The long awaited blog entry on my family’s visit. I haven’t wanted to write it down yet because I have just been reflecting on it. I could not have asked for a better time. I feel truly blessed. I am so lucky that my family was able to come and visit me. I really feel that they were able to see Granada and appreciate it the way I do. So here we go…
Unfortunately the day of Alex and Mom’s arrival was the same day as my Bucknell trip to Córdoba. Professor Delgado was nice enough to let me leave Córdoba early so I could greet my family. Córdoba is a great city but the whole time I was there I was FIDGETING with excitement because I could just not wait to see my mom and Alex. FINALLY it was 2pm and I practically ran to the bus station to take the 3 hour bus ride back to Granada. Needless to say it was the longest three hours of my life. I arrived at their hotel and could not have been happier to get into bed with my mom and just soak her in. I took them from there to my favorite place in all of Granada, El Mirador de San Nicolás. From here you can see all of Granada, La Alhambra, and La Sierra Nevada. I thought it was going to rain but we were lucky enough that it held off so we could see the beautiful view. From there we wandered down through the Albayzin, the famous Arab neighborhood, and looked in all the shops. We went to a tea shop and had chai tea and ate the most amazing crepes in my whole life. They had chocolate, nata, coconut, and banana. OH MY GOODNESS. It was AMAZING. Yum yum yum. I want them now. Okay…moving on. We had a nice dinner on Calle Navas (where they were staying) and we went to bed because we had a big day coming up! La Alhambra!
Now, I had not been to La Alhambra yet (if you don’t know what LA Alhambra is…google it and then look at my pictures below) because Professor Delgado wanted us to wait until the weather was nice enough. We took the bus up which was a little bit of a scary experience but definitely better than walking. We first went into the summer palace which was beautiful and the gardens were nice…then we went into the real palace and the views just took your breath away. The Palace of Carlos V was stunning but what was really amazing was Los Palacios Nazaries. AY DIOS MIO. I was weeping. I have been studying La Alhambra my entire Spanish career but to see it in real life…oh my I was shaking. There are literally no words and there is nothing like it in the whole world. There were all these kitties running around although it was a little chilly it was truly a blessing.
Okay…the next part of the day. The evening with Lolita. To give you some perspective…we had been walking around La Alhambra for five hours, we had skipped lunch, and were freezing. We arrived at Lolitas for tea and she was very dressed up. Now, I understand how crazy she is but seeing it for the first time through someone else’s eyes was an out of body experience. I lost it. When Lolita was preparing the tea I was laughing so hard that I was crying. She has all these trinkets and I mean you’re going to have to ask my mom or Alex to describe it because I simply cannot. There are no words. Imagine Dolores Umbridge (from Harry Potter) combined with…I don’t even know. Okay anyway, so we all sit down at the table and Lolita brings out COFFEE. We hadn’t eaten anything and it was 7pm and she brings us coffee but serves herself tea. Then she brings out these cookies, flan, and HIGHLIGHTER pink ice cream. It was revolting. Then she turned on the flat screen. My mom just about lost it. We were sitting there force to drink caffeine, eat this awful fake dessert, while watching Shakira on the television. It was hilarious.
After 2 whole hours with Lolita we ran across the street and picked up a bottle of tequila. We found a restaurant and settled in…spending the next 2 hours laughing about Lolita and the catastrophe that had just occurred.
On Monday we went to Córdoba. There are no words to describe La Mezquita in Córdoba. It was definitely a spiritual experience. It is so beautiful, huge, so old, and with so much history. Okay…I know my mom is going to kill me for this but this is for YOU Sarah Taylor! So we were in the museum part of La Mezquita and we were looking at the old Bibles and things in the glass cases. My mom was mesmerized by something in the corner of the museum in a glass case…except she did not know that it was in a glass case…she stepped a little too close and walked straight into the glass and it did not break but it made a really loud noise. At that moment this little tiny Asian woman, who did not speak English or Spanish, pointed at my Mom and burst out laughing. I. Was. Crying. I had to leave the room. I was laughing so hard. It was the funniest moment of my entire life. She was so embarrassed (sorry Mom I know you’re going to kill me for posting this on the internet but you’ll get over it).
We went from La Mezquita to a beautiful lunch at this restaurant that I had seen when I was in Córdoba with my class. While at lunch Alex pulled out her Córdoba info and she had written down that very restaurant that we were eating at. Proof that angles follow us around ☺ After lunch it was POURING so we drank wine and played cards until our bus came.
We had a lovely dinner that night. I had the BEST pizza of my life. I’m not used to eating out because I always eat with Lolita but Granada has some great restaurants!
