This week was very relaxed compared to the last one, well at least through Wednesday. I didn't have any tests this week, but I did have a paper due Tuesday , which I finished on Wednesday because I knew that Iwouldn't touch it over the weekend. We could choose any subject that we wanted to do it on and I chose to do "Medios de Comunicacion" and focus in on television. It is CRAZY how much television my host sisters watch and the television is on during every meal! I even interviewed my eldest sister, Maria, for some quotes on what she watches and why she watches it. It turned out to be great and since I am writing this sooo late, I already received a 95% on it! I was very pleased to say the least.
Monday, after class, Guillermo asked me to go to the piscina (pool) with him. He is a lifeguard at two pools in pueblos (towns) very close to Valladolid. He picked me up from my house after I ate lunch with my sisters and we went to Zaratan, about 7 minutes outside of the city. It was a beautiful day and I met some more of his family because they owned the pool.I had a great time with him just relaxing and talking for the afternoon. This is really when I realized how good my Spanish had gotten because I understood everything he said and he understood everything I said (which is AWESOME!) After the pool, I returned home to have dinner with my family and called it an early night.
Tuesday, nothing special happened, just went to school and the beach for the afternoon. Later, saw Guillermo after dinner. It was so convenient that he lived right up the block. Wednesday, Rachael planned to come over that night and skype with family and friends. On these nights, she would sleepover and I loved having a roommate again, even if it was just for one night a week. She came over for dinner and papa made us hamburgers!After dinner, I packed up for ourtrip because we had to catch a flight 9 A.M. the next morning.We skyped with her friends and it was a blast! And yes, I said we J Her best guy friend, Chris and best friend, Amanda conference called us. I have more friends in Texas now! J
Thursday, we were early to rise! We didn't have school that day and we had to catch the bus across the park from my house at 8:00. We had barely slept the night before because of the time difference for skyping! Mama walked us to the bus stop after making us bocadillos (sandwiches) for both of us. I am soooo lucky to have had the family I did, they took care of me and my friends so well! We got on the bus and the others were already on it because they got on at the bus station. The group that was going was the Wisconsin group and my three Texas girls, Janeth, Abby and of course, Rachael. We were catching a flight at 9:15 which left us plenty of time.
Then the fun part began! Let me just say that there was never a dull moment during this trip. Rachael and I got to the airport, which was tiny, just like the one in Williamsport, about 20 minutes out of town. Little did Rachael I know, a copy of your passport was not sufficient for the flight. When the lady checked if we would be accepted with the copy or not. When she said no, Rachael and I ran out the door and caught the first cab we saw. Now let me set this up… we had about 40 minutes until the plane started boarding, the airport is about 20 minutes out of town ONE-WAY, and I had even asked Rachael if she thought we needed our REAL passport right before we left! We decided to take the same cab and split the price and we definitely found the best driver we could have because he understood how urgent our situation was! Rachael ran upstairs and grabbed hers and my mama came outside with mine for me. J Time wise, we made it back with about 5 minutes to spare but when we ran in, our group was still in line for security. WE MADE IT!!! I will never forget that experience with her and I know she won't either! Then after that, the lady that checked people in was gone, but there was a sign that said "back in 10 min" so we waited and waited AND waited until everyone was through security and went on through. Turns out she was inside at the flight kiosk and she stamped us there. We finally got on the plane and even found two seats together.We each ate one of our bocadillos and rocked out to Rachael's ipod. The trip was short, about two hours, but I took that opportunity to sleep! When I woke up, there was mountains on both sides of the window view! The valley was gorgeous in Malaga! J
We all got off the plane, but the trip wasn't over yet. We all had to catch a bus to Grenada, but we got there at the perfect time because one was arriving in 45 minutes. The next one wasn't until 20:30, which would have been SOOO late! The bus ride was about three hours and Rachael, Abby, Janeth and I filled the backseat. We asked the other to come back and sit with us, but only Danielle came back. Amanda even looked back at us, turned her head and picked a seat in front. It was really rude! This is where the separation started L between our two groups.
I slept for the first hour and a half on the bus and then Rachael and I rocked out and looked out at the beautiful scenery. There were rows after rows after rows of trees in the mountains. They were definitely all planted because they were all perfectly in line. We guessed they were all huertas (orchards), but it was CRAZY that there were so many!! I have pictures of them in my album "My favorite city… Grenada."
