Back to Toronto

It’s been so busy since we got back to Toronto that I haven’t had time to post anything and there’s so much I want to talk about – coming back home, the new EU measures against illegal immigration, our new cleansing diet, work… – that I haven’t had the courage to sit down and just do it.

I’m impatient to get started on work so I can get a chapter out of the way but we have spent the past few days running errands, cleaning, socializing… But here’s a list of my objectives for the next few months:

  1. get the GHS newsletter out
  2. get in shape
  3. eat better (going through a one-month cleansing diet at the moment, should help)
  4. get the website for the Devil’s conference up
  5. write a chapter or two
  6. finish my Iter hours (I still got MANY to do!)

I’ve been working on items 1-4. So far, I have gone to the gym on Friday, Sunday, Monday, and twice today (half an hour run/walk this morning and 1 1/2 killer hour of Yoga this afternoon). I’ve also been walking and cycling around quite a bit. Tomorrow I need to go to the library early to work on item 6. Will try to get to item 4 & 5 in the afternoon. B-U-S-Y!

Busy day in Madrid

After four weeks in Spain, we began our journey home early wednesday morning (June 18th) when we left the house at 7 AM to catch the 8:30 AVE to Madrid. The plan was to stay overnight in Madrid and catch the new Air Canada flight to Toronto. Although we don’t know Madrid very well – the weather prevented us from really enjoying the place last time we were there – we had quite the day meeting friends.
We arrived at 11:15 in Madrid and after checking in at our hotel, we went off exploring. The weather was much nicer than in our previous visit (a sunny 20 C) and we wandered the narrow streets of the Huertas (aka Barrio de las Letras) and the Plaza Mayor. For lunch, we took advantage of the tradition in this part of Spain of the tapeo – which basically consists of ordering a drink to get a free tapa at local bars and cervecerias. Luckily, in Madrid one can get a free tapa by ordering a very small glass of beer (a caña), smaller than a half pint. Here are some random pictures of our wanderings:

Click here for slideshow

After a short nap, we went off to Atocha station to meet a friend from the blogosphere – Erin, the wandering woman. I was so happy to be able to meet her in Spain, a place we both like so much. Erin is a true free spirit and it was so easy to wile away the afternoon in a shady spot of Plaza Santa Ana, hearing about her exciting plans for the future and her experiences on the camino de Santiago.

After accompanying Erin back to the train station, we visited the memorial for the victims of the 2004 Madrid bombings. Hundreds died when bombs were simultaneously detonated in commuter trains arriving at Atocha station and last year a memorial was inaugurated to remember the victims. It is quite a moving site. You can see a picture of it in the slideshow above.

After resting a bit at the hotel, we met Mireia, a friend from Barcelona who is in Madrid on business, her colleague Lydia, and Yaniré, a Chilean we met in Barcelona who has since moved to Madrid after marrying her long-time madrileño boyfriend. It was great seeing Yaniré again after over a year. We had tapas and beer at a local bar until past 1 AM and it was a great end to our month in Spain. We have no idea when we will be back since I have decided not to make any travel plans until I’m finished my dissertation. But I’m finally mentally ready to get it over with so hopefully I can finish within the next 12 months.