speech

ESPANA

So my last post was April 3rd…I always tell myself I won’t allow any of these long hiatuses to occur, but here we are. A lot has gone on since April and between work and my personal life this took a back seat, but I am back – and what better way to come back with a nostalgic post about Spain?! Around this time two years ago I was travelling all over Spain, loving every second of it, even the historical heat wave we faced in Madrid (well, maybe not that part). Spain was absolutely beautiful with such an incredible culture and people, so I cannot wait to share these images and stories with you!File_003(2)


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  • Madrid

Our first stop was Madrid. Beautiful beautiful Madrid! I have never been to Spain before so I wasn’t too sure on what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Throughout all my European adventures, I have never seen such detailed architecture before. The plazas were extremely large, much bigger than the ones I saw in Italy. The nightlife was unmatched – watch out NYC, they are the true city that never sleeps…well, aside from the whole siesta thing (yes it is real!). Literally everything shuts down during siesta time, I had extreme trouble finding even a convenience store to just grab a bottle of water!

I loved exploring everything Madrid had to offer, from the museums, to the parks, to the flamenco dancing, and of course the tapas and wine! They also have great trips available to places like Toledo (so sad we didn’t get to go!). I would definitely recomend renting a bike (we were able to do so at a gas station lol), see a flamenco show, and explore EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid to get lost!

Oh and if you’re there in the summer be sure to order a the popular summer wine cocktail, tinto de verano. It literally translates to red wine of summer. Super light and refreshing 🙂

Let’s start with some of the sites you can’t miss!

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The Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid) is just breathtaking. The size alone will leave you in awe! No pictures are allowed to be taken inside but surely what you see will be engraved in your memory. The rooms are so beautifully (and ornately) decorated and full of indulgence, you could only imagine a king living here! They have gardens surrounding the place, making it hard to believe this is right in the middle of Madrid! They also have an armory full with an incredible collection, some even say the best in Europe.

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Plaza Mayor is a typical plaza full of street vendors and little stores, but what makes it so unique are the murals painted on the Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House). the building was constructed in 1619 and as assumed, has undergone many renovations. It was originally designed to house the Baker’s Guild, which was extremely powerful as they controlled grain prices. the original paintings on the walls were redone in 1992, so pretty recently! It is now home for the Madrid Tourist Information Center, so if you are looking to get any information, this is the place to stop by! Also, typical to touristy areas, I would stay away from the cafes in the plazas, you can find a much more authentic and reasonably priced place one off the beaten path.

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Statue of Felipe III in front of Plaza Mayor

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Plaza de la Villa – just a cute little square close to Plaza Mayor 🙂

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  • Marbella

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Down to Andalusia we go! Marbella was a great way to relax on beautiful beaches and drink some tropical dranks after a bunch of touristy things (and a TON of walking) in Madrid. There were a ton of British and Russians there when I was there, I am not sure if they like to vacation there or if they kind of took over. Nonetheless it was absolutely beautiful. From the little stone pathways, the winding tiny streets. It reminded me of Sorrento or Cinque Terre. They had the cutest boutiques, the most quaint little cafes. I would totally recommend just walking around and getting lost and see what you stumble upon. They have wonderful ocean front dining and clubs at night right on the beach. I have honestly never heard of it before coming here, I assume places like Ibiza overshadow it, but it seems pretty family friendly too as I saw a ton of families with young kids! We literally just ate, drank, and relaxed on the beach during our time here, we didn’t do much exploring at all.

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  • Granada

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Our final stop before heading back to Madrid to go home! And WOW, what a way to end a trip of a lifetime! Granada was just breathtaking, from the 1000 year old Alhambra and the views, to the wonderful markets and vendors, to the Turkish baths, to the modern shopping and dining, Granada has it all. I will certainly be adding more pictures as I unearth them from my computer, but the views I was able to capture from the Alhambra Palace are literally nothing like I have seen before. It was totally worth the trip to see and explore the grounds here. It truly felt like I was time warped to the past. This is another city with a ton of winding little alleys and streets that you should get lost in. It also had a very Arabic feel, with Arabic restaurants, vendors, etc. Completely different vibe and energy form Marbella and Madrid and anywhere I have been really. Loved every second of it.