After we arrived to Grenada, we grabbed a bus to the area that our hostel was and it was hard to get to because there was construction everywhere.We got off at a Cathedral and still had to walk a little ways, but the architecture was sooo beautiful, it didn't bother me one bit! I was really glad that I decided to pack my backpack for this trip because it was much easier than a rolling bag on these sidewalks! The city was sooo pretty, I already knew it was going to be my favorite!
We got to our hostel and all checked in. The lady working at the front desk was French and she was hilarious! We were in two different rooms, the four of us in one, and the five of them in another.
We were walked to our rooms and the hostel was really pretty. Our room was a good size too and it was cheap, only 15 euro a person! We unpacked and were starving, so we asked the other group to lunch. They decided to go to a super market and apparently they napped for quite awhile, so the four of took a recommendation from the woman at the front desk and went to lunch. It was delicious!! Rachael and I got wine and we all ordered from the daily deal menu. I had a green salad, some pasta, delicious white fish with a tomato salad of some sort, and a scrumptious desert that was leche de something…milk. It was very light and topped off dinner perfectly! After lunch, we headed to a supermarket to pick up some Don Simon (vino) and some snacks. Then, headed back to the room and took a little cat nap.
After we woke, we drank some wine and just talked.It was great and I was sooo happy that these girls were on this trip with me! We heard the other group coming up the stairs and Danielle came into talk to us about their plan for the night for her 21st BDAY!! She said that we would all go to dinner and then go out. Did that happen? NO. (the separation continues)We got ready and called them countless times from the front desk and texted them. They claimed that the room phone was in a second room and they didn't hear it so finally the four of us were fed up and we went to dinner ourselves. Our hostel was in a great area!!It was on a little street right in between a bunch of restaurants! It was a great location!
The girls didn't want to drink much more, but I remembered that when you order a drink, you get free tapas. So I got a glass of wine and we got this great big plate of croquetas! They were delicious, and after the other girls realized what the deal was, they ordered cortos (short beers) so we could get more free food J. Then around the corner came the Wisconsin group and we were very upset. They acted like nothing happened but we were decided we would go back, change our clothes to go out and meet them back at the restaurant.We went back up, changed, and got back in time for cake, but we could tell birthday definitely did some pre-gaming! We actually went out as a group and we were walking along. This guy came up to us with the name of a discoteca and escorted us there. It worked out great and we stayed there for the whole time! The bartender gave us all birthday shots and champagne. Birthday girl made lots of new friends from Italy and we had a great time dancing! After spending most of our night there, we decided to go and find another bar. We were all walking and without a word, the other group dropped off and turned around. That left the four of us… Abby was really tired and Rachael was feeling sick, only to figure out the next day, she drank while she was taking Mucinex L. So that left Janeth and I and we were not ready to call it a night. We went back to the first place because I remembered the guy that took us over to the bar told me if we came back, he would take us to a larger discoteca. Sure enough, they were there and we went to this beautiful place. It was enormous and set up more as a theater. It was an old building and inside there was a huge chandelier, gold trimming on the walls, a huge dance floor, leather couches and a nice sized bar.
We danced all night!! The music was great and going VIP with these guys, we didn't have to pay for a cover fee and got very cheap drinks. A guy asked me to dance, but I said no to him, I was just having fun with Janeth, but soon after I had two drinks definitely aimed at me. We went to the bar to ask for napkins to pat me down and these Australian guys came up to us at the bar. We started talking, took a shot and then spent the rest of the night talking with their group. There was Damien, Karina, and two other guys. We had a great time with them taking pictures and I finished the night off drinking Budweiser! We were soo excited to have American beer,hahaha! Now, when I say all night, Janeth and I were up until the sun starting rising that morning! The Australian guys walked us home, which was very sweet, and I was very impressed with my navigation skills to get us back J. We made it back safely, said our goodbyes and the guys headed back to their hostel about 5 minutes away to pack up and leave about an hour later to go home.
Janeth and I had a great night, we crawled into bed and all of us slept until 11:30. The phone rang to wake us from the front desk because we had to be out of the room by noon. We all showered and got ready and were downstairs by noon! It was impressive!! Of course, the other group's stuff was in the telephone booth where the lady said we could keep our things while we traveled around Grenada that day. We checked out and were on our way for the day. First stop was food, next was walking around the city a little bit and we definitely wanted to go to Alhambra! After grabbing a little bite to eat, we shopped and shopped and shopped! At first we came across a little tienda (shop) that had tons and tons of souvenirs, earrings, bracelets, dresses, hookahs, pretty much everything! We stopped by but decided we would come back later. Then, we came across this guy on the street… he had different designed paper and he was writing on what each person was telling him. We found out that he was writing names in Arabic! It was soooo cool! At first I got three, then I went back and got four more for gifts! It was such a unique idea J. After, we got pizza boats because we were still hungry, they were great and I have a picture of us eating them on the bench J. After, we stopped in another souvenir shop and I got some great gifts for people, then we headed back to the first one so we were sure to get what we wanted. I got four pairs of earrings, they are all so unique, and I love them! Rachael got bracelets for her friends and a couple other gifts. On our way, a guy was selling hand painted fans, they were 2/$5 so I called Rachael over and called we each picked out one. He was just starting to put them out and he pulled out this beautiful purple one! Rachael got a really pretty black one with red flowers, Abby got a red one and Janeth got a white one. Thank goodness we bought them because it was like 100 degrees! HOT! We used them the whole day.
