Today I am writing this with only 13 days left in Spain! I can´t believe my time here is going so fast. But, every day is filled with so much fun and memories that I will savor forever. I would love to keep updating you about my travels here in Spain as well as keep these memories for myself as I grow here. In this post, I will be summarizing my first week here in Spain! I decided to write this post in order to get my thoughts and memories somewhere that I can come back to. Enjoy this and hop over to my instagram (sarah.ldavis) to see more pictures. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Let’s do this thing!
June 13 – June 16
June 13th, I left America my first time flying alone to Dallas, Texas then to London, England, and finally to Madrid, Spain. I honestly love flying because I get to see the world from above, kind of like God´s perspective, and I love seeing all the landscapes and lights of the cities. I enjoyed all my flights even with the jet lag that was making it hard to function properly. I finally got to Spain on June 14 at about 6 PM. That night Marta´s parents, two brothers, and I traveled to their home town, Toledo. I surprised Marta at a restaurant that night and it was the best reaction I could´ve asked for. Marta was so shocked that she just sat there saying, “No, this isn´t real, no, no!”. She finally hugged me and started crying which was what I truly wanted. 🙂 It was priceless. It was a surreal moment for me as well and I was overcome with a joyfull and excited feeling after waiting to see my Spanish sister for about 9 months. That night we talked and it felt like we had never parted from each other. The next day was a national holiday called Corpus Christi (meaning: Christ´s body) that celebrated Toledo. There was a parade that we attended in the morning and we walked the streets that were filled with decorations for the holiday. I really did love the parade, but I was still so tired with jet lag that I was still feeling pretty overwhelmed. We went home around lunch time and relaxed the rest of the day. Friday was another surprise waiting for Marta. The whole day was a day filled with swimming and sitting in the sun. We planned on going into the old city that night, but I knew the true plan of a surprise party for Marta. We ended up going into the old city and surprising Marta with about ten of her friends in order to celebrate Marta´s success in her recent huge test that determines if she will get into the college of her choice (she did amazing on the test). This was a great night that finally started to calm me and help me feel a little less overwhelmed. Every one of Marta´s friends was kind and understanding when I spoke English with them. We ended up playing games in the streets of Toledo and going to about 3 different restaurants with amazing food while talking and laughing with each other. This was such a good night for me because I finally felt a little at home and comfortable outside of my comfort zone. We ended the night with an awesome game of karaoke, where the girls dominated might I add. Then, we spent time together in the center of the old city and said our goodbyes after a fun night. Pictures of these days are below!
June 17 – June 20
June 17th was a pretty laid back and relaxed day. In the morning, we were able to go to the pool and enjoy the wonderful weather. In Spain, we go to the pool everyday, sometimes twice a day, because it is SO hot. I love going to the pool and being able to lay in the sun. That night, Marta and I met with some of Marta´s close friends, Sara and Oanna. We went to dinner with them and were able to speak in English the whole time! It was so great to be able to speak with them and get to know them. They were both so kind and genuine. This was such a great night that I will remember. On Sunday, June 18 we attended a mass at the Cathedral in Toledo. It was really beautiful and so different than what I was used to. It was good to see a different kind of service and amazing to see the respect that the Catholics have for God. The service was so good for me in order to broaden my world view. After the mass, we went to Madrid! I had been waiting for Madrid and was so excited to see the city as well as shop. We went to a suburb of Madrid and we shopped for hours. It was so different to see the mall so packed and overloaded with people! I am used to seeing about ten people in the mall where I am from. I loved the bustle of the city and seeing all the people! Some people can´t handle cities, but they are my happy place. 🙂 Monday, June 19th was another busy day with the Lion King play at Marta´s high school showing and some time for myself. Marta was in drama her last year of high school and she participated in the Lion King play as Nala’s mother. That morning, Marta had to perform for the little kids, so I went to the park near the school and was able to finally sit down and get my thoughts in my journal. It was so good to have some time for myself and with Jesus. I read and wrote for an hour or two. That night, I got to see the Lion King play with Marta and all of her drama friends in it! It was a great play that I really loved. Marta did so good with the two lines that she had in the play. Woot woot, little actress! 😉 After the play, Marta invited me to go with her drama friends and have some pizza at the park in Toledo. This night was incredible and so heart warming. Marta´s friends in drama know how to have fun! We laughed the whole time and had some really good pizza. Even when others speak Spanish I can see the friendship and laughter between everyone and it makes me so happy. Tuesday, June 20th Marta, Oanna, Sara, and I all hung out at the swimming pool and it was wonderful. We played lots of games outside and once again enjoyed the weather. I actually got a tan this day, so it was a success. I have been able to get to know Oanna and Sara pretty well and they are some of the nicest, most easy going girls that I have met. They are so easy to talk to and we are always having a good time together. That night was pretty amazing. Marta took me to the old city in Toledo and showed me history and legends all around the town. Guys, it was SO COOL!! There are so many legends and secret places with so much history in Toledo. Also, just saying that Marta is a BOSS at knowing everything about the history and stories of the old city. It was so good to learn more about the place that I will be staying at for another two weeks and I got to know a little bit about the culture in Toledo.
June 21st & June 22nd
June 21 was another day that I had been waiting for. Marta and I finally went to central Madrid! This was breathtaking and probably one of my favorite days. We did so much this day and it was all so good. We took the metro everywhere which was new for a small town girl like myself. Again, I LOVE the hustle and bustle of the city. Since we were in the center of Madrid, we got to see more people and experience new things. For example, we experienced two shows while riding the metro and we saw two men on the street performing as well! It was so cool! We went to the Retiro Park in Madrid which was so so incredible! If you ever find yourself in Madrid, visit Retiro Park! It features a palace made of crystal called Palacio de Cristal as well as ponds, lots of trees, and many many paths. We took a nap right by the palace and then we walked around while having a mini photoshoot. We then went on a boat ride while we both rowed and enjoyed the scenery. Pictures from this day are below. We walked in the park with a refreshing breeze (even though I got pooped on by a bird . . . TWICE) and went to the Cecilo Rodriguez Garden. In the gardens we fed peacocks and even saw a peacock show his mating dance to a female and it was so pretty! After the park we walked around Madrid and went to some small shops, but mainly just enjoyed the city and the beauty around us. Marta kept laughing at me for taking pictures of random streets, but I couldn´t get enough! Literally every street is so pretty. We got home pretty early and crashed for the night after a long, amazing day.
Yesterday, Marta and I got to go the Sara’s grandparent’s house and enjoy the pool all day. The pool overlooked some of Toledo as well as vineyards and other gorgeous homes. It was like a dream. Sara´s grandparent´s house was so beautiful and historic! Her sweet grandma gave us a quick tour and it was so beautiful. This day I actually got sunburned really bad, but it was so worth it. Oanna, Manuel, Sara, Marta, and I all stayed at the pool for the entire day. We had lunch together overlooking Toledo and enjoyed each other´s company! It felt so good to relax and take in the wonderful view. I even got some yoga and stretching in with Oanna who is an expert at yoga.
And there you have it friends! This is my time in Spain until today. As you can see, each day is packed full with so many things, but I love all of it. It is so good to see Marta´s life and get to know her friends. I have learned more and more about her culture and her home here in Toledo. I will keep all of you updated these next two weeks! Please leave a comment if you would like to. I love you all and thank you for stopping by. Have an amazing day loves!