Madrid, Spain

2018 has been pretty successful for me thus far.  I have been following most of my New Year’s resolutions – start yoga classes, meditate, continue learning languages, be more positive, give less f**ks about unimportant things.

As a family, Tony, Matilda and I are also making progress towards our family goals.  These include traveling to Russia (leaving this week!) and saving for a property in Sicily (I am Pinterest-ing Italian tile like crazy!).

But what I have been sucking at is blogging.  Whoops.  For that I apologize.

 

Today’s blog is about my most recent trip to Madrid.  Per usual, I was traveling for work and wasn’t sure what to expect upon arrival.  I had heard many wonderful things about Madrid, but in my travels I have found that cities have their own personalities.  With these cities, as in life, not all personalities are compatible.  For example, I don’t mesh well with Barcelona, Dusseldorf, or Delhi.  But I get along very well with Athens, Paris, and Salzburg.  Where would Madrid fall?

I had less than 48 hours in the city but in that short amount of time, Madrid and I meshed very well. 🙂

What I first noticed on the drive in from the airport was all of the gorgeous sunshine.  The sky didn’t have a single cloud in it, and I later learned this is pretty standard for Madrid.  The majestic and historic looking buildings along Gran Via were all very clean; same with the sidewalks and streets.  The people walking Gran Via were trendy and beautiful, but also approachable.  The vibe was lively and talkative, yet relaxed.  You could find both fancy and casually dressed people throughout.  They were popping in and out of expensive stores, cheap stores, food stands and 5 star restaurants.  Everything was next to each other, everything was calm, and everything was absolutely my speed.

madrid

madrid

madrid

I spent my only night in Madrid wandering Gran Via, the main street of Madrid.  I took a lot of the back streets, and that is where I got to truly experience Madrid. These sights were coupled with the mixed smells of Spanish jamon, red wine, cigarettes and young boy’s cologne.  I made sure to indulge in both the red wine and jamon, melting further into my seat with each savory bite.

madrid

madrid

I had less than 48 hours in Madrid, but I feel like I left having made a great friend.  My short trip was extremely impactful and memorable, and I am already looking forward to returning.

 

 

Greek Goddess Inspired Fashion

What do you picture when you think of a Greek Goddess? Do you see large, white statues made of marble? Or strong and serene women sitting amongst the clouds? I envision long flowing garments, caught in the wind.  It is with this in mind that I began packing for our most recent trip to Athens. I looked to the Greek goddesses themselves for inspiration.

When speaking of Athens, I still smile broadly. It was such an unexpected treasure and quickly shot to one of my top 5 most favorite destinations. When packing for Athens, we were able to leave our winter coats and clothes behind in favor of milder weather. In late November, Athens was warm enough to forgo boots and heavy coats, but cool enough to be comfortable walking around in all day.  The constant sunshine was an added bonus to this magnificent trip.

Getting back to Greek goddess inspired fashion, we walked the same steps as the goddesses were said to have walked. Putting myself in that mindset, I picture graceful movements up and down the steps of the Parthenon; long flowing garments that offer ease of movement and ripple with the wind.  The dress I had purchased for traveling through Saudi Arabia was perfect.  It flowed, it was comfortable and light-weight, and it felt very Grecian.

greek goddess

greek goddess

greek goddess

greek goddess

What the Missus Wore:  Dress from Modanisa//Shoes from Seychelles//Sunglasses from Louis Vuitton

While I wasn’t a goddess looking down upon the people of Greece, experiencing the Parthenon first hand sure felt special. The dress didn’t hurt, either. 🙂

Until next time…

A Joyous New Year

2018 has started off as a joyous New Year, with our first three days spent in our home town of Chicago.  Our most recent visit was one of the best we’ve ever had.  Matilda has added a whole new level of specialness to our visits home and this Christmas and New Year was no exception.

As part of this Chicago visit, we first hosted Matilda’s baptism.  The rest of the visit was spent catching up with family and friends and celebrating both the Christmas and New Year holiday.  We were in Chicago for three weeks, and I am so thankful to my parents for hosting us.

Aside from the baptism, some of the highlights of the trip included:

Matilda interacting with other children

As Matilda is almost one year now, she is at a very fun age.  She is chatty (though not speaking real words), mobile, and very interactive.  Her personality is really taking shape – both the good and bad parts. 🙂

She interacted with many other kids this trip – my nephew, my cousin’s children, and my best friend’s children.  Her interaction with her cousin, Adrian was the funniest, though.  Adrian has an extremely sweet demeanor.  We were teaching him to share toys, and while Matilda liked the toys, she liked Adrian more.  She kept grabbing his shirt collar to pull him closer to her.  That act frightened him a bit, so he would slowly scoot away.  It was hysterical to watch, and perhaps a preview into their relationship down the line.

Catching Up with Friends

Since we were home for 3 weeks, I got to spend extra time with my best friends.  We weren’t rushed like we have been during past visits. It also allowed for visiting friends I see less frequently, such as my friend Jordan who lives in Washington, DC.

Spending Time with Family

This extra time gave us real quality moments with our families.  Staying with my parents exposed them to the funny nuances and quirks of Matilda’s personality, and gave them a glimpse into our daily interactions with her.

We helped my sister move into a beautiful new home and were able to personally share in her joy and excitement.  And I visited with aunts and uncles more frequently than in the past.

It was so nice, in fact, it felt like we had moved back to Chicago!

The Food!

I can’t forget our beloved Chicago-style food.  Hotdogs and beef sandwiches from Portillos, pizza from Pizano’s and Barnaby’s, Mexican from the local hole in the wall…it was awesome.  The problem, however, is the extreme weight gain that occurs eating food like this.  Oh well, that’s what New Year’s resolutions are for. 🙂

Sadly for us, all 3 of us caught a nasty cold the last week we were in town.  We had to cancel our NYE plans but it ended up meaning a great night in with my parents.  We ordered Wildfire steaks for take out and I still made us all dress up to ring in the New Year.

Cheers to another great visit home – my sincerest thanks to my parents for hosting us and letting us take over their house!

And cheers to a great New Year!