El Paso. Part III.

12591994_10205956595657905_394895998_o-5First weekend in 2016 we went to our friend going away party as he moved to another state. His whole family and relatives were there, so we just talked until they surprised him with mariachis. They sang, they danced and it all was going on for over an hour I think. It felt like they will never stop. I even got into dancing and showing my Mexican side (which I am not, but I picked up everything really fast).

His family was really really nice and I enjoyed experiencing all these traditions in person. Also I got to try menudo, which is really spicy Mexican soup. As I am not at hello with spiciness, then I took forever to finish my bowl until one point I just gave it to my friend. But it was really good! If only I could enjoy spices more.

12631095_10205956598737982_2003914623_o-1As winter goes, then ice-skating is something you should do every winter. So we went to the big skating place with Stephen’s brother and his girlfriend. It was quite crowded, but it was empty according to normal. As I am always rubbish the first time in the beginning then after time I got more confidence and were trying to learn something new. At the break we also got some hot cocoa and a churro, which reminds me that Mexican churros are so much sweeter and don’t need chocolate with it to be sweet.

As his other brother came with his girlfriend on Wednesday then the house got quite crowded. We went to eat pizzas at Peter Piper Pizza and as they also have a game machine corner then after eating we bought a lot of chips to play with. And with all the points we won with the big group everybody bought something. After seeing the new Sherlock episode at movies we headed home to play board games. Also the next morning when I was supposed to study I decided to join in playing games as I won’t get to do it for a long time after leaving anyways.

The other day after his work we went with the whole family to his father’s house and also played board games and talked. It is always weird when people get curious about Estonia. I don’t know what to say about. At least Stephen helped me out a bit as he has lived there and seen stuff.

12443517_10205879895420447_1036779048_o-2The next day we went ice-skating again, this time with the other side of the family. As most of them were really beginners and moved quite slowly and I was getting a lot better this time then I enjoyed learning and trying new stuff. Although this time it was quite overcrowded for me. Sometime it was impossible to get past group of people. After long fast-food dinner we went back to play some board games again. This time we played his mother’s new Bingo she got for Christmas and Life. We didn’t have enough loans to have 7 players, so Stephen joined to my life journey and we had this whole story of how we met after college and got married and everything. I was a doctor and he was a handsome rock-star.

On the last day we went to see sunset one more time. And also to see the city in lights. This time as it was cloudy, the sunset was amazing! I think it was one of the most incredible ones I’ve ever seen. The city is famous for them, and I can totally understand why.

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12562638_10205888846284213_368532887_o-8On the very very last day I just packed my stuff and sent my postcards and had some last looks on the city. I think it was the saddest day in a really long time. At least up to this point it was. As my flight got delayed, we had some time at the airport. We were just doing some silly Snapchats.

On my first flight I was sitting next to window, so I also got a chance to take some pictures of Phoenix. I couldn’t get any of El Paso because mostly I could only see Mexico from there. And then the other 30 hour trip back was just tiring. Although I was watching Star Wars 1-3 on the plane. Being back in Granada felt weird and also I was super jet lagged.

El Paso. Part II.

Christmas time was really calm. As I am used to my ChriOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAstmas traditions on the 24th then it was weird to be somewhere else and not do the usual things. At least on Christmas Eve morning when it was already evening in Estonia I Skyped with my family. They even put me on big TV and before I had to go then we took a family photo, everybody around the TV. Funny but cool.

And then we went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens! Before this vacation I hadn’t seen any of the episodes, so before the new movie I watched 4-6 to be on track of the things. The evening we spent with his 12432770_10205781288035324_1313335179_o-1family and played board games. How I’ve missed playing board games… And on the next day we tried to make our own gingerbread cookies and hot wine. Just so I could get a bit of Christmas from home. But we didn’t drink the wine at all because Stephen got sick and that’s where the most of Christmas went.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When he got a bit better then we went to see the neighborhood that has a lot of Christmas lights out. It was my dream to see it. I’ve always seen it in the movies. As El Paso is not so huge and is more Mexican then it wasn’t so big as in the movies but still something you don’t usually see in Estonia. And it was perfect as it had snowed before and really made me feel like winter finally.

After that we thought to go and see the city in lights as I hadn’t seen it yet in full dark. But as it snowed a day before then the road up to the hill was closed for driving. We left the car and walked up there. It was freezing and windy, but the view is still amazing! I really like El Paso!12632803_10205956598017964_1193767624_o-4

On the last day of 2015 while we were walking Sophie(one of the dogs) then we saw a beautiful sunset. And later in the evening went to church as his older brother was in the play they had. I’ve never been to any services and I am not religious, so it was interested to see how they are here. And it also turned out to be all in Spanish. Thank god I know a little bit of it now. If you ever have a chance then just for the experience I recommend to go and see. Services are different, so I describing mine wouldn’t be correct. It has to be experienced yourself.12596718_10205956597697956_265060306_o-3

12633020_541849562644998_1593331334_oFor New Years we went to little park/viewpoint on the way to Scenic Drive. But as fireworks are banned in the city area then we only saw far away ones from Mexico. And it was incredibly windy. After first fast food meal we went to meet up our friend Jose who was also in Estonia in the spring semester. It was weird to see him there but good to remember all those great times we all had together.

