Monday, June 20, 2011

Five Months!

This week is my last week here in Spain. My parents are coming on Saturday. I have had to start thinking about packing. It is crazy to think that it has been five months. It dosen't feel like it at all. My host family has really became my family, and I feel like a part of it. It is going to be really hard to say goodbye. Juana is making all my favorites this week.

I have been pretty busy. I went to the beach for a couple of days. I barely did anything other than be on the beach. It was the same time as senior beach week at home. This week Marta and I have a lot of plans. We are going today to do a little shopping and then I have to buy all the train and bus tickets for my parents and I. Tomorrow we are going to meet her mom for breakfast and then going to a palace. On Wednesday we are going to Granada for the day. And Thursday we are going to the ruins outside of the city.

I think the week is going to go by really really fast. We have so much planned. My parents and I are staying here for two days and then staying a night in Sevilla. We then fly to Pisa, spend a night there, and then go to Florence for the week. After we are returning home on the 6th. I have to go register for classes and take my Spanish placement test the next two days. And then I spend one night at home after orientation at USC and then fly down to Sarasota with Katherine and Kristin. So all in all I will be home on the 15th of July. It will be so much travelling.. But I am so happy I can join Kat and Kristin on their vacation. My excuse for a vacation is "It will help me readjust to American life."

I know it has been so long since I have posted last.. It has become hard to blog about my life because I am so used to it now. Marta has finally finished her exams. While she was studying I went to the Judería a lot. (The Jewsish Quarter and really old part of the city.) I know it really well now. There is a tiny little church that is breathtaking. I have seen all of the famous churches in France and I have seen the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and still this tiny little church impressed me much more than any of the others did. There is one small room and the walls are painted and it is just so old and so the paintings on the celing are crumbling. The walls on the side are dark blue with stars on them. It is spectacular.

I will post again I think in Florence and I will probably post again when I arrive home. I am excited to be home to see my best friend and family. But this week will be hard.. I have a life here. I have friends and I have a family that I am really close with.

Until next time, if anyone still reads this!

Monday, May 30, 2011

I want to cook.

Yes, I want to cook. I cook all the time at home and I can count the number of times I have cooked in Spain on one hand. And it's always omlettes. It is funny the things I miss about home.
I miss the ability to go camping, not that I go camping often. But you just can't pitch a tent wherever you want in Spain. And plus I don't think anyone really does.. I also miss driving. And being able to do whatever I want. I think I had more freedom when I lived at home. So I am looking forward to going home. Mostly, I am looking forward to being with my parents again. I can't wait til they get here in June.

I went to a bull fight last night. The bulls are killed. One fact I learned in Spain. It is really quite horrible. But I am glad I went. There were 6 bull fights in all and each lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes. They irritate the bull to make him made and then stab it several times with small blades every few minutes. Finally they use a large blade and stab it one last time so it dies. If it dosen't die they chase it around til it falls and then stab it again. Really really horrible. But fun to see for one time in my life.

Last week was Feria. It was decent. It was like a normal fair but open all night and there are many dance clubs. Which I really hate in general so it wasn't that much fun. The first two nights I went sucked but the third night was a lot of fun because I went with all my friends. I wanted to go home at 4am but one of my friends literally would not let me go. He said it was illegal in Spain to go home before 5am. So, a friend texted Marta to ask what time I had to be home and she said I could arrive home when I was tired. So I stayed until 6am when Marta was texting my friend saying I was in trouble because I wasn't home. I didn't really get this, and neither did anyone else because she had said I could stay out. Anyways, I got home at 6:30 and wasn't tired and really upset I couldn't stay out because my friends went to see the sunrise. Oh well.

I don't have much else to report. I didn't do much this week other than the feria and the bull fight. Pretty jealous I couldn't be at home for my parents memorial day party. There better be an Anna returns day party! I will make Sangria. And maybe finally cook something. I keep stumblingupon fantastic recipies that look just so good. I am saving them and I will probably be master chef when I get back.

Until next week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

From Córdoba to Paris

Let me begin by apologizing to my entire 13 blog followers. I admit I had forgotten to update my blog, and then I remembered but I was too busy. I guess many things have happened over the past few weeks. I don’t go to school anymore. I have been spending my mornings exploring the Judería (Jewish Quarter) and the afternoons with friends. I am being responsible and not sleeping till noon every day. I think the latest I have woken up was around ten, but mostly I try to get up early to beat the heat during my walks. Two weeks ago Córdoba was filled with tourists admiring the Patios, which are the gardens in the courtyard of the homes. Córdoba in May is quite famous actually, and quite beautiful. I went and saw the Patios two times and was impressed. I also discovered that the Royal Stables are centered here and they have shows of their spectacular horses, which I am hoping to see soon.

I walked with my class here. It was really nice because I am not able to graduate with my class at home. It was terrifying. I had to wear heels and walk down a sloped walkway and walk across a stage. Absolutely horrifying, but thankfully I didn’t trip. After the ceremony we had a lovely dinner at a hotel and an after party there as well. The teachers partied with us, which was very strange to me. Boys who are usually shy and don’t talk to me came up to me and all drunkenly declared their love for me… About five of them at the same time so I was obviously confused. I had to leave early, around four, so my friend Javi called a cab for me and I went home. Marta didn’t even come in til nine in the morning the next day. By that time I was sitting in the airport in Sevilla waiting for my flight to Paris.

So, yes, I went to Paris. Another reason why I haven’t updated in a while. The city is gorgeous. The monuments, the churches, the food, the beautiful people. I have almost nothing to complain about, other than the smell. You see, Spain is quite a lovely smelling country, what with the ubiquitous orange trees. There is really nothing lovely to smell in Paris. The smell of urine by the Seine and the tuberculosis of the homeless people really covers up the smell of crêpes and pastries. But, to say the least, the city is amazing. I stayed with an old friend from middle school who happens to be an au pair in the city. She has a small apartment about two minutes away from the Pantheon and about ten minutes away from Notre Dame. She lives in a perfect area. Of course, I fell ill the first day I arrived in the city. But I fought it off and woke up every day around 8:30 or 9 to start my explorations.

I saw it all, probably every famous church and monument in the city, but sadly I only saw the Louvre and Rodin museum. I am absolutely not an art buff, so it was okay. I think after a take a few art history courses and have confidence in my art knowledge I can return to the city and go on a museum tour. Luckily, since I am an EU citizen with my visa, I was able to enter everything for free, except the Pantheon, because the French woman working there was not friendly at all. Even though they were supposed to let me in free, she did not.

I met up with my 7th grade science teacher who is a friend of the family’s which was really fun. I also saw a girl from my high school on the street near Notre Dame. I stopped and greeted her in a daze. I didn’t even know she would be there. I am sure I was extremely awkward because I was just so surprised to see her.

