Monthly Archives: September 2014


Thought I’d dump a bunch of pictures that didn’t quite fit into my earlier posts. Click on them if you want a bigger view. Enjoy!

View from the rooftop of a department store called Corte Inglés.

View from the rooftop of a department store called Corte Inglés. Look closely and you can see my reflection.

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Dos Besos

So remember that girl I mentioned who was from Mizzou too (by the way, her name is Leigh)? Well she ended up being my roommate during my two-week homestay with a Señora! I have to say it was pretty comforting to have someone to talk to that completely understood my college experience, and we even had quite a few mutual friends. It was pretty strange to be in a place so far from Columbia and still have someone who knew what Sparky’s Ice Cream and Shakespeare’s Pizza were. So Leigh and I ventured off to our homestay together, both struggling with our suitcases, and instead meeting some guy at the hotel rather than the Señora we would be staying with. But we went with the flow and assumed it must be some relative with a car who decided to help out. Continue reading


As I try to figure out how to organize this next post, my mind is instead on five ingredients or less recipes. Such is life when you have a small kitchen and only so many arms to hold groceries. But that is for another post.

So I guess I’ll start with the flight. I faced an almost 18-hour flight (the longest I’ve ever been on) with two stops, one in Chicago from San Francisco and later again in London before finally getting to Madrid. That morning before my flight I almost had a ridiculous mental breakdown because I couldn’t fit all the shoes I wanted in my suitcase (thanks Mom for swooping in and basically being a pro at all things packing related – glad one of us had a sound mind that morning) and then was basically terrified the entire car ride to the airport and sure that something was going to get screwed up. But surprise! Besides a small hiccup in London where I thought I would miss my flight, everything went accordingly. Though I felt a small joke was being played on me as I had to basically go from one end of the airport to another in both Chicago and London… Oh, and shout out to the rents! Neither one of them cried while saying goodbye, and their smiles and hugs definitely made the flight easier. Continue reading

What is VALE?

Realized that I should probably give a brief (yes, I’ll try to be BRIEF) description of why my blog is named what it is. First of all the Spanish world “vale” pronounced kinda like ball-ay (like the ay in hay) is something you will hear in basically any conversation in Spain. Not until my very last Spanish class while in college did I hear this word though because all of my professors were from Latin America. My very last professor was from Spain, and I was very grateful for this so I wouldn’t be entirely lost by the accent or different meanings of words here. Basically, “vale” means “okay.” There are other meanings, but in general it’s one of those filler words. Just as Americans say “yeah,” “okay,” and “sure,” Spaniards say “vale.” And I’ve been forcing myself to use it since I have a tendency to revert back to English words like “yeah” and “okay.” Why is it the title of my blog, well… why not? Continue reading

What am I doing? (Pt. 1 of ???)

I can already hear a collective groan of “FINALLY.” I’ve been in Spain for over three weeks and have been terrible at keeping in touch with everyone. I know, I know, I know. So here’s that blog you’ve all been waiting for (right?). Or maybe just my mom. Nonetheless, here’s the start of it all – my 10 months in Madrid. Continue reading