So, I tried really hard to upload pictures for this post during the little bit of Internet time I had before it got angry and disconnected again, but I wrote emails instead (and I think only one of them sent). Oh well. I’m doing my best. It’s two thirty in the morning here which makes it evening-ish at home, no? Today we went to Toledo, an amazing Medieval city. We walked winding roads and cute back allies, teeny tunnels and cobblestone pathways. The world is warmer here. It’s hot, but warmer not so much in temperature as in color. I’m permanently wearing tinted sunglasses. The world is in gorgeous warm tones. When we flew in, I managed to be awake for the last hour of the flight. I thankfully slept at least seven of the nine and a half hour flight. The olive trees in perfect lines filled the square plots of land next to beautiful flowers and rolling hills. The copper-toned roofs of entire towns fills other spaces and it all connected to form the most beautiful warm-colored patchwork quilt of coexisting. Madrid is absolutely beautiful. It’s unlike any big city I’ve ever been to. People say that New York is alive with the music and the lights and the fast-paced people, but I would beg to differ. In Madrid the sun shines through the alleyways and light up cobblestone sidewalks that meet the roads with absolutely no warming as a tiny car stops for me to cross even though I don’t realize I’m crossing the street. People walk everywhere, speak loudly, laugh often, and smile as I try and use my limited Spanish to order un cafe con leche, which is superior to any cup of coffee I’ve ever had in the U.S. No lie. Not everyone is nice and happy and perfect or anything, but it’s definitely a different feel. Beautiful flowers sit on the porches of the metal apartment balconies as the Spaniards smoke their cigarettes and watch the men on bicycles and Vespas fly by beneath them. The buildings are old and beautiful. It’s hard to imagine living in a place likes Madrid where everything, every building, every street, every fountain has a history, and a long and complicated one at that. The fact that the U.S. is so young in comparison to much of Europe isn’t something I consider often, if at all. It changes everything. It’s evident that they place, and have placed for a long time, a great deal of value in the overall aesthetics of the city, and it changes everything. It has a personality. The most distinguishing thing about Madrid is a feeling that you’re constantly surrounded by art. The whole world feels like a work of art. The buildings, the restaurants, the people, the texture of the street, the food, the graffiti, the lifestyle, the walls, the clothing, the colors. The trees are my favorite! The city is filled with beautiful trees! Every street, every corner. Beautiful, flourishing life. That’s what Madrid is to me. A city of beautiful, flourishing life.