Just last night we returned from a lovely little escape into the mountains of Madrid to visit Carmen's parents. It was such a picture perfect little getaway, complete with a beautiful stone house, a swimming pool, and incredible food. Her parents were so kind and hospitable, and cooked us bacalao (cod) soup, and seafood paella for our two big meals. The second day there we went hiking nearby to where a small river snakes through the rocks of the mountain to create natural springs and waterfalls. We tanned in the pools there and slid down the natural water slides while goats overlooked from the mountain above. With no wifi the whole weekend, I became entirely detached from my phone for the first time in years. It was completely liberating, but a bit overwhelming when I came back the next day to an overload of groupme messages. Hopefully I'll make it back out to the Madrid countryside! We trained to the town of El Escorial, very close to where I spent my visit a few years when I came in high school.