As I take the first sip of my iced coffee to go, I smile. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
An unobstructed sunset glowing behind the tall, swaying palm trees. The quiet, empty streets of suburbia, broken up only by the laugh of a child or the low hum of a lawn mower. The pool in my backyard. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
The conversations with friendly strangers. "How are you doing today?" "What are your weekend plans?" "This drink is free because it took way too long to come out." "Oh, excuse me. Sorry!" "You have a wonderful day, honey/sweetie/darling/my love!" I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
The five minute drive to the grocery store? A 20 minute walk. The twenty minute drive to a restaurant? A 60 minute walk. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
The abundance of cultures and cuisines. A twenty mile radius on Yelp showing great Vietnamese! Korean! Colombian! Peruvian! Mexican! Lebanese! Italian! Cuban! and finally American! restaurants. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
The hours spent sitting in a car. But on the other hand, that glorious, glorious one stop shopping. (Hello Target. Hello Publix.) I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
Slowing your car to allow a deer to cross the road. Waving hello to an alligator in the pond. Stopping and patiently waiting as an owl decides whether it wants to stay chilling in the middle of the road or fly away to the nearest tree. Seeing unidentifiable animal prints in the backyard. Was it a fox? Or a raccoon? I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
The extremely predictable afternoon thunderstorms and the extremely high humidity. Blegh. I'm definitely not in Madrid anymore.
It's the slight withdrawals from plaza life and 2 euro glasses of wine. From tapas and jamon, rooftop drinks just because, and the Spanish language. But making up for it with happy hours with friends and $5 craft beers (helllo my pretties). With delicious sub sandwiches and smoothies, rooftop drinks just because (somethings never change), and being asked on your first day back, "Hablas espanol?"