Tag Archives: Madrid

Year in Review


I don’t know about you all but I’m thoroughly excited about what 2013 has to hold for me!

Maybe because I’m a) a bit superstitious and b)my fav numbers are ‘3’ and ‘4’….so I have this theory that 2013 and 2014 will be some of the best years of my life. Oooooor this I hope!

I’ve already started the year off with a bang!

New Year's Eve with some Old and New Amigos in Madrid!

New Year’s Eve with some Old and New Amigos in Madrid!

Ready for Greatness!!!

Ready for Greatness!!!

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile but sometimes you get caught up in life. I’ve been having so much fun that I haven’t had time to stop and write it all down! (Better late than never, right?)

But I did want to take a moment and reflect on my 2012.

It was a strange year for me…not my best but not my worst.

Difficult at times but still full of Amazing Times and Memories with Wonderful People!


So Here it is…My 2012 in a nutshell (or ya know, various photo slides)

I spent the year having a blast with old and new amigos around Madrid and other parts of Spain…

This was the year of meeting many wonderful Americanas living/studying/etc…in Madrid.

It was the year of bonding with my AK (Anti-Karaoke) Family.

It was the year of gaining new ‘Brothers’…some Spanish and some British.

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This was the year I became a ‘Tia’…twice! 🙂

And the year I saw 2 friends get married….(Yup, the marriages and babies have arrived in Spain! Ahhh I thought I had left it back in the U.S.A.)


I turned another year older and another year more fabulous! 🙂


My Mom and Grandma came to visit during Semana Santa (and also in time for my birthday)!!!!

It was the first time that my Grandma had ever left the good ole U.S.A…..It was also the first time in 4 years that I had seen her. So this was a very special trip for everyone!


I also got to spend 3 weeks at the beach this year which was AMAZING!

I had a ladies weekend with my AK girls in Javea (with a quick day trip to Denia) in June.

I worked all of July and in August I worked/spent 2 weeks with an Amazing Family and their children in Denia (again). And afterwards I headed south to Malaga for a week.

I got to go on my first boat ride out on the Mediterranean and went swimming and snorkeling in the middle of the sea (Yeah- that’s right…couldn’t touch the bottom! And Holy Shizzz did that freak this Missouri girl out!!!!)

And I had one of the best tans I’ve ever had in MY LIFE!!!!! (You know, after I applied liters and liters of Mercadona suncream to make sure my white-self wouldn’t get burned by the powerful Spanish coastal sun!)


I climbed mountains.

I ran races.

And I fought bulls…

okay, maybe not the last one! 🙂


I gained a ‘Novia’….a Bestie for Life! Miss Alicia Castro!


And I had to say ‘Adios’ to one of my dearest friends here in Madrid for the past 3 years! My favourite Kiwi — Miss Polly Ackroyd


And in the end….I still stayed a ROCK STAR!!!! 😉


Phewww! See what I mean about not having enough time to write about it all????

I feel blessed and very grateful for all of the experiences from the past year and I’m using all of those things to decide on my new goals and resolutions for 2013.

What’s next???

My Goals and Resolutions for 2013….:-)



Intercambios and English Activities Madrid-Style


This post is being dedicated to all of my past, present and future English students here in Madrid.

Also to many of my Spanish friends and other people who I know who are always saying how they need to practice their English.

Well, in Madrid there are TONS of activities and places where you can do just that.

The “Guiri” (or Foreigner) Community in Madrid is very large and we LOVE to plan and organize events that let us do the things we loved doing back at home. Something to get us out of our little circle. Something to mix up our typical tapas/disco dancing/dar una vuelta around the city day to day activities here in Spain.

If you are looking for just a good ole ‘Intercambio de Idiomas’ (or Language Exchange) check out these places:






  • Cafe Madrid (Metro: Opera)@9:30pm/21:30h
  • Cachibola Pub (Metros:Sol or Tirso de Molina—in the Plaza Jacinto Benavente to the right of the Yelmo Ideal Cine) @10pm/22h—this one is put on by ‘Multilinkual‘ and the intercambio is after the Movie Night (see below—Extra English Activities)



(FYI: Weds.,Thurs. and Sunday nights have maaaaaaaaany options!!! So I’d say in general try a few out and see which ones you like. Intercambios are sometimes a gamble. Just try as many as you can!)

In General the Top Intercambio Groups..as in professional Intercambios are the ones listed below. When you go ask for these people and they are the organizers of these Intercambios and can help you meet new people (especially for those who decide to go solo to these events.)

Extra English Activities

Of course there are TONS of places in Madrid but these are some of the ones that I know or have personally been to.

If anyone has anything new to tell me about, or make any corrections to the info I’ve given above….please email me or comment on this page! Thanks!

Here are some other links to check out for more info on all of the above in English or Spanish!

Get out there….meet new people, get out of your shell and have a damn good time!!!! (And of course practice your English! ;-))


La Guiri

Oh Me Oh My…How Time Flies!


Sooooo it’s been a little over 2 months since my last post! But as they say….Times Flies When You’re Having Fun!!!!

Besides being busy with work and my rigorous daily traveling via the Madrid Public Transport systems, I did take time to:

a) Celebrate my 27th Birthday

My Ladies!!! Dani, Me and Polly at my Birthday Party!!!!

