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Tag Archives: Madrid

Traditions are Made to be Broken

Oh boy, the holidays are officially here!  It’s now time for the Christmas tree, ornaments, lights, and stockings.  It’s time to buy and wrap presents, send out our holiday greeting cards, and plan that Christmas day feast!

For me, this is literally the most wonderful time of the year.  I love the pine smell, the red, green, and white colors, the family traditions, and that Michigan white Christmas.  I look forward to the end of the year holidays, and I thoroughly enjoy spending that time with family and friends.

However, this year, for Christmas 2012, I am away from Michigan, away from the snow, and away from my family.  I am celebrating the holidays for the second time in my life away from everything I know and love.  I am in Spain, a country who only recently began celebrating Christmas on the 25th – their Christmas (or Reyes as they call it, when the Kings came to see baby Jesus) is celebrated on the 5th of January.  I will not see my mother, or my father, or my sister.  I was not able to decorate my family Christmas tree, and share in our tradition of watching ‘White Christmas’.  I am missing out on a time that is usually so special to me.

However, I can see Rudolph’s red nose at the end of the tunnel.  Because though I may not have the regular traditional Christmas I am used to celebrating, I will be surrounded by my boyfriend Sergio, his family, and my cousin and her boyfriend whom are flying out to be with me.  So, I am pleased to say that the 2012 holiday season will not be lost!

Here in Pinto, the small town outside of Madrid where my boyfriend and I live, we did manage to bring some Christmas cheer to our small but homey apartment.  I had to replace a large yard and rooftop with a small 2nd floor balcony; a real green Christmas tree with a short white fake one; and real cold snow with stick-on snowflakes.  It may not be the real thing, but it is our thing.

Our 8 Euro Christmas tree fit inside that box.

Our 8 Euro Christmas tree fit inside that box.

We named her Snow White!

We named her Snow White!

The ball of present lights.

The ball of present lights.

Snow White all lit up!

Snow White all lit up!

Our favorite - both ghetto and tacky!

Our favorite – both ghetto and tacky!

España all lit up!

España all lit up!

My handy work - and yes, each snowflake is different!

My handy work – and yes, each snowflake is different!

I'm a proud Christmas mama!

I’m a proud Christmas mama!

The view from the street.

The view from the street.

And we can't forget about Santa, who is riding a lego VW van!

And we can’t forget about Santa, who is riding a lego VW van!

 

Traditions will always be there, no matter where in the world you may be.  And though this may not be my regular traditional holiday decorating, it’s something new that I will forever be able to cherish.  So, for this year, goodbye my regular Michigan Christmas, and hello my unique, once in a lifetime Spanish Christmas!

Happy Holidays Everyone and Happy Decorating!

🙂

Will you be missing out on any usual holiday traditions this year?  If so, let us know in the comment section below!

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Daily Question: Rate Your Happiness

Daily Question by Thought Questions

A:

Today, I am a 8 on a happiness scale.

I am still in Michigan, surrounded by my family and best friends.  Though I had an uncomfortable nights sleep last night, I woke up happy because my kitty cuddled with me all night.  We’re about to get lunch at Thai, and then thrift shop the afternoon away – my two favorite things in the world!  And finally, everyone that I love is happy and healthy.

While all of these things are amazing, the two points keeping me away from a full 10 of happiness is the fact that I leave the States next Tuesday.  Six days from now I leave my parents, sister and brother, cousin, and all of the people who give me strength, and I go back to my life in Spain.  I am excited to go back to our apartment in Madrid, and I am ready to start school once more, however just the thought of leaving the States brings my happiness level down a couple of notches.

But otherwise, I am going to enjoy the last days here with everyone, and though I will be sad when I leave, I will try to bring a positive attitude back to Spain!  🙂

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How happy are you today?

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*Don’t forget to leave a link of your own answers to the daily question in the comments section below!  The photo was taken from thoughtquestions.com.*

Wordless Wednesday

Bahamian Boy

Overboard. Took this at a gay parade in Madrid a few years back.

Dear Alberto

Today is Spain’s Father’s Day, and I just wanted to give a shout out to my Spanish father, which would be my boyfriend’s father, Alberto.

