It felt so good to sleep in, and when we woke up we had the house to ourselves. The British folk had gone back to England, Julie left early for a trip with her program, Pepe was working, and Filo was out getting her hair done or something. It was so wonderful to be able to relax and get our own breakfast. After we got ready for the day we went out to go shopping because its nearing the end of the country wide sales known as the "rebajas" which apparently only happen twice a year, so why not take advantage? Its quite a miracle but I actually bought a couple shirts and cardigans (because anyone who has ever gone shopping with me knows I never buy anything). So that was a start to good day and then for lunch we had PASTA! Normal pasta, with normal tomato sauce and normal parmigiana cheese-- I never thought I would be so happy to eat lunch, and for desert we had fresh strawberries! To say the least, it was marvelous. Later we went for a run in the park (another miracle) and used the little outdoor workout machines for a while. The park is only 3 minutes away from our house and it has a little dirt track and trees and exercise machines in the center. I think its meant for old people because the machines are nothing fancy and they don't have any weights or anything but they're still fun :) At 9pm Paco and Susana picked us up to go eat Chinese food at their house. La peque was there but she was pretty well behaved for the most part, minus the period of time when they fed her of course. It's strange though that Chinese food should make me think of home, but it does and it was really good. They seemed to think that it would be so different from Chinese food in the US but it was pretty much the same, except they had never heard of crab rangoon and they had something called "patas" which were like shrimp puffs. They looked like styrofoam or packing peanuts but they didn't really taste like anything. After some joking around about the type of meat we were eating Paco promised me that he went to a very well renowned Chinese restaurant and there was no possibility of my eating cat that evening (seriously Christopher, hes just like you!!). After dinner we hung around their house and went through old photos of the family and played all our favorite songs on youtube. We had to keep telling him to bring us home though because we had to be up early in the morning and we finally pushed him out the door at 1am. Lots of fun though :)
We got up early to leave for La Alpujarra today because its a two or so hour bus ride. La Alpujarra is a historical region that contains the Sierra Nevada mountain range. First we drove to a town on the outside of the mountains and walked around there a little to break up the ride. Then our giant bus, climbed the side of these mountains on little tiny twisty roads at 50mph, that were meant for two cars--not possible. The road that we were on is the highest "highway" in all of the European Union, except that we didn't ride it all the way up as it was closed because due to it being too dangerous. We stopped at one "pueblo blanco" because the ride was making everyone nauseous and we needed some fresh air. The town was adorable, really quiet with artisan shops hanging out their alpaca rugs :) We only stayed a little while and then headed back onto the bus to climb a little further to the next pueblo blanco called Capileira. Here we stayed for lunch and our tour guide/literature teacher talked to us about ham for half an hour. Jamón is a very important thing in Spain, and it was actually rather interesting. For lunch we had a soup that was famous in La Alpujarra that had safron (so it was yellow), eggs, ham, fried bread, and garlic. It was pretty tasty, just a little too much broth for my liking. Next we had a plate full of sliced potatoes, churizo (a kind of sausage), ham, a fried egg, and a giant pepper (which I removed from my plate). Then desert is what they call "soplillo" which comes from the verb "soplar" which means to blow because its a meringue which is full of air! It also had almonds in it, which made it just that much better :D After lunch we had two hours to go shopping or what have you. We decided to go hiking, and the entire group followed. Marco and Maricarmen led the way, but 10 minutes in Maricarmen said it was too dangerous because the rocks were not very stable and were known to fall. She basically told us that she didn't want to be responsible for injury or death so the UNH group could go on with Marco if we wanted. So we did. It was a little slippery because of some snow and ice, but other than that it was a lot of fun and absolutely gorgeous. We were climbing down the side of a mountain, that was squished between several other mountains, down to a river between them. Because we were having so much fun we decided to climb up the next mountain a little and lost track of time. We made it back to the bus with 5 minutes to spare, so obviously our teacher bought everyone beers? Its a strange theory they have about rehydrating, but I passed it up for some water. The ride back was just as twisty and some people got a little sick, so it was a longer ride back home but I slept most of the way. Back at the house tonight, we're just relaxing our sore bodies and maybe watching a movie after dinner. These next couple of weeks are going to fly by, we're keeping pretty busy and are leaving for London on Thursday, CAN'T WAIT!!