Hello blog world! I am so sorry that I have been off the grid for the time being. It has been a wild past two weeks. This blog post would be a bajillion years long if I described everything like I usually do, so I will give a play-by-play of what I’ve been up to since Amsterdam. Whoa…didn’t realize it had been that long. Sorry guys! Hope this will make up for it.
My dear lovely friend from middle school, Hailey Rae Todhunter decided to ditch school and travel out to Europe to see me over her Thanksgiving break.
Some friends from SB visited us (Leila and Katie) and everyone stayed in our hostel of an apartment. We’ve officially decided that Chateau Burdeos has become a hostel and we will be charging rent, fyi future tenants!
We did all of the touristy stuff that I’ve done so many times, but I love doing it. The most fun part was the ~free~ cocktail-making class that we all did. Hailey got it as a gift from her summer internship, so we went to the Hyatt Centric and had a two hour class. We made 1) a Cava wine drink, 2) Manhattan, 3) Pisco sour, 4) mojito and a 5) margarita. Rankings for me (best to worst): 4, 5, 3, 1, 2
After that, we all went to have dinner at Oven Mozzarella Bar and it was amazingggggg. It makes me so excited for the food I’m gonna eat in Italy!
We also went up to a rooftop bar called Azotea Rooftop Bar with an amazing view of the city and great drinks. That night we had a homemade pasta dinner and did a fun thing called Chow, Pow, Wow and we added Flow. You say the best thing you ate that week, the worst thing that happened that week, the best thing that happened that week and Flow is something coming up that you are really excited for. My Chow → Oven, Pow → getting locked out of the house without keys very late at night, Wow → having our amazing friends visit and my Flow → at that time, it was my family visiting Europe.
Hailey left for Sevilla on Tuesday and I flew out to England that Thursday, Thanksgiving day, of course, because Europe does not celebrate nor care about the holiday. I arrived at my great aunt Barby’s house and met a whole bunch of my distant English family that I had never met before. I had some homemade, delicious, Thanksgiving (kinda) chili, hung out with the family and went to bed. That was the best sleep I had in a while.
We were staying in Suffolk, which is about an hour outside of London and epitomizes the English countryside. That was the most nature and expanses of natural green that I had seen in a while. It was a slower weekend, but I loved the change of pace. We walked around a lot of small towns, went to Ipswich for the day, went to the Ed Sheeran Museum, at a lot of good food and I also got to see my great grandma Flo for the first time since I was about 5 years old. She is still chugging along at 95 years old. We ended our trip with all of the family at my mom’s cousins house. We celebrated Jack’s 14th birthday with a big dinner, cake (of course) and a huge gift bag of English snacks and candy.
I loved this trip because I got to see my family, who I haven’t seen in three months; the longest we have ever gone without seeing each other. I got to meet my new family, who are amazing people and who I hope to see again when I go back to the UK. I saw a much larger part of my family tree that I never even knew existed. The best part though was to feel more connected to Nana and Dzaj. I saw where they were married, met Nana’s sister, met Nana’s mom and saw where she grew up. I learned about where she came from and that was so special for me. Uncle Nigel also showed us a video compilation that he made of tapes that Dzaj took of their family when my mom was growing up. I saw my young grandparents on video, which was weird, but so fun to see them in their youth. So many fond memories kept on those tapes.
The Honsberger family departed on Sunday and flew to Madrid.
I had class the days that they were in town, but we made it work. We also did a lot of touristy stuff, but it was much different with my parents. It was weird actually having them here, in my home for the past 3 months. I know a place more than they do…weird concept.
We went to Retiro, saw the Royal Palace, which was amazing, and of course took them to Takos al Pastor. While I was in class, they went to tour the Real Madrid Fútbol Stadium (Estadio Santiago Bernabéu), which I was pretty jealous of, I must admit. We walked around a lot, ate good food and spent some much needed quality time together. They took Elena, Hailey and I out to an Casa Mono Restaurant for dinner and had such a fun time. We had so much good food, wine and laughs. It was my turn to show off my parents in Madrid, haha. We also all went up to the Azotea Rooftop Bar again, because that view is truly unbeatable.
My family also did a Chow, Pow, Wow for both England and Spain at our Last Supper in Europe. They left the next morning 😦 but, I will see them so incredibly soon and it was such an amazing trip. Love you guys! See you in 10 days!
It was so nice having some pieces of home come visit me in my last month here in Madrid. I am recharged and ready to finish this thing with a bang. I am in the midst of finals right now, so I should probably sign off and keep studying, but on Friday I am leaving for a week to go to Rome, Florence and Vienna. As they say “When in Rome (and Florence and Vienna).” 😉
I’ll be sure to blog post about those adventures as well. I have my last commute to school tomorrow and am so deeply sad about it. Abroad is coming to an end and as much as I am excited to go home to Marin and be back in Isla Vista, I am so sad to be leaving this wonderful place. I have loved every minute in Europe, even the times of stress and frustration and homesickness. I have started to say goodbye to the people I see every day at the gym, at the grocery store and at my favorite café Federal. It’s bittersweet to say the least. I’m a jumble of emotions right now, but I’ll check in again before I leave.
One more final then I’m free!