Like I mentioned in today’s Daily Question, the first 2 years I lived in Spain I lived with my boyfriend and his parents.  Though it took some getting used to, I was truly grateful for my boyfriend’s parents taking me in and treating me like their daughter.

Though they spoke no English, and I spoke no Spanish, we created our own little language, equipped with lots of exaggerated hand movements.  They supported me financially, emotionally, and physically.  They were there for me if I needed a shoulder to cry on from being homesick, or if I just needed to talk with them about anything that was on my mind.

They have been an important part of my life here in Spain, and now that my boyfriend and I have our own place, which is about 20 minutes from their house, and I’m unable to see them everyday like I used to, I still think about them daily and all the ways they helped me survive the first crucial years of living abroad.

He is truly my 3rd father – after my real dad and my step-dad – and I will never, ever forget him.

So, Felicidades Alberto.  Muchas Gracias por todo.

And Happy Father’s Day to all the Spanish fathers out there!

🙂

Alberto is the guy with the scarf in the middle, with the big smile and holding up Flat Stanley. Angelines - my 3rd mother, Alberto's wife, and my boyfriend's mom - is the woman next to him in the white coat. They are my Spanish lifeline. ❤

Daily Question: A Rainy Day

Daily Question by Thought Questions

A:

Here in Madrid, Spain, it has been the driest winter in 60 years.  Needless to say we miss the rain, and it’s supposed to  rain for the first time all year today, so all are pretty excited!

The things I love best about a rainy day are the sounds of the rain pattering on the roof, the dark, dreary sky, which makes for a perfect indoor-reading day, and the smell after the rain subsides.

I may love a sunny, warm day, however a rainy day every once in a while is needed to keep us all sane.

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What do you like about a rainy day?

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*Don’t forget to leave a link of your own answers to the daily question in the comments section below!  The photo was taken from thoughtquestions.com.*

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Happy Wednesday Readers!  Can you believe that Christmas is this Sunday?!

This will be the first Christmas in my entire life where I will not be home for the holidays.  There will be no snow, none of my family’s holiday traditions, and no presents underneath my Christmas tree.

Instead of being home for Christmas in Michigan, I will be spending my first Christmas here in Madrid, Spain.  Instead of snow, we have rain.  Instead of Santa Claus, we have the Three Kings.  And instead of opening presents on the 25th, we open presents on the 6th of January.

Yes, it will be an extremely different Christmas, however new Christmas traditions form with age and change.  And besides, the best and most important part of the holidays is being with family and loved ones.

Which is why, even though I will not be home, it will still feel like the “most wonderful time of the year” because my family – my sister, mother and step-dad – are here in Spain celebrating the holidays with me!

(from left to right) My sister, my boyfriend, and myself in Madrid.

I have not seen them since October, and after they leave on the 6th of January I will not see them again until summer time, so it is extremely nice to be in their presence for these upcoming 3 weeks!

So, because the holidays are here and I have my family to entertain me, I would like to apologize for my lack of posting yesterday, and warn that in the future – at least for the next 3 weeks – I may not be updating Palm Trees & Bare Feet regularly.  

However, I’m sure you won’t be too sad without my regular posting since I’m sure I’m not the only one unable to blog regularly during the holiday season.  And besides, with family and friends, hot cocoa and gingerbread, and snowball fights and present giving, we will (at least should) completely forget about the un-realities of the virtual world.

So Happy Holidays All and Merry Christmas!

I Hope This Truly is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year For You!

One of the lit up Christmas trees in Madrid.

 

Daily Question: Looking in Life

Daily Question by Thought Questions

A:

Literally, The Boyfriend and I are looking for a house.  We would like to move out of his parent’s home – don’t worry I’ll explain in a later post why Spanish children live with their parents until they are 30 years old – and we are trying to find a place of our own.
It is actually proving quite difficult.  Of course, the economy is bad so we have a pretty low budget, however, we won’t settle for just anything.  And so far, everything we’ve seen is not where we want to spend the next 4 or more years living!
So, to answer what I am currently looking for in life right now, it is: a future cheap(ish) yet livable house which we can enjoy living in.

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What are you looking for in life at the moment?

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*Don’t forget to leave a link of your own answers to the daily question in the comments section below!  The photo was taken from thoughtquestions.com.*