Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Spain's catching up to me.

Well guys, in the midst of all this Spain crazy fun awesome experience-ness, somehow I got sick! Yup, had a really sore throat, lost my voice for a day or two, and now I'm just in the stages of sounding like a man. and trying not to cough all over everyone around me. It's a blast. And you'd think, oh wow, Katie's sick, she must be having SO MANY CRAZY NIGHTS there! See, I wish that were the case, but I haven't even done that much lately! Weird. In the past I have all these nights out until 4am, etc, and this weekend was WAY more relaxed, yet now I'm sick? Cool Spain.
Anyway, let's see, so I'm finally in the swing of things with my classes! I'm in all the classes I wrote about earlier, I ended up having to take the 5-6 literary criticism class because the other one was year long, so decision was made for me! But anyone who knows me knows that I'd rather have decisions made for me because I could be the world's most indecisive person. So yeah, classes are settled, and so far they're going well. I have more homework in my CIEE classes than my classes at the University classes, which is weird. But that's because the university classes are going to pile it all into one exam, which I'm not sure I'm a fan of, but it's nice right now to have less work. My favorite class so far I'd say would be the Comedia: Lope one! Right now we're learning about the theater back in the Lope days/17th century. I really like it, it's so interesting! Geography, somewhat insane. Freshman class, smells like sweaty boy and it's full of freshman shouting over the professor, who just sprints through all of her slides as if she's trying to cram the entire semester into one lecture. My other university class slows things down a bit. Critica Literaria -- professor from Nicaragua, talks slowly babbling on about what makes a good book. Well, at least he comes. First few days he didn't show. Haha, so I've got an interesting lineup. My CIEE classes are alright. One is a journalism class where we write for a magazine. The magazine's topic this semester is OF COURSE my topic is going to have to do with television news. I think I'm going to do something about the news stations here and how they're affected by the Internet, and how that affects the people here, blah blah, to kind of see if it's like the US! Whatevs, I'm pumped!

So, let's see, classes, the weekend. Alright well, like I said, relatively chill weekend. Thursday night we didn't do much because we were going hiking on friday! (When I say we, I usually mean me Ky and Adrienne, just so we're clear. If it's others, I'll specify :) ) So thursday night we went out for ice cream! It's actually a funny we were going to get mascarpone right, but the place CLOSED at eleven! But, we were on a mission for ice cream, so WE WERE going to find it. So we decided to cross the bridge into el centro, because of course everything is there. So we're walking across the bridge, and we all spot a man with ice cream in his hand and FREAK OUT! So we send Ky sprinting after him to ask him where he got the ice cream. If that doesn't scream Americans, I don't know what does. So after she finally catches up to him, he points us towards Rayas, which is just across the bridge. THANK GOD HE DID BECAUSE IT WAS DELICIOUS! I stayed with my gut and got mente chocolate (mint chocolate chip DUH!) So good. Ky got some gingerbread type of flavor and Adrienne got some chocolate with a type of fruitcake in it? Interesting, but pretty good. So we all went home and went to bed early, because Friday we woke up early to go on a hike with CIEE! I can't tell you where we went, because I have no idea of the name of it, but it was great! It was around two hours away from Sevilla. We left around 9, got there around 11, stopped in a little town to have coffee first. Adrienne, Ky, and I, skipped the coffee idea (I know, me? Shocking) but we were TRUE hikers and bought NUTS! Yeahhh! Anyway, so we loaded up on those and started hiking around 11:30. Hiking here is different though! It wasn't like a mountain. It was more through a town and then all around the woods area. It was cool though! They stopped us a bunch of times to look at different types of nature and plants, which was pretty cool! We saw a bunch of different plants, I remember the one that was oregano! COOL right! Snapped a few good pics along the way.

Gotta start with the most important, the NUTS. Our fuel!

Hike it out.


Can't remember why we took a picture with this tree bark, there was some significance. But cute pic huh? ;)


So we hiked all morning and then stopped around two to all chow on our bocadillos (sandwiches) our host moms made for us! Delicious! Around 2:30, we got hiking again and walked until about four, and then headed home! It was a long day but SO worth it! So we finally made it back to Sevilla around 6, and all were really tired so we just had relaxing nights at home! I may have began watching The Blind Side on a site that lets you watch movies, but I fell asleep pretty close to the beginning.

