Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lots of Random things

So by this time next week I will be devouring (sp?) Frontera and probably getting sick since I have not eaten any food like that in 4 months. As I write this I am so sad. I spent about an hour today looking up things to get involved with when I get back home to keep me busy. For some reason sitting in a park reading a book is only something I can do home I feel like I need to keep myself busy. A long time ago I wrote a post talking about my friend Kara and how she told me to make a list of what I will miss. I think these next couple of days that list is going to get FULL!! I am going to miss sitting in my bed and leaning over into my drawer for my chapstick that is perfectly placed right where I need it to be (i am very organized here). I am going to miss my early walks in the morning when all I could smell was the fresh bread being baked in the Panaderias (best smell ever). I am going to miss the Plaza and so much more. I truly am sad and can't believe it is REALLY coming to an end. Today I was sitting in the park with Macon and we were discussing how we are going back to reality. We have both been hearing about people losing jobs and how things are changing but we have not been witnesses to it yet and we are not quite sure what to expect. Spain is a whole other world and I have experienced so much here that I do not know what home is going to be like. I am so ready to see my family its unreal but I am not sure how life will go from here. What do I do with all I have learned and experienced here?!

On a completely different note...I saw the King, Queen, and President of Spain today...I already explained below why they were in Alcala. It was really cool but there were not a lot of people at all not like there would be if Obama came to the little town of Snellville (Alcala is bigger and there were less people then I think would show up if the president came to town).

Final days

Yesterday we had a graduation for all the students at my school. I think there are 96 of us so it was very nice. All of our teachers gave little speeches and it was kind of sad. They gave us little diplomas and afterwards we had a little luncheon for us. It was all very nice. Afterwards a bunch of us just hung out in the plaza because it was such a beautiful day and we wanted to soak it all in. PLUS we had to wait around for the talent show. There is a theatre class at school that put on their production at the talent show. It was all about women abuse but it was a comedy (its a very common theme in Spanish literature) also someone sang, there was a photogrophay contest, two boys sang and play the hukele (sp? Hawaiin instrument) the students in the magazine class presented the magazine and Carlos, m teacher, presented the yearbook. All are online at the school website if you want to see them.

I got Twitter. I don´t really know why because i think it is for people with internet on their phones who have friends with internet on their phones but its kind of cool. You can check mine out at

Today the king and queen are coming to Alcala. It is the feast day of Miguel Cervantes the author of Don quixote who was born here in Alcala. The King and Queen come to honor another modern writer and present him or her with an award. Also there are HUGE book sales going on all over the plaza (and yes they shut down for siesta too) People have come and set up tents and are selling books all week. Its a pretty cool thing to expierence. Spain has so much culture and finds a reason to celebrate everything. We probably would have had the day off of school but we had finals hahaha.

I just finished my first final and my hardest. Spanish grammar has always been hard to many rules and irregular verbs! I have one more today and then afterwards its off to DONER KEBAB for lunch! Doner Kebab is an Indian fast food kind of restaraunt and its AWESOME! Devin and I have decided to go there for lunch today.

Still have no big plans for the weekend but to hang out around Alcala...maybe go into Madrid and be with all the people I have met here. Abuela asked what we wanted for out last meal yesterday...crazy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

8 days?!

Alright mixed emotions are running through me like crazy!!! Today was my last full day of class WOO me I was ready for those classes to be over. Now on to exams. I have one class tomorrow but we are just reviewing so I do not think that counts. Also tomorrow we have our 'graduation' type thing. We receive diplomas (Does this mean I pass all my classes before I even take the exams?) and then we have a picnic afterwards which should be fun. Tomorrow night is also the talent show. I am unfortunately not participating in any of it (yeah right). Thursday I start finals. I have one in my advanced grammar and one for my Globalization class which I also have a ten page paper due in on how globalization plays a roll in the job market. O SO THRILLING! For the weekend I do not have a lot of plans except to go to my last mass at my church here with Abuela and study. I also just found out that you can rent bikes for free in town so I might do that. Monday I have two finals, civilization and my comparison between the United States and Spain which I also have a 3 page paper due in. Tuesday I will be packing (if I don't get it all done this weekend) and Wednesday I have my independent study final and then I think a bunch of people from school are just getting together and hanging out since we will all be going back to our own states Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, Colorado, Alabama, etc. THURSDAY MORNING AT 4 am I get on a bus to the airport and fly to Paris at 7. I will be in Atlanta at 2:15 on Thursday! I am so excited but at the same time I know I am going to miss Spain like crazy! Whenever I traveled, I couldn't wait to get back to being around the spanish language so I really think just being surrounded by it 24/7 is what I will miss the most.

