helado

This is making my mouth drool just reminiscing about it.

There is no equivalent to home-made ice creams. This beauty is the very proof of that statement. The sorbet was so sweet and tart and had real chunks of raspberry mixed in. It was the perfect remedy for my sore throat.

The coconut, though, was the real winner in this combo. I’ve always been a fan of coconut everything. Having been raised by two coconut-lovers (no innuendo there), I’ve grown up eating coconut candies, coconut water, dishes with coconut milk, and paletas from Mexico (popsicles) made with freshly-grated coconut.

This coconut ice cream made me quite nostalgic and really made me miss my parents. It was absolutely delicious. I’ll definitely be back for more…ahem tomorrow?

After our afternoon delights (again, no double meaning there ;)) we walked around the Plaza Cervantes and chatted for a while, talking about the highlights of the trip so far and all the amazing people we’ve already met and the amazing experiences we’ve already had.

We stumbled upon a group of students playing a giant bongo and singing tribal-like songs.

A while later, I headed home and hung out with the host parents. For dinner, I had a traditional Spanish tortilla, which you can see in an older post, with some sliced red pepper and a hunk of Spanish bread (obviously).

My H-mama also cooked up these little babies, which I was quite frightened of and decided to try ONE and then decided they were better left to the Spaniards in the household.

Sardines. Not for the faint-hearted.

As for today, I’ve already been up for a good 6 and a half hours! I went to class, which was very interesting. For my first class, we all (as in all six of us) took a trip to the local mercadillo (market) to learn how to bargain and talk to the vendors, asking for lower prices and for the freshest fruits and veggies.

I was able to buy 2 kilos of nectarines for…wait for it…1 euro!!! That’s about 2.2 pounds of nectarines (it came out to 13 nectarines total), which I thought was a hellova buy. I also bought some platanos (bananas) because my host mama never buys them and I’m going a little crazy without my beloved nanners. I already ate one during my second class today. My last purchase was a bag of goji berries, which are considered a super-fruit in the states and are known for their high nutrient value and high antioxidant content. Usually, in the States, these suckers are super expensive. At the market, I was able to buy 100 grams worth for 1.5 euros, which is around 2 dollars. How’s that for a bargain?

As for the rest of the day, I have some more reading to do for tomorrow’s classes, a ferry ticket to buy for my trip to Ibiza this weekend, and I am going to the a gym tonight with some friends to buy a 3-month membership and try out a pilates class. Should be fun!!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Hasta luego,

xoxo

MM

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The weekends here in Alcalá are nothing short of magical. After siesta and before dinner, people stroll the streets and sit to people watch in La Plaza Cervantes to catch up on the latest local gossip or to simply enjoy the wonderful ambience that this small city has to offer.

It’s hard to believe that I still have all of today AND tomorrow left before I head back to school. I don’t believe I’ve had this much free time on my hands since I was in middle school! And I tell you what, It’s glorious.

Please don’t make me come back to reality yet. Not just yet.

After a grand fiesta Thursday night (as seen in my prior post) my already-coming-down-with-a-cold body was in dire need of some R&R. We all headed to bed at around 6 am, which is completely normal here and I woke up at around noon, which is the latest I’ve woken in up in I don’t know how long! After moseying around the house for a while, catching up on e-mails and facebook (priorities, clearly), I had a little lunch with the Spanish family around 2:30, which consisted of “repollo y patata,” or in other words, “cabbage and potatoes.” I didn’t take a picture of lunch because it was rather boring, but it filled me up quite nicely which is all that matters.

Repollo y patata is basically sauteed cabbage and potatoes, topped with a little bit of salt and olive oil. You eat it with a crusty piece of Spanish bread and call it lunch…well…almuerzo, actually.

After lunch my H-mama asked if I was going to take a siesta. Having been up for only a mere 2 and a half hours, I thought to myself, “Hmmm Anna, maybe you should be a bit more productive.” What I replied with was, “You know what? I think I will!” When in Spain…right?

My H-mama and I had a long discussion this morning over a cup of tea about the differences in work hours in the States versus here, in Spain. I asked if her husband, Eugenio, ever has to work during the weekends. She laughed and replied that, “No! El fin de semana es para descansar!” which means, the weekends are for resting. Ahem, exactly :).

She also told me that the Spaniards have a saying that goes, “Ocho para dormir y ocho para vivir,” which means 8 to sleep and 8 to live…which leaves 8 hours to work in the day. She asked me, “What is the point of working if you do not get to relax in return? The point is to work to live, not live to work.”

Well said, madam.

After my siesta, I met up with Kaitlin to get some fresh air and do a little more exploring. We sat and people-watched for a good hour, hour and a half, thinking to ourselves, “Ahhh, I could do this everyday for the rest of my life.”

How could you not with these beautiful surroundings?

When I arrived home, I was not empty-handed. Mamacita got a brand new pair of zapatos 🙂

que lindos, no?I think I may just wear these babies out tonight for the big festivities in Madrid (I’ll explain more in a minute).

Dinner last night was a seafood feast!

This seafood buffet consisted of langostinos (shrimpies), empanadas de atún (sort of like a tuna hot pocket without the cheese), ensalada de mariscos mezclado (a cold seafood salad with octopus, squid, shrimp, imitation crab, black olives, peppers and onions in a light vinaigrette sauce) and pan con salsa de tomate y queso (cheese bread with tomato sauce). I’m not used to eating my seafood cold, except for the occasional shrimp cocktail, but this wasn’t half-bad!

There it goes again, my food lookin' at me...

We also enjoyed a nice cold glass of vino blanco (white wine) with our dinner. I don’t know what type of wine it was but it was sweet and absolutely delicious.

After dinner, for “dessert”, I had a plain mini-greek yogurt with a drizzle of honey. It hit the spot 😉

Around midnight, the girls and I met up with a few new buddies from our program at La Media Pinta to grab some cervezas or a glass of sangria and enjoy the outside Spanish air.

Afterwards, we went out to a little hidden dischotech nearby called “Casco Antiguo,” where we salsa danced for a bit before calling it an early night at around 3 am. I know, early sounds a bit crazy, right? I’m getting used to it ;).

Tonight, there is a very special occasion in Madrid that only happens once a year. “La Noche en Blanco,” or “The night in white” is a night where all of the museums in Madrid stay open until about 4 am for free and the streets are filled with artists, musicians, performers and other entertainment all night long. Apparently everyone and their mom attends this event in the city and it turns into quite the fiesta late at night (as if I haven’t already had enough of that in one weekend ;)). I’m excited to see all of the Spanish art and live shows that are performed and to dance in the middle of the streets! It should be a fabulous time! Like always, I’ll try my best to capture most of it on camera.

Hugs and Kisses to my missed ones in the USA.

Don’t forget to take a moment today to remember those lost 9 years ago in NYC. Even though I’m on the other side of the ocean, today is a day where Americans everywhere seem to unite no matter what amount of distance separates us from each other.

Peace and Love

xoxo

MM

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