Category Archives: Food and Drink

Thanksgiving in Barcelona

Trying to celebrate a holiday in a country that doesn’t celebrate that holiday is an interesting task, especially for a girl who really loves that holiday. Thanksgiving has been one of my favorite holidays since I can remember, probably because the whole family gets together and there seems to be an endless amount of food. When I signed up to go abroad I knew that I would miss Thanksgiving and I’m okay with that, even though I missed home a little extra on Thanksgiving this year. This is pretty much the exact opposite of solo time but I wanted to do a post to share about the wonderful Barcelona family I have formed here.

Since Thanksgiving is not celebrated here, a group of us decided to make our own Thanksgiving. It was weird for all of us that we had to go to school on that day because our entire lives we have always know Thanksgiving as a day of having no school. However, we all gathered together for a big Thanksgiving meal. I volunteered to make mashed potatoes, mostly because they are one of my favorite foods, but also because how can you have a Thanksgiving meal without mashed potatoes? Since there was such a large group of us I used 42, yes forty-two, potatoes. It was quite a process but after a few hours and a bad blister all the potatoes were peeled, cut, cooked, and mashed. Luckily they turned out to be a big hit and I was able to take some leftovers home! The rest of our meal consisted of stuffing, cornbread, cranberry sauce, gravy, salad, and chicken. Unfortunately trying to find and cook a huge turkey just didn’t make sense so I will have to wait until I am back home for Christmas dinner to get my turkey fix. When we were all gathered eating together I took a moment to step back and realize how thankful I am for this opportunity to be abroad. I have had some of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget my times with these people and these places.

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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Food and Drink, Solo Time


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Café Solo

My inspiration for this whole idea of solo time came from two things. The first is from friends who have had the chance to study abroad in the past. The one thing they all said to me was to experience the culture. I can go out as many nights as I want or travel as much as I want but in the end they all said that the thing I would cherish most would be experiencing the culture. At first I wasn’t quite sure how to do that, mostly because my first week was filled with nights out and doing the “touristy” things in Barcelona. The second part of my inspiration came from my Communications professor. On the second day of class he said everything I had been thinking about how we were probably only experiencing the surface of Barcelona. In an effort to help us change this he gave us an assignment called “Café Solo.”

We had a list of 5 different metro stops, all about 20 minutes outside of downtown Barcelona, and the assignment instructed us to pick one, get off the metro, and find a coffee shop. After getting off the metro I walked about two blocks down to a little cafe called Neptuna. We had to order in Spanish, sit, and observe at the place for an hour or so. Our professor wanted us to get outside our comfort zones and experience real Spanish culture away from all the tourists. At first I was a bit uncomfortable because I had no idea where I was and was clearly an outsider to these people. But, I ordered and sat down, becoming more comfortable in just a few minutes.

One of the main things I observed was that there were several families sitting and eating together. This was something very different than I am used to because I can’t ever remember a time when my family was together for lunch on a weekday during the school year. I enjoyed observing their interactions together and throughout my time at the cafe realized this was a normal occurrence. I love the way relationships are so important here. Not that relationships aren’t important in America, the Spaniards just do things differently. Spending time together is very important here and seeing these families come together for lunch, leaving work and school to be together, showed me a part of Spanish culture that I really admire. I want to make this a part of my life, making relationships and time with my friends and family a big priority. The times that I spend alone here in Barcelona are some of my most valuable when it comes to experiencing the culture, I can’t wait to see where my next solo time takes me.

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Posted by on September 18, 2011 in Food and Drink, Solo Time


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