This past week went my soooo fast!! Jessica and I had to start counting down the days until she left But we made the last week count
Monday, I recieved back both of my exams! I got a 96% on my Cultura!!!! I was soo happy! And then on my Phoentics, I got a 88% on the writing part and 95% on the oral part, so like a 93%!! Whew, what a relief
Classes have been going very well. I love my conversation professor Ana, she is vibrant and bubbly. Great to wake up to and have first thing in the morning. We learned parts of the body/medical terms, traveling terms, shopping terms, directions (which I definitely need here!) and we played this game like 21 questions, but the person could only answer yes or no. Someone would think of a famous person and we had to figure it out. Ellen, a girl in my Wisconsin group was thinking of an actor! As soon as she said he was in a famous movie, I asked her if it was Titanic and she said YES!! I guessed Leonardo DeCaprio and I got it right!!! So funny, because I was either going to pick him or Orlando Bloom as my person! hahaha!
In Cultura, we are learning about food and drinks (gastronomia) of Spain. It is very interesting because each region here has their specialties, very similar to the states being known for different food. Like Wisconsin is known for cheese and beer... Galicia is known for mariscos (seafood) and vino albariño (white wine).
In Phoentics, we are learning the pronunciation of letters. It's kinda boring, but phoentics are very important here in Spain! They kinda have a lisp with some letters like "Z" and I love "RR" because you roll your tongue! haha!
Monday, after school, my friend from Brasil, Francisco, showed me around Valladolid. We just went on a walk and he became my personal tour guide! It was a blast! We went to see the Cathedral, the University of Valladolid, the school part where he researches Environmental Law, the theater, and many more. I will put up an album of this shortly. I am pretty sure I met one of the smartest guys tho. He has a degree in Law, went on to grad school to get his maters and has a masters in Environmental Politics! He works in Environmental Consulting - his company is FCConsulting and this is what he does: Consultancy forcreating and designingprojects forpublic and private companies,includinginventoriesof emissionsof greenhousegases andemissionsreduction projectswith the goal ofcarbon creditsraises. Very cool! He is quite the gentleman too :) Unfortunately, left on Wednesday, back to Recife, Brasil to work! He works all around the world and maybe he will come visit!
Monday night, I had my first "Botellon" which is where a bunch of young people get together and go to a park, beach or somewhere public, hang out, listen to music and drink. Both my sisters got some friends together and Jessica and I joined them for our first "botellon."It is a huge part of the culture here, I even just learned about it in my class, and it was a really great time :)
Wednesday night was prob top 3 of my favorite nights, minus the end of it. Francisco invited me to dinner in Catilla Bodega. It was 25 euros for everything, private transporation, 4 course meal and wine, and the ride back. The other people he lives with, Enrico, Gallego and Banda all invited people too. We had a group of 30!!! Jessica and Rachael came with me too! When we got there, we walked around a little bit and found out that it was a winery too, they made their own wine! Eventhough the wine was (joven- 6 months old) it was fantastic! The food was delicious as well... at first we had a rice dish, then an omelette dish with lots of mushrooms (Francisco wouldn't even try it, haha), a main dish with ribs and fries and desert. My desert was like a cinnamon flan, but it was still soupy! Delicious!!!! Enrico knew the owner so after we went to a different room, through a stone tunnel and had chupitos (shots). It was soo much fun and I was so happy I had made this connection! Jessica and Rachael had a blast too! After dinner though, a car took us to the bus station because Francisco had to leave I was very sad to see him go, he was such a great guy, but I cherish the time we had together and so happy I spent the time I did with him.
Thursday night was the first night in a while that Jessica and I stayed in. Renequa and Elton moved into a new place, one of Enrico's friends had an apartment available! So that day, Jessica, Rachel and I went to the beach and after we picked up pizzas from a Dominos here, some vino tinto and brought it to Renequa's house for dinner. Jessica studied and Renequa, Rachael and I watched Rush Hour with Jackie Chan in Spanish! It was great just to kick back and relax with friends!
