Month: October 2011

Kaixo, let’s rave in the Guggenheim

It’s Halloween weekend, which in Spain isn’t really so much about loving Halloween and dressing up as it is about having another party and more days off. I’m cool with it.

They call it “puente” like a bridge because it’s such a long weekend. (Nov 1 is “dia de todos los santos” so of course that’s a day off, and the next day too….)

Perfect time to make a quick weekend getaway to Bilbao. It’s less than two hours from Logrono on the bus. My kind of travel. The bonus was that the night we planned on arriving an event called “Art after dark” was happening. Check out details here.

11pm Friday night. Wanna go to the Guggenheim?

aerial view of the party people

I’ve been to a lot of museums (my mom is an art teacher). I’ve even been to the Guggenheim before (2 years ago). But this was EPIC.

After I got my 6 euro drink, I was ready to view some art. First my friend and I raced through Richard Serra’s spirals

you're allowed to race and scream in museums after 10 I guess

Then we went up to view some of the galleries and I fell in love with a particular untitled painting by Georges Mathieu. I was certain because I remembered his name that I would be able to find the painting later. Turns out he has MANY Untitled paintings….

So around 1 a.m when the museum rave ended, the night was just beginning.

We made our way to a club called Fever. The way there was littered with teen drinking in the streets. No pasa nada.

The place was huge and filled with different floors and rooms that all had different styles of music. The main and largest room was bumpin with techno. I danced myself into a sweaty and joyous mess. The metro back to our hostel would start running again at 6:30 a.m so….why bother going home before that? Taxi? pssshhhhh.

a good DJ = you cannot physically stop dancing

So the hostel was basically just storage for my backpack and a place to take a quick nap before starting off a day exploring Bilbao. We saw the Guggenheim in the daylight, the Calatrava bridge, and went up the Funicular to have a view of the city.

The Funicular. A little trolley type of ride straight up.

Hellloooo Bilbao

Then it was time to say goodbye and stop spending $$$$.

But first I had to take this photo in the bus station convenience store.

The northern Spaniards love their meat and mushrooms so much they even shape candies like them....

Halloween is tomorrow and for the first time maybe ever, I have no idea what I’m going to be and I don’t really care. Something will come together and I’ll have a great time. Spain is like that, and I LOVE it.



Mi piso (no) es tu piso

Welcome to my piso.

This door is like a leather couch. It’s quite the welcome entrance.

salon, living room

Those couches may look soft, but don’t be fooled. It’s like white rocks.

dining area, creeeeaaaky chairs

Successful ” family” dinners had here: 1 and counting

my big bed, with my new comforter and blanket

So happy I didn’t have to settle for a twin bed.

I do work here. Like gaze at that map ( then get lost) write post cards, lesson plans

I can’t wait to put my computer over that map.


The magic coat

No part of me could pass for Spanish. I’m tall, pale, and of course rubia (blonde). The Spanish people have staring problems anyway, and my height  is not helping me stay under the radar.

Taller and paler than other Americans as well. As per usual

But there is a lot of the Spanish culture that i’ve immediately taken too. For example pintxos (tapas), olive oil and wine.

I’ve been dousing a majority of my food in olive oil, going through a baguette a day, eating logs and wheels of rich creamy cheeses (Camembert, goat cheese, whatever looks good in the cheese aisle at the moment in mercadona), and spreading nutella on bread and cookies (but not on cheese. yet.). I also get patatas bravas, fried bacalao (cod), and large greasy mushrooms anytime I am out on calle Laurel for pintxos. And of course I pair it with whatever wine they have that goes at a rate of 70 centimos to maybe 1.50 a glass (pure joy).

look! i'm having a cultural experience!

This is the worst example of a pintxo. Most have normal names and are much more appetizing....

So speaking of not making any sense…even though I don’t have a scale, the fit of my pants tells me that I’m losing some kilos. I don’t know if this would work in the U.S, but i’m accepting this magical anti diet as I accept the rule of no personal space.

