Friday, September 30, 2011

Why I Never Update

I´m still looking for an apartment, and the hotel internet was terrible, so I haven´t been able to update as much. I am technically couch surfing at a friend´s right now, but we have a 2 bedroom to look at today, and if we like it, we´re moving in tomorrow! Cross your fingers that it all works out and that Tom (not the boyfriend, but my future roommate) and I can finally have a place. At least it worked out that we can look for places together since we both don´t want to live on our own!

I spent my birthday having tapas the night before and then running around on the beach and wading in the ocean at midnight. I´ll post pictures when I get them! Yesterday I hung out with Tom and we explored the ¨castle¨here and walked all around town and up the beach. I did finally get ice cream here, but it wasn´t as good as the place we went to in Sevilla, so that´s no fun.

Love you all! Miss you guys and I can´t wait to get internet in an apartment! I also can´t wait to wash my clothes and move out of my suitcases!!

Monday, September 26, 2011


It took a week, but I finally realized that I'm not actually coming home anytime soon. I think moving to a new town where I don't know anyone, missing Tom's birthday, not knowing how to go about finding an apartment, and not really having a reason to celebrate my birthday later this week all added up, and it just got to be too much. I spent all day today running around trying to do errands, and going back and forth on the bus, and by dinner time I just wanted to hear English spoken and not have to worry about what I was saying or not saying. I found the "official" English pub here and went and had cottage pie with fries and peas and it made life just a little bit better. Also, English accents make me happy. It was weird to be able to understand conversations going on around me, which just shows how little English I've heard since I'm here. Even in the hotel lobby, I hear German, and French and probably some other languages I don't know, but little English. It's weird.

Tomorrow I'll be going to start the process of getting me TIE (basically an identification card that lasts longer than a visa and expires when I'm done working) and then I'll keep trying to figure out the apartment situation. It should be a very long, very tiring day. This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life, and I cannot wait until I am married so that I have someone to share the pressure with. I think that the hardest part is doing it all on my own, but at least I'm doing it.

I need to go to bed, but Karioke is happening in the lounge, which is practically under my room, so it's not super quiet, which is annoying.

I am (hopefully) getting in really good shape. I got lost in Almeria today, and walked up and down quite a lot of hills, plus did my normal walking around Las Marinas and to the school. If I get the apartment I looked at, I'll have a short walk to school and the bus stops, a medium walk to different grocieries, and a long walk to the beach and the resturants/pubs. I guess that's a good thing. I still want a roommate though, so cross your fingers that one of the teachers at the school wants a roommate.

Picture update? I think so! Nothing too exciting to show, but still fun:
Train Station. All the little ones look somewhat like this. I saw about a million.

Spanish countryside between Sevilla and Granada.

Granada from the train. I will be going back.

No big deal, just standing in the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean. And some Spanish sunglasses since I lost mine already. LAME.

Love you all! Leave comments if you have questions about things or are confused. It's usually late when I do this, and I forget things.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

El Alcazar translates to "most amazing palace ever"

Hola! Estas 23:44 in Sevilla. (Hi! It's 11:44 PM in Sevilla) I am already exhausted from this week, and it's just started. It's been great though- I've made some friends who are all working in Grenada, which isn't that close, but at least I'm not a loner in the corner. Actually, that's not true. I'm in the corner with my friends. We had a tapas party tonight to meet other people in the towns, and we all just took the time to talk and get to know each other. It should be fun to see how we keep in touch and see each other. I guess that means we need to get cell phones soon!

Sevilla is beautiful. I'm staying in an amazing neighborhood, and when I walk to class or orientation, I get to walk past amazing buildings and fountains. If I knew what they all were, and the history, it'd be even cooler, but I'm not complaining. To start my history of Spain learning, I went to the Alcazar with a group of CIEE kids.