El Paso. Part I.

I am an horrible blog keeper right now. As I was in El Paso for 3 weeks for my holiday vacation then I was more enjoying my time more than thinking about my blog. And when I got back I didn’t bother to write as I wanted to have it only for myself for a while.12438844_10205781292355432_1187034367_o-1

So, let’s start from the beginning. It all started with 32 hour travel from Madrid. With 4 planes to totally different parts of the World. And as I was expecting then I was too exited to get there that I couldn’t sleep so much, only few hours 12463544_10205824280270103_961606126_n-3in total. So I just watched quite a lot of movies on the planes or just spending time trying to fall asleep.

The funny thing is that as soon as I was on American ground I felt much more home than I ever have in Spain. So I am pretty sure that America is my second home and a huge possibility for the future.12442994_10205824279870093_402804470_n-2

So to get full Texas experience on the first day we went shooting. Never done it with actual guns and in the shooting range. I’ve only done it at home with an airgun. I can say that headphones are essential to wear but the most annoying thing while wearing protection glasses. And as a beginners luck, I was shooting even better than Stephen at this day.

Second big thing is sunsets. El Paso is famous for it. So up we went to Scenic Drive to see. But as it wasn’t any cloudy then it was more of a normal sunrise. But from up there we could also see most of the city. Locals are so used to the city and they say it’s boring there but I could only see beauty and awesomeness.

Other day he showed me around UTEP (The Univesrity of Texas at El Paso) campus. The campus is huge. The univesity library has the World’s largest book which is 130 pounds (around 60kg) and size of 5-by-7 feet (1,5-by-2,1 m). It 114 pages and needs two people to turn the page. The whole campus is in Bhutanese style. I kind of can’t get over how big the whole campus was. It took a while to see most of it, because we also went inside of some buildings.

That’s the first part. As it was my vacation then most of the time I just relaxed. I didn’t rush through places like I usually do because I have only one day to explore. Be tuned for the next part 😉

A long time ago in Madrid

Before my long holiday trip to El POLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAaso, Texas I stopped in Madrid for a day. I did the smartest thing to go there a day earlier than my flight and also the stupidest thing to forgot my passport in Granada which is like over 4 hour driving away. Luckily I got it to Madrid the same night so I was quite lucky.

I stayed in one American girls flat through Airbnb which is a new experience for me. She was really nice and we had quite a good talk. I actually just chose this place because of the pictures I saw online. It looked like a little princess home.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI would say that Madrid is more of a few days trip. Because I was really tired and walked a lot in a day but there was still a lot of things I would have wanted to see.

I started my day with a long walk in a huge park called Parque de El Retiro. There I visited Palacio de Cristal which is an old glass palace and has fossils hanging from the top. Quite close to it is Palacio de Velázquez with the free admission museum. This time there was exhibition of some Lithuanian artist whose name I can’t remember.

Going along the road I passed Monumento Alfonso XII. Finally out of the huge park where I was like at least few hours I got to Puerta de Alcalá with its magic of having cars driving around it. As I remember that there are embassies in Madrid then I decided to visit home(Estonia) for a second and also get to America a bit earlier. The embassies are not anything interesting outside because I couldn’t even find a door to the Estonian one and to get into American one you need a really good reason for it.

So I walked all the way back to the heart of OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthe city center trying to find some food on the way. After walking on Gran Vía I discovered it is more focused on stores and fancier restaurants. So when I started going to my next destination I went to little pastaleria called Bon Appetit! and had a very tasty lasagna for my lunch.

Because some places had a ticket price and didn’t want to spend my money so much then I skipped the Monastery and headed to the Royal palace. On the way I passed the Royal Theater and in front of the palace also Monumento a Felipe IV. Next to the palace is The Sabitini Gardens (Jardines de Sabatini) with all its glory and mighty statues.

As the Palacio Real de Madrid itself was closed for the whole week randomly then I only got to see a little bit from the side in Plaza de la Armería. On the other side of the plaza is  Catedral de la Almudena which I somehow really liked because inside it had a colorful ceiling. I got out of there for the sunset and got a picture through the fence.

Also Jardines del Campo del Moro which is behind the palace was closed and I wasn’t sure if it was closed or just one entrance was blocked then I walked all around it. I was so tired and it took me forever to walk around it. And of course it was all closed. As it was getting late and I wanted to have shower before heading to the airport I headed to the place I stayed through Puerta del Sol to see the big Christmas tree in lights and also Estatua del Oso y el Madroño (The statue of the bear and the strawberry tree). It also had a lot of mascots around the the big square and street artists with crazy balance on staying on one hand.

I would say that Madrid is a place to visit but you have to consider that is is quite huge. It takes time to walk from one place to another and definitely need few days to see everything. I definitely want to go back and also visit some museums and the place next time. And I would also recommend Airbnb. I had a good experience with that.