Monday, January 30, 2012

Madrid tomorrow

Studied all weekend. Got up at 7 this morning to walk to school in the dark for the placement exam we've all been waiting for.  It was absolutely horrid.  The beginning was easy and then the listening and grammar sections were terrible.  I was the first one to finish, which could be good or bad, who knows but it took from 9am to 12pm to finish and then we had to wait around for our scores and our interview.  The lady I had an interview with was so intimidating, I had trouble saying anything at all.  By the end of  it, she hadn't told me anything about my test, or what level I was in, but just said "we're done, leave".  Most other people got there scores, but I guess I just have to wait now, but everyone that was supposed to be in the level above me easily didn't make it because there were some grammatical difficulties.  Our teacher wasn't too pleased, and I think hes trying to find out all our scores and move people around.  It should be less stressful now that its over but the interview kind of ruined everything for me :(  Oh well, nothing I can do about it now.

On a lighter note I got mail today :) always a great way to cheer up (Thanks Jordan!) and Casey and I are all packed up and ready to go because we're leaving for Madrid in the morning!  We even had fried platanos for lunch today (reminds me so much of Costa Rica but only the good things!) so things are kind of turning around.  We're also in the process of booking our trip to London at the end of February, which is such a pain.  Literally JUST booked our flights. now for the hostel, bus rides, and whatever else we need to have in advance.  It'll be worth it, no worries :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dinner Party!

Last night, Filo and Pepe drove us over to Paco and Susana's house for dinner.  On the way over, Pepe was singing all sorts of songs in German and teaching them to us like a repeat after me thing.  They used to work at a hotel and would practice French, German, and English all the time! So now he always just says things randomly and we never know what language hes speaking hahah :) When we got there, Paco was cooking us homemade pizza and gave us a tour of his apartment.  He made basically all of the little tables, dressers, shelves, and paintings and they all looked so good! It was a very modern looking little apartment.  Then they proceeded to play the same cd of children's songs that they bring to our house everyday and Casey and I surprised them all by singing along and knowing all the words.  Its really rather annoying but last night it was just funny, and they turned it off pretty quick.  We had three different types of pizza, one had shrimp, tuna, olives; another had, pepperoni, olives, ham, and a cheese kind of like bleu cheese, and the third which was my favorite, had brie cheese, capers, ham, and spices.  Then he brought out all sorts of cheese tapas because we told him that we loved brie, so he brought out more of that, and little pieces of bread with some sort of salsa and goat cheese, pineapple cheese, and the one that was like bleu cheese.  Then after all of that he made us arroz con leche, with cinnamon on top which was actually really good.  We hung around and chatted until Pepe and Filo were falling asleep on the couch so we decided it was time to go home.  Paco and Susana really wanted us to stay the night but we told them another weekend when we didn't have an exam on monday :P  On the way home, on of our friends called us so we went and visited them because they only live about a 4 minutes walk away and they were lonely.  They live with their host family's daughter and shes never home so we invited them over for tomorrow and kept them company for a while.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Little Peter Cottontail, Hoppin' Down the Bunny Trail...