I went to Shakespeare and Company and Tea and Tattered Pages, both famous english book stores. I bought one Agatha Christie, a Sherlock Holmes, and The Great Gatsby. Fantastic souvenirs If you ask me. I also saw Midnight in Paris while I was there. If you don’t know, it’s a new movie with Owen Wilson that premiered at Cannes two weeks ago. It was so surreal because I had been to all the places in the movie and they even had a shot of the movie theatre I was actually in. I thought it was a lovely film and I really think it displayed the magic of the city. It was light hearted, go see it.

So, on Friday I got on the metro to take an hour long bus ride to the airport to go back to Spain. I took a train from Sevilla back home to Córdoba. When I got in the car I told my parents that I think I had to go to the doctor. I didn’t mean right then, but I guess I sounded really sick. We went to the ER and waited almost two hours to see the doctor for three minutes. They gave me a prescription for an antibiotic and cough medicine, which are helping. I hope to be able to leave the house on Monday. This week is Feria. I can see the lights and fireworks from the roof of my home. I think it will be spectacular.

Anyways, I know I really didn’t go into great depth, but so much has happened and I don’t want to sit here for hours talking about stuff when I am not sure anyone actually reads this. Actually, my host sister reads it. So here you are, Marta, a whole blog dedicated to you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I feel pressured to come up with a good blog title...

This past week has been sort of a nonevent. I finally went to school for a complete week, the first time in like 6 or 7 weeks. It was hell. But I only have two more days left of school.

Friday was the confermation of everyone in my grade. I went to the party with my friends from school. It was really fun because everyone from my class was there. On Saturday Marta went out with her friends and I stayed at home with the parents. We went grocery shopping and made hommemade pizza. We ate in the living room and watched CSI. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up at 2:30 and they were still watching CSI, but Carloman was snoring. Sunday was mother's day and the day before Carloman and I made Honey Lamb. So for lunch on Sunday we sat in the dining room and had a very elegant meal. It was delicious too. Marta went out to see a friend and she was supposed to come home and pick me up, but she came home at like 11pm and we couldn't go out. So I never got to see Cruces this weekend. And I was in the house for almost the whole weekend. It kind of sucked. But I really enjoyed spending time with my host parents on Saturday.

Thursday is my last day of school so on Friday I am going to go to Cadiz. It will be really fun. I get to be with my friends and be on the beach. The weekend after is graduation and then I go to Paris. It is weird because I have plans for like every weekend this month. For feria, hopefully, Kata will come and stay with me for a few days.

So grocery stores in Spain: you can find every type of meat. You can buy tongue, brain, kidneys... All types of fish including octopus. They even sell rabit. The fish section seems super unsanitary to me but I haven't gotten sick yet!

I also learned about wines this week. The montillo or amontillado wine is from Córdoba and is really famous. I tired a glass with Carloman and I really liked it. It is made completely differently but I can't explain it without a diagram. The taste is very different though.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Feliz Pascoa!

Happy Easter!

I haven't updated in awhile- but it was on purpose. I was waiting for Semana Santa to end so I could write about it. Seriously.

"Easter" is not celebrated here. Semana Santa is. A whole week dedicated to Easter. But really, if you are regligious, you celebrate Semana Santa too. It is the whole week leading up to Easter- like Ash Wednesday, and Good Friday. Instead of having an ash cross on your forehead all day- there are processions in the streets. These are no ordinary parades.. First there are people dressed in robes with hats like the KKK. They march in the streets with huge walking stick-candles and little kids make balls out of the dripping wax. Then there are the huge floats. They are incredible, intricate, and very heavy. Carrying these floats are young men. They move to the music a marching band plays. The motion is very impressive because the floats are so heavy and the streets are so narrow. There are statues on the floats of different significant parts leading up to the crucifixion. Many are of Jesus- some are of Mary. It is an incredible sight. The processions go late into the night. Sometimes 4am.

You might think this fun. It's not. It is beautiful- but religious. You don't really go to have a good time. It is about seeing these people carry such a collosal object with such grace and celebrating the gift of God. Juana told me that when it rains the people cry, because the processions can't exit onto the street. I didn't understand this until I saw it firsthand. I went to see my friend Carlos' procession and it rained. The procession was cancelled. The people were so sad. I felt very sad too. It is a shame because the men who carry the floats practice very hard for a long time and they can't show what they have been practicing. It continued to rain for the remainder of the week. Many processions were cancelled.

On Easter Day- we did nothing. This was really different for me and a bit hard to be away from my family on a day we are normally all together. I think last year I was with almost my whole family. All the Derians and Derian-Toths. So literally not doing anything on the holiday was difficult. My mom sent Marta and I mini Easter Baskets. I loved it. I took a 5 hour nap for the remainder of the day.

So now for what I was doing when I wasn't seeing the processions. Obviously, I did not have school. My friend Tessa came to visit me in Córdoba for a few days at the beginning of the week. It was really nice having someone who understood me all the time. Carlos took us exploring.. And we went to his soccer game. The Spanish are just so much better at soccer...

After she left I didn't really do too much. I went to the old part of Córdoba to explore. And Marta and I would go to a friend's house everynight. Which was extremely boring for me. Her friends only speak English with me. It is really frustrating because this week I have become worse in Spanish. It is not fair for my parents to spend money for me to live here so I can learn Spanish when people only speak English with me. Maybe I should start a little tutoring business to make money. Hahaha!

Next weekend I think I am going to Cadiz to visit Tessa. My last day of school is a week from this Thursday.. Marta has to study for exams.. and so does everyone else in school so I won't have anything else to do for the entire weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Que Roja.

Yes, I have the worst sunburn EVER.

Last weekend I went with my American friends to Sevilla and Cadiz for the weekend. Cadiz is a small peninsula in the far south with amazing beaches. I fell asleep and now the front of my body is so red.

Both the cities were incredible though. Sevilla is a bit large for my liking and I think it is expensive to get around because of the size. I saw everything famous though. I also went to Granada yesterday with my class. AMAZING. I loved it. My host family is taking me back soon to see more.

Obviously- I have been busy.

My favorite are the tiny streets with bricks for the road and different color buildings. Granada is surrounded by huge mountains- Sierra Nevada. It really is incredible.

My friend Tessa is coming to stay with me this weekend. We have a lot of fun things planned so it will be exciting.

Yesterday I spoke so much Spanish and thought so much Spanish that today I am sooo dead. I also had an exam in my Spanish class- pretty sure I did really well.. I think I am going to join a gym though. I feel disgusting. Lately all the food I eat in the house is unhealthy. I want to just make an eggwhite omlette for lunch- not have like giant helpings of something super heavy. I have lost weight here but I still feel gross. I think I just will go on a diet.

So I have a roommate. I can't remember if I have already written that. We are planning what our room will be like. I have a lot of scholarship money and financial aid now too so I am pretty excited to go to college.

My friend Carlos and I are going out to search for hotels for my parents again. It is very important to me that they stay in an awesome one! Haha (: I just found out my hair is now long enough for me to tie it in a knot. I know, random, but interesting fact?

I think that my Spanish has imporved so much! It is incredible. I want to go to a language school after my school ends in a few weeks- but it is really expensive.

