Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Before Barcelona

There has been so much going on I have had absolutely no time to write! It seems that I am never home anymore and when I am, I'm either cooking, doing homework or sleeping as often as possible! Life in Spain is busy, exciting, adventurous and at times, a bit crazy. Here are some of the things that have happened up until I left for Barcelona last Friday morning (January 25 - February 4th)......

01/25 Tuesday
The school is offering a trip to Valencia the weekend of St. Patrick's Day for a festival called Las Fallas (click that link to go to a wikipedia page about what all happens in the festival) -- So about 30 of us from the USAC program signed up to go on this one day trip to Valencia... I'm thinking it should be pretty fun :) Since St. Patrick's in Dublin didn't work out, it was the best second option.
Today we also had our first USAC soccer game! There were about 20 kids that came out to play a big game of soccer with Lú
is (the program director) and Sylvian (one of the employees at the school). I think the score ended up being 4-3? It was great fun and I got quite a few pictures... hilarious pictures.

Soccer Pictures HERE

Later that day Caitlin, my lovely dinosaur loving roommate, and I went to the Corte Ingles (which is like a big department store... or upper class walmart - it literally sells EVERYTHING) to buy some shampoo / conditioner. When we were shopping around we found a section in the junk food aisle that was selling dinosaur cookies.... perfect day for Caitlin since she had on her I LOVE DINOSAURS shirt.... hahahaha. I'm sure the people around us were thinking, "Crazy Americans."

01/26 Wednesday
K so remember the HUGE burger I snuck a picture of last week - the last time I blogged? Well... one of the girls in our group ordered a burger in the cafeteria not knowing how large her bacon burger was going to turn out. Caitlin and I decided to take a funny picture of her with it since she's a vegetarian... and just because the burger itself is hilarious to look at.
Nutrisystem was delivered today... I think I'm stocked up for a while! It was hilarious to see me trying to carry this however-many pound box on the 30 minute bus ride with everyone staring at the box that read LOWE'S in huge blue bold letters... Can I scream foreigner any louder this trip?! :) and... mom, I think I'm stocked for quite a while.

01/27 Thursday
(the Clemson girls - Chelsea, Gab, MaryAnn, Krista, Anna Lauren, Anna, Megan)

Today was another day of just waking up, going to school, coming home, going on a walk / run around the town, going shopping and then coming home to do homework... but then! It all changed because this NIGHT was a great night! :) I was surprised with two of my friends from Clemson showing up at my door with Gabrielle (a girl from Clemson that is here in Alicante studying with me). I had no idea that Chelsea Lappin and Megan Stockhausen were in town; and I got to meet Anna Finke - their friend from Clemson. They are all studying in Brussels right now and decided to make a trip to Alicante for the week (since they actually hadn't started classes yet). This was their last night in town - so I was super excited to get to see them! We went to GOA (the usual bar) where MaryAnn actually got to work behind the bar for the entire night, and then headed to Swing to dance for a few hours... I left with Chelsea, Gab, Megan and Anna around 3:30 or 4am to go home -- they had a plane to catch in a few hours. It was a fun, sociable night :)

01/28 Friday
Woke up late today and the roommates and I decided to make a lazy day of this day. I believe the only thing we did was go out and try the frozen yogurt place on the corner... VERY delicious if I might say so :) There is only one type of yogurt - the regular plain kind - but then there are many different types of toppings to choose from (sauces, to fruits, to candy, etc.) which make the yogurt soo much tastier. Caitlin, MaryAnn, Krista, and I went along with our neighbor Alina from across the hall. We stopped by two stores on the way home - a sports store where I saw a lot of horse riding materials (which reminded me of my cousin, Carly Grace) and a store that sells those little 100 dollar plastic fisheye cameras that make funky colored pictures. Kinda neat. Then we went to a store called Mango - a clothing store with really good rebajas (sales). I found the most perfect, amazing gift for my sister.... and she had better love it and wear it when I bring it home for her :) BUT I have no doubt that she will.
That's all for today folks!

01/29 Saturday
Today was the first day that we went to the central market - aka: Marcado Central! It is where you can buy fresh produce, fish, meats, nuts, breads, clothing, etc. It smelled TERRIBLE (but the products - especially fish - were quite interesting to look at) and was very fast paced. I just stood near a stand one time and watched the man running the stand quickly go through customer after customer... yelling at them to tell him what they wanted and then quickly wrapping the fruits in bags and collecting their money. I was ready to get into the swarm of it, despite being nervous that I was going to make some marketer angry with my slow spanish, but it's okay... in the end, I didn't do so bad!

After leaving the market, we went home and unloaded all of our fresh produce: I bought potatos, tomatoes, beans (of some sort), grapes, apples, oranges and carrots.
Abby and Grace came in after a few minutes to ask if I wanted to go shopping with them -- my first thought - YES! I need to stop this because all of this window shopping is making me realize how non-european I really am. haha. We went to a few shoe stores and then to a few home stores... I got a candle and some boots for 10 euros! :) they're gray and with a little wide heel... very comfortable! AND -- I got to wear them to the BBQ this night...
Alex Cherry (on the left in the picture) - one of the promoters for the bar GOA where we've been attending since arriving in Alicante - invited all of us over for a BBQ at his place on Saturday night for the Barcelona vs. Alicante soccer (fútbol) game. The girls and I arrived and we toured his apartment - SO MUCH NICER compared to ours!! It was decorated very vibrantly with different colored walls in every room and collages of pictures hung up everywhere. Now, that's my kind of place, don't ya think? :) He cooked chicken and a special kind of salsa and french bread. ¡Muy sabróso! Sergio (the owner / DJ at GOA) came to join the dinner, but Jose (our favorite bar tender) didn't make it. Since it was such a busy night due to the game, there wasn't any way he had time to come over for dinner. I put up a video of some of the conversation from dinner... :) Listen and see if you can understand it!
Dinner video!
Alex walked us home after dinner and the continued on to the bar to begin work... Mmmmm I can't wait to have more dinners at his house over the next few months. He really knows how to BBQ some chicken, that's for sure!


AND this is where I am going to end for tonight.... tomorrow (Feb. 8), I will write the update of Sunday, January 29 through Thursday night, February 3. Then I will do a whole new blog for the Barcelona trip - February 4 - February 6. :)

Slowly catching up

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