Monday, March 28, 2011

¡He vuelto!

PEOPLE! I am back from my vacation exile! Is it weird to say that I missed y'all? Our hotel had some sort of internet connectivity, but my dinky iPod isn't good for reading blogs and I couldn't steal my husband's iPad too often or he'd have an Angry Birds withdrawal, so... I read a couple of blogs every once in a while and commented never.

But now? Now I'm back! I had a marathon of catching up this morning and even started slowly commenting on a couple of blogs! I took photos! I'm a monster! I'm back.

So, yeah, I went to Madrid. MADRID! Oh, people. It was so wonderful, even better than I remembered; this was my third trip to Madrid, but my first time staying in the center of the city (and my first time going WITHOUT my parents, which makes a difference) and I fell in love all over again with the city. My husband and I stayed in the Hostal Madrid, right on Sol, and we went out every day, every night, and did wonderful things. I didn't take as many pictures as I'd planned, mostly because I was so busy drinking everything in. We ate like hogs, we walked like mules, and had a wonderful time exploring different neighborhoods and meeting up with a Chilean second cousin of mine who now lives in the city with his Spanish wife of Swedish origin, as well as dining with a family friend of mine. It was magical. I did not take a single outfit photo. The only photograph of the trip in which I appear is a hideous self-portrait that my husband and I took of ourselves in front of the Palacio Real.

I was actually very proud of my packing skillz for this trip: I took two pairs of shoes (the grey booties and the cognac Steve Madden Intyces), two pairs of leggings (one black and one blue jegging), three dresses, two pairs of tights, one cardigan, a couple of tops, and one light jacket. My husband was the bigger diva in terms of packing because he had to look purty for the world premieres he had last weekend in Philly (!!! It was so wonderful!) and New York.

That being said, our suitcase was pretty full when we left the US for Spain. Good thing my new carry-on bag is ENORMOUS:

Oh, hey! Remember this guy that I ordered from CSN Stores way back in the day? Well, it came almost as soon as I ordered it, but I used it for the first time on this trip, and oh boy, did I stuff it. Since I had the luxury of not taking my computer, which is rare for me, I filled it with books and magazines and my camera and iPod and two cell phones (one for the US, one for Europe) and my wallet and... You get the picture. It worked beautifully, but my one complaint is that I wish either the handles were longer or that there were an extra longer strap, because it was often too heavy to carry around in my hand or on my forearm. Other than that, though, I'm very pleased with the bag and undoubtedly rate it a √+. 

So because our carry-ons and one suitcase were topped to the brim upon arriving in Spain, I'd decided that whatever souvenirs I bought (and was bought - my husband and I decided to get our anniversary gifts for each other on this trip) had to be small and portable. I was angling for jewelry, as it's something I always love and it would travel on my carry-on. However, the famous specialty boutique windows that I browsed were disappointing and I realized that I'd have to look elsewhere for an anniversary gift. 

Until we saw the window of this store. As we walked by on Wednesday afternoon after an enormous lunch with my cousin, we saw a beautiful grey and maroon cape/wrap. The store was, unfortunately, closed, but my husband insisted on going back later so that he could buy me that exact cape. I saw the price of the cape online and balked, but the Greek insisted, and on Friday evening, I became the proud owner of a grey (with maroon border) "Paseo" model. Here I am trying it on today, looking less than chic:

AMAZING! Although I do need some work on the draping angle (never my strong suit, even with something more lightweight, like a dupatta). The cape is essentially a ginormous wrap with two flaps, which you can fling around your neck in a dramatic fashion while putting it on. If you don't fling either of the flaps around your neck, you just have a standard Dracula-esque cape. I'm gonna work on draping it a little more efficiently so that I won't entangle anyone on the streets of Boston (the only time I've been happy to come home to cold weather!). But in the meantime, the profile is pleasingly pared down:

Love. It's ridiculously warm (85% wool) and beautifully made. I'm going to treasure it for a long, long time.

