After 3 months apart, I finally got the opportunity to reunite with my family in the beautiful city of Madrid! I was beyond happy to see them and the cute little Airbnb they had rented for the weekend. It was an extensive filled with lots of sight seeing, laughs and love. This being said, it’s funny how your parents and siblings don’t stop driving you crazy when you’ve been away from them for such a long!

Friday we had a delicious brunch in Madrid followed by lots of landmarks such as the Palacio Real and the Prado. I loved the Prado especially. It was really fun to see so much Spanish art I had learned about either in my high school art history class or in my Spanish culture and history class I am currently taking in San Sebastián. My parents and I also went on to see the Guernica by Picasso, which was incredible. I had just learned about the bombing of Guernica, so it made a lasting impact to see the work that had been inspired by the tragedy. At night we had an AMAZING paella dinner at a restaurant called Rosi La Loca, I highly recommend to anyone planning on visiting Madrid!

Saturday we took a day trip to see the Escorial and Segovia. Both were equally enriched with tons of history dating back to both ancient Roman and medieval times in the case of Segovia. The walled city is home to a Roman aqueduct that ran for 9 miles transporting water for the city… easily one of the most impressive architectural feats I’ve seen since being abroad here. The castle in Segovia, as told by my mother, is apparently the one that they modeled Sleeping Beauty’s castle after in the Disney movie. (If that’s incorrect quote my mom not me!) I always find myself mesmerized by the ceilings of castles and palaces. They are always so intricate and it makes me wonder how someone could have made a wall let alone a ceiling in such a manner! That night we went to El Mercado de San Miguel for dinner and to this moment I wish I could go back for every meal. The atmosphere was so great as well as the food! I wish I had more time in Madrid for sure, it’s on my list of places I need to return to in future years (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

After our weekend in Madrid I got to show the fam around San Sebastián, my hometown for the semester :). My friends and I took them out in Parte Vieja for pintxos (Basque word for tapas) Sunday night and followed it up with artisan popsicles at a little place about 5 minutes from my apartment. Monday we had a delicious lunch at a beachfront restaurant and I showed them the wind comb sculptures and the view from the top of the funicular, two of my favorite places in town. We had another fun pintxo night because we weren’t up for a sit down restaurant meal, but how could you ever go wrong with pintxos?! Monday and Tuesday were shopping days as well which I personally loved as well obviously. As much as I loved Madrid, my favorite part of the weekend was definitely getting to show my family around my city that I’ve come to call home.

Time just keeps ticking and I officially have three days left of classes before finals week has arrived. I’m currently on my plane to Interlaken, Switzerland for a weekend of solo adventures that I’ve been planning since early August. It’s so hard to believe it’s finally here, and that I only really have about two weeks or so left living in and exploring Europe. I have been getting pretty sad thinking about it, but I’m trying to stay positive and reflect back on how lucky I have been to spend this time here. I’ve learned a ton and grown so much as a person, I can’t really say I regret any moment at all. Enough talk about leaving though… I still have three more weekend trips before I’ll have to be dragged onto my flight back to the states!!

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