Homebound

Day 33 – June 26th:

Monday

We got up early and checked out of the apartments and took taxi vans to the airport. Our professors and two other students were not going with us back to the states yet, so they stayed behind while the eight of us that were going back to Kansas and the three of us going back to the Bahamas checked our bags and said goodbye. This would start our long day and journey back home. I was really sad to be leaving Spain because I loved my time there and could’ve stayed longer. Our flight to Dallas was painfully long but we eventually made it. We had a little over an hour to make our connecting flight to Kansas City and it was pretty stressful. We had to get out from the back of the plane and go through our customs then get our luggage then go through customs again and then go through TSA again and get to a different terminal and our gate. Someone from our group got stopped at each checkpoint and it delayed us a little more. We were on the tram to get to the correct gate and terminal and the tram broke down in front of the doors in our terminal but on the opposite side of our gate. So we ran from approximately gate C39 to C2 because we only had fifteen minutes to make our flight and we did not want to miss it because of the tram. When we got there they had not started boarding yet so we got lucky but we were all out of breath and relieved we were not going to miss our flight home. When we got home my parents came and gave me a huge hug and I was relieved to be home after all of the stress and craziness of the last few days. I loved my time in Granada and I would definitely visit Spain again someday.

Madrid

Day 32 – June 25th:

Sunday

We were in the lobby with the rest of the students in our group at 5:35 am. The bus driver came down and took us to the bus so we could start loading our luggage. We left for our final destination, Madrid, around 6:15 am. This was the longest bus ride and it took us about four hours to get there. When we arrived in Madrid we had a few problems with checking into the apartments we were staying in. After negotiating keeping our stuff in storage downstairs we put it all down there and headed to the Museo del Prado. A group of us went and explored the museum and saw the artwork we recognized. I had a few déjà vu moments in Madrid because I had visited there four years ago. We got lunch in the Prado and it was fairly expensive but the chicken wrap that I had was absolutely delicious. We sat and chatted for a while before meeting back up with the group to go back to the apartments. When we went back to the apartments we moved all of our luggage upstairs in a much more efficient way. Then Dr. Robinson came around and gave us our tickets for the Royal Palace. My roommates (Rhiannon, Sarah, and Ashley) and I went to the Royal Palace and walked around the gardens for a little bit. I got a picture in the same place I got one my first time in Spain. When we went into the palace it was about to start storming so we got inside quickly. After going to the palace we had dinner at a restaurant and I got pasta yet again. I also had my last glass of wine. On our way back I got some gelato and then my roommates and I picked up some Malibu rum and pineapple juice. We had a final class meeting before going to bed. My roommates and I stayed up so late getting everything packed up and getting ready for bed we decided to have a big slumber party on the giant pullout couch with all four of us. It was a fun way to end the trip.


Sevilla and Cordoba

Day 31 – June 24th:

Saturday

We got up early to check out of the hostel and load up our van to travel to our next city. We went and had breakfast at a café and explored this gorgeous plaza. It was one of my favorite places to visit. I just wish we would’ve had more time to explore there. We then got on a bus for another bus ride to Cordoba. When we got there we had to decide if we wanted to take our luggage to the hostel or leave it in the van. I decided I was going to take my luggage because I wanted to have it with me and all of my clothes and toiletries were in my checked luggage. The stairs were a lot easier to haul my luggage up, but their air conditioning did not work as well as we were told it would. The front desk also kept our passports for a while when we checked in and that made me a little nervous because I have always been told to keep my passport on me at all times. To turn on any lights and the air conditioning you had to put a key in a little hole in the wall. This was a little frustrating because that means that the air conditioning was not on and it was not cold in the room. This was a little disappointing because it was 107 degrees at about 7 pm still. When we were all settled into the room we went to a mosque/cathedral. It was almost all included in one. We had a tour guide and I was able to understand more than I was during our first guided tour in Spain. After we visited there we were allowed to go off on our own. A group of us were in search of dinner, including my roommates for this hostel (Sarah and Ashley), went to the restaurant right next to the hostel and had pasta again. This place had fans that blow air and mist at you and that was really nice and we finally were able to cool off some. Later Sarah, Ashley, and I walked around onto this huge bridge and people watched for a little bit. Then we went back to the hostel and cooled off. It was Champayne’s birthday so the professors and a group of students went to get cake to bring back to the hostel so we could all celebrate. We each got a slice of cake and we sang happy birthday to her in Spanish and drank champagne. After that we went to bed and got ready to get up and be in the lobby by 5:45 am.