It was beyond amazing. The Alcazar was first built in the 9th century AD and it's the oldest royal residence in Europe because Rey Juan Carlos still stays there with his family when he's in Sevilla. It's been added onto and renovated as different powers and rulers lived there, but it has a lot of Moorish influence. Cool fact I learned: the Muslims used the color green to represent God, so there was lots of green in the decorations. I also learned that Sevilla was once the only gateway to the Americas! It's so weird to think about how far things have come. I'm having lots of "I can't believe I'm actually in Spain" moments, so expect to hear about them.

I'm sure you don't actually want to just hear about this place, so here are my favorite pictures from the trip:

The Puerto del Leon, entrance into Alcazar
An original arch from the 9th century Moorish palace.

Walking up to the main rooms. See how every section is different?

View of "los jardines" from a walkway on the wall.

One of the private rooms I believe.

View from courtyard into private rooms.

I love this courtyard! Apparently a Spanish Rey covered it up and turned it into a "salon de baile"

Arches in the private rooms

This is in the part built by the Catholic royalty. I don't think that this was a chapel, but I  could be wrong..

A door in one of the courtyards...

Me and the Alcazar are tight now.
I have 124 pictures from 1 trip, so if you want to see more, I'm sure you can.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


I'm working on a post talking about everything I'm doing here, but it's taking forever since I only get online before bed and try to use that time to Skype.

Here's a link to some pictures of the Alcazar, which is quite possibly the most amazing place I've ever been. It was first built in the 9th century, and today it's still a royal palace for Rey Juan Carlos and his family when they're in Sevilla. I am so in love with the Moorish architecture and design!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Packing = Complete. (I think)

I'm pretty sure I'm all packed and ready to go. Now I just need to add in my important things like makeup and other stuff I can't live without. I am leaving my hair dryer and straightener here, so I need to go invest in some gel for my hair. I'm pretty excited that both my bags seem to be under 50 pounds! Hooray!! I'm going to try and see if there's stuff I can take out, but at least I'm fine if I leave everything in.

5 days until I'm at the airport!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Official!

Look at my shiny new visa! I'm so excited that I am FOR REALS leaving in 9 days. This is crazy. I have the address of my home stay mom in Sevilla, and I google mapped (totally a verb) her house and it look amazing. You guys, I'm going to be living in a major city for the first time in my life, and then moving into my little resort town for a school year. So excited!

It still doesn't feel real. I don't think it will until I am on the plane, so we'll see how this goes. Speaking of that, I need suggestions for books to buy on my Nook, and music for my ipod! HELP!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Not What I Expected

I'm currently sitting at home in Houston, Texas, instead of sitting in Sevilla starting orientation. Through circumstances out of my control, I was not able to leave for Spain yesterday. Hopefully, I'll be leaving September 18th, and probably not doing the immersion course. I don't know how I feel about all of this. I know God is in control of it all, and that His plan is infinitely better than my plan, but I did spend most of Friday sobbing about it all. I've been waiting and waiting and waiting, and now I'm doing more waiting. I am not a patient person. I have a hard time waiting for anything, much less the most exciting and terrifying and exhilarating adventure of my life so far. So cross your fingers, say a prayer, and think good thoughts for me some time in the next two weeks, and I'll have better news for you all soon!

The hardest part is preparing myself to leave the US and Tom this week, and instead still being here. I cried almost all last weekend because it's just depressing to think of how long it'll be until we see each other. We did celebrate our birthdays a month early, and I got fabulous presents that are coming to Spain, so that was an awesome boyfriend move. (I now own season 5 of Psych on DVD and Up on DVD!! Best presents ever.) I got him nothing useful and instead gave him random gifts that I thought were cool like graph paper sticky notes, rocket and robot window gel stickers, and a Mr. Right t-shirt.) Obviously, I am a stellar present buyer.

I cannot wait to have pictures and things to show you about Spain! Maybe I'll do a packing post and show you how much stuff I'm taking with me, and you can all tell me that I'm way over packed and to stop being so high-maintenance.

Dios le bendiga,