Logrono

Prom 2013

You get a lot of different answers when you ask people what is American (U.S.A). Kids in Spain talk about McDonald’s, Burger King, pizza…etc.etc. Okay so they get that we like to eat. Can’t deny it.

I am sure a lot of people think freedom, red white and blue, ice cream, Obama, corn, guns, New York, L.A, Walmart, binge drinking, country music, movies, flip flops, apple pie….

I think of those things, but when I had to think about lessons to engage teenagers beyond laughing at all the gun slinging fatties we call citizens I thought of the pinnacle high school event: Prom.

My mom scanned some photos for me, and I was able to scrounge a few off of Facebook (since there was a day in age when you had to have a college email address to get a Facebook…hem hem) and with google image searches I had a fantastic PowerPoint in my clutches.

As I am a sharing and caring teacher, I wanted my fellow cultural assistants to benefit from the love I poured into this presentation. What really came of it was the idea to have our own Logrono prom. We hardly needed an excuse to get dressed up and eat at a nice restaurant with the end of the year and goodbyes all around us, but prom is totally in the spirit of those sentiments and thus….

my jumpsuit from Santander!

my jumpsuit from Santander!

my "date"

my “date”

The only real dates ;)

The only real dates ūüėČ

Herventia

Herventia

Ready to paint the town red

Ready to paint the town red

Classic

Classic

Herventia

Herventia

Table "date"

Table “date”

This guapa

This guapa

croquetas and white asparagus- always crowd pleasers

croquetas and white asparagus- always crowd pleasers

rabooooo. Ox tail

rabooooo. Ox tail

A yogurt mousse

A yogurt mousse

 

We had the pre prom party of cheesy photos, the dinner, no actual dance ….but of course the post prom party where I allowed myself to be not lame for once in a blue moon and did as the cool Spaniards do and stayed out until 6am. Thank goodness for my low heels.

 

We also didn’t go away to anybody’s cabin and get murdered.

so….

Even though I just swore at my computer for 5 minutes straight because it shut down in the midst of this post, I still have the photos and memory of my final trip in Spain through Galicia. I should be able to post it before I pay off the rental car.

besos

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Tondeluna: Foodgasm

False advertising, this is a place on Laurel! The Torre (tower of yummy)

False advertising, this is a place on Laurel! The Torre (tower of yummy)

Feliz final! a dessert pintxo

Feliz final! a dessert pintxo

People ask me all the time if I like Spanish food or American food more. First of all, I’m not sure what they mean when they ask me about American food- I’m assuming they mean hot dogs, hamburgers, and scrambled eggs. When I think of what I eat at home it’s more like Mexican food, Italian food, Chinese food, salmon, salad, yogurt, peanut butter, fruit, umm… normal things right? Does that make it American food? Sure than I like “American” food.

But I like the food here too because it’s food, and it’s good.

There are a number of restaurants around Logrono that I never got around to trying last year so I’m trying to make it to all of them.

One of them is Tondeluna, off the Espolon Plaza. It’s modern looking and cool. You sit at long tables with people you don’t know and you feel special for no reason.

http://tondeluna.com/node/1

I went with Drea to “celebrate” the end of our Chicago movie that still isn’t quite right but we needed a reason to have a fancy lunch.

I remember having two options for eating. You can do the tasting menu which is sampling  items from each of the 7 courses offered for 25 euros. No difference in price for week or weekend.  This is nice if you go with one other person and want to share a few things.

Or, you can also just order off the menu as you wish….

We did the sharing tasting option. Here was our experience.

Butter?!

Butter?!

jamon croquetas- super rico

jamon croquetas- super rico

I was determined to discover that an ensalada rusa could be great. It's fine.

I was determined to discover that an ensalada rusa could be great. It’s fine…never will be great.

wine

wine

IMG_2916

ensalada con tartar de tomate- salad with shrimp, garlic, yummm

ensalada con tartar de tomate- salad with shrimp, garlic, yummm

my date

my date

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some rissoto

some rissoto

IMG_2929 IMG_2931

pastel de chocolate- with olive oil. Olive oil and chocolate together is my life.

pastel de chocolate- with olive oil. Olive oil and chocolate together is my life.

IMG_2944 IMG_2947

 

 

The tasting menu was perfect and after eating all of that food we didn’t feel like we were going to explode. We didn’t feel super poor either. Every bite was totally worth it.

