I’m writing this post from my couch in Chicago. But I was just in Spain where I was finally reunited with my best friend for a short three weeks over the holidays. While I was there, I completely fell in love with Retiro Park. Retiro is like the Central Park of Madrid. So its HUGE, and has so much going on.
In the center of the park is a gorgeous man-made pond with rowboats people can rent by the hour. I opted out of taking one for a spin because I was alone. So instead I decided to plant myself next to a statue for some one-on-one time with my book, Sharp Objects (written by the same author as Gone Girl, and so so good).
Shannon came with me on my second trip to the park, and we got to see the Glass Palace, which is basically a huge building made of glass that looks so cool when the sun is shinning. The Glass Palace is owned by one of the huge art museums here in Madrid called the Reina Sophia (free with a student ID if you’re under 25!). When we went, they were featuring an American Horror Story fashioned trailer complete with beyond creepy music, a life size wax women, and way too many dancing puppets. Check out Shannon’s Vine here to get a better idea.
After the Palacio de Cristal we wondered around some of the park, and were BOTH pooped on by a Spanish bird. Luckily, a super friendly Spanish couple was eager to help us and spent a solid five minutes cleaning it off us, and asking if we were okay (maybe that’s what they were saying, it didn’t take long for me to realize my 5 years studying spanish were pretty much useless).
If you find yourself in Madrid, a day spent in Retiro is a day well spent (without actually spending any euros)!
Kayla and I have been suffering from some major tattoo envy, but we are weenies and can’t actually commit to putting something on our bodies FOREVER. So how do we get our temporary tattoo fix without resorting to those little temporary tattoos you apply with some hot water? Henna. For our henna project we used “India’s Best Dulan” henna; I bought it in Madison, WI, but I’m sure you can find a tube of it on Amazon.
Step 1: Channel your inner artist
Cut the very tip off the henna tube and start designing your henna tat. You’ll need to free-hand the henna design. Do not trace the tattoo with pen first, because the henna has a weird reaction with pen ink, and it won’t turn out right (I speak from experience).
Step 2. Patience is a virtue
Leave the henna alone for a hot minute (probably like 30 minutes), or until it’s dry and flaky.
Step 3: Brush that dirt (henna) off your shoulder
After a little while, the henna will dry and start flaking off your body. This is where you can start brushing it off. The henna ink is a dark brown, but it’ll stain your skin a dark orange color *neattt*
Step 4: Look cool & cultured
Sorry guys, most people know what henna is, so they won’t think you got a tattoo. But I can guarantee you’ll look pretty cool and read up on the history of henna so you can be cultured too.
Today we took an adventure to Wicker Park. Neither of us had ever been there and it was so much fun! It’s the epicenter of hipsters. It was the first beautiful day after a week of unseasonably cold weather; so it was the perfect day to go exploring. It only took us a short bus ride to make it to our destination. We set out specifically for The Buffalo Exchange, a cool second hand store, but we stumbled upon a few other gems in the neighborhood (not to mention awesome street art!).
We also walked by a lot of amazing restaurants. The whole area has a very modern feeling, and because of the nice weather, all of the restaurants had their windows wide open making it easy for us to feel envious of anyone eating the delicious food. Above is a picture of me (Shannon) in front of Glazed & Infused (different location from previous post).A coffee shop had some really cool interactive street art. This was a sign that passer-bys filled out with chalk that was provided. How fun!