(I can’t believe another year has gone again!!!! I moved to Madrid when I was 23!!!! Holy Shizzzzzzz!!!!!!)


b) Have my Mom and Grandma over for a 2 week visit over Easter break and the week following it.

I hadn’t seen my Mom in about 2 and a half years….and I hadn’t seen my Grandma in almost 4 YEARS!!!!!!!

Soooo it was nice to have them here….of course the usual occurs when family stays with you for a long time….they do get on your nerves, buuuuut that’s what family members are for!

I have come to the conclusion after this trip that my Grandma Shirley is AWESOME!!!!!

And I’m A LOT LIKE HER!!!!!!!!

Things I’ve learned from my Grandma over this little 2 week trip…

*Drink a Beer or a Glass of Wine Everyday…..Not because you’re an alcoholic (1 is enough really) buuuuuut because you DESERVE IT!!!!

Me and Grandma and Our Tinto de Veranos

Beer and Patatas Bravas on a Terraza in Valencia

*Be Feisty and Let People Know What You Think and Have NO REGRETS about What You Say or Do!

Waiting for the Bus back to Madrid from Valencia….chillin!!!!

*Eat Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate EVERYDAY!!!! Why????…..WHY NOT, is the correct response to that question.

Eating Ice Cream on a Rainy/Cloudy day in Madrid. 🙂

*Take Pictures of Hot Waiters aaaaand call them Hot in front of them even though they don’t understand you. 😉

The Hot Waiter from La Pepica in Valencia

*Act like a child while at the beach….picking seashells never gets old!!!!!

Collecting Seashells…

*Be Active!!!…because the moment you stop, your age might catch up with ya and you won’t feel as young as you really are.

My Grandma Climbed up 7 flights of stairs in a tower in Toledo….

And this is what she saw! (Toledo, Spain)

*When someone won’t give you their attention…..a little ‘YOO-HOO!’  and a lil wave of the hand works wonders!!!!!! 😉

*Stop Your Bitchin’ and Be Grateful For What You Have!

*Work Hard…Always! Cause If You Don’t Work Hard You Have NO RIGHT To Complain!!!!

*You don’t need much in this world to be happy…Some Food, Friends, Family, A Roof Over Your Head and Some Clothes on Your Back…..everything else are extras that make the ice cream even sweeter….but plain vanilla, chocolate or strawberry is alright with me!

And what I’ve learned from my mother is…..

*I love her and I’m so grateful for her….buuuuut she is her father’s daughter and I am my father’s daughter which makes us Day and Night. And although she might drive me bonkers after 3 or 4 days together, she is still my Mom! 😉

Porras/Churros and Chocolate at the Valor Chocolateria in Madrid

Tinto de Verano on the Mercado de San Anton’s Rooftop Terrace in the Chueca barrio of Madrid.

Grandma…and the Valencian Beach La Malvarossa at Sunset.

Easter Sunday in the Retiro Park in Madrid.

Mom with her vino, pisto and tortilla de patata!

Mom and Grandma at the Beach in Valencia.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my pics….I’m getting ready for some new reviews! From Valencia, Barcelona, Santander and Madrid.

Happy Spring to All My Readers!!! 🙂


La Guiri

All Things Ameri-cuh! (part 3)


So a month ago I checked out a fun lil place here in the neighborhood of Malasana, next to my house here in Madrid.

I got so excited to find out they had Creole food here in Madrid!!!!

Creole food is a food made famous from Louisiana…especially New Orleans. And I LOVE it!!!!!! It’s got this rich flavor and can be spicy (depending on the dish). I LOVE Jambalaya and Gumbo (the inspiration for the name of the restaurant). And they even ha Fried Green Tomatoes and Pecan Pie!!!! I was seriously in heaven!!!!

The place is called….GUMBO.

Here is their info:

Gumbo Restaurante-Madrid

I think that if you want to try something new for the Spanish taste buds and something that is as American as hamburgers and hot dogs….then I think you should try out this place.

It is a bit pricey….but that’s because some of the ingredients are difficult to find here in Spain.

Gumbo Restaurant - Window Seat


Gumbo Restaurant - The Bar

I had a bowl of Jambalaya, which is kind of like the New Orleans style Paella. Lots of people like to eat it with Tabasco sauce (I only put on a little bit since I don’t want to lose all of the flavor of the food to the sauce). I want to go again this month and try their Gumbo. Gumbo is a stew or soup from New Orleans. And I also want to try out their Fried Green Tomatoes (yes, like the movie.).

Jambalaya!!!!!! (and Wine)

I did enjoy a nice wine with my meal and I totally gave in and got the Pecan Pie!!!! Hahaha…And I ate the WHOLE thing!!!!!

Delicious PECAN PIE!!!!!! YUM!!!!!

With only the Jambalaya and the Pecan Pie, I was stuffed but it did cost me approximately 15-20 euros for that meal.

But considering the place is owned and run by a New Orleans Native…..I rate it an 8/10.

I did enjoy the whole vibe from the place….lots of warm colors and funky furniture pieces. And nice music playing in the background. I think if it were more economic then I’d rate it a 10/10….but it’s something original for Madrid and Spain in general so of course their gonna make it into a posh place and charge more than most places.

Feel like trying some??? Let me know and I’ll join you. (It’s a 15 min. walk from my house). 😉

Check out some other reviews—

Trip Advisor Review of Gumbo

Google Review of Gumbo

Espana Profunda WordPress Review

NY Times Review of Gumbo