Friday school flew by fast. Rachael and I did some quick shopping before we left for Madrid while Jessica packed up her stuff. At 4:30, we all met at the bus station. I was actually planning on going to Madrid this weekend but knowing that my best friend was leaving, I could not leave her like that! So I asked Rachael if she wanted to come to Madrid with us to send Jessica off, then go to museums and explore Madrid Saturday, and come back to Valladolid Saturday night. She didn't even hesitate on her decision! So off we went! Rachael and I slept for a little bit on the bus, but it was difficult so we started to talk. I learned we had quite a bit in common! Here is the scoop on her (mom). She goes to Texas A&M, she studies English and Education, she is Methodist, and so much fun to be with! She played tennis for years, but unfortunately she was burnt out at the end of highschool and decided not to play in college. She said she regretted this but she is very involved in her sorority at school with event set up and marketing. She is very independent like I am, likes to get the job done and doesn't let slackers bring her down. Oh my, we talked about boys, school, so many things! Rachael is definitely going to be my second amiga mejor here!
When we got to Madrid, we found out the route on the Metro to get to Plaza del Sol. When we arrived, we found a hostel right away like 2 min away from the main plaza! It was a big room too!!! I have pictures of it up on my album. We got cleaned up, had some vino tinto, Twix, and got dressed up to go out. We were walking and all of sudden, this guy came up to us and was like bebidas gratis para ti! Then he walked us to the bar and the bartender gave us free Sangria! Jess spent a week in Madrid with her sister before she came to Valladolid and said it was like that everywhere! She was right, we didn't have to pay for a drink all night! It was so much fun. We even got into high end dance clubs, like CoCo (in my photo album) for free. Cover charge there is like 15 euro! We didn't stay at CoCo long cuz we met this guy who was basically the owner of a sex house so as soon as i got that vibed, I yanked us out of there right away! The guy was like over 50 and tried to kiss Rachael goodbye! Grossss! We got outta there right away! We stayed out and went to a couple of smaller bars on the way home until about 3 and headed back because Jess had to leave for the airport at about 7:30 for her 11 am flight. She still had to check in and everything! I was SOOOOO sad my best friend was leaving!!!
The next morning, the three of us woke up and Rachael and I helped Jessica bring all her stuff down to catch a cab. It was sooo sad saying goodbye, I even started tearing up! After she pulled away, Rachael and I went back to sleep until 10:30. Got up, packed up and left the hostel at about 11:30. First, we decided to check out the stores, haha! This girl loves shopping as much, if not more than I do! We had a good time looking around; she bought a shirt and I bought a cardigan, with the best detail for 10 euros! Gotta love the rebajas here! After, we went to lunch and found this great deal! We each had meal of the day, where you could choose three different courses from a menu. I had paella, Salmon and watermelon; Rachael had Mediterranean salad, salmon and watermelon. Also, wine and bread was included in the price and the waitress gave us about a 3/4 bottle of wine to split! The food was delicious, the steak was the best I ever had!!!
After, we grabbed a taxi to the Museo del Prado! I used my International Student Card and got in for half price!!! Unfortunately pictures weren't allowed inside but the exhibits were amazing!!!! The painting were the most BEAUTIFUL paintings I have ever seen. My favorite room was 52 C, where there was a story line of Saint Stephen and martydom and the famous painting of the "Last Supper." It was sooo amazing! In the photo, Judas had his back facing Jesus, wearing a yellow robe (the color of betrayl and hatred). I found that symbolism in all the pictures was so important! I also was amazed how the painter could make the clothing look so silky, the use of light was incredible and words cannot explain how gorgeous this art was. We also looked at Roman sculptures, all made of marble, and they were of all the Greek God's and Godesses! There was even one room that had statues of all eight of Zeus' daughters, set up in a half circle, each with their symbolic power demonstrated by what they held in their hands. It was soo amazing! I wish I could have taken pictures! I have brochures I am bringing home and wonderful memories!
After we finished up at the Museum, there was not enough time left for a tour of Madrid. They have this great bus tour and I am considering going on it the day before or morning I leave Spain. Rachael and I hopped on the bus at 6:30 to go home and the bus was sooooo hot, we couldn't sleep! After getting home, we both decided we were too exhausted to go out Saturday night and I was too sad to go out without Jessica her first night away, so we both stayed in and after dinner, we both slept until 12:30 the next day!!!
This coming weekend, we have a school excursion to Salamanca and then a small group of us are going to Peñafiel for Rachael's 21st bday!!!! We are going to a wine tasting, with a castle tour and museum tour included! Soooo excited for that!
Sorry it took a little while to update this! Miss you all at home!