Last day of review classes today and we had to right a composition on the play we saw a last week.  We also finally got our schedules for next weeks adventures to Madrid!  I can't wait to be done with this placement exam and go see Madrid!! We're also going to Toledo, Segovia, Avila, and Salamanca, from Tuesday to Sunday night.  And of course Sunday is also the Superbowl, but here it doesn't start til about 12:30am and Casey and many others in our group are determined to watch it. However, Monday is also our first day of classes so I think I'll probably just let everybody else tell me what happens ;)  Today after class, we had a little extra time, and instead of going home and sitting around while Peque screams, we decided to go shopping for a little while til it was closer to lunch time.  I bought a scarf! and then it started to rain so we went home anyways.  Luckily they were putting her to sleep when we got in so she wasn't around for lunch.  Lunch today was soup with chick peas, carrots, potatoes and other vegetables in it with salted bread.  Also salad and then they brought out a plate of what looked like chicken wings, and Pepe laughed and said oh yes chicken!  So we though nothing of it and ate our soups and salad.  When it was time for the "chicken" we started looking for small pieces and they were all shaped very strangely, so we asked, what animal is this really..?  "Conejo"  so of course I knew this was going to happen I just wasn't expecting it today.  I promised to try everything and took a little piece that looked like meat, took a bite, not so bad and then being overtired and unsuspecting Casey and I just started laughing.  I told them all I could think of was Thumper from Bambi hahah and then for the next 15 minutes Casey, Julie and I sat there trying to remember the words to little bunny foo foo and sang Peter cottontail at the table while we mourned over our little rabbits.  No eyes or heads though, thank god.  But we told them all about our pet rabbits and kept saying sorry to our plates as we ate it.
In the afternoons, like today, if we're bored sometimes we sit in the living room and make up words for the ridiculous Spanish dramas.  Today its all about this detective with a giant mole on his face (it's embarrassing what we do with our free time but its actually quite fun).  We also watched Harry Potter with Spanish subtitles since it was raining and we didn't really feel like going out in it.  Dinner at Paco's tonight, should be fun :)

Also we have our finalized vacation days and we are planning on going on a paragliding trip in March with most of the other students in our group.  Eventually we're going to Barcelona and Paris on a couple of the long weekends and Casey and I are planning a trip to London for 5 days at the end of February :D  I'm ready to be adventurous!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Word of the day...

Breakfast. Class. per usual.  Lunch was some kind of soup with rice, turkey, veggies again as usual with all the bread, cheese and ham like always.  Last night on tv we learned a few pretty bad words, because whenever we don't know a word they use we look it up.  And ironically at lunch today Peque (who is 1yr 7 months) was yelling out one of the words we looked up (if you're brave the word was coño)   and of course we were laughing and our host parents were so shocked that we understood what she was saying.  We explained though and they thought it was all good fun.  I'm just curious as to where she learned it from :P   Also theres this lamp behind the table, near where I sit and it has little feet on the bottom and she kept taking of her shoes and trying to put them on the lamp. Pretty funny if you were there.  We had some free time after lunch and I took the most glorious nap on my bunk bed haha until it was time to leave.  We had a mandatory meeting at Cafe Futbol with Filo and all of the other students and their señoras.  Of course there were more churros and cafe con leche, really I think the meeting was so that the parents could meet the other parents and  everyone could socialize and be friends. Pasapalabra is on again tonight, and we're still routing for the same guy to win who has been on the show for at least a week now, Go Cesar! hes always soooo close to winning.  Also there was a big Barcelona vs. Real Madrid soccer game yesterday and we listened to it on the radio because apparently you need a special channel to watch it on tv.  Everytime barca scored a goal Filo would yell and jump up and down hahaha shes pretty funny always yelling at the tv and the radio.  :)  The game ended in a tie, 2-2 and I'm not certain but it was the second game and Barcelona won the first game so I think they win overall? Yay! hahaha they're our team, besides the Granada team of course, but as it turns out they're not very good.  Hopefully dinner soon, but probably not for another hour or so. :P  Tomorrow's plan is to figure out how to mail things and then we're having dnner at Paco's house tomorrow night too! Should be a lot of fun, hes ordering us pizza :) Can't believe tomorrow is already Friday!! This weekend will be our two week anniversary of arriving in Spain! SO CRAZY! :D

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

El Parque de Federico Garcia Lorca :)

Nothing too exciting yesterday, I played checkers and won ;) with Paco and sat around watching terrible tv shows with the family.  Pasapalabra is our favorite show ever though, its a game show and its on everyday, its super confusing to explain though and I don't understand a lot of it but at the end of the show two people have a certain amount of time and an alphabet wheel in which they have to answer questions with answers that start with or have the letter they're on in them.  If they win they receive 1.4 million euros!  Last night was intense though because the same person has been on the show and almost wins every time and last night him and a new girl tied! They play off tonight, pretty excited for that :D