So my host mom is like psycho about how clean the house is. She got mad at me for taking my makeup off with a towell. Also she gets mad when my room is "disorganized" It's not disorganized, I have things on my desk. I don't have any drawers... and I need my things. I'm not just going to put my crap in the closet. So weird. The window has to be open a certain way during the day too. The window wide open but the blinds halfway down- and the door to my room MUST be closed. I don't understand. Oh well.

Okay, I am currently really tired and don't really want to write more. Adios!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Viva Madrid

This past weekend, as you all know, I went on my trip to Madrid. It was more fun than I even had expected. I roomed with all of my friends in the hostel and we went out every night and had excursions during the day. I saw the "Guernica" in the Reina Sofia and my new favorite painting "Saturn Devours his Son." Really really cool. There are two of these paintings. My favorite is the one where it looks like Saturn is sucking out the soul of his son. I did not see any Picasso's in the Prado so I ventured on to Reina Sofia while I had the chance. How cool it is to see a huge Picasso exhibit, in Spain... The most famous Spanish painter! I thought it was awesome. I have never studied art before and I have a new found love. I am going to buy a museum pass for Paris! I saw all the main things in Madrid. It is an impressive city- huge! My feet hurt so bad after the trip... and during the trip. My American friends in Spain are so cool! We are planning a west coast road trip for the summer.

This weekend on Thursday I am going to Sevilla with my friends. I have a friend who lives in the city and so Tessa, Kata, and I are going to go and visit for four days- but we are also going to Cadiz for the day on Saturday. Cadiz is a southern city that is a peninsula and people claim it has some of the best beaches in Spain. I could use a relaxing day at the beach. I will eat some Paella too! Paella is very very typical of Sevilla, as is Flamenco. I really am happy I live in Andalucia. I think it hosts the most Spanish culture. And is incredibly beautiful. I have to study abroad for college for my major ( International Business) and if I can I will choose to live in Sevilla or Grenada.. somewhere here in Andalucia.

I now realize that I have an extremely busy summer planned ahead of me. My parents are coming to Córdoba on June 25th and we are leaving June 26th. We are going to go to Rome for a week or so and renting an apartment. I come home on July 5th because I have orientation on July 6th at USC. The next day I am going on vacation with my sister- and then before I go home I am going to Michigan for a few days to be with my family. So- I will be home around July 20th. That gives me a good 24 days at home before I have to go to college. In those 24 days I hope to go to Washington and go on a road trip down to California with friends I met here in Spain. SO BUSY. I love it.

Today I am going with my friend Carlos to search for hotels in the old town for my parents. I have taken to walking alone in the center during the afternoons to explore and know my city. I love it. It is so beautiful and the weather is perfect. Being alone is nice too. I had my first glass of Sangria in the center last week, and yes, it is that good.

Oh! Almost forgot. My friend Tessa is a trimester student and wants to stay for the whole semester. She is living in Madrid right now but I am trying to find her a host family here in Córdoba. She is coming next weekend to visit too. It will be exciting to have her here! Especially since school ends in just a few weeks. Marta has to study for the huge exam and so I think I will be a bit lonely. I need someone to keep me company at the pool.

On a side note- Spanish people can't pronounce the difference between boogers and burgers and beach and bitch. I can't say boogers now either. I can still say Bitch, however.

Monday, March 28, 2011

4 Semanas Mas

I only have 4 weeks left of school. Not counting this one....
But still. School is boring! I am going to go to a different class though for an hour during the day for French class. I should probably know a few words of French before I go to Paris for a week... I don't want to get lost..

Anyways. This past weekend I went out with my classmates to the discoteca. We stayed there until 4am. :/ and then I slept at Clara's house. We slept for one hour before we had to get up and go to a small city near Málaga. We went with the curch of the school. We walked about ten miles around the town and sang church songs. The town was incredible though. Huge mountains surrounded it and the sky was perfect. I was dead tired though. I fell asleep on the concrete steps outside the church, and got sunburnt on my face. I made friends with the little girls of the school. They all wrote their names on my hand. It was really cute. We had a church service that lasted way too long and sang contemporary Christian music. It was lovely. :/

But really, the town was amazing. I want to return with my parents.

I created a new food. There wasn't a lot of ingedients in the house the other day that I could use to make food for dinner. I found an onion, a tomato, a can of tuna, two eggs, and tortialls. So, of course, I made scrambled eggs with tuna and onions, rolled in a tortilla, with tomato, onion, and curry powder salsa. It was surprisingly really good. I am pretty sure in the future when I have kids they are going to call it "Mom's Tuna Surprise."

Because of my incredible lack of sleep, I slept for 13 hours on Saturday night. On Sunday we went to a café and then to the park. Franco and Rafa brought their guitars and we had a good time. It was really cold yesterday though.

I bought some peanut butter over the weekend. Last night I had a really great sandwich and an apple with peanut butter. The Spanish people are not so down on peanut butter. It was hard to find and only the really big supermarkets carry it.

The quality of a Spanish sandwich is so much better than American sandwiches. They get a baguette and put really good meat on it with olive oil. They are delicious.

My friend Inma said that we can ride bikes to the lake the weekend after next. This will be really fun. I have been wanting to hang out with her. I eat with her and her friends during break at school. They are all very nice and funny. I think I am going to start walking to the library or riding a bike instead of riding on the motorbike with Marta. It is only like 3 kilometers away.

Alright well that's about it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We're at War with Libya?

Happy Wednesday everyone! To my 12 followers. I have been studying all morning. I am trying to be fluent in more than one verb tense. My extreme studying efforts are helping though. I study for three straight hours and then speak Spanish for the rest of the day. I now know how to say "My mother has lived here for eight years." I feel like a success. Me perezco a mi madre. I look like my mom. Oh my mad Spanish skills.

Apparently America is now in another war? I heard it yesterday on Murphy in the Morning. I was very surprised. I guess I need to keep up on the news. Not that I really want to go back to America. I was talking to my friend Franco yesterday and we have come up with a plan. I will go home to have my amazing American education and then move back to Spain. In the mean time he is coming to visit. Obviously, I am very happy here. I really want to travel around Europe too. I really need to get busy on buying a ticket to Paris. Note to self: talk to mom about plane ticket. Only 8 more days til I go to Madrid! I am too too excited. Estoy bastante emocionada.

I made a video about my life in Spain. It does not include school. Because school is boring. Yesterday I did not go to school because I am sick. I was sitting outside and I was stung by a bee. It really pissed me off. Right on my hand! In Spain, when you're sick, they think it's from the change in weather or from the sun. They also think you can get sick from not wearing slippers in the house. I am pretty sure I got sick from the kid who sits next to me in class who has sneezed in my dirrection more than once. They also think I am blonde here. In my Spanish class a girl described me as "rubia." I was like whaaaa??? I am so not blonde. Also, it is not rude to call someone fat. Franco and Lola's nicknames are gordo and gorda. I refuse to call them this. Just because it is mean to call someone fat normally for me.

Sunblock is 22€ here. It broke my heart to spend that much on sunblock. But I had to do it. I don't really think I have much to write about. I just really can't study any more today. I do not have a 6 hour attention span. Sorry.