Saturday, let me think. I went running in the morning with Daysy, and it was good to see her because I hadn't in a while! She and some others from our program went to Morocco last weekend! They all had a blast and loved it! I really hope I get to go sometime, hopefully when Dma (my grandma for those who don't know) visits me in April, we'll go for a day! But anyway, we had a nice run, and then I went home, had lunch with the family, and then was GOING to go do some homework with Ky and Daysy at the river (Adrienne was in Cordoba all day), but it started raining, so we went into a café for a bit! Then when it passed, Ky and I did some shopping. She needed new headphones and I bought a book to read in my spare time! I got the book In My Sister's Shoes. No, not the same as In Her Shoes the movie. More Raising Helen-like. Anyway, so that's for my free time! So we walked around and shopped that afternoon/night, and then went home for dinner.

Snapped this picture during our walk. In the center of the city. Ky and I just kept being in awe of how beautiful this place is!

It started raining after dinner, but we were determined again to get ice cream, so we went to a place called Charlotte, right near our houses, and once again, mente chocolate! :)
Sunday was such a gorgeous day! I got up, went for my run, did the family lunch thing, and then met Adrienne and Ky by the river and did homework. Let me just show you how beautiful of a day it was!

Is this place not amazinggg? Ahh. Okay so after we hung out and got work done, we went back to the same church we tried out a few weeks ago! Still the same as ever, smoke machines, multicolor lights, all the works! It was good though, Adrienne and I recognized a lot of the songs we sang! Same songs as we sing in church back home, just in Spanish. So cool. And another pretty good lesson on Joshua 1:1-7. Can't remember it all now, but it was good!
After that, headed home to get some rest for the week ahead! Like I said, probably the most chill weekend ever and yet I'm sick? Weird! Could be because it was really rainy last week..but still. So weird. Don't understand it.

Anyway, this week has been good so far! Just back into my normal classes routine. Mondays and Wednesdays continue to be crazy, and Tuesdays and Thursdays are more chill, FRIDAYS OFF! :) But I'm SO excited because we have a four day weekend this weekend..and so we're leaving Friday for MADRID and coming back MONDAY! So excited. It's me, Adrienne, Ky, Daysy, and another Daisy, and my two other friends Brittany and Brittany will be there too! I'm so excited. We're going to meet Andi Lau, who also goes to Gordon and is studying there, to show us around and hang out! I'm so pumped, not only because it's MADRID but also because I heard they have LEGIT DUNKIN DONUTS' there! I will DIE for a medium french vanilla iced coffee skim milk two sugarsssss PLEASE! Ahh, I hope I hope! So this week so far has been good. Not too much work, just classes, and trying to get everything ready for the weekend! Tuesday was also Ky's 20th birthday so we had to get some ice cream for that as well! :) So that was fun! But yeah, not much else going on. I'm SURE after this weekend I'll have tons to post about and tons of new pictures for you! For now, just know I'm working on getting rid of this stupid cough and gaining a voice back! Haha, but that's about all I have for now! Thanks for reading. Pray for our safe travels to and from Madrid! Can't wait to tell you all about it!
Hasta luego :)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Oh, just livin' la vida loca

Oh my gosh so much to talk about. Well, for starters, as you can probably imagine, last week was EXTREMELY hectic! Trying to figure out what classes to take was stressful, but I know now what I'm taking, and I think it's going to be a SOLID semester! So, my lineup is as follows:
The classes I'm taking at my program place, CIEE are:
- Monday-Wednesday 9:00-10:35am- Editorial Projects in Context (basically, its a journalism seminar where we work on stories for the CIEE magazine, mas + menos! I'm excited because I think I'll meet some cool people and get to write awesome stories!)
- Monday-Wednesday 7:00-8:35pm- Mass Communication and Society in Spain

At the University
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 1-2pm- Geography of the Iberian Peninsula
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 2-3pm- Comedia: Lope (literature class..Lope de Vega, famous playwright!)

AND CHOOSING BETWEEN two literary criticism classes, one would be Monday through Thursday 5-6, and the other Monday through Wednesday 12-1! Still deciding that, but that's what my semester will look like. Notice no class on fridays! :) :) SO PUMPED! Yeah, so I like those classes, nice professors that I can understand for the most part, all are willing to give early exams so I can come back June 10th! Gooood stufff.

So after a week of nothing but stress, I deserved a fun weekend right! Well, I definitely had one. First off, my host mother's nephew is here visiting for ten days! His name is Javi, and he's studying in Budapest this semester! He came back for a break to visit! So thursday night we went out with him and a few of his friends to a few bars and then a club! It was really fun, and I talked a lot to him in Spanish but he also is REALLY good at english too, so its good to be able to talk both!

Of course, we all didn't get home until about 4 in the morning, which made Friday morning pretty interesting. Adrienne, Ky, and I signed up to go on a free trip to the Ruinas Italicas, which are some old roman ruins just outside Sevilla. Had to be at the University at ten, so you can imagine our sleep level was a little rough. We went on a guided tour of the place though which was really cool! We saw like what used to be houses and such. The best and sickest part was the theater place where they would have like gladiator matches! It was huge and so cool. I can't say I payed attention to the history part much, so if you want to know more, just look it up. But I've got PICTURES!