Today we had breakfast, walked to class and reviewed as usual.  Lunch was so good, we had pasta ( I miss pasta so much!) and it was with a sauce that was almost like alfredo with ham and other things in it, with salad and bread as always.  I had greek yogurt for the first time too and it was soooo good! :) new favorite desert here hahah one that isn't absolutely terrible for you! yippee!  After lunch Casey and I decided we were going to learn how to use the bus system before our real classes start because UNH is going to reimburse us for our bus passes.  So we found a bus stop that took us to the center of town and bought passes with ease. It literally was a 2 minute bus ride for something that usually takes us 20 minutes to walk. absolutely incredible.  We'll probably still walk most days but its really awesome to be able to just swipe your card if you don't feel like walking or if its raining or something.  Then from the plaza "Puerta Real" we set of to find Parque Federico Garcia Lorca because we heard it was awesome.  However, we forgot our map... granted we did have a bus map, so we knew the general direction but we were undeniably lost.  Its good to be lost though.  I think its the best way to learn.  We had no where we needed to be, a city to learn, sun was out and shining everything going well :)  It turns out we were very close the entire time and were doing little loops around the park hahah weaving up and down the streets without realizing where we were but we stopped in this really really nice hotel with the biggest chandelier I have ever seen and asked the man for directions.  He gave us a map and we were literally 45 seconds away hahaha :D  The park was giant, a little bland because its winter but theres no snow so everything just looks kind of barren.  There were palm trees and pine trees.. together, in the same place, and I just can't get that through my head. It just doesn't seem right. But anyways, there's all sorts of little exercise signs and fountains and walking paths, Paco said its very pretty in the Springtime. But the BEST part, was if you walked aaaaaalllll the way to the end, theres a little playground.  It was the most fun I've ever had at a park.  and I think we really needed the stress release of acting like children, speaking english and playing on slides, swingsets and the most amazing sea saw ever.  we call it the spring saw, because its just a giant rotating spring with two seats attached to it.  We literally stayed on it for at least 20 minutes while children and their parents stared at us because we didn't want to get off hahah :)  We walked back to Puerta Real (which really only takes less than 10 minutes if you don't get lost) We took a different bus back to our house (obviously feeling adventurous today) and made it without a problem :D

also fun fact, Spaniards always speak their mind.  If you look bad or good one day, they'll tell you.  The other girl that lives with us always wears dresses and looks like a nice church girl all the time and Pepe and Paco always tell her she looks pretty, but then don't say anything to Casey or I.  So last night Pepe requested me on facebook and went through ALL of my photos.  He was like oh you look pretty in this one, so I called him out and was like oh I don't look pretty now? He laughed and was like weelll yeah I guess so. hahahah the same thing happened at lunch today with Paco.  I guess you can't always be pretty in Spain ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Churros con chocolate :)