Someone please update me on the news.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Yesterday I explored a castle. I feel really cool because I can say that. I guess I am excited because there arent any castles in America.. It is in an old Arabian town near Cordoba. It overlooks the river and is huge. It was also probably around 80 degrees yesterday. At the castle we had a traditional medieval lunch. About 50 people were in this big room and a jester guided our little experience. He made Marta and I play a game in front of everyone. We had to jump across a rope when he said a certain thing. I got third place but I still had to go sit in the jail. We had to eat with our hands because in medieval times apparently they did not have forks. We had salmorejo ( a traditional Spanish dip.) and a salad thing and lots of meat: chicken, pork, beef, and lamb. It was delicious. The gift shop sold real swords. I loved it. The view was amazing too. Oh, it was father's day here yesterday. For dinner Marta and I went to Fosters, the American restaurant. It was exactly like Friday's or Ruby Tuesdays. We had ribs, bacon cheese fries, and a quesedilla. Oh and unlimited Pepsi. I asked the waiter for a to go box and he said he didnt understand my accent. I think that he did, but he was trying to be rude because I ordered the food in English, because the menu was in English.

Friday was some sort of holiday. I have no idea what it was called. We went to a middle eastern restaurant (half way fast food) and then went to the bull fighting arena and had a party. We then left and went to a friends house. It was a really fun night.

I finally went shopping this week. I have some new clothes that I love! I am going to Madrid in 10 days and on April 12th my class is going to Grenada. I am excited for both. I don't really miss home too much anymore. I really love it here. It is so beautiful. Mountains surroud my town and lately every day has been perfect. I have six weeks left of school! I am very okay with this fact. It is going by so fast though. I have been here for two months and I am so afraid that I wont be fluent in Spanish by the time I come home.

Speaking of learning Spanish... I love my night Spanish classes. I think I just love learning Spanish in general though. I wish I had the class every night of the week. It is for about an hour and a half-2 hours twice a week. There is a girl from Georgia (country not the state) and a girl from Scottland, and a man from England. They are all very nice. There was a girl from Thailand but I think she quit because I haven't seen her in like 3 weeks. I love talking to the English man because some of our words are differnt. Like the word for mohawk and bangs.

And now for my basic daily schedule:
7am- Wake up and get ready for school
7:45am- Leave for school
8am- School starts
8am-11am- Study Spanish grammar.
12-2pm- Pretend I am studying but actually listen to Murphy in the Morning and surf the web.
2:10pm go home
2:30pm Eat lunch.
3pm- Take a shower
4:30pm- Go to the library
5pm- Go to a cafe with friends
8pm- Go to Spanish class
10pm- Go home
10:15pm- Eat dinner
11pm- Go to sleep.

That is my very exciting day. Normally :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


It is raining. I am not happy about this because it is cold rain and I would really like the sun. You are welcome for my weather update.

So this week has been quite the week. I have not gone to school and so I haven't done much during the day. I have gotten a lot of sleep which has been GREAT! I am a sleeper. It is what I am good at.. But so I have been going to the library with Marta after she gets home and so I hang out with my friends because they are there and then we go to a cafe or bar. It is fun.

On Friday night I went out with my classmates. I had a really good time with them. All of them are really nice people. I could not stay out long. I am not sure why but Marta said she wanted to be home early so she picked me up early. On Saturday I left home around 1:30 and spent the day with my friend Maryna. Her parents made Mexican food. I was thrilled of course. Her mom also made two different types of cake like desserts. They were delicious. After lunch we watched some tv and then Franko, our other friend came over. He played the guitar while Maryna and I did our hair for Carnival. I dressed up like Peter Pan and Maryna dressed as a Greek goddess. Her mom made the dress. It was very beautiful. Maryna also did my makeup. We looked pretty fantastic.

So her parents packed us a packed dinner of a sandwich and an apple and we went on our merry way to a parking garage to pre-party. We had a really great time. My friends Rafa and Franko and I are like three peas in a pod. At 1am we set off to the party at a club. It was a birthday party but also it was Carnival. Rafa and Franko dressed up as American gangsters. Marta was a fairy, Lola was little red riding hood, and Carmen was a mime. The club was really awesome. It kind of looks like a pirates ship or something on the inside and the birthday boy rented out like all these private rooms and so each group of friends had their own little party room. We also had cupcakes and unlimited coke and a bottle of rum and champagne. We danced the whole night. Lola and I had to go outside because we were too sweaty and hot from dancing.

I ended up having to leave with Marta before everyone else. We left at like 4am and took a cab home. I talked to Franko today and everyone else left at 5:30. So even though I did not want to leave a good time, it was all in all a pretty fantastic night and day.

So now for some observations.
Everyone drives mopeds, not cars.
The roads are really confusing to navigate. Especially with the one way streets and round abouts.
There is not such a thing as free refills. Which is super annoying.
Coffee here is terrible. You can either have cafe bonbon which is just an espresso shot with a kind of condensed milk. It is awful. Or you can have cafe con leche which is just coffee and heated milk. Not good either.
For some reason people love to wear shorts with stockings or tights. I don't understand this. No, it does not look good.
Everyone parts their hair in the middle.
People drink more coke here than in the United States. Everyone also thinks that I drink coke all the time since I am from America... I rarely drink coke.
Peanut butter is a new thing for Spain. Just started being sold in supermarkets.
I love supermarkets. They don't refrigerate eggs or milk.
People don't text as much here as we do at home.
Everything is really close together. People think that the ten minute drive to the downtown is just so bad. I'm like man this is great!

Okay that is it for now! I have to go to school tomorrow... Sadly. But only 16 more days until Madrid!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Spring Break #1

So I have a week off from school. It is exam week and since I don't take exams, I don't go to school. What am I doing with this week, you might ask? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Today I woke up and read my book and tanned on the terrace. I then watched an episode od Dexter and went to the library with Marta. We were there for like.. 4 hours? I wrote my family emails and did that lame 30 Day Challenge thing on facebook. Some friends were at the library so it ended up being a pretty fun time.

When I got home I checked my email and I had one from USC. I knew this week I would be finding out about scholarships so I was pretty excited to open it. I have been accepted to be a Capston Scholar. It's a pretty big deal. It is a learning community similar to the honors college. I have a ton of opportunities like study abroad and internships that would not be available to me otherwise. I also get to stay in a really awesome dorm. Perhaps the best dorm on campus. So needless to say, I called my mom with the news. I then went down and had dinner. After dinner Rachel imed me on skype saying I had to call my mom right away. So she starts a video chat on skype. She got a letter from USC saying I have instate tuition and a scholarship on top of that. It is incredible. I would not have been able to go to USC without a scholarship because out of state tuition is really expensive. I am very happy. My future is set in motion. I have a dorm, a learning community, a $70,000 scholarship to hopefully study International Business program in the country, a USC email address. I am officially a Gamecock!!!!

So, I know this post hasn't really been about Spain- but more about my future. I am so excited! I can't wait to shop for dorm stuff with my best friend, Jordan, who will be going to school about 45 minutes away from me.

