Wow...so I have done an awful job at updating my blog in the past couple of weeks and I deeply apologize! I have so many adventures to share with you all so I hope you don't mind reading a few long blogs all at once :)
To begin, my mom came and visited me during my fall break!!! She arrived in Rome on Friday October 23rd and we spent the weekend wondering around the sights of Rome and I showed her how my life has been here. It was fun to be able to show her where I eat and the trams I ride every day to school and my favorite pizza restaurant. After a whirlwind tour through Rome we got on a plane on Sunday and headed to Barcelona!!
We spent three full days in Barcelona and my good friend, Jenna from DU, met up with us and we explored the city together. Mom and I spent the first day exploring the streets of Barcelona. We visited the Santa Maria del Mar which I would say is my mom's favorite cathedral and from a book that my mom and I had both read, Cathedral of the Sea. Afterwards we went to the Picasso Museum and saw Picasso's rendition of Velazquez's Las Meninas. Much to Jeff's satisfaction, we decided to do the double decker tour bus one day in order to see all the sights (Jeff makes fun of me because I love these buses). We were able to make it to all the Gaudi architecture. Jenna and I decided to put it on our bucket lists to come back to Barcelona when the Sagrada Familia is finally completed. We'll be about 80 years old but who cares!
I have decided to come up with a list of "favorites" during my time abroad so I determined that my favorite monument is the Christopher Colombus monument in Barcelona. I also determined that I loved being able to communicate better with the Spaniards! Although in Barcelona most people speak Catalan, I was still able to use Spanish (which I definitely know more of than Italian!) and was able to communicate with the people. It really made me want to get back into Spanish.
The last night in Barcelona, Jenna and I shared an excellent meal of various tapas...and an entire bottle of cava ;)
After Barcelona, my mom and I headed to Madrid! In Madrid we went to the Prado Art
Museum and mom was able to see some of her favorite paintings, including Las Meninas. We also went to the Renee Sophia museum and saw Picasso's Guernica. This could possibly be on the my favorite lists as my favorite painting. It's incredible! We also toured the Palace Real and Catedral de la Almudena which is by far my favorite cathedral in Europe (so far!).
The best part about Madrid was when we were exploring the different Plazas. We went to the Plaza di Toros where they have the bull fights. Unfortunately there were not bull fights while we were there (just another thing to put on my Bucket List!). Afterwards we went to Plaza Mayor. When my mom was out of college she and one of her friends had traveled all through Europe so she was excited to go back to all these places, like Plaza Mayor, that she has been to before..but now she was with her daughter :).
At Plaza Mayor we found a store that sold family crests and we found Medina!!! I was so excited!
I really enjoyed spending my fall break in Spain and connecting with a part of my heritage that I never really cared all that much about. I loved the feeling of embracing my family name and speaking Spanish and being around my culture. However, it did make me miss my grandpa a whole lot :( But I am sure he was looking down from heaven, smiling and singing Hallelujah as he watched me explore his country :)
While in Madrid, I was also able to see my friend Brittany who is studying there and my friend from high school Ellen. It was so wonderful to visit them and it was made me appreciate the fact that all of us are in so many different places in the world, experiencing different things and cultures and I cant' wait to be able to share them all with one another!
Oh...I also decided I want to live in Spain for some time in my life :)