We stopped in a few more stores and I suggested we walk on the other side of the street so we didn't keep stopping, hahaha! We were never going to make it to Alhambra at this rate! We kept walking and we found a stand selling sunglasses. We found Ray Bans for 14 euros!!!! SCORE! We all bought a pair, the pictures are great J. We stopped in one final store, each bought hand painted shot glasses and then were all in the mindset that we wouldn't stop anymore! WE went outside and this couple from Poland asked Rachael to take a picture for them. WE quickly found out they were headed up to see Alhambra so we started walking together. Then, Janeth and Abby saw a plate store that had the perfect gift for their host mother and I came across the best gift for my mother and father (in the states)! It was soo beautiful and I knew my mom would love it - it was a black square platter with tiger-eye colored mirrors on the inside! I knew it was going right into our living room at home J.
FINALLY, we refused stopping anymore and started our way up the hill. The entrance was beautiful, we walked through a very pretty park and then a long stretch in a town to the castle. When we got there, we found out that the tickets to actually go into the Alhambra were sold out! L Apparently, you can make a reservation 2 years ahead to see it!! But they still offered "garden tickets" which I knew here, it was going to be something special so we bought those. I am soooo glad we did because this garden was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life and the view of the city and castle were immaculate!! There are pictures up, but they don't do this garden justice! We went through the garden and then included was a garden palace that had great architecture and Arabic design on the inside walls. It was very pretty as well and there were fountains and gardens inside the palace too. WHAT A VIEW THOUGH! It was soo pretty up there!
After we finished up, we were all very hungry! On our way back, we passed a Kebab place, that Janeth and Abby eyed up earlier. Rachael wanted pasta and pizza and I didn't care, but we decided to go back and get our bags and find something closer to the hostel. We went through and nothing was open so we grabbed our bags and of course, the others were already gone, without saying a word! They went back to Malaga without us!! So after, we headed back to the kebab place and it was DELICIOUS!! I got the king kebab with meat, French fries, green olives, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and this great sour cream like sauce! It was HUGE and I saved about 1/3 of it because I couldn't finish it! Then, we took a taxi to the bus station and got tickets to Malaga. A bus left every hour so we only had to wait about 25 minutes. The ride back was pretty much the same as the ride there, I slept for a little bit and then Rachael and I ate my left over Kebab and talked J. I love this girl, we are definitely friends for life!
We got to Malaga and the sun was starting to go down. We found out that our hostel was more than 4 km away so we took a cab. We got to the hostel and let me tell you, there is never a dull moment in this trip. We found out that we made the reservation for the night before and of course, it was prime time for vacations and the hostel was full. We started to panic when the guy said that every hostel and hotel in town would be full too. He let us get on the computers at the place to look up places online and right when we were about to go back, the other group came walking through the door. They had tried to walk from the station and got lost for over 3 hours in the city! I don't know why they wouldn't use common sense and take a cab, but when we told them our situation, they could care less. If it was them having issues like that, we would have offered to help, take their bags to the room, etc. It was just very RUDE! They didn't even check on us downstairs and even Tom came down to use the computer for Facebook and didn't ask a word about if we found a place or anything! That was the last straw for Rachael and I, these people really showed us their true colors and level of immaturity!!!
So we furiously searched online for hostels and hotels.Finally, Rachael found a hotel, she made the reservation online and we had the hostel call the cab company for us. It wasn't too far and it wasn't in the sketchy part of town anymore!Somehow, after seeing that place, we thought this may have been meant to be and we were especially happy we didn't stay there after we found out that the others had to share a room with four other guys from Ireland… what about privacy?We got to the hotel, now here is the kicker… the room was only two double beds (a.k.a. two people) so just Rachael and I took the bags, checked in and Janeth and Abby met us upstairs later; played the part perfectly J.The hotel got their money and we had a bed to sleep in!This would have not been possible in a hostel with the security at the door, but a hotel was cake! We all showered in a beautiful bathroom, not one that we had to share with 30 other people, which is what we would have to do in the hostel. Things were looking up and we all agreed that this was the best thing to happen to us! We stayed in, watched movies and ordered pizza. It was sooo great to have a girl's night and we slept in air conditioning that night for the first time in weeksJ.