I took a ton of pictures of all the ruins, I have a bunch more if you want to see. But the best pictures were the ones we took in the theater, clearly. Because we turned into gladiators.

We call this one "we are the world."


Don't fight thisssss.

Anyway, so that was Saturday morning, and then we got back before lunchtime. I went home for lunch, went for a run, and then Adrienne and I went out to the river and hung out for the afternoon there. We met some friends there too! Everyone does that here, the cool thing is just to go hang by the river. It's pretty much gorgeous, and so relaxing. After that, we hit up a cafe, and then went home. Since we had had somewhat of a crazy night the night before, that night was a little more chill. I had dinner at home, then Adrienne, Ky, and I went and got ice cream from a Mascarpone place right by us! OH MY GOD SO GOOD. I got Tiramisu. Holy crap I loved it. We were all exhausted at that point, so we called it a night early. I went home, and Adrienne had taught me about, a site where you can watch US movies and TV shows, so why wouldn't I watch Yes Man in bed? I was LOVING it!

Saturday morning I woke up pretty early, ran, and then Javi, and I went and hung out in the sun by the river! Adrienne met up with us there too. It was awesome. Less people there in the morning, so less people watching, but more quiet and relaxing. Either way, it's always nice there.

Then in the afternoon, Ky needed a new camera because hers broke during the Ruinas Italicas visit, so we went to Corte Ingles, aka Target, and some other stores around El Centro. My big purchase at Corte Ingles is what I'm now obsessed with. Adrienne and I tried these the other day and I am now in love.

Don't ask how, don't ask why. I just need these all the time. If you haven't tried them, PLEASE DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND EAT ONE. Can't believe I lived this long without them.

Anyway, so we shopped and shopped. In the midst of this shopping though we could have found the coolest thing EVER! Okay not the coolest thing ever but a pretty cool place. It was a bookstore but it had once been like a theater! It was really cool and we found it SO randomly! Check it out!


So after that, went home, had some dinner, then Javi, Ky, and I went out for a bit. We met up with some other people, went to a few bars, and just kind of bopped around Sevilla. I was still somewhat tired, so we didn't do anything too crazy or stay out too late (aka, we got home at like Spain, that's weak) but it was a fun night as always!

This morning I slept in, got up, went for my run across Sevilla, but oh wait, so did about a million other people. Aka, there was like a marathon that happened today all through Sevilla! It was cool, I have no idea what it was for, but there was a ton of people, so it was kind of cool to run by them haha! Oh definitely have to mention that for lunch today Maribel made probably the best fish ever. Don't know what kind it was, all I remember her saying was pescado and it had a lemon flavor but WOW, loved it. Had to throw that in. Anyway, so then for the afternoon, Ky, Adrienne and I got together and made some TRAVEL PLANS! We haven't booked JUST yet, I think that's tomorrow, but basically our plans are as follows:

Madrid- Feb 25th-28th
Cádiz- March 5th
Barcelona- March 18th-March 20th

Oh, and there WILL be more traveling. But this is our start! Conquering Spain, one city at a time. We REALLY want to see a soccer game when in Madrid, so we're definitely going to see if that can happen! So much to do and so much to see but I'm SO excited about it all! :)

Wow, just realized I started writing this an hour ago. Yeah I take a few breaks but still, probably way longer than it needed to be. And I have to get up for class in about seven hours. So, I'd say it's definitely time for me to hit the hay. I'll keep you posted on how my classes go this week, and of course how all the other FUN stuff goes! Thanks for reading, and please try a Werthers soft chew.

Hasta luego!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lo siento. I know it's been too long!

