Mish-Mash p2

I saw this photo in London and obviously stopped in the middle of the sidewalk like an obnoxious tourist to snap a photo. Why? because at heart I’m really an 11 year old boy.

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I took this photo in Porto, Portgual. Specifically the Duoro Valley which is know for it’s wine. A little fun fact about Porto wine, it’s strong AF. Don’t ask me the exact alcohol content because as you can see from this photo many of the glasses are empty and I don’t remember what the vineyard owners told us. Plus their accents were so cute I wasn’t really paying attention anyways. I’m posting this for several reasons, but the main on being that I’m so proud of how good it looks! Right? I bought this new camera for my travels a Sony I think and I’ve been messing with the settings and focus ever since I got it and this photo is a great example of when I finally got it right. I think it looks super cool, with the blurry background (super artsy), empty wine glasses (shows that I’m super fun, no?) and the cut off figures in the background (yes I have friends). Anyways, I’ll definitely be making prints and hanging them on my wall.

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This next photo is of some super cool street art in Morocco. Not to be super indie but who knew Morocco had street art? It was super interesting going here because of course, the media gives you so many ideas about what Africa is like, impoverished, dirty, smelly, super hot, rundown, 3rd world. But let me tell you, this is not the case and if you ever get a chance to go, do it. 

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Oh Cordoba

I wish I had more photos of Cordoba but I was there for a friends birthday and when you take the south of Spain + warm weather + a friends birthday = you get a bit of a shitshow.

That being said I did get the chance to do a night tour of the Mezquita (no photos allowed) I highly highly highly recommend it. Not to toot my own horn but I’ve seen some of the most beautiful cathedrals in Italy, Spain and Portugal and the Mezquita in Cordoba is literally on my top 3. It is as the spanish would say impressionate. Personally I would skip the alcazar (besides the gardens) and just wander around (los patios is also definitely another must) BUT enough talk, here are the photos.

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Basic, I know but the lighting was amazing

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This might have been the narrowest street in all of Spain or Europe? I can’t remember

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The infamous flower wall!

Said by Chris p1

My friend Chris is a real laugh. Like he makes me cry on a regular basis. I really wanted a place to showcase all his greatest sayings, so I thought why not here.

One day we’re walking down the mean smelly streets of New York. I’m probably drunk and Chris is probably trying to save me from getting hit by a cab (as per usual). At this point he’s already mentioned how he used to have “stables” and is “the man of these streets” (I can attest both of these things are true”.  Somehow the topic of being dickmatized (look it up) comes up and he says.

When you’re cooking with fire, you know it’s hot

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Chris.

MOROCCO

Before I even came to Spain I was excited to go to Morocco. Chefcaoun specifically aka the Blue City. I can’t even describe how beautiful it was or the feeling of being in Africa but it was amazing, unreal and awesome (great adjectives I know). 

But enough of the talking, this is Morocco. 

Mish- Mash

Obviously on this blog (like any other) you only put up the best of the best. But what about the outtakes? the photos that make you cringe when you look back on them, or the ones that you wouldn’t normally share because they’re super personal, or random ones that you think – hmm will this make the readers want to click through my blog?

Here’s a few of my favorites.

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This photo was taken on what can only be described as the flight from fucking hell. We decided to take Ryan air (a super cheap airline) to Ireland for the weekend. Luckily they were having a sale and roundtrip tickets were $98. Anyone who’s ever lived in Europe for an extended period time has probably taken Ryan Air for this reason. But it’s literally like a bus in the sky. Flying north (I didn’t know this) is rough, weather, winds etc. But it also felt as if the pilot had taken several Ambien before the flight because it was bumpy, the whole.entire.time. and not like oh there’s a little turbulence, like if felt like the sky was trying to shake us out of it. Anyways, I took this photo because even though the view outside was beautiful I thought that might be last moment on earth.

This was also in Ireland – although the weather wasn’t super super shitty, this day was. It was our last day in Ireland and we really wanted to see St. Patricks Cathedral and this one other park that my host mom suggested. So we sucked it up, got our umbrellas and walked through the park to St. Patricks. Lucky for us Monday morning at 9:30 is the best time to see all the sites because everyone is either working, sleeping or on a rainy day, trying to stay dry. Anyways, it’s not the most amazing photo but it reminds me of a great day.

 

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This is the Botanical garden in Madrid, in the middle of January, perhaps the worst time to go; however, we LOVED it. There was maybe one other couple there and even though all the plants were dead I found it to be absolutely magical. Because of this trip, we all have an obsession with going to parks on gloomy days.

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Cambios, Spain vs. America

This afternoon my host dad (Jorge) asked me – Lindsey, what are the differences between Spain and America. I’ve had some time to think about this as this is my second go round in Espana (what can I say I love the Spanish)

The truth is there are waaaaay too many to count, but in an attempt to humor him and myself for that matter I decided to compile a short, but I think very accurate list.

  1. Structure. I grew up in a household where fast food was food group and the car was my kitchen. It didn’t matter where we were, what time it was or what the food was. We ate when we wanted, where we wanted and what we wanted. Here is a little different.

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Pasta for dinner? No. Hamburgers for lunch? don’t even ask. Dinner at 6? you must be joking. The structure is intense. Soups, rice and pasta are to had for lunch. Burgers and salads for dinner. For snack (aka America’s lunchtime) fruit. I eat a small sandwich and still get weird looks from the teachers. One time I dared to bring pasta and it seemed like the pueblo was going to implode.

