Friday, June 18, 2010

Spain is...

Well, the end is here. Everyone has packed up and left and I am left to spend the day wandering the streets of Alcala de Henares on my own. Also warning: this blog post is cheezy and full of nostalgia. Sorry, I can't help it. 
It was the weirdest feeling waking up and knowing that the people I have spent the past two months with are now off on separate adventures. Mine will begin tomorrow when I meet up with my family in Barcelona. I can't believe that my study abroad experience is over. And the hard thing is that I can't explain the past few months in words. Pictures won't do it justice. It is something that will only be understood by me and the 28 other people on this trip (especially the 7 that I became closest with). But, here's a little snippet of just a few of the inside jokes and memories I'll take away from Spain. 

Spain is...
-eating tiny muffins with Julia every day for breakfast
-Julia and I being late to everything...or just missing it because of our siestas
-taking the cinco every day to the train station
-going to Madrid at least once a day, often twice a day
-eating Churros con Chocolate at Maestro Churrero and feeling so sick afterwards
-wrestling fights between Dan and Michelle that often led to many of us getting hurt
-talking like Ron Burgundy 
-incorporating the "awkward robot" into our every day lives
-eating meals with my host family and getting life lessons from our mom. 
-my "brother" coming in and sitting on my bed and Julia and I telling him about all of the ridiculous things that happen on our trips
-going to La Media Pinta all of the time
-Watching the World Cup at the Pint
-getting hit on by weird old people
-the scandal and drama
-The Crew and how Mabel and Profe hated Julia
-staying out until 8am and getting up an hour later for the day
-experiencing the nightlife of Alcala, Barcelona, and Madrid
-craving chocolate every day of our lives and going to Carrefour to stock up
-becoming addicted to Coke
-picking weird things out of the Paella
-going to Mushka in between classes to grab a croissant a la plancha
-going to McDonald's to study or use the internet
-hanging out in the Plaza de Cervantes
-seeing amazing, incredible, and beautiful things on our trips
-being sick of Cathedrals and Monasteries 
-hating Antonio and wondering why he showed up at every single event
-trying to make it through classes by passing notes or drawing pictures
-being yelled at by Blanca
-impersonating Rebeca "super, super, super, super Catolico. Los Visigodos"
-Jen jumping out of the boat into the nasty lake and having everyone in the park clap for her
-causing a scene wherever we go
-laughing so hard that I cry every day
-watching Bulls die at the bull fight and sweating our guts out
-eating gummies until we want to throw up

Ok, I decided to stop because this could go on forever. Basically though, you get the gist. Spain is incredible. For it's culture, it's language, it's people, it's history. I was talking with some of my friends the other day and we were reminiscing on the trip (it wasn't even over) and we all discovered that for us..."It's always been Spain". Since we can remember we had always wanted to come here to study abroad. Always. It was, is, and forever will be a dream. .

Dear Spain,
I'm leaving a part of my heart with you. 
All of the love,
p.s.-Ya te hecho de menos!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

It's a small world, after all

During my travels I am constantly reminded about just how small this world really is. My first week here in Spain I was able to meet up with a friend that I had met on a cruise last summer in Alaska. Today, I met up with a dear friend that I knew in high school in China. Yesterday, I discovered that a friend of mine from high school in Arkansas is here at the same University as me in Alcala and we saw each other. Another old friend of mine is living in the north of Spain and we may have the chance to meet up in a few weeks in Barcelona. This all just blows my mind. 

On another note, my days of study abroad are winding down. It is the weirdest feeling to think that in three days I won't be waking up in Juana's house and eating tiny muffins for breakfast. I won't walk down cobble stone streets to get to school and grab a croissant a la plancha at the closest bar for a snack. I won't be able to experience the thrill of the World Cup in Spain anymore. I won't go to Madrid whenever I want. I won't live in this little dream bubble. After my host mom taught me how to make spanish tortilla today we were talking about how the time has flown by. But, at least I will have only fond memories of Espana. And I guess that's really all I can ask for. 

p.s.-more updates on my adventures and life in Spain will be coming soon. Right now I need to study for finals. Studying while living in Spain is the hardest thing everrr