Wow, what a last two weeks! I have had no time to update this so we are going back to last weekend. As you can see above in my picture, my friend Rachael has a crown on. She turned 21 over the weekend and we had an absolute BLAST!!! But let's go back to the week first.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday were just days with my normal routine. I went to school, went to the beach, ate with my family and stayed in for a couple nights to catch up on sleep and such. Then, Thursday rolled around and I was sicker than a dog. In the morning, I was a wreck and I got NO sleep. I was constantly running to the bathroom and of course, I had a test Thursday and Friday - great timing huh? My host mom got back from grocery shopping and she was surprised to find me. I told her what my symptoms were and she went and grabbed a bunch of medicine. I thought it may have been food poisoning, but she told me that a summer stomach flu was going around. That is exactly what it was . It was awful, but after she gave me some medicine, I could finally sleep! After sleeping for about 5 hours, she made me some really light soup with water, chicken, and rice and bought some aquarius, which is like a water here with tons of minerals to help me rehydrate. She was sooo great at taking care of me; I am SOOOOO lucky with my family!
Friday, I had to take both exams in a row. That was a little rough considering I missed the review for the second one in Phonetica. I ended up doing ok, but not as well as I wanted to. I was still very weak and not able to eat much on Friday morning, but by the afternoon, I started being able to keep down normal food.
I was so happy I was feeling better because it was a big night for my closest friend here and I wasn't going to stay home! Friday night, Rachael (bday girl), Janeth, Renequa, Abby and I got all dressed up and took Rachael out for her bday. (Pictures are coming soon!) First, we went to a Chinese resturaunt that she had gone to the week earlier and really liked. Janeth, Abby and I get her three different mini cakes - kiwi, cheesecake and chocolate - and that afternoon, we bought her a super cute wallet and bracelet that picked out, but didn't purchase earlier. She had absloutley no idea that we got her something and she was SOOOOO happy! Dinner was pretty good, I didn't eat too much because Chinese food is a pretty rich cuisine and I wasn't risking getting sick.
After dinner, we went to a bar called "La Negra Flor" where we all know the bartender. Carlos handed out many Chupitos (shots) for her birthday! Erin, Tom, and Amanda from Wisconsin joined the celebration too. We had a couple drinks at that bar and then moved onto the next bar. It was called Zumo and it was definitely more of a "Spanish bar", meaning not aimed at American customers. After we got there, we were dancing and drinking and all of sudden, we heard some drums. It was so cool!!! Two guys with drums started playing around the crowd to the music and then went up on stage. I have great pictures, it was really cool! After Zumo, we moved onto Sotabanco. I know the owner, bartenders and DJ, so let's just say we didn't pay for anything . After Sotabanco, we went to this discoteca right down the street called Bohemia. It was packed with people! I had wanted to check this place with Jessica before she left, but we never made it there! So... we were just dancing in our group of girls and out of nowhere, this super hot guy came over to me. Out of everyone in the club, he came up to me. We started talking a little bit and i found out quickly that his brother was the bartender and shortly after, he said he had to go to work too. I was kinda bummed because there was just something about this guy. We swapped phone numbers and then I returned to dancing with the girls. We were having a blast and one of our favorite songs came on, so we looked up to the DJ booth and there he was!!!!Guillermo was the DJ - I had no idea because I realized I never asked, haha!
We stayed at Bohemia for a while and then went back to Sotabanco. WE met up with our friends there, Banda, Constantine and Tina, a girl from California that I met. It was her last night and she wanted to go to a discoteca called Mambo. So the four of us went to the discoteca after and had a blast. Then, after Banda walked me home and I got a couple hours of sleep before boarding the bus for Salamanca that day!
Salamanca was gorgeous! I have sooooo many pictures of the architecture, two beautiful Cathedrals, the Plaza Mayor, and really pretty town pictures. One of the teachers was our personal tour guide that day and when we got there, he took us to all the "well-known" buildings and taught us about the history, importance, etc. Everything was soooo beautiful! After the tour, we split into groups and did our own thing. My group was the norm - Renequa, Rachael, Janeth, Abby, Elton, and me. This is pretty normal and it especially became evident that Wisconsin group wanted nothing to do with our group. It especially hit me when Amanda asked Renequa to take a picture of "The Wisconsin Group," and I was not invited. So now we have a joke that I am really from Texas, it is hilarious! I love my friends here!!