*Side note* I found out today that Mrs. Gilbert died. For those of you who do not know who she is, she is the wife of Coach Gilbert from St. Pius X and my P.E. and Health teacher for 2 years. Margaret was the swim coach at Pius, too and coached Rebecca. She was diagnosed with cancer I believe my senior year or freshman year of college. It was terminal from the start and spread quickly. She was taken to the hospital last night and died this morning. She leaves behind Bob and their 4 young daughters. Please keep them in your prayers. Although it was expected it is still more difficult then I can imagine.

**On a happier note** I was able to name 39 of the 44 presidents today!!! I was amazed! but unfortunately when I was trying to list the capitals of the states I couldn't quite think of as many hahahah


Thursday, April 16, 2009

La Papa

Alright I thought I would atleast post about seeing Pope Benedict! Friday while I was in Rome I was able to go to Stations of the Cross which was held right outside the Colliseum! What an amazing experience to be with maybe 5,000 other people and listening to the Stations in Italian (probably the most beautiful language and whoever said its just like Spanish is mistaken). There were so many people there from all over the world. I was standing next to people from Argentina, Canada, CAlifornia, and a whole lot of nuns. I have never seen sooooo many different orders of nuns in my life. Plus it was beautiful to have the glowing colliseum right behind me. I was about five rows away from the front and the pope was up on a hill. Pope Benedict XVI
Right behind me!


Last two weeks

I have exactly two weeks from today. Sorry I have not posted about Rome yet...its just going to take awhile to write about it and I really have not had the time. This week has gone by super fast and I had about ten pages of papers to write and research to do. I have a ten page paper due next thursday on globalization..ugh...why did I have to take a business class. Anyway, I missed my Spain family a lot while I was gone in Italy. Monday was a holiday so Devin and I did not have school and neither did Alexis so we stayed home and vegged and watched Toy Story and we taught Alexis how to dance, Macarena, Cupid Shuffle, Soulja Boy...I have really just been trying to soak up all the time I can with my family and practice as much spanish as possible. I am very ready for classes to be done but I am terrified about exams. They are over ALL the course work from the whole semester and they start next Thursday. Tomorrow I go on a class field trip to Segovia, a town outside of Madrid, and then the rest of the weekend I will be working on my ten page paper for next week. On Sunday´s all the museums in Madrid are free so I might go check them all out too but we will see how the paper comes along. Just wanted to give a little update!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Fun in Florence

Beautiful view of Florence from the gardens
The palace and the gardens

Pisa...solo shots are really awkward...I never know what to do with my hands and I didn't want to pretend I was holding up the tower like the other people around me

The Duomo

Ponte Veccio...those are all gold shops...really pretty jewlery

We left around 10am from Venice and the train took about 3 hours again to Florence. I have a friend, Felicity, studying in Florence so she met me and Macon at the train station and she let us stay at her apartment which was so fun. She rooms with 5 other girls and their apartment is so big. We cooked dinner and drank wine and it was very relaxing and nice not to have to spend money. She introduced me and macon to an amazing pizza restaraunt called wasnt as good as Venice but still awesome. I forgot to say that while I was in Venice I ran into one of my other really good friends Sarah Beth in Venice and a guy who we had met in Dublin who goes to school in New York(The world is SOOO SMALL)...Anyway, back to Florence. The first day we went to the Duomo which is a huge church right in the center of Florence (which by the way has a horrible street plan...nothing makes since...thank goodness for maps) The Duomo has the best view of the city if you climb the 463 stairs to the top which we did. It was beautiful...unfortunately I forgot my camera so only Macon has pictures of it. That night Felicity made us spaghetti and we went out to a discotecha called YAB...which stands for Young and was a lot of fun. The next day Felicity took me and Macon on her personal tour of Florence to the leather market, gold streets, ponte Veccio(sp?,...its a cool bridge)...and taught us a bunch of history about the Medici family (I realized I really know nothing about Italy's history)...then Macon and I decided to go to Pisa because its only an hour away from Florence by train. The Tower was leaning obviously and its very tall!!! The town of Pisa was tiny but fun to walk around because its very medieval. When we got back into Florence we walked around and got gelato with Felicity and all her roommates. The next and final day we had in Florence Macon and I walked to the palace and the gardens and just spent the day there which was nice and beautiful. We had such nice weather. We also walked around the open air markets. We had a really early train at 6am to Rome so we didn't want to go out or anything. We went to this awesome place for dinner though called Il Pirata...basically there are a lot of little places around Florence where you can go during the day and get fresh pastas, veggies, meats, basically anything To Go but at night they cant save all the leftover food so they put everything left over out for a buffet. You pay 7euros and can eat all you want. There were probably five different dishes of pasta, veggies, and meats and we helped ourselves. It was awesome! Then we left early the next morning for Rome.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Off to Venice!

