Monday, May 31, 2010

In Spain!

So I am finally in ESPANA! After a long flight with little to no sleep and lots of turbulence I made it to the capital of Spain. I bought a phone in the airport (I should have looked into it more but whats done is done) and had to use it soon after to call our director to find her in the airport. Luckily my roommate, Cara, was on the same plane so we were lost together. But we found the group and headed into the city.

Our apartment is technically the 5th floor but the ground floor is 0, so its really the 6 floors, with NO elevator. Not to mention our keys to get into the actual building don't really work. But we got new ones tonight so hopefully they work better.

Our madre Catalina speaks barely any English so its defiantly an immersion and her son Mateo is crazy wild 5 year old. The two meals we have had have been good, its just weird eating lunch at 3 and dinner at 9.

Today we went on a walking tour to El Parque del Retiro y the surrounding neighborhoods and last night we had a quick bus tour to the major sites. Tomorrow is our placement test and fingers crossed I place where I want to! I need a good nights sleep since the alarm is going off around 6 am tomorrow!

Buenas Noches!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ready, Set ....

Only a few more hours until I get on an airplane to head to Spain! I have had a lot of stuff going on the past two days; my twentieth birthday, packing, my sister's prom, and seeing hometown friends!

I also saw Sex and The City 2 last night (I had to see it before I left the country!) with a lot of my hometown friends, it was great to see all of them together before we all went our separate ways this summer. The movie was really good, although I was hoping for a more exciting ending! But the SATC ladies fabulous traveling and adventures only made me more excited to leave tomorrow.

(I don't know if these are from the movie but I LOVE them!)

Here are my sister and I before her prom. I helped with her makeup and she looked gorgeous. I went with my Mom to take photos and I felt like a total paparazzi, but it is only preparing me for all the pictures I will be taking while abroad!

I am going to try to put a quote for each post I do, so here is my first ...
Travel Quote of the Day(From the title of my blog): "Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart."

Now back to a little more packing before bed!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Reads

I am not a huge reader but lately I have been on a reading kick after finding a couple a great authors. Meg Cabot and Sophie Kinsella are most famous for their teen books (The Princess Diaries and Shopaholic respectively) but they have great adult chick lit books too.

The first book I read was "Queen of Babble" by Meg Cabot and it was a delight, plus it follows a girl in Europe! It is a three book series and I am taking the third and final one "Queen of Babble Gets Hitched" to Spain!

I also highly recommend "Can You Keep a Secret" by Sophie Kinsella, it has everything suspense, love, humor. And any Emily Giffin book is a good read, but I especially liked "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" which start as the same stories from different points of view and evolve from there.

If you like a little mystery and action then I also suggest Marne Davis Kellogg's Kick Keswick four part series about a famous jewelry thief, plus I love the titles... "Brilliant," "Priceless," "Perfect," and "Friends in High Places."
Enjoy these books with a glass of lemonade on the water, for perfect reading pleasure!


So with only a few more days until I leave the states, I have been running errands trying to get everything I need! I have gotten most of my random items along with euro's and traveler's checks!

In homestays it is typical that you give your family a gift, so I got mi madre Catalina y su hijo Mateo gifts!

For Catalina I got this set of 6 side plates with a holder, perfect for tapas! (They said to get something useful and small)

For Mateo, I got what every six year old boy loves COCHES! Plus there small and can't annoy his mom ... or me! My dad also got a VT hoodie for him (its so tiny) from Walmart for a steal only, $0.99!

Finally, I had been contemplating about bringing my computer to Spain. I have a tablet and its battery life is pretty horrible so I was worried about the outlet converter placing even more of a stress on the battery. But my Dad was a hero and got a Lifebook for me take overseas! It is tiny and compact, perfect for lugging around Europe and has excellent battery life! Since my parents and I will be communicating mainly via Skype its the perfect solution!
I have started packing my toiletries and am thinking of what clothes I need to pack. My dad said I should only bring about 10 outfits but I will probably bring much more. But I do need to pack light since mi casa is on the 5th floor with no elevator! The only good thing about packing, is watching "Friends" while doing it!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Week Till Spain!

In exactly a week I will be roaming around Madrid, my new home for a little over a month. I have been getting prepared and reading up on what to expect and what Madrid has to offer. Here is a summary of my trip …

• Madrid – The city I will be living in and exploring!
• Universidad Antonio Nebrija – The University where I will be studying Spanish and International Business.
• Homestay – I will be doing a homestay where I live with a family and a roommate. My house seems to be in a great location right in the middle of Madrid, although it is far from my university. My head of household is Catalina and she has a 6-year-old son Mateo!
• Excursions – Most universities abroad only have classes Monday-Thursday so we have 4 excursions around Spain to Santander (favorite vacation spot on the northern coast), Granada (home to the Alhambra and flamenco), Toledo (“City of Three Cultures” and original capital of Spain), and El Escorial (Massive Royal Palace).

Here are some pictures of places in Madrid I can’t wait to explore …

Plaza Mayor

Palacio Real (Royal Palace)

Parque del Buen Retiro

Museo del Prado

Universidad Antonio Nebrija

More Info to Come!