More grammar review in class, then we stopped to buy an ace bandage of sorts for my ankle (which really helped a lot!) on the way home for lunch.  We didn't have a lot of time because we had to leave at 3:15pm to meet our UNH group at 4pm for some city excursions.  Maricarmen, our lit teacher who brought us into the Albaicin, was our tour guide once again.  We wondered around the city finding historical places like schools and churches that had beautiful architecture.  Our last stop was at the church of San Juan de Dios and it was absolutely gorgeous on the inside.  From the outside you didn't even know it was a church but we bought tickets and were able to walk around upstairs and down in the Baroque church. Everything was gold, and had paintings, and intricate details throughout the entire building with mirrors and statues, from the ceiling to the floor.  We were allowed to take pictures but again, they just never do justice.  After we separated from our group we explored that part of town an little more and walked through a bunch of downtown shops.  We stopped for churros con chocolate at the oldest churro cafe in Granada and the people were very friendly and because it was so far from school it wasn't filled with american students :) It was a lot of fun and of course we spoke only in Spanish but some because of the picture taking, it was quite a give away that we were from somewhere foreign. Still they were fun and chatted with us, in english and spanish haha always a pleasure talking with strangers :D  It wasn't such a good plan though eating before dinner, we were so stuffed because they brought us quite a surprisingly large amount of churros.  Our family joked around but they were very understanding and we were able to split a hamburger between the two of us, which we forcefully choked down into our already full stomachs.  The rest of the night as always is filled with chatter and Spanish tv, until we go to bed :)
Until tomorrow friends, Chao!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Pretty sore today, ankle especially. Paco, Susana and Peque aren't coming over because they went to a wedding yesterday and are staying somewhere for the weekend.  We had breakfast and relaxed for an hour or so and then left with Filo and Pepe (Julie went somewhere else) to go walk around some more hahah.  They brought us to the Albaicin and we walked around outside the Alhambra and a little bit on the inside too. Just like last time when you first enter the Albaicin theres a couple of bridges, one of which is known for having lots of cats in it. Pepe remembered something about my liking cats and was on the lookout all day for them. hahah anytime we'd see one he'd be like "lets go get one! bring it home and it can sleep in your room every night!"  haha he just knows me so well already ;) The view and the architecture in the Alhambra was gorgeous and we even went inside a little art museum to see sculptures and paintings that were so life-like it was incredible.  After we walked out of the Albaicin, we stopped at a tapas bar called los diamantes (diamonds) and it was packed full of people.  Literally, we could not move, it was so tight, but they said it was a good place so we stood packed in like sardines and had drinks with tapas.  This time the tapas were little clams in garlic and olive oil.  They were pretty good but it was hard to stand in that crowd for so long and do anything at all.

As if we didn't do enough walking yesterday, we walked another 12km in the Albaicin which is roughly 7.5 miles, not including our walk to the tapas bar and then back home :P Needless to say, I'm paying for it a bit and trying to stay off my feet as much as possible.

Busy Busy!

Friday night we went out for tapas with our family instead of dinner.  It was SO much fun.  I'm not a big fan of drinking though and the whole concept of tapas is that you go to a bar and order a drink and for each drink you get tapas which are like little appetizers.  Paco ordered tinto verano for me because he knows I don't like beer.  and apparently tinto verano is a little bit of red wine mixed with, soda, lime juice or white wine.  It tastes just like juice! so now I found a way to involve myself in the whole tapas experience :) We talked and joked around the whole time we were there and it was a lot of fun, I'm glad the whole family is comfortable joking with us now.  Paco ordered these black sausages called Morcilla and said that we could put confidence in him that they were really good.  so of course I tried it, and it was absolutely dreadful.  hahah he explained to us after that the whole reason its black is because they cook it with the blood of the pig... gross. I could have gotten over that if it tasted good, but it was rather like liquorice and meat, and the inside was completely mush.  Yuck!