All in all, good day. I don't like the fact that I will only be home for a little over a month this summer before I have to go to school. It makes me sad. But at least I will be close to Davie County. (Yes, I know. You probably peed your pants when you read that sentence. Anna Derian... miss Davie County?) Being away from home really has made me appreciate my southern home. Don't be fooled though. I am, of course, going to go to Michigan over the summer... Like always. I just will be happy for the first time to come home to swealtering heat and BBQ. But honestly I have made some true friends in Davie County.

So, eat a BBQ sandwich for me. Adios mis amigos.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Estoy muy aburrido en mi clase.

Right now I am in class and I am extremely bored. Hopefully writing a blog will keep me awake.

I found an awesome Spanish learning website. I have been on it all morning. Today is Tuesday and we did not have school yesterday. It was Andalucia Day. I had a really easy weekend and didn't do much. I have been sick lately and I have a continuous headache. I watched Harry Potter yesterday online. It was magical. I honestly don't have much to write about. We had Bull's Tail for lunch yesterday. I love it! My mom tried to convince me it's actually bull's penis. But she has no idea.

I left home over a month ago now. I have nightmares that I won't be fluent in Spanish by the end of my stay. That would be extremely dissapointing. I think it would be impossible not to be fluent though...

Yesterday Marta, Celia, and I went to this country area near our house. There is a really old tressel there that goes over a big stream. It is really high up and there is an awesome cave on the other side. We crossed the bridge and I almost wet my pants. It is way to old to be walking across its so rusty! It is so dangerous. I will not be crossing it again. But the country side was really beautiful. The stream is going to be awesome to swim in when it gets hot in the next month. The cave would have been really cool if multiple people hadn't dumped their trash there. That's what gets me about Spanish people. They just seem to dump trash anywhere. It's disgusting.

On Sunday we went to Juana's sister's restaurant in a nearby town. It was really good I loved the food. I also really enjoyed the drive there. I guess you can't really call them mountains.. but we drove through very tall hills with waves of grass. It reminded me of driving out west last summer, but it looked very different. I really miss driving my car because I can't drive here: 1) I don't have insurance and 2) All cars are manual.

Next week the whole school has exams and since I do not do their classes I really hope I get the week off. It would be really awesome if I did. I could sleep in! And then go to the library with Marta and study Spanish after she gets out of school. It would be very relaxing.

My friend Clara said she is going to take me hang gliding in two weeks. I really hope that it actually happens because I think it might be the coolest thing ever. She also is going to take me to the Arab Baths. Which is like a spa, but an extremely awesome one. I could totally go for a head massage.

I think that Austin might have to go to summer school at WCU this summer. It's going to suck because he will be there when I get home. But it won't be so bad. I'll probably see him every weekend- which is a lot better than not seeing him for five months. I am getting excited for college. I have applied for housing at USC already. I also have a USC email address and everything! I think move in date is around August 13th.

So I am going to Madrid for five days in a month. I go from March 31st-April4th. I am very excited for this. It will be a lot of fun and I get to miss three days of school! Missing school is always a plus for me. No offense to Spanish school... just school in general. If Katherine, my sister, can come to Madrid I will leave a couple days earlier so I can spend time with her. It would be really awesome. I would love to see family. My seventh grade teacher and family friend, Lydia, is going to be in Paris in May and so I am planning a trip to stay in Paris for a few days. From the 16th-the 20th. My last day of school is the 6th I think.

Well I just learned about directo object pronouns! I feel like my life is complete right now. Mostly because I think this is the most complicated thing in Spanish.. And I completely understand it now. I am currently in Philosphy. I love this class because the teacher is awesome. He is the nicest teacher I have and he always jokes with me and mostly lets me be. I also just figured out photobooth on my computer! I got really excited and took like six pictures with my class mates. Anyways... I have written a lot about nothing. Adios!

Friday, February 25, 2011


Es curioso cómo en tan sólo un mes me puede dar un paso atrás y evaluar.

Hello America,
I miss my country a lot, but I love Spain. Just like the southern hospitality, there is a "Spanish Hospitality." I am slipping more and more into everyday life here and falling more and more behind on my life at home. It is as if I am living two lives. The one I am physically in: interacting with people, learning, and experiencing; and my life back in Mocksville... While I am living separate lives I am glad to say I am living less and less in the latter. It is better this way. I do not talk to Austin as much or my friends. I speak to my parents less as well. This is not to say that I do not care. Because I miss them all so much. It is much better for homesickness... and adjusting to my new home.

I have a cold. Maybe a sinus infection. And I have a three day weekend. I have been taking my laptop to school everyday because the principle likes for me to work on Spanish online during class. I think it is his personal mission that I am very fluent in Spanish by the time I leave. Maybe he finds me so interesting that he just can't wait to have a legitimate conversation with me. But I am just flattering myself. As you know I received a package from my mother last weekend. It has now been a week and I am halfway through one book and I have just finished the fourth season of Psych. I had a dream about Shawn and Gus, the main characters in Psych, the other day. It is so sad because if I saw the actors on the street I would feel like their best friend and probably strike up a conversation with them. That is how much I love that television show. I also seem to think that my detective skills are being sharpened from watching the show.

I take naps a lot less now. Mostly because I sleep very poorly at night even when I don't take a nap. All of the Americans have left and so it is just me and a bushel of Spaniards. There is a boy, Carlos, who is very friendly. He is from another class and invites me to his futbol games and out with his friends. I have not yet attended.

My philosophy teacher is my favorite. He caught me playing solitaire on my computer today and just laughed and hit me on the back of the head. And I told him a story about how the Spanish teacher made me go wash my face with cold water because I looked tired. (Even though it was just because I am sick). After telling the philosophy teacher this story he laughed very hard and called the Spanish teacher ugly. He then proceeded to let me sleep in his class. He is a wonderful man.

I would write a lot more but I am very tired. More later!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

It has been awhile..

It has been awhile since I have posted last.. Almost a week. Today it is very sunny and warm outside. I love it. I honestly think that if I cannot lay out in the sun soon and soak up warmth I will shrivel up and die. I am very over the winter... and very ready for the summer. I am already making summer plans.. Like camping on Carolina Beach. And looking at vacation spots in Croatia for my family.

I did not go to school twice last week. I have been having trouble sleeping at night even when I don't take a nap during the day... even if I am dead tired. It rained all week last week and I couldn't go outside to run. It was just sort of a blah few days. But then the sun came out and I went for a run and went shopping and felt so much better. I bought a leather jacket and I am really excited about it. I want to wear it eveywhere. I also bought a curling iron. I really couldn't go another day without one.