So as the tall, blonde, sticking out like a sore thumb person that I am doing paseos all around, I will tell you about the magic coat.

I decided to buy this camel pea coat type of coat that has a hood…and it’s just adorable in my opinion. This was post buying art books, and pre sheets, and towels. So I was having retail therapy for lack of computer. I’m better now 🙂

I’ve worn it three or four times now and every single time I’ve worn it, I’ve gotten asked at least one question about directions…or just unknown things in  Spanish because I don’t understand when people speak sooooooo fast– because they think I’m Spanish suddenly. I wish that just one of the times I’d had somewhat of an answer. I eep out my “no se” and then they are like ahhhhh VALE. and speed away thinking what a foolish mistake they have made by thinking I had a clue.

I don’t think that my magic coat would have helped me in San Asensio though. It’s a pueblo about half an hour outside of Logrono, and one of the bodegas was having a little fiesta where you could take a tour and smash grapes with your feet. The population is 1300 and they knew that I was NOT one of those 1300. I’m going to be on the lookout for their brochure next year because I’m pretty sure i’ll be in it with all the pictures that were taken of me…

At one point, I was in there. I Love Lucy style. AMAZING

my feet, far left

It was one of my favorite days here so far though. I sampled some wines, got purple grape feet, got a tour of the wine cellar, listened to the wine making process, didn’t understand the process, drank more wine, ate chorizo, more wine, had to buy wine, hauled my tipsy self plus box of wine back home and had a siesta.

pose with grapes

“Si al mundo vino y no tomó vino, ¿a qué vino?” – If he came to this world and didn’t drink wine, why did he come at all?

I’m not sure who said that, but they just treated all the haters who say you can’t go to a bodega at 10 a.m on a Saturday and drink to your hearts content.



super tipico

Just a brief update to the world.

I did laundry (probably wrong somehow- super guiri). It´s been sunny everyday for about two weeks now. I hung my stuff outside to dry. Then it decided to rain and be cloudy and cool.

Super tipico.

It´s also my day off.

Super tipico weather, super tipico….


I also finally opened my bank account. Boring. Tengo un montón de papeles. I might have signed away my soul to someone in the process, but I guess as long as I eventually get paid life is good.

I also wish that I could order dominos online right now. It´s the little things in life sometimes.


un beso


Not all who wander get as lost as I do

I´m at school now, awkwardly uploading my personal photos onto a public computer.

But así es la vida.

It´s day two of “work” and i´m invited to a teacher-staff dinner Friday that is somewhere and kind of expensive and I don´t know anybody, but I told them to go ahead and count me in.

In the spirit of George Castanza (Seinfeld fans) I´m doing everything opposite of how I normally would. I´ve been putting myself out there, going on walks alone, asking stupid questions, eating mushrooms, slamming people in the cheek one too many times trying to greet them or say goodbye (“you need to improve so you don´t hurt somebody….” direct quote) and the list goes on.

Not to say I haven´t hidden in my room and taken a siesta every now and then. But that´s more because I got the nastiest bloodiest blisters my feet have known since I did ballet and Irish dancing.

It´s a long story that I don´t need to tell because the moral is: don´t put on a new pair of shoes, no matter how comfortable, with no destination. Or sense of direction. If you know me, you know I need a GPS to navigate Oak Park.

To summarize Logroño so far:  cheap and amazing wine (some has been 80 cents a glass, literally cheaper than water) pretty dope pintxos, or tapas (even the mushrooms!) and beautiful land. (Ebro river, mountains in the distance, generally clean)

This is by the University (or who knows, maybe I was lost)


ahhhh nature- Rio Ebro



I promise to update my frequently now that i´m more settled because I have a lot more to say concerning, for example the drunken bum that has now harrassed me two mornings in a row that he´s never done anything to anyone, so why don´t I stand by him?

I´ll let you know the answer to that next week.

p.s more pictures are on facebook

Un beso