It seems that I’ve been slacking like crazy on the blog posts this past week!! Many apologies to those who actually frequent my blog…I’ll be better, promise.
Friday the 25th marked the completion of my 25th circuit around the sun (that’s 24 years young, son!), and I couldn’t be happier about spending it here in Madrid. Because it is a three day weekend for Tracks I & II (and a four day weekend for everyone else in the USAC program), many students ended up travelling for the long weekend. Because finances don’t currently allow for such an extravagance for me personally, I decided that a low key day followed by a day trip to Segovia with a small group of friends would be the perfect way to celebrate. My day began quite nicely–I walked into the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee before heading off to school, and found a chocolate muffin with a candle, a scarf, a drawing of Batman, and a note on the table , which read, “¡¡¡Feliz cumpleaños!!! Para que soples tu vela y tengas un día especial.” Can you say, “Best homestay family ever”? From that moment on, I’m not sure the smile left my face once. Over the course of the day, my class sang me “Happy Birthday” in three languages, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a very special someone (thank you again, by the way), went out for lunch and later, tapas with a couple dear friends, and picked up a new outfit or two as a special treat to myself. It truly was a perfect day, and exactly what I had wanted.
Bright and early the next morning, I trekked alongside Ashley and Kat to meet Jordan, Devita, and Caitlyn to catch our bus to Segovia! I love Madrid and all it has to offer, but I’m no city girl–every so often I need to escape the busyness and constraints of buildings, roads, and people and surround myself with simpler things, and Segovia was the perfect place to be heading to get away from it all for the day. Stepping off the bus into the town of Segovia was exactly what I had been needing since I left Colorado. In the distance, I could see the snow covered mountains, green rolling hills, farmland and trees. It was perfect!!
Segovia is a beautiful town, rich in history…from the cobblestone streets, to the churches, to the castle, I immediately fell in love. We began our exploration at the aqueduct, which is perhaps one of the best preserved Roman monuments left in Spain. Being a complete Latin nerd, my first desire was to touch one of the stones of this massively beautiful structure. I touched a piece of history!
The rest of our wanderings took us through the streets of Segovia, where we stopped in a handful of shops, saw plenty of beautiful churches, toured the Cathedral, and visited the castle (Alcázar). The highlight of the day was stopping for lunch, where I dined on cochinillo (a meal famous in Segovia), drank wine, and took part in great conversation as we enjoyed our traditional Spanish lunch for nearly three hours. How I love this country and their appreciation of food, conversation, and relaxation over meals! After lunch, we took a long walk near the river, enjoying the cool air and the beautiful scenery before we caught our bus home to Madrid.
This Friday, USAC is taking a group of us on a trip to Toledo! I look forward to experiencing another day trip away from the city.