spanish things

I woke up with a disgusting cold and sore throat the morning I flew off to Madrid. I was mostly worried about passing it on to baby Nalia, but Juan stuffed me full of garlic and I was fully cured within 48 hours. So… much… garlic… luckily in Spain it’s ok to stink of garlic.
Anyway, quick recap of the last few days:

Spain is HOT. The days are long and HOT. Now I understand why they have siestas in the afternoon and don’t eat till late at night… afternoons are just too caliente to hacer very much. Plus it still feels like the afternoon till late in the evening.
The sky above us as we ate dinner on the balcony at 9pm
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
My beloved sister’s little family is as beautiful as ever, and Nalia is show-stoppingly adorable and fun:
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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Ally and Juan are living in a beautiful flat on the absolute outskirts of Madrid. Their street is literally the last street between “Madrid” and the mountains. This means beautiful views…
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The local train station is very pretty and quaint…
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…and faces nothing but brush and mountains shimmering in the heat! Can’t imagine this from a Paris RER or London train station…
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This evening I finally felt ready to brave the heat and go for a run along the trails (photo taken the day before on a recon mission).
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It was pretty bad. I can list a number of excuses (heat, swimming in the morning, tiredness, the dry air, lingering traces of my cold and of course my period) but the reality is, it’s been 5 days since I ran and it was going to suck no matter what. I dragged 4 pathetic kilometres out, following the trails as they appeared in front of me. Nothing very exciting but I’m determined to go back out there and do better very soon.
As you can see from the map below, there is plenty more out there to be explored — I kept reaching dead ends!
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Lastly: Sociology Course update. I am almost done with all the reading for Week 2 (up to 45 pages, from 7 pages last week, wheeeeeeee!). Even though it’s a lot longer, it’s really, really interesting, and not at all a chore to read. I am really glad I signed up for this. I needed some (dare I say it?) gratuitous intellectual stimulation. It also helps a lot to have a “project” right now, as my days could easily slip away into farniente, other than brushing up on my 15-years-old Spanish skills… there are a few other projects on the back burner but I will broach them when the time is right!

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