I. cant. stand. it.

For a fully grown lady (I say that only because I pay all my own bills, but by no means am I an adult) it’s extremely frustrating. If I want pizza for breakfast lemme have it, pasta at noon, take a chill pill, pero bueno. I digress.

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The only good burger in all of Spain

Also what’s with always setting the table? I literally say down to eat solo style and the mesa was set to a tea, bread, water, glasses, forks and knives. It’s just not necessary and seems like a waste of energy.

2. The Food. Now I know a lot of people say “Omg Lindsey the food in Spain is so good!”. To which I respond, what do you think Spanish food is? Paella? yes, for special occasions – Birthdays, Holidays, and the occasionally visitor – so we’re talking 3-4 times a year. What else you got? Tapas? Ok good, so exactly what do you think is on your tapas? If you guess sardines, sausages, boiled eggs, octopus, morcilla (google it) and tuna, then you are in fact correct. They are, how do I say this gently, not all their cracked up to be. And just like with any other food, if you eat it everyday without change you will get sick of it. But Lindsey, what about the olive oil? Yes they do cook with a lot of olive oil, but not in a good way, my fish, hamburgers, vegetables and everything else is literally boiled in olive oil and let me tell you that shit is not pleasant. Unlike the grease in America that be blot of or that dries, olive oil does not, it pools into your plate, on the crevasses of your meat and especially in your skin. Greasy much? thank you, yes I am.  Like really? Me muero.

My friends and I regularly sit down at our dinner tables only to find that our main course for the night is a plate of sausages, pig lips, a bowl of broccoli and other creations. Let me just tell you right now, that when I talk to you and I saw I miss American food don’t you dare judge me. Not until you’ve eaten chorizo everyday for 3 months. Morcilla-de-burgos-2.jpg

Take a little guess at what this delicacy is.

3. Laundry. Like most European countries, the Spanish don’t necessarily use dryers, so our clothes are set out on racks or other things to dry. Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind this at all, except when I do. After living in New York for several year and having to pay for my laundry I’ve learned to stretch things pretty far. This means doing laundry about once a month, so when I need clothes I need them like, yesterday. I don’t have time to wait 2 days for my underwear to dry Ineedthemlikenow. Another fun fact, because clothes aren’t always dried in a dryer they can get a little crispy so they like to use something I refer to as suavizante aka fabric softener aka natures perfume. Unlike the fabric softener of the States this shit reeks, it gets into every pore, invades every strand of clothing you own every hair on your body. It’s strong. Don’t want to use suavizante? Fine, enjoy your crispy pants! Let me know how it feels like have paper cuts on your legs 😀

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Can’t live without it.

4. El Rollo. The culture of going out here is totally different than in America. We like shots, large glasses of wine, and to party. However, the idea here is completely different. If you try to drink 3 glasses of wine here like you do in America let me tell you, you will in fact regret it. Not only is the wine 3948903 stronger here but people will think you actually have a drinking problem. No one here drinks to get drunk, but rather to enjoy themselves. Hence why they stay out until the sun rises versus until they pass out.  American’s take note. Also la marcha doesn’t end when you’re 30, 40 or even 50. Kids at the bar? no problem, staying out until sunrise at 40? totally acceptable, drinking everyday during descanso, lunch and dinner? maybe not so much, but I’m willing to take one for the team and give it a try.

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Painfully thirsty

5. Time. Now I feel like this should’ve been first but this is what I’ve had the most trouble with (living in New York and all) I’m usually always in a rush. But here no pasa nada. People don’t rush, lunch takes 2-3 hours (yes please) dinner the same, and going out to eat at a restaurant? don’t even attempt it if you’re in a rush. It’s just not worth it. I wake up as late as possible, grab breakfast to go (another thing they don’t get). Stuff my face during descanso and lunch (we don’t eat dinner until 9:30 most days) and siesta. That’s fucking right, I siesta every.single.day. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to stop. It’s honestly something we should bring back to the U.S. I feel better, I treat everyone around me better. Todo esta bien.

That being said, I love Spain, the people, the food, the lifestyle everything, BUT I also am super homesick, miss American food and most of all I miss butter.

Um poco de Portgual

I was pumped to go to Portugal. Ever since I laid my eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo at the tender age of 12 I’ve been obsessed. But looks aside, I think Portuguese  it the prettiest language and have been trying to learn for years. Unfortunately  the only things I can say are “where is the hotel”, “I have a multi colored sofa” and “I don’t speak Portuguese”. All of that being said I loved Portugal, the cathedrals, the people and especially the food. Thank goodness they have lots of bacalao aka codfish because I was starting to sick of all the jamon y queso here in Espana. I was surprised at the pobreza of the city, it’s a little bit rundown but I still loved it and want to definitely come back in the summer months to one of the beach towns.  Anyways, this is Portgual.

Insiders tip: When going to Porto – do NOT chug the wine, despite how good it is. But DO go to Cafe Majestic and the Harry Potter Library.

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Another must is a day trip to the Duoro Valley about 1.5 hours outside of Porto.

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Here is Lisbon ( I prefer Porto) but when in Lisbon – go to Torre de Belem, The monastery, and this super creepy monument dedicated to all the conquistadors.

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