Monday, January 30, 2012

Today started out so/so but has ended on the most perfect note! I got to skype with some of my favorite people and they have restored so much happiness in me! Shout outs to Lo, Katie, Rachy and Jglow.  MMHM that's how many beautiful faces I got to see today! They make me miss school so much but obviously (like we always say) I still wouldn't trade being here. This week we booked spring break (Paris) and a trip to London for the weekend of St. Patty's day. I tried explaining to Carmen why we celebrate it and basically just told her it's an excuse to wear green and drink during the day, which she laughed at. Carmen is such a great source of entertainment! On Saturday night she went out dancing so of course I wanted to know how it went. She said she danced with handsome guys and got home after we were already in bed at like 1 am..pretty sure it's not supposed to work like that..Anyways, she made us meatballs and white rice for dinner tonight which barely lasted on our plates for ten minutes because we were starving. I think this is the best I've ever eaten in my life. Sorry mom

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's a beautiful Sunday in Madrid and the day has finally come where I got to sleep in and have nothing to get ready for all day if I wanted. It feels so good to be free! Mare Nostrum definitely took a toll (waking up at 7:30 every morning and going to bed at 1 am will catch up to you eventually). Speaking of Mare Nostrum, I still have some pictures to put up from the trip! I'll get on that later today or tomorrow. Right now we are about to go to the park and walk around a little bit. I can hear Carmen frying up something (yep..our host mom has a deep fat fryer!) for her lunch. Since we are usually gone in the middle of the day I don't think I've ever seen her eat because she doesn't have dinner with us. Right now I wish my sense of smell was a little better because I'm sure it's delicious. Last night we had yellow rice with cheese and some veggies. SO good. And the night before we had croquettes, chickpeas and some sausage. Carmen is good to us.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

First day of classes yesterday! I can't believe it..this semester is beginning to get faster and faster. I'm taking all of my classes (four) in spanish so we'll see how this goes. Last night we went to an irish pub to watch the Barca vs. Real Madrid game and they tied 2-2. Its so comforting to go to places where they speak english and most of the people are American but at the same time I can't wait to branch out a little bit because I've been to more irish pubs in Spain than actual clubs (Barcelona, Valencia and Madrid). Also because I want to see more spanish men. Hello, that is 60% of why I'm here! So yeah, I guess I should have gone for a run in the park instead of taken that 3 hour nap today..oops. Regardless all that I'm really focused on right now is getting completely acclimated to Madrid. I got the metro down for the most part but I need to start memorizing what I don't know and also street names. That's gonna take a while.
Also, it's technically Friday morning here (12:15 am) so shout outs to Phi Sig cause kick off starts tonight. Sending you all my love!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

About time we're in Madrid!! We got here yesterday and I finally feel more or less settled. Carmen is so welcoming and so nice and just wants us to feel as comfortable as possible. Alyssa brought a map with her so we showed Carmen where we live and where we've traveled. Also she made a really good dinner of vegetable puree soup, tortilla de patatas, salad and bread. And this morning we had coffee (which was SO good) and toast. We chatted a lot but it's kind of hard to keep up.. I'm taking four spanish classes so that will help I think. Today was orientation and I took the metro for the first time with Alyssa! They are so clean and so quiet (both the train and the people..) but also so incredibly easy. Also, of course our metro stop is on the same street as the school but we didn't realize it so we walked like 6 blocks out of the way. Missin my girls but I wouldn't trade this for Syracuse or New Haven right now. Also I'm extremely excited for the fact that Carmen has a 2 year old granddaughter who's mom is pregnant again and due in March! Can't wait to meet them.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

We've been to Tarragona and are now in Valencia! This trip has felt like a month but its only been a little over a week. I am so ready for Madrid, but I love Valencia. It's unbelievably beautiful. We've seen so many beautiful views of mountains and buildings and sea. Cray. The only thing is that I am so over hotels. We just learned about our host mom yesterday and I cannot wait! Her name is Carmen and she has a little granddaughter, just what I wantedddd!! Plus me and Alyssa have our own rooms and share a bathroom separate from Carmen. Perfecto! Today we visited the Museo Lladro where they make porcelain figures all by hand and painted by hand and so intricate and beautiful and tomorrow we are going to an aquarium and taking a boat ride! It will be a great way to end mare nostrum.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Barcelona is bumpin. There is so much to do and see and so much beauty. Today we visited two cathedrals and the architecture was unbelievable. The ceilings and the detail were amazing. It was definitely a lot to soak in. We also took a walk down La Rambla which is a really popular street with lots of stands that you can buy anything from fruit to clothing at. But honestly the most amazing part of today was visiting the Gaudi museum. Everything had a meaning or a reason, which I found so cool. The railings were formed in such a way that best fits your hand and every room had access to sunlight no matter where it was. The walls and ceilings just flowed, nothing was square (even some chairs) and it was so earthy and beautiful. It is definitely a place to go if you ever visit Barcelona.
These are just some of the beautiful parts of the museum:

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Girona was such a great start to this trip. The food, the architecture, it was all so interesting you could just look around for hours. Adjusting to the relaxed atmosphere is not hard at all but the difference in eating has taken some getting used to. Breakfast is around 9, lunch at 2 and dinner at 9 or 10, which is so late to me, but the food has been delicious and we've only had to pay out of pocket once and it was well priced. Our first night I ate more than I think I have at a restaurant before. We were first given toasted bread and rubbed garlic and cut tomatoes on it which was delicious, and then for the first course was a mixed salad with corn, greens, white asparagus, tomato, onion, and olives. We also had a plate of hot cheese that was so amazing (with more bread) and three grilled vegetables on toast. For the entree there was a choice of chicken, fish, pork, sausage or veal. I got the fish, and they were not was the entire fish; bones, head, tail and all. Definitely different than I'm used to but it tasted really good. Except that of course I ate a couple of the bones...oops! Then for dessert I shared a chocolate mousse which was awesome but I was so glad not to eat it all alone because by that time I was stuffed. But anyway, we are now in Barcelona and the view is amazing. Our room has a balcony! And even though it's Sunday, there's still so much to look at and so much going on. Can't wait for three hours...its 7.

Friday, January 13, 2012

We are finally here! It took two planes and a bus but we made it to Girona. It's so beautiful and I don't want to stop looking out the window. This is my view:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Today is the day! JFK in 5 hours, take off in 10 hours, Barcelona in 18 hours. I can't believe it's already here but I'm so ready and excited. It's been so long that I've prepared for this trip and now that I'm finally ready and leaving and reality is setting in, the butterflies are coming and I just want to fast forward a bit and know the area and be comfortable and know my host family and speak fluently and everything else. But at the same time I need to remember to soak it all in while it's happening because as much as I have been anticipating this day, it will be gone just as quickly and I will be taking a plane back to the states before I know it...pero por el momento, no puedo esperar!