We woke up really early to go hiking because we had to meet our group downtown a little before 8am.  The entire city was still dark and there were a few bars still open from the night before closing up.  We took a bus to a town call Monachil about 20 minutes or so away and we began our climb.  It started off with a completely vertical incline that was entirely pavement and we were all so disappointed and complaining because we couldn't breathe and it was awful.  That went on for about half an hour then we veered off the path a little into what looked like a brier patch and come out the other side with a cliff made of rocks.  It looked like it was meant for mountain goats not people but it was so much fun to climb up! So we made it to the top of that peak and thought we were done, and there was another peak nearby that had sheep all over it!  Turns out we were going to climb that one too!  More rocky terrain that was hands over feet climbing until we made it to the top of that one.  Only one more peak until we were at the highest point, snow around in places and a whole lot of wind.  The view was absolutely incredible. I'll post pictures but they don't even get close to doing justice.   It overlooked all of Monachil, Granada, further towns, and mountains and valleys all around as the sun came up.  The way down was rather more interesting.  Instead of going back the way we came we went down around the back side of the mountain into the canyon below us.  It was a lot of small pathways covered in snow along the edge of the mountain until we made it down to a lower level.  Then we walked along side a river, but the side of the river was less than a foot wide and rocks came out of the sides of the walls so we had to lean around the rocks but walk along the path underneath them.  Some of them had handles so you could lean out and hold on to something, but some of them were far too dangerous and so we had to crawl underneath them, hands and knees.  This brought us to a cave were it was very much the same type of walking because we were still along the river with rocks protruding on either side.  It was so much fun and then we made it out to the other side where we had to cross a few suspension bridges and climb down a lot of stairs until we made it to the end!  We got out at about 1pm and went to a bar that was right outside the trails in Monachil... because apparently the thing to do after you go hiking for about 4 hours is to re-hydrate with a beer?  It was fun though and there was a cat that hung around us, super cute.  Our professor told us that we walked more than 16km which is 10 miles!!  and that was before we walked back to our bus and home from the bus stop!  Lots of walking, my ankle was pretty much killing me by that point (achilles tendonitis isn't good for hiking in case you were wondering) but it was so worth it because I had so much fun I didn't even think about my ankle much.

Casey and I walked home and then had lunch and immediately took a nap for an hour and a half.  We have the most amazing blinds that make the room entirely black, and it was so wonderful.  Then we got ready to go out for our play that night.  Because we had to be at the theater at 8:30 we didn't have time to eat dinner at home (dinner is usually served around 9pm) so we decided to meet some friends for tapas and then go to the theater afterwards.  So we met and found a bar but theres never anyone out at that time (7pm) so the kitchen wasn't even open.  After our very small amount of tapas, we decided to go to a pastry shop I had seen on the way there.  It was so awesome!  It was called Rey Fernado, and they had all sorts of pastries and gelato.  The guy there was really nice and he even gave us free deserts after we had ordered our pastries! We told him we'd definitely come back, and honestly we're thinking about making it a weekly tradition :)

The play we went to see was called "Boda de Sangre" which means Bloody Wedding.  It was written by Federico Garcia Lorca, hes a very famous Spanish writer who was from Granada.  We had gone over it a little in class so we would understand what happened if they talked too fast to understand.  Overall it was scary.  It was an absolutely terrifying play, and very sad.  It was about a girlfriend and a boyfriend who were getting married but the girlfriends ex boyfriend still loved her and they ran away together after her wedding and the boyfriend and the ex boyfriend killed eachother.  There were all sorts of weird ghosts and people that symbolized death and they were always chanting and popping up in the dark, it was interesting but very creepy.   That ended at 11pm and a lot of people wanted to go out, but Casey and I were still just exhausted so we went back home and went to bed :)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Finally something I don't like...

