Who doesn’t love paella? And a good homemade one at that! But let me keep your mouth watering for a little bit and start earlier in the week.
The week began with more cold and rain but it seems to have finally turned into a Spanish summer – the last few days have been hot, hot, hot. The week brought more English classes and exciting developments in the progress of my residency here. On Thursday I headed to another cata de vinos, but this time with Jacob’s sister Paloma as Jacob was in Paris on business. Afterward we headed out with a friend of hers and had dinner outside on a terraza and enjoyed the perfect Madrid evening weather. Nothing beats having dinner outside on a terraza during these warm summer nights. On Friday I traveled into Madrid to meet up with Jacob’s aunt Ana Maria to take a walk around Retiro Park and go for lunch. It was a hot day, but Retiro was beautiful – all of the trees were so full and lush from the ridiculous amount of rain we’ve had (since the minute I arrived here!!!). Saturday Jacob I headed to Plaza Mayor in central Madrid to again enjoy the amazing evening weather and dinner outside in the busy Plaza.
So, the paella! Yesterday Jacob and I headed to his parents house for lunch. Lucky for me, his mother cooked my favorite – tortilla! Her Spanish tortilla is the best, hands down. If you haven’t had the pleasure of enjoying Spanish tortilla, you are missing out. Just to clarify here, Spanish tortilla in no way resembles a Mexican tortilla, they aren’t even closely related – Spanish tortillas are more like omelets consisting of egg, potato and onion. As if the tortilla weren’t enough, Jacob’s mother cooked an amazing seafood paella as well! I am pretty sure it doesn’t get much better than authentic homemade tortilla and paella!
The weekend ended with the quarter final Euro Cup soccer game between Spain and Italy. Soccer is obviously a big deal here, but the quarter final of the Euro Cup is pure pandemonium (especially when it’s against the Italian world champions). Jacob and I opted to stay in and watch the game rather than going out. After a full game and overtime with no scoring they finally had to make penalty kicks, resulting in Spain’s win!!! At the end of the game you could hear the entire neighborhood and city yelling and cheering. There was so much excitement that Jacob and I headed into downtown Madrid to see the festivities. It was nuts! If you were in Madrid last night and in your car, then you were incessantly honking your horn – literally the whole city was consumed by horn honking (even hours after the game). The streets were covered with people proudly displaying the Spanish flag in one way or another – cars, motorcycles, you name it, everyone was waving their flag proudly and screaming. I knew this country was proud before, but last night that became brutally clear. You truly haven’t seen fans, or country pride, until you’ve seen Spain after an important soccer game. Thursday will be the semifinal game against Russia….I can’t even begin to imagine what will happen if Spain wins that one.
We are off to Amsterdam this weekend and then I will be returning home to the States after that for a month and a half. The adventure continues!