If you plan on going call and make a reservation especially if you go on the weekend because It’s pretty popular. At least that was the advice I got when I called.

Buen provecho, bon appetit, on egin, enjoy!

un beso

 

Leon and Carnaval

Some of my resolutions just re surfaced in my brain and I’m realizing I haven’t done too many of them.

Running hasn’t happened recently because I was sick for a whole week. My academy students coughing directly into my mouth and licking things that I later touch finally caught up with me. It also has been as cold as Chicago and snowy! Lovely snow. The kind that doesn’t stay on the ground and create black and gray mush.

Cooking. pfff. If you are my facebook friend you know the other day I had the idea to make a “poor crepe” Here is the recipe.

A flour tortilla

Some chocolate

Put the tortilla on a plate. Put the chocolate in the middle of the tortilla. Microwave it.

Serves 1 poor lazy person.

I haven’t actually made it yet, so don’t blame me if you try it and it’s terrible.

Also, the other day I guess I was in such a rush and or exhausted that I just dumped my cereal into my coffee. It was like hyper oatmeal.

 

Besides all of these terrible truths about myself, I’ve been doing well here in Spain teaching like a maniac. Keeping busy generally helps me avoid more pressing issues like my resume, my next year plan, my singledom. So does watching Top Chef, Girls, and Modern Family. The difference between this pathetic reality and the one I have back in the U.S is that I can take cool weekend trips to places like Leon.

It was Valentine’s day. Was I really going to stick around Logrono and eat myself to sleep when I could do that in another city?

I still had to take a bus at 4am but at least my hair was curled.

I still had to take a bus at 4am but at least my hair was curled.

Crazy sculptures

Crazy sculptures

IMG_2819

Gaudi

Gaudi

Cathedral

Cathedral

IMG_2829 IMG_2830

Vermouth. 1 euro. Giant spicy olive. Felicidad.

Vermouth. 1 euro. Giant spicy olive. Felicidad.

An apple chestnut soup from a Restaurante Vegeteriano. (In Spain!?) www.vegetarianoleon.com

An apple chestnut soup from a Restaurante Vegeteriano. (In Spain!?)
www.vegetarianoleon.com

Teenagers. I can't escape them!

Teenagers. I can’t escape them!

A thoughtful gift from our new teen friends.

A thoughtful gift from our new teen friends.

IMG_2872

Camino goes through here as well. A peregrino.

Camino goes through here as well. A peregrino.

Parador of Leon

Parador of Leon

Cecina

Cecina

MUSAC. I don't understand modern art anywhere.

MUSAC. I don’t understand modern art anywhere.

 

My friend Leslie was a great hostess and I loved Leon. I would totally go back if time could just create more of itself.

 

Before this random weekend adventure was Carnaval. Last year I was a hippie, and I decided to make use of that same blue fur coat I got on Rebajas to be the Twitter bird. A LOOSE interpretation of a bird at best. I did buy yellow toxic facepaint from a Chinese shop (Chino) to draw a beak on my face but It’s nowhere to be found.

So hip

So hip

Only in Spain could I guarantee finding yellow skinny jeans. In February.

Only in Spain could I guarantee finding yellow skinny jeans. In February.

Hello little hat

Hello little hat

Twitter, fortune teller, goth

Twitter, fortune teller, goth

Hey Dj

Hey Dj

Twitter, tree, matador, goth

Twitter, tree, matador, goth

tweet tweet!

tweet tweet!

It was a pretty tranquilo night since by the time it was appropriate to discoteca….we just wanted pizza and sleep. Plus the disco was jam packed so tight I couldn’t handle it. PLUS I saw some of my students. Wasted. Talk about a buzz kill. Who is the one that’s supposed to be partying? I think it’s me, but maybe i’m wrong.

 

Seeing my students back at school after a weekend like that wasn’t weird though. I don’t have any sort of traditional teacher role/relationship since as I’ve maybe mentioned I don’t give them grades, speak to their parents, or see them everyday. I’m grateful that the drinking age at home is 21. Sorry if you’re young and want to go to bars, but you can’t because your teachers need to get away from you on¬†occasion.

 

I have a few more weeks of soaking up Logrono and getting some real life business done before two exciting trips.

