Perks of Parks in Madrid

Hey guys!

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.

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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.

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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).

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If you find yourself in Madrid, a day spent in Retiro is a day well spent (without actually spending any euros)!

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Spring Break That Won’t Break the Bank

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This Spring Break Kayla and I and our two beaus decided to explore a new city: New Orleans! As four college students, our budget was pretty tight, so planning was a must. We wanted to see the city, eat the food, and have lots of fun, but on a small budget. Our 4 day stay cost us about $300 (this includes housing, gas, food, and activities)! So now I’m here to share with you my bountiful travel advice for you poor saps who are also on a budget.

1. Housing

One of the  most expensive parts of vacation is the housing. Hotels can be an enormous toll on your bank account, and all for what?! You’ll hardly be there for anything other than sleeping. Enter the internet. When we were planning we didn’t even bother looking at hotel prices; we went straight to a website, Airbnb, that allows you to search for cheap housing in tons of cities. Airbnb consists of a network of people who rent their places out to travelers like yourself. They are WAY better than a hotel because you can get an entire apartment for like $80 a night! Our hosts were the absolute best and left us freshly baked cookies *yumm*, local beer *extra yumm*, and other New Orleans treats *supa yumm* (is my love of eating obvious here?)!

 

 

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2. How to get from here to there

Public transportation is your BFF. Trust me on this one. Once you get to your destination, check out the different bus, train, or streetcar systems the city has to offer. Also, don’t forget about those two wonderful legs you have attached to your body, yes I mean walking, do lots of it. When we were in NOLA we were lucky enough to be super close to the bus stop and streetcar. Even though we had our car since we road tripped down there, we pretty much never used it and saved a ton of money.

 

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3. Do Free Shit

Guess what doesn’t cost money?! LOTS OF THINGS! You don’t have to pay to go to a park, walk around a city, there are even some art exhibits fo’ free. The only activity we dropped a dime for was the swamp tour we went on*. We were able to save a lot of money by just walking and exploring the French quarter and a couple of other streets

*Lets be real, we also spent some moneyz on going out

 

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4. Sharing is caring

Guys, I know how hard it can be to share things. Trust me, as a twin I’ve had to share many many things with my beloved sister; including, but not limited to: faces (hello we’re identical), birthdays (duh), and everything I’ve ever owned. But sharing as a young adult has taught me a valuable lesson, it can save you a butt load of money. Restaurant portions are massive, so Kayla and I split nearly every meal while on our trip and it saved me big time. So if you’re on a trip and aren’t that hungry, or want the same dish as someone else, make your momma proud and consider sharing the meal with your bestie.

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Did you go anywhere fun for spring break?!

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