Wowowowowowow. Alright, so you all probably hate me and are over following my blog because I haven't blogged in what feels like years. But the good thing is is I have a TON to blog about now! I've honestly been SO busy it's not even healthy. Where do I even start? Hmm. Alright. Last week we finished up our intensive course (THANK GOD!) Love Spanish grammar, but three hours a day for two weeks straight is a little much for me. Yeah, so that got over friday! We took our final exam and handed in essays, and it's dunzo! :) So then it was QUITE the weekend of adventures in Spain let me just tell you!
After class on friday, Adrienne, Ky, and I went to El Centro and did some shopping. You probably are starting to think that's all we do, but it's not. I honestly rarely buy anything, I'm kind of just obsessed with walking around El Centro (Krit, reminds me of our Old Port times..BEST!) Anyway, so we did that. And then for the night, we met up with some other friends from our program and went to a popular discoteca, Buddah! This place was REALLY sick. Three floors, dancing everywhere, cool bars, tasty drinks, ahh it was awesome! So we went there, danced all night and it was a blast! I definitely got a taste of Spanish boys..let's just say they're QUITE A BIT friendlier than I'm used to. They have NO problem coming to dance with you, and dancing pretty FRIENDLY too. Gotta love it. Hahah, and so we had a BLAST there, didn't end up coming home until 5:30 IN THE MORNING!!! I felt like a true Spaniard. It was awesome, walking back to our houses we heard birds chirping haha! It was such a blast though, and it's the Spain way!
Saturday I planned on sleeping in as long as I could, but I woke up around 10:30, and went for a run with my friend Daysy! Later on, her, me, Adrienne, Ky, and some of our other friends went out shopping in El Centro, and just walked around a bit too! Ohh, the other reason that everyone shops all day every day is because the sales here are all through February and then they stop for like ever, so everyone buys stuff while it's cheap! So after that, we all went home, and had dinner with our families and such, and then we hit up a bar/club called Boss, where some of our Spanish friends' band was playing! I was pumped, but the problem was that there was a SERIES of bands playing, and the one we wanted wasn't until LAST and the bands before were somewhat EMO and not to my liking. So needless to say, we kind of rolled out, and found another bar to hang out at for a bit. It was fun, but I was pretty tired from my late night beforehand. After a little time at the bar, we were about ready to call it a night, but decided first to make a stop at the CHURRO STAND, which was obviously a great way to end any night in Spain!
Sunday was also pretty packed. Daysy and I ran again in the morning, and then for the afternoon, Adrienne, Ky, and I went to church! THIS was quite the experience. The place was called Sala Encounter, and I really liked it don't get me wrong (we'll probably go back!) but the church had the creepiest and weirdest location ever. Kind of in the ghetto, and the building was grey, had no windows or doors, and had graffiti all over it. We were SO skeptical, but the only reason we went in was because we saw a woman go in with her two kids, so we figured it was alright. Once we got in, everyone was really inviting and nice and we met a lot of people. But this place is seriously NOT your average church. Had all different color lights, smoke coming from where the band plays, seriously different stuff! Once we sang, it was pretty similar to normal church, but it was also cool to be able to sing songs in Spanish! I really liked that. And the rest of the service was basically the same, singing, message, etc. But it was still a wicked different atmosphere and all! Very cool and a very great experience. I think we'll go back next Sunday! And after that, we went home, had dinner, then geared up for the SUPERBOWL! Yup, broadcasted at 12:30am in Spain. So a bunch of us went to an American bar, Phoenix, to watch the game! Completely crammed with Americans, but totally fine. I figured since it was the Superbowl, I should order my first beer? Seemed to fit the occasion. Yeah, not a big beer person. I think I finished 1/4 of it. Nasty stuff. But whatevs, I tried. Anyway, so we watched the game which was fun, BUT THE PROBLEM WAS that Spain didn't broadcast the American commercials! SO LAME. So, pretty much 3/4 of the reason I watch the superbowl was down the drain! But its alright. We stayed until about halftime, because by that point it was about 3am and we all had class in the morning, so we left. It was still so much fun though and so worth how tired I was the next day/still am!
So..Monday began LEGIT classes. I had one at 9, which is a class with CIEE that is like a journalism seminar where we work on a magazine and get to write stories and stuff (OBVIOUSLY SICK) and then I tried out some classes at the University! ABSOLUTELY exhausting. Listening to professors talk and trying to understand even a few words, walking around aimlessly to find classrooms, it has been a HECTIC WEEK! One class, the professor didn't show Monday, then came for a half hour yesterday. One class the professor really sounded as if he were a cartoon character. I mean, it's nuts. But this week and next week I'm going to keep going to classes, and by the end of next week I'll know exactly what ones I'm taking! I'm also taking another one through CIEE, Mass Communication and Society in Spain. Which sounds GREAT and I was thrilled about, but so far it's been not too great. One of the kinds of professors that really has no lesson plan and just kind of jumps around randomly. Whatevs, it's alright, Adrienne and my other friend Brittany are in it so it works. Just have to figure out my other University classes then I'm good! Once I do that I'll be sure to let you know!
Trying to think if there's anything else.....pretty sure I covered just about everything. As you can see, it's been QUITE the past few days. I'm so exhausted. So probably hitting the hay right as soon as I finish this. Tomorrow and friday I'm checking out some more classes, and then it will FINALLY be the weekend! :) No plans as of now, but I'm sure some things will come together. Alright, well sorry this was so LONG and dense and I don't have pictures! Next one will be better, I promise.
Buenas noches a todos.