1. St. Patrick’s day weekend: Lisbon (ya ya ya ya!)

2. Semana Santa (March 30-April 7): Budapest, Prague, Vienna

Yes, the girl who eats hyper oatmeal and creates fake websites in her head like poorfood.com, whatshouldido.com, teachyourself.com/imtired, etc… is actually super awesome. In terms of travel at least.

un beso

 

 

40 is the new black

40 is actually the new countdown number. You’ve probably heard of 50, 20, and the ever popular 10, but 40 has something to it. So does 37.

In 40 days I’ll go back to Logrono, and help the youth of Spain learn eeeeengleeesh! wahooo.

In 37 days my sister will be getting married to a great guy.

In 30 days I have a dentist appointment. ha ha who cares?

I ¬†abandoned this thing for the summer ¬†just like all other previous journals and diaries because I wasn’t in Spain and I thought i’d be way less interesting. Then I got an email that someone had left me a comment and I realized that just because I don’t look at my blog, it’s still always on the internet. So why does 40 matter? Because it was on September 6th of last year that I started this baby up. Of course then, Spain was much closer and held a lot more of the unknown.

After my initial summer blues of being home with no known job, and living with my parents again, I immediately became extremely ill. I seriously lost a whole week and a half of my life so I won’t even tell you about it.

I would however like to gloat that through this difficult moment I went on an interview and got a job, but that ended about 3 weeks ago…

Now I have taken to cleaning out my room, finding shot glasses in doc martins and beer cans among stuffed animals, a notebook called “Campbell news” proclaiming my mom as a chip and pop nazi, and this….

Back in my day we had tapes

Just endless things that I haven’t looked at since I left for College.¬†I give my sister credit for some of these precious memories too. Once we looked at them and laughed, off to the garbage they went. I still held on to plenty of dorky memories, because in five more years I’ll need to check again that they still matter to me.

I have to go on my couch to 5k run before it gets too hot out, but I’ve had a great summer and am again thrilled that it will soon be the season of sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, and LOVE! I even planned an entire OPI fall wedding collection of colors in my head.

For example: I love you a latte, A cornucopia of love, Orange you glad we’re married, something with red and apples, and something about the blue sky too. I seriously think if this whole teaching thing doesn’t work out my dream job would be in creating and naming nail polish colors. When I was younger I wanted to live in a trailer, so sometimes it’s okay if not all dreams come true.

 

Next exciting thing will be the shower! Oh la la

besos

 

 

Sports!

Logrono is one of the cities that many pilgrims pass through on the Way of St. James, better known in Spanish as El Camino de Santiago. I walk past arrows and the symbolic shells every day, so I basically do it every day ūüôā A small small part of it, because it takes several months to go the entire way from the Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela (routes may/ can vary depending on where you believe the beginning is…?)

Over the weekend I actually did a small part of it with some friends and we had a picnic. We were inspired by the spring like weather that has come to Logrono already. Toma!

a tad windy

a tad falling down.

If the weather continues on this sunny and springy path I’m going to keep not signing up for the gym that is directly behind my apartment (not an exaggeration) and start going on more nature walks. Especially the weekends I stay in Logrono; which will be 1 more before Las Fallas in Valencia (I’m going March 16-18th), and then many after that until Semana Santa (Holy week/ Easter / “spring break” April 5-15th).

I also experienced my first Spanish rugby match and Logrones futbol match.

If you’re like me you think of football as FOOTBALL, DA BEARS, DITKA! But, alas I am talking about soccer.

Here are some sporty pics….

Spirited fans singing (strings of swear words put to a tune)

the group before the game

Our color coordinated group

Turned completely away from the game...

rockin the logrones scarves

girls not paying attention to the game, but looking cute!

Rugby! Like American Football with no rules (fact).

extremely close to the field/ semi-danger zone.

Watched some friends practice futbol, and sat on the sidelines and did this ja ja ja while taunting them of course.

After watching so many sports, you may think I am sporty. ehhhh….I played soccer in 6th grade, I play tennis on¬†occasion (not in Spain), I recently got into golf, and I can still remember parts of cheers/ dance routines from high school. My¬†exercise of choice¬†is walking, and it’s the best kind I can think of living around La Rioja because there’s a lot of gorgeous areas to walk and hike.

In preparation for not participating in any sports, I went on a walk and snapped this. I live here.