Today is Adam Rossi’s 21st (or 12th — according to the candles that Cheryl bought him) birthday! In the United States this would normally be a big deal but in Europe turning 21 is just like any other year. Because we love to have a good time we wanted to make sure that Adam experienced a wonderful birthday evening and day. Here are a couple of the things that I think made Adam’s birthday a once in a lifetime, unforgettable and unique experience.
1. Birthdays are usually associated with gifts. Though Adam may not have gotten a room full of wrapped presents, he did receive something special from his roomie and fellow jersey boy, John. Since they already have the jerseys and the soccer cleat keychain the only thing they need to be professional futbol players is a soccer ball. So of course, John finished the deal and bought Adam a soccer ball from one of the local stores. Adam was as happy as could be and spent the rest of the night tossing the ball back and forth as we all walked down the streets of Madrid.
2. We may be in Spain but that doesn’t mean that you can’t hear a little birthday tune when it’s your birthday. Thanks to Nichelle, who requested two songs at the club, Adam was serenaded by surprise to an english version of Happy Birthday followed by his new favorite song (and the Jersey Boys theme song) “Hey Soul Sister” by Train. Needless to say it was one of the happiest moments of his life.
3. Today was the first day that we took the metro to class. Greeted by Nancy, our on-site director, and Karl we navigated the subways (even with a few minor construction closings) to the University where we will be holding class a few days of the week. There, we met Antonio (a professor at the University and friend of Karl’s) who opened the classroom for us and even decided to take class with us! Class consisted of the first steps of visualization, learning how to draw. Though Adam’s birthday fell on the first day of class, how lucky is he that his homework is to sketch a picture? Best class ever!
4. This morning we were also told to wear comfy shoes and anything but a skirt. Nancy and Karl had a surprise up their sleeves for us and we had no idea what they were planning. When they met us at our Hostal this morning to show us the way to class they informed us that we would be touring the city of Madrid. Not by bus or by bike but by SEGWAY! The futuristic looking two wheeled motorized machines that propel forward by the weight shift of your body. Just yesterday we saw some wheeling around the town and asked Karl if we would be doing that and he replied that “No, not this year it was just too expensive.” The segways were a great way travel through such a fast paced city. Weaving in and out of streets amongst the other walkers and drivers we were able to zip through the city with ease. I’m sure when Adam was young he never imagined himself riding around Madrid on a two-wheeled major horsepower machine. The segway tour guides were very informative and filled us in on a lot of the historical places in Madrid. They even took us to Europe’s largest palace. The back of the palace (which has a sort of secret entrance that even Karl had never seen before) is absolutely immaculate. With a front yard as big as a golf course and somewhere over 2,000 rooms in the palace it is definitely something that Katie Dalebout would call a “wonderland.”
4. To top off our afternoon we ended our segway tour near the Plaza Mayor and had lunch at a little cafe where we all ate not-so-little bocadillas. Filled with salmon, ham, cheese or chorizo, we all left the restaurant much more refreshed and content. We also couldn’t resist the temptation of the ice cream stand on our way out of the Plaza. It’s a birthday, there has to be ice cream right?
It’s only a little after 7pm here in Madrid, so according to the Spain’s way of the day there is a lot of life left to the night. Luckily for Adam, his birthday can be celebrated even longer than normal if you add in Michigan time. I am not sure what we have in store for us the rest of the day but I know that it will be a birthday like he’s never expected. Because a birthday’s a birthday no matter what the age and no matter where you are.
Here’s a video that includes everything from the birthday gift giving to the segway tour around Madrid. Enjoy and be a part of Adam’s birthday!