Okay, so going back a liiiiiitle bit farther in time than my last post brings us to March 21st, which is the day my mom arrived in Murcia. My day started off cleaning my entire apartment because my flatmates, while they are truly wonderful women, are incapable of cleaning. Luckily I have friends like Laura who when I tell them of my plight are over to help me out within the hour. Fun fact: Laura is a Godsend. After some serious clean up and sweeping and mopping, my apartment was ready for my mama. Apparently, however, mama was not ready for the apartment. She landed in Madrid at 9:45am, but couldn't catch a train until 4:30, so she didn't actually make it into Murcia until 8:45.
I walked to the station (about 25 minutes) to go get her and she saw me before I saw her. In fairness, tall, curly haired blondes are rare so I'm an easy find. When we go out, my friends just look for my hair.. Like, it's that bad. But anyway, we walked home and naturally I talked about a mile a minute because I had so many words to say and not enough time to say them (daddy calls it talking "alex fast" - I have my own term). I got mom to my place around 9:30 - her 345lb backpack from Hell slowed us down - and made her some dinner while she showered and got ready to go meet my friends for drinks. We met up with Er, Laura, Be and Jaime at El Bosque Animado for some freaking delicious cocktails - mine was made with hazelnuts and happiness and all the joy in the world - we were some happy people. We talked for a few hours before it was time to head home and pass out.
Mom and I were going to go hiking on Sunday but it was super crappy weather and she was exhausted and I had an exam Monday, so we had a lazy day and I made mom some breakfast and we later met up with Er and Laura for döners (we get them every Sunday, I shared the tradition with mom). We went and got some coffee and then mom, Er and I went to mass at La Catedral de Santa Maria. Laur didn't come cause she looked like a homeless man at the time - she would call herself grim - and Er was nervous as a Lutheran in a Catholic cathedral but if you ask me God doesn't really care where you are or how you do it as long as you're thinkin' about him. The sermon was beautiful, as is the cathedral - grandma and grandpa Sandy and Craig would love it - and the priest was adorable. We went through the city center shopping on the way home and then I made mom Wahoos bowls for dinner! She says I'm getting to be a really good cook, I figure I get it from her and grandma Sharon.
On Monday I had my Semantics exam which was suuuuuper fun and then mom and I went grocery shopping. I knew it would be fun for her but good Lord the woman took pictures of eeeeeverything. It was hilarious. But adorable! I got her some fun things to try like pastries and the like. We got lunch at my favorite Spanish take-out place "Tu Cocina Siempre" and mom tried a Spanish tuna tortilla. We then met up with some friends of mine and headed to the mall to look for some Morocco pants - Morocco pants just basically means fun pants baggy enough to wear in a predominantly Islamic country without getting beaten up. I got two pairs but mom didn't find any she really loved - never fear, she got some in Portugal. Anyway, we headed home and I made mom some taco salad and we hung out with my flatmates for awhile - simultaneous translation is so not fun let me tell you (my flatmates speak almost no English) - and headed to bed.
Tuesday morning we went to Cartagena, somewhere I personally love, and spent the rainy day wandering the beautiful city and fighting with my quality 3€ umbrella trying painfully to force it not to bend to the will of the strong winds - my efforts were in vain. We headed home and got frozen yogurt with Laura. Mom went for dinner with the girls and I met up with Jake for a beer. We all met up later and went together for some sangria at El Togo. Luckily my friends and my mom are all pretty wonderful and the conversation was never ending and we were all very comfortable with each other. We talked late into the night until it was time for bed - some of us like to pretend we're decent college students who have to get up and go to class during the day - personally I've given up that facade.
Wednesday morning I had class and then mom and I went to Librilla for a quick hike so she could see the view - it's worth the hike - of the reservoir. We kinda booked it up and back down because I was worried about missing my translation class, which I ended up skipping anyway, but what can you do. Mom was super fascinated by the fact that we walked to the train station to take a train to a small village to walk through the village to climb up a mountain to climb back down the mountain to walk back through the village to wait for the train to take us back to Murcia so we could walk back to my apartment. In fairness, it's quite the process. On our return Er stopped by to pick up some frozen food of hers that I'd had in my fridge since the beginning of time, and mom and I booked our hostels for Tangier and Chefchaouen. I packed my bags - mom was already packed, conveniently enough - and used my last few hours to get a whole bunch done before leaving for our 1:30am bus ride.
This, my dear friends, is where I leave you, because I do believe this brings me to the beginning of my Portugal post, which I hope you enjoyed.
Side note: I don't know about you but I do a lot of traveling. I've lived in lots of places and visited even more, and I'm very blessed to have done so. Even now my heart calls three places home: Temecula, Morgantown and Murcia. And in my head, my three homes are worlds apart, and they almost are in the literal sense as well, so it is such an interesting experience to have someone from one world come to visit another. My mom coming to Spain was such an amazing experience because I got to show her one of my other worlds. One of my other favorite places. One of the places I call home. I truly had such an amazing time showing her. She got to meet my best friends, see how I've lived for the past four months, and try to understand why I'm so in love with this country and its inhabitants and culture. Thanks for coming, mama. You are such a blessing in my life, and I'm so glad I got to share this with you.
Oh, and not to confuse you, but we're about to hop a bus from Chefchaouen to Tangier, so now you have last week's update aaaand my current location.
I wrote this blog while living in Spain my second year of college - figured it wouldn't hurt to share.