Sevilla

Day 30 – June 23rd:

Friday

We got up early and left to go to the meeting point with our host mom before getting on a bus to leave Granada and head to Sevilla. It was sad to leave Isa after all she had done for us while we were in Granada for a month. She even gave us all a little present because she enjoyed having us live with her. The drive to Sevilla took a couple hours and when we arrived we had a walking tour and went into a cathedral. We went up to the tower in the cathedral and we had to walk up a lot of ramps to get to the top. It was pretty cool up there and you could see all the bells that would ring. We later took our stuff to the hostel we were staying in. We had stayed in hostels in Barcelona and they were not that bad if you were backpacking but having a large group with all of their luggage was a little difficult considering that there was not an elevator and we had to take our luggage up very skinny and slippery stairs. Besides the luggage situation the hostel was really nice it was just a hassle to take our luggage up so many flights of stairs. We also got air conditioning! It was the first time we got to sleep in a cold room in Spain. Even though the air conditioning cost 5 euros per room, it was worth it. Later a group of us went to walk around the city with Ana who came with us as a guide. We had dinner at this pizzeria type place and I got some pasta because I had been craving it for so long. I got some gelato at a place next door before heading back to the hostel. Sarah and I were rooming together and we got ready for bed and stayed up and talked for a while before going to sleep.

Last Day in Granada

Day 29 – June 22nd:

Thursday

Today was our last day of classes at DeLengua and we took a picture with our class and our teachers. After class my roommates and I went shopping for souvenirs because it was our last day in Granada. We took a break at one point because it was over 100 degrees most days. I went back out after a while and bought what I thought was a skirt or a dress but it turned out to be Aladdin pants. I was slightly disappointed by this find because I thought the pattern would make a really cute skirt. My roommates and I also took our host mom out to dinner at Cantina Mejicana again. We ended up going to walk around Granada and go to a concert on the other side of the city after dinner and did not get back until pretty late. We had a wonderful time with our host mom and we made sure she knew how much we appreciated her while we were there.

Language Exchange

Day 28 – June 21st:

Wednesday

We had another language exchange today at a different location with a different group of people. I ordered a drink for once and got a mango margarita. It was my first margarita and it was delicious. We talked in Spanish to them for a while and it was a little more difficult because it was loud in there as well. There also were more of us than there were of them. It took us a long time to find the bar in the first place because they gave us the location and my roommates and I used google maps to find it. When we got there we saw a few others from our group outside but when we got closer we realized it was not where we were supposed to meet. When we were done with the language exchange my roommates and I walked back and got some gelato.

Flamenco Show

Day 25 – June 18th:

Sunday

Today was a pretty lazy day until a group of us decided to go up to the caves and watch a Flamenco show. It cost around 20 euros but it was worth it. We got a free drink with the show and we sat really close together in these long and skinny caves. They danced in the aisle and you had to watch your feet so you did not get stepped on. They had people playing instruments and singing and then the Flamenco dancers were dancing and you could tell in some of the dances they were telling a story. At one point a young girl around the age of 11 came in and was dancing and she was really good. I was amazed at how quickly their feet moved because I have no rhythm and cannot dance at all. Later they were bringing people up to dance with them and I was pulled up there to dance but I wasn’t really sure what to do so I tried but it wasn’t that great. It was a really great show and it was really cool to see everyone watching get involved and having a good time.