Nothing too exciting today, we did a lot of studying and relaxing in the afternoon.  After class we went and walked around a lot to explore a little more and learn how to use our map hahaha since we always seem to be facing in the wrong direction :P but I figured it out! Lunch today was completely seafood.  I like seafood, sometimes, but only in small amounts, mixed with other things, not soup with different kinds of clams, calamari, shrimp and other things that I cannot even identify (also keep in mind these aren't the typical clams, and shrimp that you're used to seeing either).  Needless to say, it was not my favorite meal.  It was pretty funny though because they brought out a plate of razor mussels, which I don't know if you've ever seen them but they look a little strange...  and they're not small either.  Of course I have an ideology that I need to try everything and to try not to prejudge anything but it certainly was difficult to persuade myself into eating it (even with the constant jabbing and encouragement of the entire table).  Finally I made sure Casey had one too and we  said cheers with our razor mussels on forks and dove in.  To sum it all up, I tried not to gag, chugged a glass of water, which I choked on, and ate an entire slice of bread. but hey, don't knock it til you try it right? Totally knocking it now though; it was pretty awful. ;]  Later we shared family pictures and had to sit through 45 minutes of looking at pictures of Peque. Because I don't know if you know this but obviously if she moves more than an inch you need to take her picture, so there had to be at least 300... :/  Also for some reason, there are always pictures of breasts and people breastfeeding and talking about it very descriptively openly, whether its at dinner, on tv, at a bar, wherever. a little bit uncomfortable, especially since shes always just whipping them out in front of us here :P oh well, I'm a big girl, I can handle it haha its just so strange to see whats different within the cultures.
Dinner tonight was just Casey, Filo, Pepe and I and it was nice to just talk with them as the four of us and not being overwhelmed by 7 people.  I think tonight, we'll just relax and maybe study a little more, we have a presentation in the morning on some part of Spanish grammar in class.  I'm super tired today too, so hopefully we won't have a late night, however its already 10:30 so I guess it depends on your perception of late ;)
hasta manana! Chao!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

How to blend into Spanish society

-Stay up late any day of the week, for tapas, drinks, or to party and still go to work the next day.
-Don't cover your food, or put it into a refrigerator (exceptions: milk, yogurt)
-Be sure to own a table that has a metal heater underneath with a thick tablecloth to use has a blanket.
-Don't go to work until 10am and come home for siesta from 2pm to 4pm or later if you'd like.
-Don't ever go to work on Sunday either, no one does.
-Never name your child Shannon, or anything that has the "sh" sound in it.
-Put your baby in a sleeping bag when you take it out in a stroller and make sure to put on his or her plastic tent when it rains.
-Ignore the courtesy of others in cars yielding to you and walk by shamelessly.
-Also do not hold doors open or smile at strangers unless you are trying to show your special interest.
-Always give a reason when declining an offer, never say just say no thank you.
-Wear uncomfortable shoes over uneven cobblestone paths and never wear a backpack or a raincoat (umbrella only), or carry a water bottle.
-Juice your own oranges, bread for breakfast, everything for lunch and dinner, and yogurt or fruit for desert.
-Use "TH" in place of all S, C, and Z sounds

You're now on your way to Spanish success!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

fotos del Albaicin

Sierra Nevadas con la Alhambra

La Alhambra y la ciudad de Granada

Puesta del sol sobre Granada

El Albaicin!

