Granada, my first taste of southern Spain

The last weekend in January called us down to Granada, Spain for a friend’s surprise birthday party. This was my first official trip to the south of Spain, so in addition to the excitement of the party, I was so happy to finally be making my way to Andalucía. “Everyone” says that southern Spain is…

Animal rehab and American comforts

Life continues to fly by here in Madrid and I’m riding the train wondering if it could stop for a bit, or at least slow down? John Mayer worded it well in his song “Stop This Train” So scared of getting older I’m only good at being young So I play the numbers game To find a…

25+ things about Spain that surprise Americans

Here are 25 (okay, 29) things that surprise Americans when they come to Spain. This list was originally written by lacabezallena.com in Spanish (here). I love the list so much (and can relate to it) that I’ve decided to translate it to English here so that my friends and family back home can appreciate it…

There’s no place like Spain for the holidays

Well, they say that there’s no place like home for the holidays…it’s true, there really is no comparison to being home for Christmas. It’s the time of year to be with your family, practice traditions that you do every year, reminisce the memories of past Christmases, bake some cookies and pie, and watch some super…

Geneva, Switzerland and surrounding towns

November was a big month for us in terms of travel, and our last trip of the month didn’t disappoint. Any excuse to travel is good enough for me, and this one was a celebration of Diego’s brother’s birthday, as well as Diego and I’s anniversary. We flew into Geneva, but little did I know before…

Day Trips Near Madrid (Chinchón and Segovia)

Living in a country as interesting and varied as Spain, it would be a shame to stay in one city and never leave to explore. Even if you’re just visiting Madrid, it’s worth a try to make a day trip or two to a nearby town. Just look up towns near Madrid to visit and…

The Trump Upset

On Wednesday, November 9th I woke up to the words “Trump won.” I thought it was a joke, and I angrily grumbled “shut up”. But it was true. When I looked at my phone, Trump was leading in electoral votes and only needed a few more to win. I hit refresh, and he was declared…

Traveling with aviophobia

Life is full of little ironies, although some are bigger and more aggravating than others. I enjoy laughing at most of them–except the one where my dad is a pilot, my mom worked for the airlines, and I have a deep fear of flying. And I’m not exactly sure why. I mean, my grandmother suffered…

Being the teacher and the student

Two weeks ago I started classes again at the University of Madrid, except this time I’m not learning Spanish (well…directly). It’s a graduate level course about the management of exotic animals in captivity, covering their handling, medicine, and breeding. The course was designed for Spanish-speaking veterinarians, so you can imagine that for me it’s a…

Paris with Family and Friends

Diego and I got to Paris a day before everyone else, so we walked around to see Notre Dame, the beautiful castles and buildings along the Seine, and explore around for a place to have dinner together. It’s definitely worth walking down side streets for a while to find a place to eat off the…

Getting the most (and best) out of Rome!

When my dad asked if I wanted to meet up with him and a family friend in Paris to see Jimmy Buffet in concert, I said “heck yes!”. I hadn’t seen my dad in months and the family friends in years. I had seen JB in concert before, but this venue would be extra special,…

Las Fiestas del Pueblo

The last weekend in August found us in Diego’s home town to celebrate their “fiestas” and a baptism. Seemingly everyone here in Madrid is originally from some tiny pueblo in Spain, and each little town has a patron saint. On that saint’s “day,” they celebrate with cookouts, live music, traditional and modern dancing, and socializing with…