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When Home Didn’t Seem So Far Away: A Year of Visitors

I am reminded how quickly times moves as I look down at my calendar.  I have been back in US now for almost two months, missing Europe, missing Spain, missing my Madrid— but living fully and enjoying my American life.  The transition between this life and that was rapid and really, quite flawless.  I am back to what I left, but everything just different enough, and dare I say better than how I left it before.  And I feel better too— more balanced, more present, more thankful.

As I left Spain, after almost a year away from home, to be honest, I felt like I could go many more months without making the trip back over the ocean.  I realize, that this comfort I felt living so far from friends and family had a lot to do with the gift of steady visitors whose presence in my new life made the distance that separated us diminish.

What a life it was, with a beautiful freedom to move amongst countries for a long weekend. How blessed I was to be able to meet my mom in Germany, in Poland, and greet her in Spain, the thousands of miles separating here and there melting like magic.

I’m grateful my family traveled the miles to see me and allow me to share Spain with them.  It took me almost a full year to polish my Madrid tour for my guests as I, myself met Madrid’s many nooks and crannies, but polished to perfection or not, Spain and Madrid didn’t disappoint.

Thank you to my friends and family who visited and for filling my experience with beautiful shared experiences. Your presence was a meaningful gift to me—- enriching you with Spanish sights, sounds, and flavors— but also feeling the life I created was better understood by some of the people who know me best.

 

My Sister’s Visit: November 1-10, 2014

[Madrid, Segovia, Sevilla, San Sebastián, San Juan de Paisajes, Hondarribia, St. Jean de Luz, Biarritz]

Strolling through La Latina with the hermana.

Strolling through La Latina with the hermana.

 

Plaza Mayor on a perfect fall day

Plaza Mayor on a perfect fall day

 

Retiro Park set to the colors of autumn

Retiro Park set to the colors of autumn

 

Erin and her boyfriend, Chris enjoying a Retiro sunset along the lake

Erin and her boyfriend, Chris enjoying a Retiro sunset along the lake

 

La hermana and I about to have the best churros in town at Chocolatería San Ginés

La hermana and I about to have the best churros in town at Chocolatería San Ginés

 

Some Royal Palace action

Some Royal Palace action

 

A beautiful day exploring Paisajes de San Juan

A beautiful day exploring San Juan de Paisajes

 

Beautifying ourselves in Biarritz

Beautifying ourselves in Biarritz

 

My Mom’s Visit: November 29-30, 2014

[Thanksgiving in Madrid]

Plaza de Oriente dressed in its fall finest

Plaza del Oriente dressed in its fall finest

 

Mom and Palacio Real

Mom and Palacio Real

 

Mom in Mercado de San Miguel

Mom in Mercado de San Miguel

 

Dinner at Restaurante Botin

Dinner at Restaurante Botín

 

My Dad’s Visit: March 26- April 7, 2015

[Madrid, White Villages of Andalucía, Ronda, Sevilla, San Sebastián, San Juan de Paisajes, Hondarribia, St. Jean de Luz, Biarritz]

Dad's in Europe at last! Hitting up the tourist sites starting with Puerta del Sol

Dad’s in Europe at last! Hitting up the tourist sites starting with Puerta del Sol

 

Plaza Mayor

Plaza Mayor

 

"Comb of the Winds" sculpture in San Sebastián

“Comb of the Winds” sculpture in San Sebastián

 

La Concha, San Sebastián

La Concha, San Sebastián

 

My Mom and Brother’s Visit: June 4- 8, 2015

[Madrid, Avila, San Lorenzo de El Escorial]

Brother exploring Avila's famous walls

Brother exploring Avila’s famous walls

 

Strolling through Retiro at sunset

Strolling through Retiro at sunset

 

After mass at El Escorial

After mass at El Escorial

 

Sunset view of Madrid at the top of Círculo de Bellas Artes

Sunset view of Madrid at the top of Círculo de Bellas Artes

 

My Friend’s Visit: June 20- 29, 2015

[Madrid, Burgos, San Sebastián, St. Jean de Luz, Biarritz, Pamplona, Zaragoza, Valencia, Toledo]

Pre-dinner drinks with the always fun and fabulous Schneider clan

Pre-dinner drinks with the always fun and fabulous Schneider clan

 

Post Madrid tour in Plaza del Oriente

Post Madrid tour in Plaza del Oriente

 

Kilometro Cero, center of Madrid, center of Spain

Kilometro Cero, center of Madrid, center of Spain

 

Katie and I at the top of Círculo de Bellas Artes

Katie and I at the top of Círculo de Bellas Artes

 

Amigas in Valencia at the City of Arts and Sciences

Amigas in Valencia at the City of Arts and Sciences

 

The best view of Toledo

The best view of Toledo

Here’s to many more European adventures with friends and family….

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I know exactly what you mean by this! I’ve traveled / lived away from home for six years now, and over that time have had most of my family visit me repeatedly. And, now that it’s been a five-month dry spell, I’m planning a visit home (finally!). Everything is better when shared with loved ones 🙂
    ~ Jess @ gibbontravel.com

    September 28, 2015
  2. Some of my favorite memories in Spain were visits from friends and family! Glad to hear you got to have so many people visit you. It really lets you see the country in a whole new way.

    October 1, 2015
  3. This is a beautiful site. I love your writing and pictures. I have dual US and Spain citizenship and have lived in Madrid mostly and California. Right now we are in Napa Valley but I really miss Spain. Check out our California wine country blog: http://www.topochinesvino.com. Follow us if you like what you see.

    August 15, 2016

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