It’s been a long time coming- the final post of this adventure. If you want to skip around or just get a quick idea for you, the layout is as follows:
- Dickinson friends had the courage to offer me a second chance- it was worth it!
- Training for the Hamptons Marathon has already begun.
- Lily and I said adios to España and hola to DC
- More Minor News….
- Dickinson friends come to call.
In fall of 2011 I had the pleasure of studying abroad in Málaga, Spain. Before starting my studies there, I headed to Bologna, Italy for a week to visit friends who were studying there. Among them, my closest friend in college and a friend from the dorms who I liked, but knew less well. At the end of my week with them, we had planned a weekend in Munich, Germany for Oktoberfest which was wonderful, raucous, joyful, unifying, inebriating (literally) and now brings a soft nostalgic glow to our eyes when we think of it as memories of beer enthusiasts shouting “Prost” and momentary rock stars swallowing full liters of beer in a swig to the wild applause of the hundreds (thousands?) of us around them in the various tents. Anyways, after that excellent experience, my two friends promised to return the favor and come visit me in Málaga. A month and a half later, I gave them the dates for a free weekend and they booked their flights.
Well, it just so happens that I had also been awaiting the announcement for an incredibly enriching cultural trip through Morocco with the Legendary Dickinson In Spain guide and wouldn’t you know, it coincided with the exact date of my friends visit. A dilemma indeed.
“Guys,” I wrote,”I’ve got some bad news. I totally didn’t realize that that is the weekend I’m going to Morocco.”
“Shoot!” (Okay maybe they didn’t use that S word), “Like, you bought your tickets and everything already?”
“Well, no. But, I really want to go. I’ve been planning on it since I decided to study here in Málaga.”
“Okay…well, go another time! We’re coming when you told us and the tickets are bought.”
“Sorry guys, this has got to happen. I promise I’ll leave you an excellent guide of the city. You’ll have a blast. I’ll have to catch up with you back in the states.”
And that’s how we left it. They, of course, did enjoy Málaga (how can you not?) and I had the trip of a lifetime to Morocco and was exceedingly pleased with the choice I had made. Except for the fact, I thought, that I owed them one.
As it turns out, they’re better friends than that. In fact, they did Lily and me a favor. This spring, separately, they both took hard to find vacation days and funds to come to visit Lily and I with their significant others. Out of all the people to make the trip, it was the ones I had burned on previous plans. Now I know they didn’t forget that I ‘stranded’(read: left alone to enjoy) them in Málaga five years ago, but it’s nice to know that the time in between has solidified our friendship so much that they were willing to try again and give me a chance to finally be their Spanish tour guide.
All laughs in Laguardia when Alex and Katie visited.
Beautiful barceloneta beach with Pat and Danica.
“Paddy” and “Bear” in front of a furniture store that I can only imagine we will one day be co-owners of…
Fun running in early April with some fellow Dickinsonians!
- Marathon Training Part deux.
This time with a few guy friends rather than with Lily and her sister Susie, I’m running the Hamptons Marathon on Long Island. Just six and a half months after my intoxicating first Marathon in Barcelona I’ve decided to have a go at what is rated as being one of the most beautiful marathons in the US alongside some of my good friends from my hometown. I’m following essentially the same plan as Barcelona. It alternates hill workouts with track workouts every week, and includes a weekly tempo run which is where you alternate running fast and slow practicing gauging your pace. Long runs, like the actual marathon, I am doing on Saturdays. This is a fantastic change from training for Barcelona because it leaves me time to hang out with friends on Saturday night, and the whole day to recover and be as productive as possible on Sunday. We’re currently 15 weeks out from the October 1 start.
I was talking with someone today about travelling and the things you realize. Most of all for me is that it’s never about where you are. It’s about who you’re with. Being on a sandy beach in Mexico sipping pina coladas only feels so good before you need to surround yourself again with family and friends. But, if they’re there with you…well, maybe you never leave! Point being, Lily and I both love Spain. Even though we were leaving a place we both loved and had made many great memories, we are thrilled to be starting a new chapter in dc, despite the 6 years she’s already spent there and the 2 I’ve spent commuting. Being here in the nation’s capital now is awe inspiring, even compared to the many capitals of Europe we saw. We’re happy to be home, and happier still to have already seen many of our family and friends with plans to visit more over the summer.
Martin Luther at Thomas Circle, looking quite Ethereal with the full UV Spectrum filtering onto his robes.
Cool exhibition at the Renwick Gallery representing the 2011 Tsunami in Japan (or at least the energy dispersal by power and distance).
American has social dissidents too. The omnipresent anti-proliferation tent in front of the White House.
Renwick gallery nest like statues.
The Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
Luckily where we live we get to speak plenty of Spanish. We feel right at home and are blessed with delicious Latin American food!
Two things made the transition just that much easier. First, Lily’s childhood friend and her fiancé came to visit during our last week, not only helping us to bring our luggage down to Madrid, but encouraging us not to mope and instead celebrate La Rioja while showing off our favorite parts of Spain. Secondly,we planned a ‘strategic-transitionary-trip’ to Crete to see my older brother and fearless adventuring leader, Max, who is stationed there with the Navy. From the fresh food to the charming Cretan people, to the beautiful beaches and mountains, we were completely enamored. Lily and I would still both agree that the best part of the trip was getting to once again witness Max’s deep belly laugh and freakish athletic ability in person.
Max doing what he does best…
Hidden cove in Crete.
Los tres mosqueteros in Samaria Gorge, Crete.
Saying adios one last time to Calle Laurel, aka “Pinchos Paradise,” in Logrono.
Flip and Nora with us on a last stop at Bodegas Marques de Riscal, designed by Frank Gehry
I’ll never forget how nervous and then how happy I was when she said yes on top of Montjuic overlooking the city of Barcelona and the Mediterranean sea.
Pat, my best friend from Dickinson College, and his wonderful wife had come out for the week. He was likely sick of hearing about the fact that I wanted to ask Lily to marry me. He had known since last March when I told him of my wishes that it was coming, but like many who knew that I had the ring with me in Europe, had been patiently awaiting the proposal. Danica, Pat’s wife, was instrumental in helping to make sure Lily wore the right outfit and went along with the plan I had concocted in addition to holding the ring for me in her purse while we took a gondola ride up the famous city-side mountain.
Lily was under the impression that, since it had been Pat’s birthday a couple days before, we were there to continue celebrating and had dressed nicely to commemorate the occasion. When we got to the top, I began reading her a poem I had written and, after refocusing her attention away from the view (it was a great poem, the view was just better…) and avoiding a flock of Nordic tourists, she was hanging on to every word and beaming ear to ear as I dropped to one knee. That’s not to say I didn’t get smacked (playfully) on the arm a couple times for surprising her (She doesn’t love surprises), but still, it was beautiful.
Celebrating with the Haig’s at Quimet y Quimet after the proposal.
On top of the city, on top of the world.
So, that’s that. We’re engaged, about to start working, and happily living in Washington, DC. Come to run, visit, site see, eat, or all of the above. I will have to develop a new iteration of this blog, but as one chapter closes, another opens. So, we’ll see what comes out!
El Oso Curioso