Due to all of my recent travels, I feel like I haven't been giving Madrid enough love on my blog lately. With a new season comes plenty of new things to do, so I've been taking advantage of the gorgeous spring weather and trying new things. Here's what I've been up to while at home in Madrid:
Having Picnics on My Balcony
After Christmas I moved into a bigger room in my same apartment, and I can honestly say that having two balconies is worth every extra Euro. One of them faces my favorite plaza and two stunning churches, making it the perfect spot for mini picnics. I died and went to foodie heaven while feasting upon this platter of buttery jamón ibérico de bellota, creamy Spanish cheese, savory chips freshly made by my favorite potato chip factory in Huertas, and my favorite bottle of Rioja wine.
Wine Tasting with Madrid Uncorked
Madrid Uncorked holds monthly wine tastings, each focusing on a different theme. So far I've been to "Off-road: Spanish wine regions you've (probably) never heard of" and "Smack-down: Rioja vs. Ribera del Duero", both of which were informative and delicious! Their tastings bring out a diverse group of both locals and expats alike, and the laid-back atmosphere makes trying new Spanish wines relaxing and enjoyable.
You can sign up for tastings with Madrid Uncorked here.
Hiking with Hiking Madrid
Last month my friend Jen invited me on a hike from Colmenar de Oreja to Chinchón with Hiking Madrid, and despite being embarrassingly out of shape, I jumped at the opportunity to surround myself with nature once again. We went on a beautiful sunny day, and 12 kilometers later I was reminded once again of how much I truly love hiking. (You can take the girl out of the Pacific Northwest, but you can't take the PNW out of the girl!) I'm looking forward to getting some fresh country air on more hikes this spring!
If you're interested in going on an adventure with Hiking Madrid, email email@example.com to get on their mailing list.
Playing Tour Guide
Before traveling to Prague and Vienna together for spring break, my momma came and spent one week with me in Madrid! I had such a blast showing her around the city and taking her to all of my favorite spots. We hit all of my go-to bars and restaurants, while also discovering some new places along the way. With her in town, I finally had an excuse to go to the oldest restaurant in the world, which gave us an impressionable taste of old world Madrid. I even took her to work with me one day, and she got to meet all of my darling
monsters students and see how wild yet lovable they really are. I felt so proud showing off my city, and having my mom around to witness it all made my life here seem that much more real. While I miss my mom like crazy now that she's gone, I'm also thankful to call this place home.
Enjoying Sunny Rooftop Bars
I've always had an obsession with rooftop bars, but sadly they are far and few between in Seattle. Hence, my love for Madrid has grown even further upon discovering the plethora of rooftop bars that exist here! Although at times unpredictable, the weather here is infinitely better than Washington's - so I try to take advantage of the sunshine by enjoying my vino with a view.
Making Big Decisions
I have some exciting news: I'm officially staying in Madrid for another year!
I'll continue working as an assistant English teacher and exploring Spain one bite at a time. This year my travel plans have focused on seeing more of Europe (which have thus far included London, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Budapest, northern France, Prague and Vienna - with Munich and Greece up next!), but next year I plan on exploring more of Spain. Although I'm a bit anxious to see what the future holds, I couldn't be more excited to stay here and soak in all of what Madrid has to offer.
Cheers to another year of España!