Also, though there are no pictures here (we weren’t allowed to take them), of the first Turkish baths in Spain, I highly recommend going. After a long trip of travelling and walking around, see and learning and being apart of this awesome history was just incredible. The baths were beautiful and clean, and we got massages after!

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View from Alhambra Palace

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Food from restaurant that overlooked Alhambra – I want to say it was the Carmen Mirador de Aixa

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Amazing work being done by hand in the palace.

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How To SLAY Your MOH Speech

Alright so remember a few posts back I wrote about my sister’s fabulous Nashville bachelorette? Well the wedding just passed and since I was the MOH, I had to do a speech. Writing a speech can be pretty tough, but standing in front of hundreds of people can be a bit more daunting. I thought I was going to pass out walking down the aisle let alone speak in front of hundreds of people – talk about pressure! The thing about speeches is you have to include both the bride and groom and you have to make it so everyone in the room can understand the jokes, who the couple is, etc. Most importantly, you want to make it sweet, sentimental, and light-hearted. Seems tough I know, but it really could be a lot of fun! It really just comes from the heart!

I’ve heard speeches that were pages long and just seemed to jump around so the greatest two tips I can give you is to write beforehand (LONNNNNG beforehand) and keep it to 2:00 minutes or less 🙂

Check out below for some  more helpful hints and examples!


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Well first things first, you should introduce yourself and thank the guests for partaking in the couple’s lovely day. You should also start with a compliment to the couple and make note on how fabulous they look. Since my (now) brother-in-law would much rather be in a t-shirt and sweats, I also through in a little joke about that.

  • Hello everyone and welcome to bride’s name and groom’s name special day. You both look absolutely breathtaking – especially you groom’s name – I know how much you love wearing a nice tux. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is your name and I am relation to bride.

 

Now you should tell a little bit about the relationship between you and the bride. Share some of her characteristics and memories you’ve had with her and what she means to you, what impact she has had on your life, etc. You can make this super emotional yet still make it funny. Maybe she was your personal stylist from years of you borrowing her clothes and she just never knew it ;).

  • Although we are quite the opposite of each other, bride’s name has been my best friend and my other half since moment or story of how you met. Bride’s name is characteristic, characteristic, etc. Perhaps tell a favorite memory you two have. The greatest gift I’ve received is her as my sister/best friend/ cousin/etc. And now groom’s name, the greatest gift I can give you, is my best friend.

 

Next, talk about how they met or how long they have been together and compliment them on their unique love. Also this is where you will tell a story – either in relation to you, your favorite memory of them, etc. Be sure to ask the bride if any stories are off limits beforehand! This is also where I put in a little joke on the groom, see below!

  • It has been nothing short of beautiful and inspiring to watch your love grow and blossom into what it is now, and I cannot wait to see what it will be. # of years years together already is a long time, but the way you two act, it’s like you fall in love all over again with each look. Speaking of # of years years ago, I remember when all three of us story time. You guys could not get rid of me if you tried! Groom’s name, I am blessed to finally have a brother like you – now I no longer have to the “son my dad never had” – even though I could probably beat you at any sport.

 

Tie it all together now! Write about how alike they are how their love will flourish, and how they can overcome anything that life throws their way. My sister hates going into the basement alone so of course I had to throw that in there.

  • You both are alike in so many ways, and so different in others, but together I know you two can overcome any obstacle with the support, patience, and love you provide each other with always. I know you will continue to make my bride’s name happier than she ever thought possible and I am so glad you came into all of our lives. I know my best friend will ALWAYS be safe (especially when she has to go to the basement by herself), but most importantly, happy, loved and cherished.

Cheers time! Raise those glasses!

  • So please join me in a toast to the lovely couple…Bride and groom’s name, I wish you a lifetime of love, happiness and health. I love you both!!

 

If you need help writing or want to know more tips or see my full speech, comment below or feel free to email me in the Contact tab!

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