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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5 Highlights from New Orleans

Its hard to believe that just a week ago we were enduring a 15 hour car ride back from New Orleans. I am obsessed with southern states; warm weather, tasty food, and southern hospitality. What’s not to love?! If you get a chance to make it down to New Orleans here are a few of our personal favorites.

1. Food! *duh*

The food in New Orleans was all delicious, and mostly fried. I think we all took an unspoken vow to eat seafood every single day, because how could we not!? Logan is the yelp master so he was able to find a ton of great places for us to eat.

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A “Medium” Shrimp Po Boy, a po-boy is just a fancy nawlins term for giant sandwich, from a local restaurant

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Seafood tacos from The Rum House and the best oysters in the world from Acme Oyster House

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Beignets from Cafe Du Monde! (An absolute must)

2. Drinks!

Let me tell you my favorite thing about New Orleans: NO OPEN CONTAINER LAW! That means you can buy a bottle of beer at a grocery store, and then proceed to drink it in the street! Sounds pretty crazy right? This was especially convenient when we went out on Bourbon St. In the bars, a bottle of Miller Lite can run you $6 (Thats even more than Chicago!), but if you buy from the street venders you can get a 20 0z. cup for just 5 bucks *bargain*. The side street vendors also offer shots; if you’re looking for the worst tasting shot in the world get a Cherry Bomb. Those suckers are only $1 but consist of Maraschino Cherries soaked in Everclear.

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3. Live Music!

What’s better than live music in New Orleans?! Practically nothing. Almost all the bars on Bourbon St. had bands playing, and the best part was you could take your drinks from the street and listen to the bands while enjoying your $4 22 oz. Miller Lite. No cover! Check out Shannon’s Vine account for videos

4. Parks/ Scenery!

We went to one gorgeous park when we were in New Orleans. The park was gorgeous, and had so many trees covered in Spanish moss, which is my favorite *so pretty*. The park also had an outside sculpture exhibit fo’ free! The whole park was really pretty; my favorite piece had four corgi’s arranged in a cube. So cute!

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5. Tours

New Orleans offers more tours than I can even list. Unfortunately, they are all a little pricey. We wanted to do a Voodoo tour and a swamp tour, but ultimately had to choose one (you can read more about our vacay on a budget here). So we chose the swamp, mostly because all of us are avid nature lovers. It was a little cold on our tour, but that didn’t stop us from seeing so many animals. At one point our guide pulled the boat over and fed marshmallows to wild piglets! If you have never seen little piglets with their mouths full of marshmallows, you’re totally missing out.

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***BONUS*** Here are some extra pictures from our trip!

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What are some highlights from your spring break?

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