So this weekend we did not have a sushi party. There is a big group of Americans here for two weeks and we all went out to this street where people can legally drink underage. The plan was to go there and then go to the discoteca. Well I did not drink because I abhor the taste of alcohol. Hate is just not a strong enough word. So, because of the fact that I was the only one with a mild idea of what was going on that wasn't drinking.. I became mommy for two of the American girls who just can't handle their rum and coke. It was extremely entertaining for me. I checked on one girl and then came back literally five minutes later and she had a huge gash in her chin and was bleeding everywhere. We ended up not going to the discoteca because it closed due to the electricity going out... even though we had already bought tickets. It sucked. So instead of going somewhere else or just going home or getting food all of the Spanish people decided it was a good idea to just sit in the street. I was so cold. And tired. I really just wanted to take an awesome bubble bath and read a book. But we stayed outside in the freezing cold until 2:30am. We came home and I put a sweatshirt and sweatpants on and curled under the covers. I couldnt get warm so I took a hot shower for about 2 minutes. I then put on two sweatshirts and 2 pairs of sweatpants and wrapped a blanket around me and then got under the covers. I was still cold. It was terrible. I warmed up eventually and got to sleep.

Last night we went to a friend's birthday party but only stayed til 11. Marta didn't feel well and she was really tired. We came home and I watched some Psych and tried to call Austin but could not get ahold of him. So I just went to bed.

This morning around 10:30 Juana came in my room and speaking to me in Spanish said that we are having churros for breakfast and I must get up. I was throughouly confused. Why did I have to get up now for churros? So I stumbled into Marta's room and asked her. Apparently churros are only good hot. So we ate churros and dipped them in chocolate. It was SO good. I loved them. But I was really tired. I went back to sleep until 1:30 after breakfast. I had a really weird dream that my mom and dad came here because it was on their way to the Cayman Islands. We went to a grocery store together which was a Harris Teeter. I begged to go with them because I am craving the sun so much. The dream switched to me eating lunch with a few people and a Spanish speaking man was really pissing me off because I couldn't understand what he was saying because he was whispering his Spanish at me. Very strange dreams.

So right now we are about to go to an Asian restaurant for lunch. I am excited... just to eat. I am really hungry. I hope it is delicious!

On Friday I received my mom's package in the mail. It was the best. I got Dexter season 4, Entourage season 6, Psych season 4, 2 Scott Westerfeld books, and the new Decemberists album. A pretty successful care package if I do say so myself. I sent her a package over a week ago. I really hope it gets there soon. I really want the package Austin is sending too. I know he is putting his blanket in it and it is cold in my room at night. I wish I had brought my snuggie!

Oh well I will try to write again soon!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bull's Tail

It has been a while since I have posted last. I don't think anything extremely exciting has happened in the mean time.
Over the last weekend we went to the dance club and my feet hurt. The next night we went to an Italian restaurant. I, of course, had spaghetti. Another American girl came with us. She is here for two weeks with her class from school and staying with a friend of Marta's. She's really nice. Everyone came to the house after we ate and I tried to teach a friend how to jerk. That didn't really work out.
On Sunday we went back to the old part of Cordoba. It was even more beautiful in the day time. There are so many shops with beautiful jewlery and many other things. We went to a traditional Spanish restaurant called Casa Rubio. It was amazing. My favorite thing we had consisted of chunks of beef with potatoes and it was kind of like a stew.. without the broth. After I ate all of it they told me that it was Bull's Tail. Which is a traditional dish in Andalucia. I was excited because I had been wanting to try it.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day. A few girls passed out everyones suckers, flowers, and notes to the whole school. These are all the things you could pay for to have delivered during school. They came to my class and I got two suckers... from teachers... and then Clara said "Anna I have a note for you." I looked up at her all surprised, wondering who would send me a note. Then she said "It's from Austin." I freaked out and grabbed the note from her. I was so surprised. Marta had told him about how we can have notes delivered on Valentine's Day and he wrote one. She printed it and put it in the box to be delivered. It was so nice!
Today I did not go to school. I am feeling sick. I have had a headache since last night. This weekend we might go to a sushi party! I am excited for this. Sushi is so good! Well I will try to write again soon!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So Far So Good

I have been gone for almost two weeks now. Everything is going very well. Everyone still really likes me at school. Over the weekend I went out with friends and had a lot of fun. We saw the Mosque that Cordoba is famous for and the old Roman bridge. It is extremely beautiful. I have posted many pictures on my facebook. I am learning a lot of Spanish but it is still not enough. I am still frustrated with it. I am also tired all of the time just because I translate in my head when people talk to me in Spanish. Also, my body is still thinking it is 3am when it is actually 9am and I have to stay awake for math class.

I feel very welcome here. It would be much harder if the people were not open and very nice. Yesterday some boys in my class were talking to me and asked if I missed my family and boyfriend. I said yes I do. They responded with, "do not worry we are your family now!" It made me feel really good (: They also told me that they would be very sad when I leave. All of the boys are huge characters... They remind me of monkeys. They are always messing around with each other and making jokes. It is very fun to talk with them. The boy who sits next to me, Javi, is teaching me Spanish. He speaks very little English and so I help him during English class. It helps a lot. The philosphy teacher who gave me the ethics book to translate told me today that I do not have to do it now. I can do it when I learn more Spanish. I just think he wanted me to be doing something during class and now I have a Spanish workbook from my nigh Spanish classes that I work on literally all day.

I have started running and working out. I will work out everyday. It makes me feel less tired and refreshes my mind. There is a lot of excitement it seems for Valentine´s Day. At lunch the girls in my class sell orders for a single flower for people to buy for their Valentine. The flower will be delivered on Valentine´s Day during class.

Last night we had my favorite dinner so far. It is called salad but it is not a regular salad. It is sliced oranges with avacado and cod fish on top. Olive oil is drizzled over it of course. I love it. It tastes so good. Juana serves it and many different kinds of sausages and smoked, sliced, and dried meat which is also very good. Carloman always tells me how everything is the best in Spain. Bananas, oranges, olive oil, wine... Almost everything.. except for corn. They do not know how to make corn on the cob. They want me to make it for them. I think this is funny because it is the easiest thing on the planet to make. Just put it in a pot of boiling water for a while and eat it.

On Sunday I went to McDonald´s. The menu is very different. There is a BigMac and a Quarter Pounder. They also have wedge fries. They have other burgers but none of the rest are the same. They do not have a McDouble. It made me sad. Hahaha. The dollar menu is also very small. "The Euro Menu."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I have never been so happy to hear Shania Twain on the Radio

Today is Saturday. Last night I went out with Marta and some friends. First we went shopping and I bought Austin some stuff for Valentine's Day. We then went to a bar to dance and then went to dinner. It was a lot of fun. My friend Clara, from my class at school, reminds me a lot of my best friend at home, Shelby. They both are very good dancers and very friendly and nice.

The philosophy teacher at school gave me a book on ethics to translate during the day. It is really hard and I have to look up almost every word in the dicctionary. My economy teacher laughed at this saying "it is too hard for you!" It is okay though because otherwise I would fall asleep during class.

I am frustrated with how little Spanish I know. I do learn more everyday and especially at the night classes, but life would be so much easier if I knew Spanish. I also would not get headaches so easily and be tired all of the time. It will come eventually though. It has only been a week and a half since I have left home and in the next month I will be a million times better.