I had class on Tuesday morning and then Alex and Mom picked me up from school. We went and had schwarma for lunch. Oh how to describe schwarma. It is kind of like a gyro? With shredded meat and lots of vegetables and this yummy white sauce. I think its Arab but I’m not entirely sure. We were SO full that we went home and laid down until I had class at 5. From there we met up with Katie and went for tapas near Plaza del Toros. Granada is famous for its Tapas. It is the only city in Spain where the tapas are included with drinks. We went to this restaurant where we heard the tapas were the biggest and most authentic. It was crowded with worker men tired and sun burnt from the day and we stuck out like 4 blonde American women in a Spanish bar (oh wait…) and ordered tinto de verano which came with a huge bowl of olives and 4 tapas. We got a bocadilla de jamón y queso, tortilla Española, avocado with tuna, and patatas bravas. YUMM Then we got ice cream! YUMM So lucky!
I know im missing details but its been a few days…on Wednesday I had lots of class but Mom and Alex walked around the caves in Sacromonte. We had a relaxing afternoon grabbed a nice lunch and went to the park. In the park we happened upon 2 of my friends Taylor and Sam. We had some Cava in the park and enjoyed the sunny day.
For dinner we went to a Flamenco show!! This was my first ever Flamenco show! It was a little touristy but it was an incredible experience. Authentic Flamenco is nothing like I’ve ever seen before.
Unfortunately I had to say good bye to Alex. She had a short visit but I feel incredibly lucky that she made it possible to come. I feel so blessed to have her in my life. I just want to breathe her air and soak up her Alex-ness. She is my biggest role model and I just cannot even explain how much she has influenced my life. I know I’ve told her this a million times but I wanted to put it on the internet ☺
So my Mom picked me up from school and we waited for Dad and Pete to arrive! I was so happy to see them! We had an authentic Spanish lunch of bocadillas and salad. I could not believe my eyes that my two favorite guys were in MY city! The four of us in SPAIN?! It was almost too much to bear. I went off to class and my mom took them to San Mirador de Nicolás. For dinner Professor Delgado was hosting the group at his home so I brought Peter and we had tapas with the rest of my class while my parents had a nice dinner. It was St. Patty’s Day so from there I took little Petey to his first bar. I bought him a TEENY TINY beer but he felt SO cool. Thennn, Bucknell had made it to the NCAA March Madness so the Bucknell group got together at the office at midnight to watch the game! It was so fun (even though we lost) booo. But we were able to get to bed early enough so we could wake up and go to La Alhambra!
La Alhambra. This time I had been there before so I knew what to expect. It was so nice to be able to take my dad and brother there. Dad loves history so he especially appreciated La Alhambra…especially when he found out that he was standing in the very room where Christopher Columbus had asked Queen Isabelle for the funding to find the Americas. We had a lovely day at La Alhambra and a relaxing evening. (again sorry about the lack of details but my memory is failing me)
We went to Nerja which is a little touristy beach town on La Costa del Sol. It was so beautiful and relaxing. From the Mirador we could see Africa! The ocean was turquoise and the sand felt good on our feet. We spent the day playing around on the beach and then headed back to Granada. I was happy to take everyone on a bus trip because the country side outside of Granada is so beautiful with all the olive farms.
Sunday was the day of FUTBOL!!! We were fortunate enough to get tickets to a Granada soccer game. A friend of mine from the Bucknell program who is from Macedonia joined us and he is a huge soccer fan and he and pete clicked. It was a BEAUTIFUL day 75 degrees easily! And we had GREAT seats! It was SO fun! The fans were so enthusiastic and it was a great experience. Granada tied 1-1 but it was still so fun! Stephan joined us for lunch and he has had an incredibly interesting life so it was awesome to hear his story.
Pete came to class with me! His Spanish is so impressive so I thought, why not? He came to my speaking class and it was so fun! I’m so glad he came. We got schwarma for lunch (YUM) and then napped! We were so full from lunch that we skipped out on dinner and went shopping until it was time for Flamenco! Bucknell had an organized excursion to see a Flamenco show. It was stunning. Lasjflasjflajkf I’m sorry I am so lack of details. The trip was too special to write down.
I had a midterm in the morning and class in the afternoon so I was occupied with things (I do go to school here you know…) the family went to the cathedral and enjoyed the city. For dinner we went out for tapas and enjoyed wine and each other’s company.
I would not be where I am without the support and love of my family. My mom…I know I don’t tell her enough…but she is an inspiration. I love her with my whole heart. She keeps me going and helps me grow. My dad makes me smile. He does so much for me and loves me so much. He makes me feel so special. And then there is Peter James…he is the comic relief. He makes everyone laugh and is SO smart. I am so excited to see where he goes in his life.
That’s all for now…here are the links for photos