What a trip so far! I don´t feel like it was reality until I got on the bus from Madrid to Valladolid! It didn´t even hit me in the airport! I met with another girl coming on the trip, Erin Schoenfeld, for lunch before going to O´Hare. She is a sophmore at Eau Claire and runs track. We sat next to eachother on the plane and had a great time getting to know eachother! She is really sweet and has a great laugh!
We both didn´t sleep much on the first plane, in fact, I probably only slept for an hour! I got woken up by the flight attendant right next to me with the cart, like literally right next to me! It was quite an abrupt awakening, but the beautiful sunrise outside diverted my attention. We were served breakfast at about 11:30 pm my time at home. Then we had a 2 hour layover in Munich where Erin and I met a guy practicing Jit-su all around Europe from Texas. Right after we got on the second plane, we were fed breakfast again. The food on the flights was good! My chicken dinner the night before was espeically good and they kept pouring wine for us. I was happy to find out there was no bill for the wine :) After eating some of my omelette on the second flight, I slept for the rest of the flight. It was about a 2 hour flight from Munich to Madrid.
After we arrived in Madrid, we changed into shorts and brushed our teeth. Then the real fun began! We came downstairs to the luggage belts, but Luftansa was not on any of the screens. When I asked where it was, a guy told me it was " A si, cinta cinco, dos metros a la derecha" (2 meters to the right) So Erin and I started walking and once we realized we walked about a mile too far, we turned around and asked again. Then we saw the jit-su guy (sorry I don´t remember his name) and he told us it was upstairs! Well finally after trying not to panic, we were told to wait for someone to come out of SALA 5, and then go in. We walked up to glass doors labeled SALA 5, but it said "DO NOT ENTER." So we sat down and someone on the other side saw us. We had two bags of four left on the belt! (I have a picture of that) but we were so happy to FINALLY have our bags!
Then, we had to get to Terminal 4, of course the only one not in our part of the airport. We needed to take a bus to the other side of the airport and unfortunately we were running late! :( We found our group and Alberto, the guy who was picking us up. Then Alberto noticed I had to pieces of rolling luggage so he took one and we got onto the metro. There I met and talked to one of the other girls, Danielle. She is very nice and we got along quickly! Finally, we got the bus station and waited for our bus to leave for about an hour. Danielle passed out and I walked around a little bit with Erin to stay awake.
On the bus ride, I sat next to Alberto. I slept most of the time, but I woke up and talked to Alberto the last half hour of the ride. I was really surprised on how well he spoke English. Turns out he studied in Ireland for three years and Iowa for two. We talked about golf, vineyards, vacations, the U.S., etc. It was funny though; when we were on the metro, he acted like he didn't speak English! haha!
When we got to Valladolid, my host mom and dad were at the station to meet me and pick me up! I will put up a picture of them soon! Mi mama es bonita y mi papa es chistoso (hilarious!) They drove me home and we were listening to Juanes, a famous singer, in the car and they asked about my trip! They understood me very well which I was very relieved about. Mi papa fed me right away and then I had to go to my school for a presentation. We met Sergio y Juila, mis maestras (professors) and they talked to us about our schedule, family rules, etc.
When I got home, I unpacked my things and had dinner with my family. Turns out I do have a roommate for three weeks, she is in a different program. Her name is Patience and she is 34 years old. We get along fine, but we don't have much in common. No problema. I stayed up for a little bit so the jet-leg wouldn't be sooo bad, but it was difficult since I nearly slept three hours that day.
Crazy but great first day! What a relief to be done with traveling and be here!
p.s. the picture that I put below is very close to my house. I live three minutes from this river and walk over the bridge to school everyday. The tall white building (the only "sky scraper" in Valladolid) is the first thing I see when I come out of my house. I live to the left of this building in the picture!