The rain stopped and it was really sunny all day, almost 50 degrees (when you stand in the sun) with the exception of the wind. This morning we had class from 11am to 1pm about culture shock, like always, and a little bit about grammar and all that jazz.  Afterwards we went with Marco to get our phones and because we were the last ones to get them, we got new ones since they ran out! They're pretty basic and are terribly difficult to do anything with, kind of like a little brick with buttons and a speaker.  We only had an hour for lunch (which is crazy, usually takes an hour or three..) because we had to meet our group across the city for a tour of the Albaicin.  So from 4 to 7 we walked around the most beautiful part of the city (the section that has the Alhambra).  The women that guided us, Maricarmen, is one of our teachers and she wrote a book on the Alhambra, so turns out she knows basically everything there is to know! good news for us :) and shes really funny and easy to understand. The Albaicin in a nutshell is the really old Islamic part of town. When you first enter the Albaicin its at a bottom of a hill with all sorts of really old cobblestones (they were even replacing some of them when we walked by) and the river runs along the side of the street.  OH! and super fantastic, theres this one section with these stone bridges and trees along the riverside COVERED in cats! yes a tree full of cats! I know everyone reading this is sighing, and shaking their heads saying oh, Shannon, you obsessive cat lady stop making this up, but seriously, there were 7 cats sitting in this big tree and about 10 more drinking from the river :)  so we continued to walk along the cobblestone paths and up stairs and hills, we were so happy Filo told us to wear hiking shoes, and all the while Maricarmen was telling us stories about all the buildings and the history of the Moors and the Spanish royalty.  We stopped at a building that used to be a dormitory for the University of Granada, which is unbelievable because it was absolutely gorgeous.  It was this giant garden that sat on top of a massive hill that was directly across from the Alhambra.  It was pretty cold because there isn't a lot of sun up there, because all of the buildings are close together, and make a lot of shade.  Again we continued to travel upwards until we reached the very top of Granada.  Every picture that you've ever seen of the Alhambra, on a postcard, online, anywhere... was taken from this spot. You can see the Sierra Nevadas covered in snow, next to the Alhambra, looking over the the entire city of Granada, while the sun was setting!! Most beautiful scene I've ever seen. (no pun intended.) I'll share :)  It was really windy and really cold by the time we started our descent.  On the way home we walked by a pet store full of kittens too! obviously its my lucky day, cats and no rain! :D  Casey and two of our other friends stopped by a cafeteria for tapas before dinner, because it was only around 7pm and we were very cold and hungry. We stayed til almost 8:30pm and went home for dinner.  Pizza tonight, with Filo (madre), Pepe (padre), Susana (hija), Paco (esposo de la hija) y Susanita (la nieta).  Paco is really funny just like Pepe but a little younger and more understanding and fun to talk with.  The little girl, they call Peque (short for pequeñita which means little one) was much less scared of us today and we played with her and she gave us hugs and spoke to us all night instead of being shy and screaming-- much better to say the least.
Hasta Luego!

ps. sorry this is so long!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Rain, rain, rain.

More rain today.  Still no umbrella for me and my boots are completely soaked through from yesterday.  My hiking shoes proved to be very useful because all of the stone streets are really slippery (me and all my grace need all the grip they can get! ;] ).  We had orientation today from 10am to 1pm and we chose the classes that we would want to take and what level we thought we should be on, but nothing will be determined until two weeks from now when we take our placement exam.  Turns out after that though we're going to Madrid and Castilla for 5 or 6 days, sort of a vacation before our real classes start! We made it home for lunch and Filo and Pepe's daughter were here with their granddaughter and son in law.  They were both very easy to understand, except for little Susanita because she hardly talks at only 1year and 7 months. Turns out they come over almost every day. After a little relaxation and conversation we went to meet up with some friends to have coffee and do some shopping to buy some odds and ends like shampoo and such.  Apparently there two annual sales every year and we arrived just in time for one of them.  They're called "Rebajas" and from now until February the sales keep getting better, starting at 50% off!  Things are still about what they would be at home right now, but the prices are only going to get  lower.  We stopped along Carrera de Genil in a giant store called Corte Ingles.  It is a 5 level store, equivalent to a Macy's, Staples, Hannafords, BestBuy and Toy's R Us combined and basically has anything you could ever need.  Probably the most wonderful store I've ever been in, in my entire existence.  Finally I have an umbrella but of course it stopped raining :P but we also bought notebooks and toiletries and whatever else we needed.  Later on, their son and friend also came over right before dinner to say hi and meet us.  They're very friendly but it seems the younger the person is the faster they like to talk and use slang, even though I think they were both probably only in there 20's.  Dinner tonight was almost all vegetables, green beans, broccoli, hard boiled eggs, and bread.  For desert, (because they always try to force us to eat desert) we had strawberry yogurt.  Seems a lot of times the desert is healthier than our actually dinner hahah.  Everything has been good so far though, food wise and everything else.  I'm very tired from walking and my feet are a little sore because to the school in back is a little less than 3 miles, and we tend to walk it a few times a day at least so far.   It's all good though, kickin' my butt into shape ;)

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Lunch! Paella, salad, bread, cheese, salchichon (kind of like pepperoni)
Carrera de Genil (our walk to school!)

Facing the Albacin section of Granada


More streets!