I really would like to travel. I would love to go visit other people in my program in their cities. I also would really like to plan a trip to Greece for a vacation. It is hard for me to be around people all of my waking hours... Just because I love to have alone time. I take naps every day after school. Despite the infamous "siesta" I think that my naps are strange to my family. If you know me well you know that I take a nap every day. Even if it is a Saturday... It is a part of my alone time that I love so much.

I am currently out in the garden. It is a very beautiful day. I am guessing that it is about 60 degrees out and the sun is shining. I can't wait for it to get into Spring though because I want to tan. I am very pale compared to every single person here... And it would just be nice to lay out and relax. There is a swimming pool right behind my house. I am very excited to use it.

I think my sister, Katherine, is coming to visit me. I am very excited for this because then I will be able to travel to somewhere on the coast with her. I really hope she comes because I know that by April I will be very thankful for someone to speak English to. Speaking of Americans... There is an American boy from Connecticut coming for ten days to Marta's friends house. I am very excited for this too.

Today I applied to App State. My parents wanted me to have in-state backup plans in case for some reason USC does not work out. I had applied to NCSU and UNC but I would not want to go to either of them so ASU is really my only option. I would love living in the mountains and Boone is an incredible town. I just don't really want to go to a college where I know a lot of people...

I do really miss American television. Everyday at home I relax and watch an episode or two of Psych or Entourage or something like that. I cannot watch netflix from my computer here due to international laws. It is stupid. Austin and I always watch criminal shows at home too... about murderers. I really miss that too. I miss Mexican food. I miss a lot of things but I love it here. They all drink Coke Zero or Diet Coke. I have learned not to say yes to a coke unless I am out at a restaurant. Coke Zero is disgusting.

I still like school very much. Everyone loves talking to me and class is always fun. All of the teachers are very nice. All of the people are so nice in my class.

Anyways.. All is well on the Spanish front. I hope all is well back west. I miss saying very strange things. Hahahaha. I wil post again soon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Today was my first day of school. It is very different from American high school but reminds me of my middle school. Everyone was extremely excited for me to come to school. I was bombarded by people in the morning greeting me and telling me their names and asking me questions. Everyone is so so so nice. During class most of the entire first period consisted of conversation in Spanish about me. Other students walked by my class and would peek in the window and stare at me to see what I look like. I have never been so popular. I almost feel famous. I hear “Americana” everywhere. I thought that it would be really annoying because I am one that likes my privacy, but it is really nice that everyone wants to talk to me. I do not feel lonely when otherwise I probably would. I am in love with these people. They are incredibly nice. I keep repeating that but I cannot get over it. I was not in class with Marta and so a girl named Clara kind of took me under her wing. Well, all of the girls took me under their wings, but Clara especially. They all ask me about American music, television, the age that girls have sex at, how to say “I have to pee”, but especially about American football, cheerleaders, parties, and prom. They asked me what football players look like. I was very amused by it all. One boy told me that my life is like a movie. I immediately denied such a preposterous statement, but they insisted. I told them about the Saturday night bonfires at home we always have… I got “Like American Pie??” as a response. I denied that too. Clara has the “American Dream”. I told her that it is very similar here and she refused to believe such a thing. All the girls want to go to American parties. I laughed so much at school.
I get car sick very easily here. I thought it was because I was reading signs and trying to understand the Spanish being spoken, but now I know it is because Juana has a small car that is a stick shift and I have never ridden with such jerky driving. I have a headache and nausea for an hour and a half after riding in the car. It is awful. The Spanish people also park horrendously. This also amuses me. Instead of straightening out their car they just leave it parked sideways.
I love the food very much here but I am craving all the junk food I eat at home, mostly because it is leaving my system and my body is just addicted to crap. Yesterday I was talking to Austin on skype after he finished school and he was eating spaghetti. I still can’t stop thinking about it. I talk to Austin probably more than I should but I do not think it makes homesickness worse. It makes me feel better actually. It would be bad for me if I could not talk to him because he is the one person I always tell everything to and he knows me so well so it is just so much easier to talk.
I am starting a night Spanish class tomorrow. I had to take a placement test and I have class four times a week from 8-10pm. I just wish I could wake up tomorrow and be more than fluent in Spanish. I understand mostly when people talk to me… slowly… but It is much harder to respond in Spanish. It takes me a while and I often respond in a mix of the two languages. It is getting better though. I understand more every day. I write words down in my journal that I do not know and then go over them in my free time.
I have spent a lot more time on the computer than I am used to because at home I do not have a lot of time to myself. I am always with Austin, Shelby, Jordan, or Rachel… or working… or sleeping. I have a lot more free time I guess here. Today all of the girls in my class asked me to go shopping with them and I wanted to but I am not allowed to ride on a motorbike.
In about a week is mine and Austin’s 2 months and almost Valentine’s Day so I will send a package. I just need to go shopping and get stamps and stuff like that. It is hard to be away.
I will write again soon. I like writing these a lot.

Monday, January 31, 2011


I am finally in Cordoba. It has a dash over the first o but I do not know how to type it. Hahahaha. I hope all is well back in the US.
Yesterday I rode in the train from Barcelona to Cordoba. It was five hours long but an extremely beautiful ride. My city is in the mountains so my face was glued to the window for he majority of the five hours. (Two hours were spent watching Shrek 2.) I rode with another girl from the program. She lives about an hour away from Cordoba.
Upon exiting the train I saw three people watching me from above and immediately knew it was my host family. They were very excited to finally meet me. I was extremely excited to finally meet them too. My Spanish is very very bad but I am learning and I can understand a lot. Marta, my host sister, speaks English very well but I really do need to learn Spanish. My family decorated my room for me and it is very pretty. I have a wrought iron bed and a floral bed spread. Also there are two paintings with flowers and a beautiful chest. I brought gifts for my family as well. A bracelet for Marta, a Revere bowl, many kinds of Moravian cookies, and a book of North Carolina.
Juana, mi mama, made paella for lunch... which is eaten around 3pm. It was very good. I love the food here. Lunch is the biggest meal of the day too. After lunch we went to the city center because a market was going on that only comes once a year for one weekend. I was lucky enough to arrive on this weekend. It was packed. The people who had booths were all dressed in medieval clothes. They also sold all types of things: food, jewelry, tiny books, figurines, and much more. The food was all amazing. I sampled a lot of meat... like sausages and a sort of jerkey. I have never smelled or tasted food this good. I also sampled cheese. There were people juggling and playing old instruments. There was a woman dressed as a tree on stilts and a man dressed as a faun (half goat half man) on a sort of stilt that bounces. He bounded through the crowd all the time. I laughed and pointed a lot. Marta held my hand the whole time so I didn't get lost.
While we were there my host family bought me a gift. A necklace that is very popular here. I think it means protection from the angels or something like that. It is very very beautiful. I learned a lot of words and wrote them all down in my journal so I can practice them.
We had dinner around 10pm and it was very light. It was a salad.. It consisted of oranges with avacado and cod fish on top with olive oil. It was amazing. I cannot wait to come home and make all this food for my family because I know they will love it. Juana and Carloman bought a lot of the meats and chesses at the festival so we also had those with dinner. For dessert we had greek yogurt. YUM! We sat and watched television for a while after but I was falling asleep so I went to bed. I did not have school today. I start tomorrow because it is the first of the month. I slept til noon. It was okay because they said to sleep as much as I want. Marta went to school but Carloman stayed home with me. He taught me how to make what I want for breakfast. He speaks little English and I speak little Spanish but it worked out well. I understood most of what he said to me. I loved breakfast. I made toast and cafe con leche. But instead of butter on my toast it is very common to pour olive oil on toast. The olive oil is so good. I watched some tv while I ate too. Scrubs was on and then after that the Fresh Prince of Bel Aire was on. Both in Spanish. I was very amused that they had those programs here.
The family dog, Paka, (pronounced pika), just came in my room and sat on my lap. She is so so cute.
I will post again soon! Adios!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


