You can call me Nando!

•May 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Friday 5/18

We woke up early for our first company visit at Acciona and the Director of Sustainability was our speaker for the day. This company was very interesting because they used to be solely in construction and then furthered their reach by investing in energy and water.

Then we went to Toledo for a guided tour of the ancient city. Our guide was Fernando “nando”…he was hilarious! He told me I was flirting with him because I wore a fuchsia colored shirt (apparently the city flag is this color as well!). LOL. Toledo is a beautiful gated city with amazing views!

Got some great souvenirs at a little shop in Toledo!

This evening we met to go to dinner at Cerveceria – a very authentic looking restaurant with outside seating. This really felt like an authentic meal in Madrid!

Our entertainment for the night was a Flamenco show! It was absolutely amazing and I have never seen anything like it!

Then hit up the night life in Madrid, 2 bars and 1 club later we got home around 4 am (since we had to leave the hotel by 11AM the next day) but the city was still hopping.

Quotes: “You come to my house!”, “my email address is alfonsoalejandrodiegosanchez12345iluvfutbol@yahoo.com”, “It looked like it would fit…Save that for Rachel, she will love it”, “Fuchsia!”, “Holy Toledo”, “Nando, are you joking? Yes and no…come closer, I tell you”

Love from Madrid & Toledo!

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Chocolate & Churros

•May 26, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Thurs 5/17

This day we got a late start compared to Wednesday – 9:15AM. Would have been nice to say I slept in but my roommate and I stayed up way too late! Our first company to visit was Santander. Banco Santander is a retail bank based in Spain and present in ten major markets. It is among the top 15 financial institutions worldwide. This was an amazing company that literally is a city within a city. One of the main focuses for sustainability is that they focus on giving back to students in hopes that those students will one day give back to them (i.e. as customers, employees, investors). Santander provided coffee and snacks and a grounds tour of their amazing facilities including their own art museum.

We took a break between company visits and had lunch at Ginos Italian restaurant on the patio. The weather was great and it was a great location in a mall with an amazing view!

Our second company tour was at Telefonica. They are one of the world leaders in the telecommunications sector, providing communication, information and entertainment solutions with presence in Europe, Africa and Latin America. They operate in 25 countries with over 300 million customers.

In the evening we took the metro to visit Reinasofia, a modern art museum in Madrid. They had some great stuff on display and it was free to visit from 7-9pm. I got some great pics of Salvador Dali works and saw some great Picasso paintings. After the museum, we had dinner at Llana in Plaza Mayor on the plaza. Again, great weather, great atmosphere and great company! We finished off the night at a 24 hour Chocolateria (San Gines) for churros & chocolate! Another great day in Espana!

Quotes: “Starbucks!”, “I’m pretty sure I just kissed the seat!”, “This is real life right now” <- Marcus in response to the BSB songs we were singing!

First Full Day in Madrid

•May 20, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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Wed 5/16

We woke up early from our crazy night out and headed on a motor coach to a company meeting at Grupo Siro. Once we arrived we got to see their facility, got a tour of everything and they provided breakfast. Grupo Siro is one of the largest industrial groups in the food sector in Spain. They are present in six food businesses, including: biscuits, pastas, sliced bread, bakery, pastries/cakes, cereals and research & development. They were an amazing start to our company tours and really focused on stable partnerships with their customers, efficiencies and innovations. They work with HEB back home (to all the Texas folks who might be familiar). The factory reminded me of taking a tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the best part is we got to taste test! It was a really fun trip and a good learning experience. The speakers for our tour were the COO and the Vice President of the company.

After that we got to tour on our own the town of Segovia (which is about a 2 hr bus ride from Madrid). This city is absolutely amazing! So quaint, calm and beautiful. I would love to retire there. We ate lunch in this city and then toured all the little churches, cathedrals and sights. I have some beautiful pictures from this trip that I can’t wait to post … as soon as internet is more reliable! After a long day of “work” and touring, we went to a local market to pick up a few grocery type items. Then we had dinner at this cute little café right across from our hotel – Café Europa Restaurant & Lounge Bar. I had a café mokka, chicken wrap and gelato! YUM!

Quotes: “you know what’s really creepy is you saying that with your retainer in, you sound like a child molestor”, “YOLO” …many more that I cannot remember!

When in Spanish!

•May 17, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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We landed in Madrid Tuesday morning after 8:00am – after getting our luggage, meeting up with a friend and catching a taxi – we got to the hotel around 10:00am. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to unpack and give into the need for a nap before starting our day! Can you say jet lag?

Once we got up and ready to go, we met our cohort in the lobby @ 4:30 for our walking city tour of Madrid. Our guide was Amor and she led us to the metro where we got off at Callao (forgot to mention our metro exit is Paramides). We then walked through the city and got to take a million pictures and while learning a lot about the history of Spain and Madrid. We saw a religious parade that was going on that evening as well. The evening meal started off with Sangria (quick stop in a side bar) and then went to dinner at Cinco Jotas. The food was great and the appetizers basically fill you up before you get your entree and then dessert! The wine was flowing and we all had a great time! After dinner a few of us headed out to explore the nightlife. We hit a few bars and ended up at a music street festival! I could have stayed the entire night, but we had a business meeting and had to be ready to leave by 8:15AM. The next morning started a little rough for everyone.

For those of you keeping count:

Bottles of wine consumed at dinner: 15+ (just at our table – educated guess!)

Number of sick (i.e. vomiting) students in the 12 hours following our night out: 6

Number of rumours being spread: countless

The real stat I wanted to add but left off due to better judgement: priceless  ; )

Quotes of the night: “When in Spanish…!” , “You’ve been carded!”, “…in the morning?!?”, “YOLO”, “cotton-eyed joe in the street” and “UTA MBA!”

XOXO – from Madrid

Kristen & Jamie Take Madrid

•May 14, 2012 • Leave a Comment

After a nap and long flight of course! Benadryl has taken effect…travel pillow check! Hope I wake up in time for dinner!

Packing for Spain

•May 13, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I loathe packing…worst part of traveling ever! I just want to virtually relocate my own bedroom and bathroom – I have everything I need there!! Flight to Madrid is at 11:00AM tomorrow! Cannot wait to start our adventures in Espana! This is my blog to keep track of my travels!