One's destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things. -Henry Miller

Posts tagged “Thanksgiving

Giving Thanks in Spain

Naturally, Thanksgiving in Spain wasn’t as great as Thanksgiving in America, but it was pretty darn good. In fact, I had TWO Thanksgivings!

Thanksgiving 1: On Thursday, November 25th.

After work, I put on my spandex (let’s be honest, jeans are not the preferred attire for serious eating) and walked to a British restaurant called Casa Lopez Correo with my friend, Alex (from Iowa) and a new friend Casey (from Boston).

The Restaurant!

When the first plate arrived in front of me, I thought to myself…”Have these people done ANY research on Thanksgiving?” I’d explain all the courses, but it’s much easier if you just look at the pictures:

First Course: Pate, Some sort of fig sauce, Shrimp salad

Second Course: PUMPKIN (!!!!) Soup

Third Course: Turkey with gravy, stuffing, and mashed potatoes. Classic.

Dessert: Apple pie with ice cream! Yum!

Alex, Casey and I sipping posh!

A successful dinner! Afterward, I went home and spent some time with my friend, Peter and my roommate, and listened to Christmas music (Peter’s obsessed). I skyped my family which was amazing (I met my cousin’s newborn baby via video chat!!) and introduced them to Peter and Elias.

Thanksgiving 2: Saturday, November 27th.

I was invited to a Thanksgiving potluck at my friend Valerie’s and it was SO MUCH FUN. Everyone brought something and we had a huge spread of food and roughly 18 bottles of wine. We also were able to share Thanksgiving with a Spaniard and a Norwegian who were thoroughly impressed by the holiday.

I was appetizer girl!

Suzanne hard at work on her apple pie.

Some plates loaded up with food! Chicken (turkey was too difficult), green bean casserole, fried pumpkin, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes & veggies.

Marissa and Mickey (both visiting from other teaching locations in Spain).

Everyone enjoying the meal!

The lone cranberry sauce can.

The beautiful apple pie with a heart in the center.

Suzanne, Abby, Valerie and I.

I feel so thankful for all of the people I have met here, and all of the opportunities I have had as a consequence of this experience. While I do miss America sometimes, I am incredibly lucky to be fulfilling a dream that I had to live abroad. And to know that I am being supported by so many friends and family at home is so encouraging…especially my parents and brothers who are always the first to read my blog and continuously make me feel like I can do anything.

My dear friends and family, I am so sincerely thankful for you.




Otoño In Grana

I LOVE fall (otoño)!

The leaves are changing, and it’s getting colder here. I can’t believe that December is just a week away! Where does the time go?

I have three complaints about autumn in Spain:

1. There hasn’t been nearly enough pumpkin in my life this season (did I mention that I miss pumpkin flavored things on my blog?). To compensate for this loss, I’ve made three different dinners for my roommate and I with butternut squash. To Spaniards, butternut squash is also considered pumpkin, because it’s, well, highly undervalued. Anyway,  next year this time, when I am back in the U.S.A. feel free to ask me to make you some butternut squash risotto, butternut squash thai stir-fry, or penne with roasted butternut squash and sage. I’m a seasoned professional at this point.

2. I have been Sicky McGee for 6 weeks. Yes, six. Seis. Whatever your language you prefer…count ’em…1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. That’s extreme. So I finally went to the doctor.  She was very kind, patient, and we communicated in Spanglish. She prescribed me three medications which only cost 12 euros (go Spanish healthcare!) in total. It’s been three days and I can finally breathe through my nose. Yippee!

3. Thanksgiving. I’d like to start this bullet point by expressing my irritation with all of you and your facebook statuses about having a 3 day week. SOME of us (eh hem) have to work all 5 days this week. SOME of us live in countries that don’t know about Thanksgiving. SOME of us won’t be eating pumpkin pie (unless I can figure out how to make it with butternut squash…). The Spanish translation of Thanksgiving is “Accion de Gracias” literally meaning “the action of thanks.” I think this is cute.  My plans for Thursday include going with a few friends to a British restaurant that is hosting a Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not sure why the Brits are taking on the responsibility of this meal, but maybe they just noticed an untapped market. Either way, I’m hoping it’s delicious. I’ll also be live skyping in to the Blewett/Kolarik meal of glory.

Now to conclude this post, I’ve included some pictures. Yes, your friend Annie is the weird girl at the park taking pictures of leaves. Accept this fact.


My European boots in the leaves! These were all taken at a park near my school.

Expect a full report on my Spanish Thanksgiving later this week.

Besosss. xo

The Special Thing About Spain

I walk home from work (approximately one hour) Tuesday-Thursday. I thoroughly enjoy these walks because I get to reflect upon my day at work, and compare and contrast my American life and my Spanish life. Obviously, there are wonderful things and not-to-so-wonderful things about both countries. The one thing that I have decided that is remarkable about Spain is the sense of community here.

Ok, I know it's a TV show about a community college. But regardless, it involves the word "community" and I wanted an image.

Some examples:

My roommates treat me like family. They share everything with me. We eat every meal together.  The teachers at my school invite me for tapas, to their houses, to their hometowns for the weekend…they give me phone numbers of young people to be friends with. A couple of weeks ago, the bank took a little bit of time processing my first paycheck and my boss offered to give me money if I needed it to pay my rent. Do you know many people that would offer you 200 euro after knowing them for only 2 months? I met my good friend, Marta, on the bus when she overheard that I had just moved here and she asked me if I wanted to be friends.

I feel so lucky to have come in contact with so many generous and kind human beings. It’s made my time in Spain extra special, and made me slightly less sad now that Thanksgiving is approaching and I obviously won’t be home for that.

Sending some love to everyone in America.

Besos! xo