Malaga

Day 23 – June 16th:

Friday

We took a day trip to Malaga which is about two hours away from Granada. It is a coastal city and it was gorgeous. Although we got lost and drove around for over half an hour in our bus, we still had a great time. We visited the Picasso museum and it was pretty cool to recognize some of the artwork that I studied in art classes. After visiting the museum we headed to the beach. The beach was pretty crowded but we found a spot to sit in the shade. A group of us went to change in the bathroom but there was only one stall so a group of three would go in and change to make it go faster, but it still took a while. After putting on a ton of sunscreen some people went down closer to the water to swim but the sand was so hot they had to end up sprinting across the sand so that the bottom of their feet didn’t burn. I stayed behind and ate my lunch first then went down closer to the water with my flip flops on to look for seashells. I found some of the prettiest shells I had seen and there were a lot more than in Barcelona. I did not get too far into the water but I did get in a little bit. I realized my shoulders were starting to get burnt so I put some more sunscreen on and continued to look for shells. After a few hours we headed back to Granada and most of us fell asleep on the bus for a little bit. When we got close to Granada it was raining steadily, which was the first time it had rained since landing in Spain. Later that night I went out to some bars with Lorena and Royell. We ended up going back to the karaoke bar and had a great time.

 

La Tarasca – Traditional Parade

Day 21 – June 14th:

Wednesday

Today during classes we went out into the street to watch La Tarasca, which is a traditional parade in Granada. There were a few bands playing music and some of the songs they played were American and we recognized them. There were these people who held up what looked like giant puppets or figures on stilts and I think they represented the Muslim rulers and Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. There were people that had some weird costumes and I am not sure what they were supposed to represent. Eventually there were these people who had giant heads on their shoulders and they were carrying what looked like a balloon. Then they started hitting people on the head with them hard. We later found out they were blown up and dried cow stomachs. After that we walked around for a while with our classes and looked at the signs in a plaza. They had a picture and a small story or the meaning behind the picture. It got really hot outside so we decided to head back to the school and finish class. After class a few of us went to go shopping for souvenirs for our friends and family. Later my roommates and I went back up to the terrace and took some pictures since it was one of our last days in Granada.

Granada Corpus Feria Part 2

Day 20 – June 13th:

Tuesday

After classes and dinner, Paige, Jenika, Ashley, Linsey and I decided we were going to go back to the festival. We figured out what bus to take and went back. We walked around the carnival part first and watched Paige try to win a game where you shot little miniature bottles of alcohol with a gun with a cork as the bullet. She unfortunately did not win. We then watched some kids try it and one of them knocked off a bottle. The legal drinking age in Spain is 18, and there was a sign that said you had to be 18 to play, but the kids did not look 18. The guy running the game seemed to be laid back though and not ask questions. We decided we were going to ride some of the rides when it got a little bit darker. We walked around the bar and club area some just to see where we could get a drink. I ordered a sangria because I did not know what drinks they offered because there was not a menu. After I had that we walked around some more and I decided I wanted to go back and see if I could figure out how to order a different drink to try something new. I did not know the name of drinks so I chickened out and ordered Malibu rum with pineapple juice again. Ashley went with me and we walked back to the place where the other girls were eating. After everyone was finished eating and drinking we decided to ride a couple rides. We rode this haunted house one and I was terrified. Linsey stayed behind so I sat in front with Ashley and Paige and Jenika were behind us. I ended up clinging on for dear life to Ashley’s arm and put my head down with my eyes closed the entire time. Of course that just prompted the people who jumped out to scare you to target me. One of the things I noticed was that in Spain the people scaring you were allowed to touch you, while in America they are generally not supposed to touch you. That scared me more because I was not expecting it. After that we went to this other ride that looked like the SeaDragon at Worlds of Fun. Ashley, Paige, Jenika, and I decided to ride it. The only thing that was different about this ride was that instead of sitting in the seats, you stood in cages on opposite ends of the ride behind the rows of seats. So you went even higher than normal! There was nothing to strap you into this cage either, just a lot of bars to hold onto. It was kind of scary now that I look back on it but at the time I just was so excited and having a lot of fun. When you got to the highest point of the ride you almost floated in the air and it was such a cool feeling. After that we just walked around some more and Ashley and I decided to try these doughnut things that looked like funnel cake. They were really good and they gave us the little miniature plastic forks to eat it with. We left the festival shortly after that and went home.