The train to Venice was about 3 hours. I loved the train rides because you got to see all the beautiful scenery in Italy. Once you arrive at the train station in Venice you immediately walk out onto the water which is beautiful but I would not suggest ever going in it. Venice has no cars or mo peds, you can only walk everywhere which was so nice. Our hostel was off the main "street" that pretty much wraps around the whole island and it was very nice. I loved Venice because even when you felt like you were getting lost down the little side streets, you would pop up on a main street. The first day we kind of walked around and saw St. Mark's square and a lot of churches which are all so unique. We went into Santa Lucia and saw St. Lucy's corpse which was actually neat since Rebecca's confirmation saint is St. Lucy. Murano (an island off Venice) is famous for their blown glass and there are stores everywhere selling it so we looked at a lot of those too. And we found THE BEST pizza place ever. It was really out of the way of everything but we stumbled across it and continued to go back each day. We walked along the Rialto bridge and through all the markets. The gondolas cost way too much for two people to split so I did not get to ride in one but I saw them so thats good enough.

Rialto bridge

St. Mark's

First stop Milan

I slept in the airport thursday in order to catch my 6am flight to Milan from Madrid Friday morning. It was not too bad seeing how it was the beginning of Spring Break for everyone so there were a lot of people there. I arrived outside of Milan around 8am and had to take an hour bus ride into the heart of Milan to find my hostel. Eventually I find my hostel (lets just say I was in a ghetto) but we werent aloud to check in for another 2 hours. Macon and I had plans to go into Switzerland for the day but now we had all our luggage for two more hours. So we went into Milan to get lunch and lets just say Milan has one square with a church in it and thats about it...O Unless you have millions of dollars to go shopping (I just had to think about how to spell dollar by the way...o spanish). I was so excited about getting to eat pesto (my fav) so we found a restaurant and unfortunately they like noodles hard so my pesto was good but the pasta that came with it was not. BUT NO WORRIES...Gelato came next...not a dissapointment at all..although I am not a very big ice cream person so this was only one of the two times I ate it on the trip...After that we went back to our hostel. By this point it was 4 in the afternoon, we had been up for over 24 hours, we had seen all Milan had to offer, we had an early train to Venice, so we crashed and didn't wake up until it was time for the train. Getting off the plane in Italy
Milan train station

Milan mall...

The Duomo...aka beautiful but the only thing to see in Milan


HAPPY EASTER!!! It is so weird not to be home for today seeing as it has always been a very special day to my family. I didn't get woken up to my dad singing "HE IS RISEN HE IS RISEN COME ON AND CELEBRATE!!" which was sad, I don't see pretty spring color dresses and boys in their nice slacks (its freezing here), I dont get to attend mass with my family and celebrate Jesus being ALIVE! and of course wont have brunch at the club...its hard to be away for this holiday but thank goodness I live with a Catholic family here who will go with me to mass and celebrate! O and did I mention that I got to see THE POPE!!!!!!!!!!! AMAZING!!!! I unfortunately did not get to stay in Rome for Easter Mass which would have been amazing but I am very happy to be back in Alcala and not living out of a suitcase. Madrid feels more and more like home everytime I come back from traveling. I will be updating my blog all day today but its going to take me a while seeing how I was gone for 10days in ITALY!!!! Have a Happy Easter and know that I am thinking of you!