Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strike-day adventures (Madrid- día dos)

¡Hola otra vez!

[I have added in the pictures that I promised earlier]

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that a nation-wide strike took place on March 29. [My mom insists that I bring on strikes wherever I go-- in Honduras (summer 2009), I left the day that a military coup occurred; in Thailand (summer 2010), a huge political demonstration by the Red Shirts took place in Bangkok; now, this. Maybe she's right...]

In any case, the strike meant that it would be very difficult to utilize public transit, so a few of my host's friends took me on a little day trip. We first visited a nearby town, called San Lorenzo de El Escorial. It has a large monastery, with lovely gardens that we walked around for a while.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Madrid- día uno

I did a decent amount on my first day in Spain's capital city, so settle in and prepare for a lengthy (potentially verbose) retelling…

My walk to the bus stop. Not too shabby: 

Once I made it to central Madrid (35min bus ride + 5min metro), I started at... 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Let's talk food...

Originally, I wanted to do a neat little thing, similar to Kendall's photo-per-run endeavor, where I documented all of my dinners in Europe. I knew it might get tedious, but I didn't anticipate trashing the idea by day 2, haha. Needless to say, I have yet to take a picture of my meals in Spain, but oh well. I got the meals on the flight at least:

The journey

Well heyyyyy y'all! [How's that for sounding touristy?] My internet's been quite spotty, and my brain has been quite exhausted, so forgive me for the absence. I expect this is going to happen rather frequently, however, so…accept this as my apology in-advance for the next month or so. I'll post when I can, and I'm sorry if it's not as often as your curious little minds desire : )

Let's just start with the trip over. Here are the stats:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

the view from up here...

I don't love flying, but I do love the view that it provides. On my flight over, I was able to witness a gorgeously starry night sky, an utterly breathtaking sunrise, and this staggering snapshot of the Alps (well, the Alps are staggering, not necessarily my photography of them).

{for you East-coasters, those little hills at the bottom of the shot are probably about the size of the Appalachians.}

Tomorrow I'm exploring downtown Madrid, so at some point you can look forward to pics of that...hopefully (my camera spontaneously deleted a picture of that sunrise I mentioned, so I hope I'm not working with faulty hardware here...).


Monday, March 26, 2012

new reading list.

I got a Kindle for Christmas, and this is the current stash of free books floating around on it:
  • Oliver Twist
  • Frankenstein
  • Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • The Invisible Man
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • The Secret Garden
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • David Copperfield
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • Freakonomics
  • Great Expectations

(comment here, or tweet me your choice!)

MM (#20?)

Woooooo Hooooo!

This week, I'm switching out "Mindful Monday" for "MILAN+MADRID"! I fly out in a little over 12 hours, so I think it's safe to say that this trip is pretttty much all that's on my mind. Oh, and the fact that I forgot to bu a pocket Spanish dictionary...arghh. [Remember when I was so determined to use this semester as a time to learn about simplicity and spontaneity?? Yeah...I don't recommend you take that path when it comes to taking a 6-week trip to Europe. Sometimes planning things out is smart. Woops!]

For those of you that don't already know, I'm heading to Europe tomorrow because...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

a new direction.

As you may have noticed, this here blog isn't exactly a cater-to-the-readers sort of thing.

We started it so our families could keep track of us on a road trip.

>>I kept it going out of, umm, I dunno, I guess a desire to keep myself cognizant of the important things (hence the Mindful Monday trend). Also as a way to just share some somewhat interesting things and keep some loved ones in the loop.

     >>>>I even tried to change the url [for you non-computer folks {mom}, that's the string of letters at the top of your page] once it became clear that the zack part of the title wasn't really going to happen...But he wouldn't stand for such blasphemy.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

sette settimane* (± some days)

{{*for the linguistically challenged, here ya go.}}

From the end of January until today, I've called Gainesville my home away form home. I leave today in order to prep for a big trip. Stay tuned and you'll be bombarded with details of that, I guarantee.

Because I should be packing my things up instead of playing on the Internet, I'll just leave some pictures here from a silly seven weeks. They are neither chronological nor comprehensive of my experience here in Gainesvegas. I hope you enjoy the little phone snapshots, nonetheless...

Friday, March 16, 2012

Verbalizing my faith.

A couple of days ago I was sitting on campus when two girls approached me. They said they were with a group from U. Minnesota, here on Spring Break with Gator Christian Life, and that "they were trying to get a 'feel' for what the Christian vibe was on campus."

