Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Semana Santa

Ok, so I know I've been a bad girl and did not blog while Momma and Daddy were here (outside of Momma's guest blog), but I was not able to put my pictures on my computer and, as you will see soon, pictures were necessary to this blog.

Since I'm now attempting to cover 10 days here, I'll just give you a list of the top 5 highlights of the week:

5. 2/3 of the family ending the week with the stomach flu. Yeah, I know, not exactly a highlight. Saturday I had it, Sunday Daddy got it. And poor Momma was stuck in the hotel room with us, wishing she could run away. Lots of reading time, anyone? Boo, hiss.

4. Interesting taxi rides. As previously mentioned in Momma's entry, on the way to the hotel from picking them up from the airport, we ended up with the one old fart in Madrid who did not have a GPS in his taxi and had never heard of either our hotel or the street it was on. So what does he do? Pulls out this book that was like an index of every street in Madrid. Now, I'm not entirely sure what this book was supposed to do to help him, as I never actually saw a map, but we did find the hotel, so it must have done something. Later in the week we had to take another taxi due to the metro being broken and ended up with some guy who was very interested in asking me all about who I liked better, Bush or Obama? The Spanish are quite interested in our politics, though I don't think they are quite as gung-ho about their own.

3. Almost seeing ancient torture instruments. Tuesday we took a day-trip to Toledo, which was far more tourist-packed than it had been in January. We took the train, only we all got on and sat down without considering that we probably had assigned seats on our tickets. Luckily we realized that we were dip-wads in the wrong seats before anyone else did...at any rate, while in Toledo we kept seeing these signs for this exhibition of ancient torture instruments. I really wanted to go, but kept getting poo-pooed by a certain parent of mine. We did try to find it before we left but that labyrinth of a town foiled me just like it foiled me at 11 pm in January.

2. Picnicking in Retiro Park. I'm pretty sure Momma would live there if she could. Now, Retiro is quite huge and there were about a million people milling around, yet what amazed Momma and Daddy (and me at some point, though I've gotten used to it) was how clean the park still was even after an entire day of literally thousands of people walking around it. Also, they were having some sort of special sculpture exhibition, so I of course took the opportunity to pretend to be a number of statues. Unfortunately the pictures are on Momma's computer, so you won't get to see me looking oh-so-attractive. A let down, I'm sure.

1. Santa Teresa's dead finger. Yes, you read that right. Wednesday we took a train to Ávila, a little town in Castilla Leon. This time we knew to look for our own seats. Anyway, this town´s main saint was St. Theresa - she apparently lived there for a large portion of her life. I encourage you to Google/Wikipedia her - she was a totally bizarre woman. As a child she and her brother ran away in the desire to be martyred by the Muslims. Their uncle caught them and brought them back home before they succeeded. Anyway, in Ávila, there is the Convent of Santa Teresa, and next door is this little room with a variety of items that belonged to her, including the ring finger of her right hand. Yes, there in a little glass - no formaldehyde or anything - sits her 400-year-old finger. Apparently once she became a saint they decided to exhume her body, cut it up and divide the pieces between her admirers. I guess this finger sat by Franco´s bedside for a number of years. What a freak. Anyway, you were not supposed to take pictures of it, but if you think Momma and I were going to pass up having pictures of the dead finger, you´re crazy. We were delighted. Disgusted, yet delighted.

I love my life. I also love that my parents were equally entranced by this finger as I was. Or at least Momma was - I think Daddy was more entranced by how entranced we were.

Other events of the week included touring the Royal Palace, shopping, and seeing a Semana Santa procession (interesting in and of itself). Good week - nice to relax and get to see Momma and Daddy.

Less than three weeks left here! So hard to believe.

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