The next morning, we were woken by construction outside at 8:30 in the morning on a Saturday! We were all very happy we didn't go out the night before because if we had to deal with this after a night out, we would have been livid! We got up, cleaned up, and headed out early for the beach! The night before the cab driver told us it wasn't more than a ten-minute walk, so Rachael and I checked out and we were on our way.We were so excited to swim in Mediterranean!! We reached the beach shortly after, but we remember the cab driver saying, the further down the coast, the better! He was right, we found a great spot and you bet, the first thing we did was run down to the water! It was soooo great, little chilly at first, but this was Rachael's second time to the ocean so she jumped right in! After taking a dip, we headed back to lie down and Rachael ate the breakfast of champions…left over pizza! Hahaha :D.
I was impressed with myself how many times I went in the water (probably 7 or 8) AND I mean ALL the way in! Rachael taught me how to float too. Well, I knew how for the most part, but when she said it was all about breathing, it was soo much easier and I felt so relaxed! We had an absolute blast between tanning and swimming! We even met some really nice guys (our eye candy that happened to sit in front of us, haha) and made pretty good buddies with the guy selling drinks in a cooler on the beach. After our final dip in the water, I saw a guy with a cart selling jewelry and I thought it would be really great for the four of us to pick out a bracelet to remember our friendship and the trip! We each found one and the girls loved the idea too J!
WHAT A DAY! I couldn't believe we had to leave already, but we got our things together, rinsed off, waved goodbye to the beach, and walked to the nearest cab since the airport was on the other side of town over the bridge. We got to the airport, with not much time to spare and realized our terminal was quite a ways down the airport. We got to RyanAir and checked in right away, and as we were walking to the security check in, Amanda came up to us and was like what are you doing? Did they not realize we were boarding in 20 minutes?Apparently, they were sitting there the whole time just waiting, not realizing that there was such a thing as boarding time; needless to say, they barely made it. We got through everything and Abby and I left our things with the others in the boarding line and went to the bathroom. Realizing that we hadn't eaten all day, I stopped at a sandwich shop and bought two subs so Janeth and Abby could split one, and Rachael and I could split one. Always thinking ahead and I can thank my mother for that J!
After eating, we all passed out on the plane and in no time, we were back in Valladolid! We had to wait for the airport bus for about an hour, so the girls grabbed some food to pass time. The bus got there early and Rachael and I were the first stop! It was great to be home and I was so glad we decided to head back Saturday night. Rachael got back, skyped Chris for a bit and then we left to her house to get ready to go out that night! Guillermo asked me to dinner that night and I was so excited to see him! I left after we got ready and met him outside a dance club right by her house, Maraca. As always, he looked so sharp in a button up shirt and nice pair of jeans! He smiled so big when he saw me and gave me a big hug, asked how the trip went and led me to his parked BMW to open the passenger car door. We headed to Plaza San Miguel and he brought me to cute little restaurant that I had walked by 50 times right next to Sotabanco. He ordered the meal for us and everything was delicious! We had white wine, little bruchetta sized bread with shrimp and veggies on top, then two different meat sandwiches and once he found out our common love of cheese, he ordered a cheese sandwich to top dinner off with anchovies. It was pretty salty, but very good!
After dinner, we met some other friends of his and walked to a bar across the street. It was quite difficult to meet other girls with this guy, they didn't like that I was with him considering he was the hottest guy in town, but the girl that I met earlier after dinner reassured me the other girls were just jealous. She was great!We shared a couple of drinks and talked before she started to bartend.
Then the girls met me out and the four of us danced and drank at Bohemia for the first part of the night. Then we headed to Negra Flor, then back to Zumo... a bar that we really liked from Rachael's bday and they only played Spanish music! To finish up, we headed back to Bohemia to meet up with Guillermo and then headed to Mambo. It was basically empty, so we ended up heading home earlier than we thought! Can you imagaine, haha!
I cannot believe my last week in Spain was coming up!!! I was definitely starting to get a little sad. It was going to be very bitter sweet! I had a big week of school ahead, a speech and my finals. Time to focus and start wrapping thingfs up, WOW that was FAST!