I have been in Barcelona for two days now. The flight was amazing. We flew over the alps. I did not once tear my face from the window. The man sitting behind me was Spanish and super duper friendly. The Spanish people are very proud of where they are from which was obvious while I talked to him. On the first day here we went to a Cathedral on top of a mountain. I have no idea what its called, but it was spectacular. I like the areas that are not directly in the city... mostly because it is just like New York or Chicago.. just a big city. But the mountains are beautiful and so is the sea. Even though it is just like a big city it is very clean. I was up for over 30 hours before I got to bed last night around 9pm Spanish time. Today we had orientation and then took a tour of Barcelona. We saw all of the famous architecture. Which was breathtaking. I am so so so ready to be in Cordoba though. I want to be with my host family and get settled. I actually just got back to the hostel. It is 11pm here. Me and a few friends wandered around the city for a little bit and had our first Spanish gelato. It was so so delicious. Tomorrow I leave Barcelona at 8am and arrive in Cordoba at 1pm. I will post again in a few days.

Friday, January 28, 2011

I am currently on the plane flying to Frankfurt, Germany where I will be for a maximum of two hours. It is 9:14 pm North Carolina time.. but it is 3:14am Spanish and German time. We left Boston today around 4pm. I actually had a really good time there. There are eight students travelling with me and two trip directors. None of the other students are going to Cordoba. One of the coordinators, Maggie, said that Cordoba is her favorite city in Spain… so I feel very lucky. While in Boston we went to a acrobat/ psychology show. The acrobats each had a psychological problem and acted it out through flying in the air. It was extremely impressive. I slept like a homeless man in a luxury hotel after an amazing bath and a five star dinner. Also, the hotel had a hot breakfast in the morning and had omelets that were unusually good. So it seems like a great start to a great trip. Not to mention that the flight I am on right now is amazing. They first gave us pretzels and drinks then hot towels. For dinner I had baked ziti, salad, a rosemary roll, cheese, sprite, and chocolate mousse. Maybe all international flights are like this… but I am impressed to say the least. Also I have watched two movies that are new releases… not so shabby.
Leaving North Carolina was the hardest part of the trip so far… I don’t think anything else will be harder really. My best friends all slept over the night before. Saying goodbye to them was hard but not heart breaking. My boyfriend, Austin, and my mother took me to the airport. I arrived late for baggage check so I had to get a flight that was two hours later. So instead of ripping off the bandage extremely fast, I ripped it off painstakingly slow. I mostly held it together until the last 30 minutes I was with them. I cried moderately loud. The thought really of walking away from my mother, who I am really close to, and walking away from Austin was the most heart breaking thing I have had to do. I know it sounds melodramatic but it was really that difficult for me. Watching Austin wave to me through glass while I was in security was just terrible. The woman in line behind me asked if I was okay. And the security guard gave me two tissues. I finally pulled it together while I was at the gate and I have been pretty much fine since then… which is very good.
I know this is kind of a filler blog since it does not have any exciting details about being abroad, but I am on a seven hour flight and I have already watched two movies, ate, and slept. So right now the only entertaining thing I have to do is listen to the four Beatles cd’s I put on my computer before I left and write. I guess I will post again while I am in Barcelona or probably while I am on the train from Barcelona to Cordoba. Hope all is well back in the U.S.!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Last Few Days

I leave for Spain in just five days. I am extremely nervous. There are so many things to worry about I guess... Like the fact that my Spanish is mediocre at best... My cat won't have anyone to play with him... My mom will be in the house on her own for the first time in thirty years... and that I am leaving my boyfriend.. These are all the things I am worrying about constantly and all this worrying has not made me a pleasant person to be around lately. I do know, however, that I am about to have the time of my life.
I have gone to the doctor and got my prescriptions. I have gone to the dentist and had two fillings done. My mom has ordered my contacts. I have learned the 'area code' for the United States. I have put all the phone numbers I will need in my computer: Mom's, Dad's, Kat's and Austin's. And I have started packing, which will be hard to finish... especially since I have exams up to the day before I leave.
This is the most exciting thing I have ever done with my life, so far. So I guess it is normal to be so ridiculously nervous... and excited at the same time. I have never been one to suffer from anxiety, but lately it has consumed me. I was talking to my mom the other day about how my rape whistle will be on my necklace ready for action until I get safely to Cordoba. I do not think anything will go wrong.. but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
I am spending three days in Barcelona... I will be there in one week. Just.. the proximity of this trip drives me crazy. Marta told me today that on the 31st she is taking me to get my school uniform. Which looks exactly how you would think a school uniform would look... Red sweater, plaid and pleated skirt, and yes... bright red stockings. I think I can rock it. Hahahaha.
That's all for now I think I will be posting again when I am in Boston or Barcelona!!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

To Begin...

For those of you who don't know, in just thirteen days from now I will be leaving Good Ol' Davie County. I guess my journey will begin in Charlotte, NC on January 26th, 2011. I fly from Charlotte to Boston where I will spend the next day and a half. From Boston I fly to Barcelona, where I will spend two days, and on the 30th I will arrive in Cordoba, Spain.
I will be living in Cordoba for the next five months. Yes, I will be attending Spanish high school and living with a host family, Carloman, Juana, and Marta Diaz. Marta is just a year younger than me and we talk on skype probably twice a week. I am very lucky. My host family is such a good match because Marta and I have a lot in common and the family has already made me feel welcome, before I have even met them in person.
I decided that I wanted to be a foreign exchange student last year before Christmas. Surprisingly, my parents were supportive of it. Going about being a foreign exchange student is kind of an arduous task. I had to research different agencies and fill out long applications. The agency I decided on was CIEE. I knew I only wanted to do a semester, not a year. So I filled out their application (which was almost 20 pages long) and sent it in. I had to wait, and wait, and wait. Finally in September I found out that I had been accepted and in November I received my placement for my host family. I was thrilled. Cordoba is the perfect city for me to live in. It has so much history and the architecture is beyond beautiful... according to google images. I will be going to private school and I have to wear a uniform.
So, in just thirteen short days I have to graduate from high school, get five months worth of contacts, maybe go to the dentist, pack anything I may possibly need, and say goodbye to my family and best friends.