Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Marbella At Night

A couple of weekends ago (I know, I know, I'm still behind) I took a spontaneous trip to Marbella. Marbella is a city in the province of Malaga, and about 30 minutes away from Malaga capital (where I live). While Marbella is an immensely beautiful city with it's own sub-climate which actually makes it warmer than Malaga, it is more widely known as being a vacation spot for the super rich. There is an area of Marbella called Puerto Banus that literally looks like an episode of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous." 

In this one area I counted at least six Bentley's, two Lamborghini's, two Ferrari's, and this new, all-white, four door Porsche Panamera that was to die for (I don't know if I ever mentioned it but I l-o-v-e cars so I definitely enjoyed this area). As if all of these luxury cars in about a three block radius wasn't enough, the tourists who didn't feel like getting the Bentley out of storage just pulled their multi-million dollar yachts directly up to Puerto Banus :)

Unfortunately, I did all my sightseeing in Marbella at night because we went to the pueblo during the day (more on that later), so here are a few shots. 

This was probably one of the weirdest statues I've ever seen. All I kept thinking was "why can you see that horse's ribs?"

Me and my friend Christina. Please excuse my awkward poses but this fountain had so many different colors and they were all so brilliant!

Friday, November 25, 2011

When Was The Last Time You Wrote Something?

During a break between my classes the other day, my bilingual coordinator asked me to write a short story about a restaurant. I immediately said sure and got to work, but it didn't take long for me to start thinking about the last time I actually wrote something. When I was younger, during elementary and middle school, I used to love to read and write. My mom often tells people how I used to love to read when I was younger..."and then high school happened."  But, until the other day, I never realized, or even thought about why I stopped writing. 

Well, it's not much, 200 words about a restaurant, but it's the first story, or any type of writing (college essays don't count), that I've written in years, so I decided to share:

     "Last Saturday, the 19th of November, my best friend Sarah and I decided to go to a restaurant called "El Mago". I previously heard the food there was delicious, and the atmosphere was entertaining because "El Mago" is a magic- themed restaurant.

  Located in the middle of the downtown Málaga, "El Mago" is a small restaurant, tucked away on a quiet side street. The quaint dining room was dimly lit, with paintings of famous magicians, such as Houdini, lining the walls. I ordered a steak with rice pilaf, while Sarah ordered a seasonal, Mediterranean chicken dish.

     Everything seemed like a typical dinner when suddenly, a woman dressed in an elaborate costume appeared seemingly out of nowhere, and offered to read our fortunes. She was wearing a long, sunset orange dress, with an emerald green head-wrap, and the largest, most colorful earrings and necklaces I had ever seen. Yahira then settled in at our table ready to read our fortunes.

     Instead of the stereotypical crystal ball, or even tarot cards, Yahira wanted to "read" the lines in our hands to tell us our fortunes. After appearing out of nowhere, and not using the "typical fortune teller tools," I was more than a bit apprehensive to let Yahira read my palms. But, after telling Sarah that she would be a stay-at-home Mom with two adorable kids, I let Yahira tell me my fortune: I will be happily married and very successful in my career.

     In the end, I had a wonderful time at "El Mago." The food was great and the ambiance was even better. I would recommend this restaurant to everyone and advise you not be wary of the fortune teller because telling your dinner guests that you see negative experiences in their fortunes would be bad for business right?"

When was the last time you wrote something? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What I'm Listening To

Ever wondered what type of music they listen to in Spain? Of course there are plenty of Spanish artists here who are very popular, like Los Delincuentes, and there are also some artists who are based out of the US, like Rihanna and Maroon 5, that "get a lot of shine." 

But, if I had to pick the most popular song here in Malaga now I would have to say: 

Michel Teló - "Ai Se Eu Te Pego"

This song is ALL over the place. They play it in all the discotecas, I personally played this song atleast 100 times last weekend, and I've counted atleast 5 times that my roommate has played this song today! One cool thing about this song is that the singer is from Brazil, and the song is in Portuguese. Even though myself and the majority of the people here in Spain can't understand it, everybody still loves this song!

I likes it so much that I looked for some more of his songs and found one that I l-o-v-e.

Michel Teló - "Fugidinha"

And again, no idea what he is saying, but I'm loving this song right now :)

El Parque del Retiro

I previously heard people talk about Parque del Retiro in Madrid, but on my first visit (when it was 30 degrees and snowing), I didn't even come close to seeing it. So on my second, and much better trip to Madrid, I made sure to stop by. I was expecting a large park, with a lot of trails and greenery, but what I got was this amazing mix of beautiful landscaping, elaborate statues, and the cutest little pond with dozens of rowboats full of people enjoying a beautiful, romantic afternoon.

Shots Around the Prado

As I continued my walk from Puerta del Sol to El Parque Retiro, I passed the famous museum El Prado. The Prado is the main Spanish national art museum and features an immense collection of European, and specifically Spanish art. Unfortunately, we tried to go on a Monday, and were disappointed to find out that the Prado is closed on Mondays :( But, I still got some pretty cool pictures of the statues and architecture around the Prado

Friday, November 18, 2011

Your First Impression Is Not Always the Right Impression

The first time I was in Madrid, I was not impressed. It was the middle of January, about 30 degrees outside, snowing, AND I was sick. Needless to say, I was not in the best mood to sight-see, and deal with the millions of residents and tourists of Madrid. But, just like everything else in life, your first impression is not always the right impression.

This past Halloween, my second trip to Madrid, was a-m-a-z-i-n-g. The weather was nice, I had great company (heyyy Tina), and I was able to explore Madrid at my own pace. The first time I was there I didn't even notice how beautiful Madrid actually is; The architecture is extraordinary!

Here are a few pictures of my walk from Puerta del Sol, the center of Madrid, to El Parque del Retiro, kind of like Central Park in New York.

Me and my friend Tina. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Comida de Madrid

Tour of Madrid

The hostel where we stayed in Madrid offered a "free" walking tour so of course we decided to take advantage. I say "free" because although there was no fee, the guide was begging for tips before the tour even started. Nevertheless, it was a really nice tour and we got to see a lot of the major sites in the center of Madrid. 

 The osita (female bear), which according to our guide is like the "Statue of Liberty of Spain."

 Opera House

 Palacio Real, Royal Palace

 Spiderman, lol

Plaza Mayor