We walked back around town and found a place to eat that had a great selection and daily deal. It was delicious food. I had ravoli, which was VERY rich and lomo, like ham with fries. It was cheap and delicious! After lunch, we made our way back to the bridge and just chilled until the bus came back to pick us up. Our professor and his friend came back pretty hammered, he was hilarious on the way home!
After we got back to Valla, we all walked home. I took a nice nap and then got ready to go out because tonight at midnight was actually Rachael's bday. We just made it a weekend celebration! I met Rachael by Abby and Janeth's house on Isabela Catolica, but the others weren't ready so we headed to the first bar. It was almost midnight!! So we walked through this plaza of bars and stopped at one because the music was great. The bartender, Suco, took bday shots with us and then made us Bacardi Limon con Limon. Rachael's and my favorite drink here . Then Abby and Janeth met us out, but we didn't leave for a couple hours! It was such a blast at this bar. After, we headed back to Zumo for a little while and then went back to Bohemia. Guillermo had called me that day and asked us to come back that night! We had a great time there again, made our way to our fave, Sotabanco to see people and then bar hopped for a little bit. We made it back to the bar that we started at and we ran back into Suco, the bartender, on the dance floor. We hung out there for a bit and then walked back to Bohemia to meet Guillermo and his friends. He took us to a new place, Maraca. This discoteca was over by where Rachael lived so that was convenient! I also found out that Gui's family owned this place... it was AWESOME! He knew everyone too so I met a ton of people and had an absolute blast!
Sunday came up quick. Rachael and planned a trip toPeñafiel, which was a wine tasting, castle tour and museum tour all included. We were so pumped. The other people that came were Abby, Janeth, Danielle and Brent. Other people planned on coming and said they were, but they backed out which I know disappointed Racehael, but she said "Whatever, my favorite people are here with me!" Gotta love this girl!!
We all met at the bus station at 8:30 to get tickets and when we got there, it was super hot!!!! And, we had to walk all the way up this, what felt like a mountain, to get to the castle! I was very happy I wore my Sperry's because sandals would not have cut it! Finally, we got to the top. We signed up for the first tour and it started within ten minutes. Our tour guide took us all around the castle and it was soooo pretty! I forgot my camera because I wanted to make sure it was charged so my friend Danielle said she would send me the pictures shortly. Grrr, won't do that again! After the tour, we headed back down, had a glass of wine with the tour guide and walked around the museum. This museum had diagrams of vineyards, tools, old bottles and jars, diagrams and videos of making the wine and then my favorite part was the smell test of all the flavors that they put in different wines. There were bottles of smells such as apple, vanilla, almond, etc. Then the flavor name was covered and you had to guess what it was. I thought it was really creative and Dad, you would have loved this museum!!!!
After some time walking around and resting, our wine tasting was downstairs. We tried a tinto, rosada, and a blanco. The tinto was the oldest (reserva - +12 months) it was very dry!! The rosada and the blanco were both young (joven) wines but I really took a liking to the white wine. I bought a bottle for my host family, they loved it!! After, we caught the bus home, poor Rachael was a little sick and the bus wasn't air conditioned so it was very, very hot! She said she didn't regret the night before AT ALL, I basically got us shots at every bar we went to the night before - you have to do your 21st bday right!
Finally, I got home! I felt like the weekend took forever! I ate dinner with my family and then headed to bed early. An hour and a half later, I was woken up. It was Maria's 22nd bday at midnight and there were a couple friends and my family in the livingroom. She wanted to go have a botellon, but it was raining so that wasn't going to happen. Instead we went to celebrate in her cousins house, right across the hall. We had some vino tinoto and coca-cola mixed - a very popular drink here! So much for getting sleep, ahaha! It was a great time and Guillermo ended up coming over after a work meeting to join in . Apparently, my sister knew him before and we all had a great time!
So yea, WHAT A WEEKEND!!!! I finally had time to write it all down today Miss you all at home, I can't believe I am coming home in a week!!!! Wow, I will update this coming weekend soon. My friends are coming over to use my computer for the Wi-Fi to write their paper for Cultura. This weekend, I just got back from Grenada and Malaga, and my mom was right, it was the best trip of this trip .
Can't wait to tell you all about it!