The good weather had put me in a particularly chipper mood, so I obliged their survey request. They asked the following:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

it's true...

...and every day.

Now go, make the most of this day we've been given.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

tasty trials and tribulations

Okay, so I started this post approximately five months ago. {Yikes.} The source of inspiration was a cooking date I had with a good friend and teammate, but a busy life in my last months of college led to the material being shelved. The original intention was to include three adventurous recipes that were marvelously successful, but some Italian lessons are calling my name at the moment, so I'll just give you one for now.

I don't know if you all have noticed, but the expansion of the blogging universe is indeed accelerating, and...this blog is slightly lame. This isn't a source of income [I can't even imagine that happening]; adding posts takes up less than a percent of my time; and...I think a grand total of 11 people read it. But that's okay! You 11 readers are loved! And you get to benefit from my wise advice and tales of adventure, so GO YOU.

Today's benefit of reading: two one amaaaazing decent recipes . [This whole crossing-out-the-pluralisms-from-the-original-post thing is quickly getting old, so I'm just gonna write from scratch now...]

Like I said, I first made this recipe back in autumn. It was awesome, so I dug it out to recreate it with friends last week, this time with a less-than-stellar result. Nonetheless, I just saw the leftovers in the freezer and decided it was time to post the dish.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Yesterday was a lazy afternoon here at the Lake. Squirly wind (i.e. no sailing) + lots of clouds (i.e. no attempts at ridding myself of the pallid glow I currently exude) = reading time.

I situated myself on the hammock and re-attempted to tackle a book from my reading list called How Italian Food Conquered the World.

So far, this book has conquered me. It's...very impressive how much research the author did about Italian food's upbringing, but the history just wasn't snatching my attention. That is, until the author mentioned the word zeppole, and the fact that a recipe for these puffy, decadent pastries was on the next page.

[kitchen] adventure time!

My maternal grandmother (and namesake) evidently had quite a knack for making zeppole, or at least enough of a knack for my uncles to salivate upon hearing the word. With nothing better to do,I decided that it was as good a time as any to try my inexperienced hand at 'em. Z got in on the action; here's how it went down:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Paradise- Katie Herzig

Just a little something for your Saturday afternoon. Enjoy it.
(I meant the afternoon, but I guess feel free to enjoy the song, too...)  
When you come looking for me, baby, you will find me in my paradise...

Thursday, March 08, 2012

This is my favorite video in the whole wide universe:

Alright, I might have exaggerated a bit. It's not my faaaavorite video, but I was reminded of it today and cracked up. Couldn't help but share (with you few people left who haven't seen it, or those of you who don't mind a reminder).

For another silly YouTube laugh, this one's always great, as well as its sequel. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Stickys that stuck, numero cinque

In this 5th installment of a 'stickys that stuck' thing that I started way back when, I thought I'd post a sticky note (found on an office wall a few months ago, for those of you who don't know the origin) that relates quite lovely to life right now--

As we speak, the boys are out on the Lake sailing around, so this  could very well be taken literally.

Aside from that, however, this time in the semester is one fraught with decisions, with plans coming into fruition, or plans being completely squashed. For a lot of people, this time is full of downright uncertainty for the future.

But that doesn't have to be a scary thing.

In fact, right now, we're embracing that uncertainty and just trying to figure out how we should adjust our sails. Or at least, that's what my optimistic and faithful self likes to think :)


Monday, March 05, 2012

MM (18)

As I sit on this couch to write my 18th Mindful Monday (dang, where's the time gone?!), I can feel that post-beach/post-boat feeling of an ever-so-slight sway of my inner ear to-and-fro. I'm not the only one who gets that, right? It's not uncomfortable or anything; just a subtle reminder of a great day out under a big sky.
This week, Z and I are enjoying Spring Break in the company of his wonderful family at their incredibly relaxing Lake house. It is a place that, for them, means family, sailing, good food, and fun. It represents a pouring-out of God's blessings. It is a wonderful place to be...

Saturday, March 03, 2012

I want to give this post the title, "Life." but I've done that already...

This doesn't really need emphasizing, but God is pretty amazing, if you ask me.

(Or at least, I think it's God. You can think whatever you want, I reckon.)

Not only did I have a wonderful 2-hour conversation about Him today with a friend; not only did He bless me with legs and lungs that function well enough to enjoy an afternoon run on a wooded trail; not only does He provide me with fantastic opportunities, a loving family, and fantastic friends; He also just makes things line up in amazing ways sometimes.

And yes, I'm about to talk about this silly blog, and others [kinda] like it.