Bridge to school! (Very small on the top left is the Alhambra!!!)

Churros con Casey!

me!! :D

Touring the City :)

We woke up at 9am today to go get breakfast and meet our Profe and other students at Cafe Futbol (ice cream shop, food- churros, etc.) but the room was completely dark when our alarm went off.  It seemed impossible but when we arrived in Madrid at 8am, it was still pretty dark as well.  However, we soon discovered after a little distress of possibly having to walk in the dark, that we have this wonderful light blocking blinds on the outside of our window.  Even though the sun was shining it was still a little cold in the shade and we walked down the block to a little churro shop for breakfast. They gave me chocolate milk (hot milk, my own nesquik container, and cream) which was very good, and orange juice (all natural).  Then we had two plates of these long fried pieces of bread and sugar packets to dip them in.  We learned the way by ourselves, so they left us halfway through and we found our way through the beautiful stone streets of Granada.   We met up with Profesor Dorfsman, and the other UNH students and he gave us a tour of some of the important places in Granada.  The streets are amazing and I could walk around all day, except that my feet are starting to hurt from all the uneven cobblestones hahah but its very casual and everyone seems very friendly.  It started raining so our tour was cut short and we had to find our way back from wherever profe left us.  Back at home, theres a new student living with us! shes from CT and apparently will be living with us for the entire semester, also studying at the Centro de Lenguas with us.  She seems very nice and we're going to show her around tomorrow.  For lunch they continued to try and over feed us because we're "pajaritas" (little birds) and we need to eat a lot and get fat and be fuerte (strong) hahah or so says Pepe :)
Every saturday and sunday theres movies on tv at 4pm and Pepe sits around and watches them with us, but he falls asleep without fail, snoring away every time.

I'll post few pictures here too :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Day or Two of Travel

The morning started off in Manchester, then we had a flight to Philedelphia with a long lay over there and of course some delays.  The next flight took us to Madrid and that plane ride was by far the worst, 7 hours with zero leg room which meant not a lot of sleep.  Another long lay over and a confusing airport, until we hit our last flight to Granada.  Our family met us there, very enthusiastic and fairly easy to understand.  They live in an apartment building on the 4th floor and Casey and I are sharing a room.  Theres a lot of closet space and bureaus, and bunk beds to make room for all our activities! They fed us a giant lunch, (Pepe is convinced that we need to get fatter to be stronger and is always trying to force us more food).  There was pasta, little garlic mussels, bread, cheese, spanish ham, and little chocolate truffles to top it all off.  Being stuffed, and exhausted our next instinct was to sleep, but instead we unpacked and organized things trying to be social in the living room, but Filo was cleaning and Pepe fell asleep on the couch.  
Our day progressed and somehow turned into night, we didn't eat until about 8:30pm and then afterwards went out to get a short tour of Granada. They brought us to the central area, and to our school which is probably a good 25 minute walk or so.  Its all very beautiful with cobblestone walkways and fountains everywhere. At this point though, its now 11pm Spain time, and its 6 hours ahead here.   I've been awake since early Friday morning and US time its now Saturday evening.  One hour of sleep isnt really treating me that well so bed and a shower are the next necessary steps. We have our route mapped out for the morning and hopefully I'll be a little more lively then!

Meeting with our professor in the morning and who knows what else the day has in store for us.
Let the adventures begin!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Destination: Spain 1/13 - 5/24

I will be living in Granada, Spain until the end of May with a married couple and my friend Casey (for those of you who read my Costa Rica blog, yes its the same Casey :D) Although I haven't met my new family yet, they sent us a picture that I will share with you!
The little girl in the center, is their granddaughter, Susanita.  I'm pretty sure its just the two of them and Casey and me because their children are grown up and moved out.  We'll be living with them for the entire Spring semester and studying at the Universidad de Granada.  Can't wait to share all my adventures with everyone!! :D Hasta pronto!