Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Madrid: Birthday Bash

Anita´s 10th birthday.  Cause for a celebration.
One of the many tasty items we enjoyed that night.
(Alright- false.  Didn´t get near these, but tried some other tapas.)

Host Mama and Papa.
Wonderful for so many reasons.
They are always in a great mood.
They both speak excellent English.
They are willing to help me whenever I need it.
They support my ideas and lifestyle.

Annnnd.  The b-day girl herself.
Was rewarded for 10 years of life with Hamster.
A great addition the clan we have going here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Madrid: Photobooth with Anita

One of our favorite activities to do together.

Personal favorite.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Madrid: It's a Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood

For the next three months, I am lucky enough to live on this gorgeous street:
Costa Brava.  Just ten minutes from downtown Madrid.

I decided to take this journey unaccompanied in hopes of learning more Spanish.
And also because I don't mind doing things just myself.
Sometimes I actually prefer it.

The apartment.

Doorknobs.  I love their Doorknobs.

My bedroom for this next little while.
Adorable? Yes.

Living room.

Where we eat together three times most days.
Breakfast: 830-ish. Lunch: 3:30. Dinner: 9:30.
Every meal is cloth-napkin standard.
Some of my eats: gazpacho, tomato salad, empanadas
slow cooked pork, spaghetti carbonara, pescado.

My only obligation (and purpose) in coming to Madrid.
Teaching Anita and Beatrice English.
Three hours each weekday.
These girls have already been so good to me.

"The urge to travel, to open our minds and move beyond the familiar- is as old as man himself."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Madrid. Madrid. Madrid.

Finally.  The anticipated moment for almost six months now.
Arrival in MADRID, Spain. (Just a few days ago.)
Life is good.
I take it back- life is charming.
Everything here is charming:
The little boys and their suspenders, ivy-coated alleyways,
The local eateries and shops.
Just under 4 million people. 
Living ten minutes from the big city.
Ooh la la.
The family I´m living with- wonderful.
Two young girls, and mama y papa.
The sweethearts- allowing me to stay in their home.
And go everywhere with them.
Today, for example, we enjoyed our Saturday by
Meandering around the downtown area.
Newly renovated- grand opening something.
Designer shop after designer shop.
Families everywhere holding pink balloons and enjoying a perrrfecto Sabado.
Stopped twice at a couple cafes.  Just to have a drink and enjoy a conversation.
Something I have always admired in Europeans-
Their love of the eating/drinking experience.  It´s no rush.
Possibly returning to the city tonight.
Yay for mass transit. 
Brooke is enjoying Espana.
As well as the shaded neighborhoods, delicious food, and the enormous city
Brooke may or may not being enjoying the fact,
That she skipped Spanish class every day her Senior year in high school.
Because bascially, she is one bit of English, swimming in a complete sea of Spanish.
More details later.
And photos.  Promise.
Besos, Brooke Shoko

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

End of Summer. Photos.

Thank goodness for the beloved tshirt co.

Yay visitors.

Yay no closet.

Enes, Sasha, Emil, Pervert.

Picking up Mr. J

This, unfortunately, is no longer possible.

With two of my favorites.
At The Pie. Who doesn't love The Pie?

Just look at that face.  (The dog's.  And Dad's I suppose.)

And how about 12 Frenchies show up at the apartment.
Where is the party? Oh sorry I have another job in 5 hours.

Beeeautiful morning (off Denny Creek Road).

Just begging my friends to work the front desk with me.
Every. Stinking. Day.

Brooke loves Mother's visits.

Climbing up this to access my apartment.
In skirt. Don't miss it.

Grizzly and Wolf discovery center.

Ben's obsessed.
With our heater.

Ohh how we loved taking home the numbers we'd receive.
Side note: most of these were hard earned
by the one and only Mel Fjel.
Enjoying a moment at my favorite place:


And once upon a time my mom was on a morning show.

Dinner. Settebello.
With BFF/wife/Chinese sister, Abigail.


And of course a large dosage of Laur.
My main squeeze.  Missed her.  Miss her.

Monday, September 20, 2010

After Day One Hundred Thirty

The summer.  It's FINALLY over.  One hundred thirty days (exactly).  Yes- loved it.  Loved a lot of things about it.  Also am for sure loving this new chapter in my life.  

Especially loving time with my family.
And Mr. Jackles . . . 
(More summer pictures to be posted soooon.)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day One Hundred Twenty Eight

The Weepies.

If you know this band, you love them.
If you haven't listened, you better.

"Be My Thrill" is their newest album.  
So many great hits.
Personal Weepies favorites:

Such wonderful low-key listenings.
Was introduced to the weepies by the Salt Lake Lonely Boy (aka Mr. Ryan Snow) during freshman year. 

The Weepies.
I fell in love.  Their music is incredible.  
This is the band I never get sick of.

No amount of coffee,
no amount of cryin'
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine 
No no no no no,
nothing else will do
(chorus from Gotta Have You)

You know there will be days when you're so tired that you can't take another step,
The night will have no stars 
and you'll think you've gone as far as you will ever  get. . . 
I can't really say why everybody wishes they were somewhere else
But in the end, the only steps that matter are the ones you take all by yourself

Sometimes it's hard to say
Even one thing true
When all eyes have turned aside
They used to talk to you
And people on the streets seem to disapprove
So you keep moving away
And forget what you wanted to say
(from Little Bird)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day One Hundred Twenty Seven

Meet Oscar

Meet Bella.

Dog sitting.
A fun little something for the week.
Look at their eyes- creepy, I know.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day One Hundred Twenty Six

If you all wanted to know . . .
Kevin Costner is thee man.
(Yes, spelled the with a double-e for emphasis).
Have now watched Dances With Wolves 5 out of the last 7 days.

In all his glory, John Dunbar:

The music in this film is absolutely gorgeous- a string infused soundtrack (my personal favorite), great story, beautiful scenery, action packed, romance (Stands With A Fist- woot woot).   
And just 3 hours long. But really.
 If you've been deprived like I was and haven't seen this flick, make some time. 
Peace, Love, Tatonka.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day One Hundred Twenty Three

So apparently . . . The talk of the town is that I'm a coke addict.
Not coke as in Cola.  Coke as in cocaine.
I mean . . I know that I come off as rough. 
Shady. Suspicious.

But really.
Come on people.
Let's at least start with a gateway drug?
White/Middle-Class/Mormon girl starts messing around.  
And goes first for cocaine.

But then again.
Who wouldn't love some of these side effects

agitation, excitability, irritability, nervousness, or restlessness
difficulty passing urine or urinary incontinence
dilated (enlarged) pupils
dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting spells
fast or irregular heartbeat
increased sweating
mood swings or other mental changes
nausea, vomiting
nervous tics or rapid speech
numbness or tingling in the hands, feet, or arms
stomach pain
troubled breathing (hyperventilation)
unusual muscle weakness

Good stuff.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day One Hundred Nineteen

A full day off.  Praise the heavens.
Decided to venture off to the little town of Gardiner, Montana.
Cruised through the park on the way.
Passing through Mammoth in Yellowstone.
This post office- it spoke to me.  Isn't it gorgeous?

These two needed a lift.  I couldn't help myself.
Better me drive them to Gardiner than some creep.  Right?
We had a good time anyway.
The hills are alive.
Time for a new read.

Walked all around the town, had a bite to eat, relaxed.
Cute little place.
Thanks, Gardiner.