Thursday, April 19, 2012

It all started with an LMFAO concert

I´ve been running on all cylinders for a few weeks now... and it all started with a freaking LMFAO concert. That lovely night was then followed by St. Patty´s Day, a flamenco show, my parents visit and our trip to Granada and Málaga, and Spring Break in Amsterdam, Paris, and Bilbao. Deciding that rest is for weiners, I also went hiking last Saturday in pure rain and hail and I will run a 10K this Sunday. Hey, you can sleep when you´re dead, right?

I toyed with the idea of skipping writing about everything that´s happened in the month or so and just start writing about the present, but you can´t just not talk about LMFAO. Right? Eh? So yep, I joined the wild packs of animal-print clad madrileñitos to party rock. We felt incredibily old as we stood in line with Spanish youngins dressed head to toe in Claire´s accessories waving goodbye to their parents that had apparently just dropped them off. But we stood strong, damnit! The concert was much how you would expect it to be: lots of neon, leopard print, and metallic speedos. And lots of shaking in those metallic speedos. A couple beers the size of your head also make the night much more interesting.

Moving on. St. Patty´s Day we headed to our favorite wee pub, Finnie´s. It´s an Irish pub so of course it was completely packed. But to our delight, there was a huge amount of native Irish people there. We chatted a while with a group of guys from Cork, and I´ll admit, I didn´t understand a good 80% of what they were saying, but I just loved the way it sounded so much that I just kept smiling and nodding my head and cheersing, hoping they would keep talking. At one point, I commented on how much I loved Irish people, and a guy responded: "Gingers. Freckles. Dat's all ya need." LOVE.

The cousin of a friend of mine was visiting so we got our tourist hats on and went to a flamenco show. It was a teeny show, with only two dancers, one guitarist, and one "singer". As the "singer" "sang" his "songs", it took every last bit of my self-control (and we all know there's not much of that to begin with) not to laugh. I can only imagine how a whole table of Pattersons would have reacted. Yes, yes, it is the traditional song and singing style of flamenco, but on a very superficial level, it was a chubby, middle-aged man with a flowery button-down on (with his hairy chest showing, of course) howling dramatically. Ahh, Spain. The guitarist, on the other hand, was incredible (how do people move their fingers so fast?) and the dancers were fantastic as well. They each did their own little solos, and lemme tellya, the guy dancer must have sweat off a good five pounds. It was like watching the Riverdance on crack. So crazy. Also, castañuelas (the clackity clack things the flamenco ladies wave around) are still mind-boggling to me and I want to learn how to make them work. Instead of waving them around soundlessly. Sigh.

And then there was Patty and Donny!! They landed in Madrid and claimed they weren´t tired. And I believed then. So commence my 4-hour tour of Madrid! A couple people fell asleep around 5:00 that day. Any guesses who they were?

After work on Thursday, we hopped in a car and headed south. After a frustrating and frightening half-hour of trying to leave Madrid, we finally found success. (Sidenote: Madrid, please make better highway signs. A sign post the size of a pillow at the exit is not sufficient.) Our first destination was Granada. Since we were a bit behind schedule, we had to drive the twisty mountain roads in complete darkness, which made me pee my pants a little, but we arrived in Granada unscathed. After driving all tensed up, we headed to the bar after finding our hotel (*cough* like we need an excuse...) and with our beers came the lovely Andalucian tapas you hear so much about! Yay! 

We headed up to the Alhambra the next day. The Alhambra is a Moorish castle built in the 14th century (that is absolutely gorgeous with an incredible view of the city and with tons of fountains and colorful tiles and other pretty things). It was conquered by the Catholic Monarchs in 1492 (good year for them, eh?). Ferdinand and Isabella were always on the move trying to unify Spain and gain support from their people, yo, but the Alhambra was Isabella´s favorite castle and she wanted to be buried there. (She was, but then when Ferdinand died, she got moved to be with him. Now they´re both entombed in the Royal Chapel in Granada.)

This fountain originally worked as a clock as well, with twelve lions surrounding the main part. Each hour the lion spitting water would change, thus marking the time. However, after the Spanish conquered the Alhambra, they took apart the fountain to see how it worked. Annnd then they couldn't figure out how to put it back together.  
We had read about a secret room in one of the guide books that said in this room you can whisper into a corner and people at the other corners can hear you. So we spent a good five minutes in another room whispering in corners trying to hear each other.  
View of the palace from the Generalife gardens

After hours at the Alhambra, we headed back to town for dinner. We were walking around a plaza deciding on where we wanted to eat, and we started walking into on of the restaurants, when all of a sudden this guy on a segueway blocks our path. Gah! He goes on his spiel about how awesome segueways are. I´m not convinced, but someone had a look in her eye. "I´ve always wanted to try a segueway," she says quiety. But our hunger overcomes and we go eat somewhere else. After dinner, we once again encounter this man on his segueway, who hooks you with letting you just "try it out". Well played, Al. Well played.

We headed up the hills of the Albaicín neighborhood towards la Iglesia de San Nicolás, where we had a lovely view of the Alhambra and the rest of the city. We may not have looked stylish, but damnit, SEGUEWAYS ARE FUN!!! (You may or may not be able to hear a constant giggle in that video.)

The next day we headed off the Málaga. In true form, we got lost trying to leave the city and had to stop for directions. We also went the wrong way trying to get in to Málaga. I just don't understand. 

As you can see, Málaga is quite a lovely city. We wandered along the tiled streets, played on the zip-line on the beach, guessed what famous people owned the big ships in the port, and drank beer. You know, good ole' fashioned fun. (We also went to the Holy Shroud exposition at the Cathedral thinking When else will we be able to see something that might have touched Jesus Christ?! But then after hearing about the history and science and theories behind the shroud, we learned it was in freaking Italy. "But here's an exact replica! It's just like looking at the real one!" Oh shut up, recorded lady talking into my ear piece.)

Oh well. You win some, you lose some. Anywho, after a day in Málaga we headed back north to Madrid. (We may or may not have had more trouble trying to enter the city.) Mom and Pa, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you had a good time despite the not-so-sunny skies! I love you!


  1. Funfunfunfunfunfunfunfun and more fun!

  2. We had great fun as well. This was one of the best blog posts I ever read. I still want to see your Amsterdam and Paris pics. See you soon!

  3. That looks like so much fun! :) Malaga looks amazing. I need to put that on my list of places to see. Can't wait to see you in May!