I really wasn´t sure about what to expect from this trip last week, but it turned out to be awesome. Michael came out and we spent a couple days in Madrid and a couple days in Rome and it all ended up being a really sweet time.
I took a bus to Madrid the night before Mike arrived and didn´t sleep at all in the hostel because I was worried about finding him in a foreign airport the next morning. But it worked out and I found him--and we both struggled through the day on not enough sleep. We did pretty well for not having a plan in Madrid--we saw lots of impressive buildings and parks and things. Day two was better after some sleep and we took a day trip to Toledo, definately a whole interest level above Madrid. There was some sort of festival going on, so we strolled around and sipped sangria.
We flew to Rome on Sunday and tried to keep ourselves from seeing the major sights--we wanted to save them for a later day and not run out of things to see. It turns out that it would be pretty difficult to run out of things to see in Rome. Nonetheless, we spent our first full day there (Monday) at the beach instead of touring the sights because we wanted to chill and see the Mediterranean sea (a first time for both of us). We had pizza for lunch and pasta for dinner and I began to develop the opinion that Italian food is better in the States.
Vatican city took the next day--we got hooked up with a great tour in English and had an amazing time. Michael and I both said that we had never appreciated art so much in our lives. The next day took in some more major stuff like the Colloseum and Palatine hill. It ended up raining and we got pretty soaked, but it was still a great day--almost impossible to be bored. Both of those nights we ate in the hostel and had the best meals of our trip, in my opinion. Real fresh Mozarella cheese right out of the liquid with fresh bread, apples, wine, and some goldfish crackers and beef jerky Mom had sent with Michael. It was a blast cutting through the cheese with a tiny pocket knife and drinking wine out of cheap plastic cups. Also, every night in Rome we would go out for gelatto and end up seeing some major sights all lit up. The Trevi Fountain was my favorite place in Rome and we saw it twice while chilling with a bowl of gelatto.
The final day got us miserably lost and soaked by the rain, but we eventually found our way to the Apian way and saw the famous Roman catacombs after splitting a piece of lasagna from the world´s oldest cookbook. We tried eating out again that night and enjoyed it more than the first time, but I´m holding on to my opinion that we just do it better on our side of the Atlantic. Michael gave in to me and we spent our final evening by the Trevi Fountain. I felt it was a pretty ideal way to remember the eternal city.
We flew back to Madrid on Friday and decided that we would finish the trip out by chilling instead of actively seeing the sites--which turned out to be a superb decision. Our last full day there we spent the morning in Madrid´s naval museum and then strolling through the park. We even rented a rowboat and tooled around a little lake there...definately five euros well spent. That night I tried to order one of my favorite Spanish foods for Mike--a serranito (sandwitch with a pork fillet, spanish ham, tomatoes, and a fried green chile. It turns out that that´s a Sevillan food and Madrileñas don´t know how to make one. I thought it was ok, but Michael couldn´t finish his so we went out for a spanish tortilla instead (pretty much a potato omelette). It´s too bad he couldn´t get to Sevilla with me because last night I had the best serranito of my semester (Margarita was too drunk to cook and took us out again).
Anyway, back to the trip, I left Mike at the airport Sunday morning, met up with a friend at the bus station, and was back in Sevilla by dinner. It is definately nice to be back in a place that feels so comfortable. However, it was great to share this trip with my brother. One of my biggest highlights was the fact that we weren´t so interested in the european nightlife (clubs and bars), so we would stay at our hostel. We always ended up laying on his bunk, sharing headphones, and watching Friends on his ipod. We realized about halfway through the week that we hadn´t ever told anybody that we were brothers--and then realized what they were probably thinking about two guys hanging out together in the same hostel bed...oh well. You may have noticed that all the pictures I've posted with this are of Michael--the way things worked out were that he was the official photographer of the trip, so I only have a few in total, and almost all with him. He promised that he'd send me the rest, but as of now I'm still waiting.
Being around Michael definately started me thinking about home. I´m going to miss my friends and Sevilla a lot when I leave, but I´m now looking forward to home very much. I sing Christmas songs to myself and it isn´t even Thanksgiving yet--the comercialized Christmas industry has nothing on me.