Well, so that threw a dent into our packing strategies, but not too badly. The next day, we wandered over to the Salvador Bachiller store on Gran Vía and I bought my husband two beautiful leather items: an iPad case and a laptop case. I can't photograph them because both are at work with him. However, as we were returning to our hotel that evening, I asked to go down Arenal street, because I'd seen some cool shoes the night before in a store near our hotel. Well, one thing led to another and I also ended up being bought these:

You guys, light blue boots! Can you believe it? The store had a bunch of boots in different pastels, including a dusty rose color, which was nice. But I, of course, gravitated to the more turquoisey colors. The three pairs of boots they had in this color were: high lace-ups, motorcycle-like ones (like the Frye Veronica Slouches or the Fluevog Radio collection), and short lace-ups. I originally was gonna go for the high lace-ups, but the short ones were in front of me and once I tried them on, I was in love (It didn't hurt that I saw a gorgeous madrileña wearing short lace-up boots [not blue] on the metro the night before and immediately coveted my own version). So in they went.

So it's not jewelry, but I'm pretty happy with my Madrid souvenirs: light blue boots and an amazing cape.

I tried to notice what people were wearing, too, and enjoyed observing both natives and tourists. Europeans (I saw this on our flights to and from Zurich, too) seem to be less afraid of color and I saw a lot of people - both men and women - wearing fantastically colored glasses, for example. It made me sad not to have packed my blue Warby Parkers. OTK boots are big right now too and I also regretted not packing my own (how SICK are they gonna look with that cape?!). Overall I felt as if I dressed in more dark/subdued colors than other women my age - many had colorful coats and bags, if not accessories or shoes. And everyone of all ages was wearing boots, making me happy to have only packed those.

So, YEAH, people, I'm BACK! I'm happy to be here - although I could've done with another week in Spain, to be honest - and excited to be on track with all of your lives. 


  1. Your boots will match your glasses!!! Huzzah!

    The cape is fantabulous, and I'm so glad you had an amazing time. Welcome home!

    P.S. Congrats to the Greek for his premiers!
    P.P.S. Sorry for all the exclamation points in this comment!

  2. Blue boots FTW! Sounds like a great trip.

  3. Welcome back!!! Sounds like an awesome trip. The boots and the cap are amazing and I can't wait to see them both in future outfits!
    Now I want to go to Spain...

  4. Thanks, Katie! I did think about the fact that my boots and glasses will match and then I thought about wearing only blue jewelry and going to town. What do you think? :) And exclamation points are always welcomed.

    Thanks, Cynthia! It was awesome. So much fun.

    Allison, thanks! It was a great trip and I think you should go to Spain STAT. Madrid is one of my favorite places in the world and my husband is even wistfully asking me if there would be any job opportunities for me there...

  5. I was also thinking that the boots and the glasses will look great together! Score.

    Double score- the cape/shawl/beautiful fabric that's hung around you like a cloud of perfection. It's awesome, I really like that border color on it.
    Is it crazy that I missed you?! Yes, I think it is a little.

  6. Those boots are amazing! And your haircut is adorable. ^_^

  7. Sweet Spanish mementos, C&B! And I think you look totally chic in the cape. Welcome back.

  8. Awww, thanks, Miss B! I missed blogging a lot, so I totally don't think it's weird.

    Thanks, Meg! I can't wait to try out the boots. And I fear that my hair already needs a trim...

    Thanks, A-Dubs! I'm glad to be back and I'm looking forward to trying to incorporate the cape in my life...

  9. I'm glad you had an awesome trip! Suffice it to say I"m SUPER jealous.

  10. Welcome home! The cape is simply beautiful...and I love that your guy persisted in getting it for you.

  11. That cape is amazing!

    I am so filled with envidia right now. I used to live in Madrid and miss it so much. I was really hoping I could go back for a couple of weeks this summer to do a bit more research, but I don't think it's going to be in the cards.

  12. I love the colour of those boots! Very unique.

  13. Thanks, Clare! My husband and I still can't believe that we just went to Spain all casual-like!

    Thanks, Terri! I was taken aback by my husband's insistence also. He even said that I had to get it for the blog! For the blog!

    Aww, LHdM! I wish you could go to Madrid again! Whereabouts did you live? As I mentioned, this was the first place in Europe I ever saw. Since we were in the center this time, as opposed to my last two trips, I was able to get a better feel for it and it's twice as as sad to be in New England now remembering that such beautiful places exist somewhere in the world...

    Thanks, meeglemoo! I can't wait to wear them! Maybe tomorrow...