¡Viva España!

a semester abroad

Posts tagged travel

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time for an update (1/2)

My time here is Madrid is rapidly coming to an end… In exactly weeks I will be making the trip back to Southern California and as much as I miss my family, I am already starting to miss Spain! I didn’t realize it was possible to miss something before it’s gone.

I guess this is probably a great time to update you all on everything thats been going on since it’s been about a million years since my last post! About 3 weeks ago I went to Amsterdam to meet up with Ellen and Katherine (both studying in Cork, Ireland). Obviously, this meant another trip to the airport by myself which was fine because I’ve gotten comfortable with the one here in Madrid. I flew Royal Dutch and got fed! Super exciting because airlines like EasyJet and Ryanair literally just get you from point A to point B with a seat that doesn’t recline and the entirety of their flights are one huge advertisement… like, NO I actually do not want to buy smokeless cigs or your dumb scratchers, but thanks anyway!

I landed in Amsterdam and I still had to make my way to the hostel, still by myself… I had to take a train and then a tram and I made it all on my own!!! I only had to ask 2 questions, this is a big deal because 1. I get really nervous doing things on my own unless it’s shopping, duh. and 2. I HATE asking questions. So needless to say, I was really proud of myself!!! I arrived at our hostel which I was very skeptical about because we booked at 10-person mixed room and if you’ve been following my posts, you know how much I absolutely grossed out I am by the hostel concept. I was not a fan of the man at the front desk but other than that, the room was fine! I think there was all guys in there besides me and Ellen (Katherine got “upgraded” to another room) but it didn’t matter because it was literally just a place to rest our heads at night. I called Ellen to let her know I had arrived and her and Katherine showed up about 30 minutes later (during which I managed to electrocute myself… awkward). They had been there all day and had already partaken in the liberal culture that Amsterdam is famous for, hehe…. We grabbed dinner at this place called Asian Kitchen and it was sooooooooo goooooood! I’ve missed food with flavor!  We made our way to the Van Gogh Museum. It was interesting but nothing to go into detail about because to be honest I found it a little boring. Later we grabbed some hot chocolate because it was really chilly out

Hot Chocolate and Cookies! a little blurry but you get the idea…

We made our way back to the hostel and called it an early night. Ellen and I got up early to go to the Anne Frank house. On our way we stopped at Starbucks and I was so happy to see that they had their holiday drinks! (At that point, Spain still hadn’t gotten them) We got there and only had to wait about 10 minutes which was great because everyone we knew who had planned on going had purchased their tickets beforehand online. Unfortunately you are not allowed to take pictures inside but it was really interesting. I think was definitely one of my favorite parts of the trip. It was crazy that I was in the same rooms that Anne and her family hid in for 2 years! I never read her diary (in 8th grade, our teacher told us “Okay, I don’t think the boys want to read about some girl getting her period so we’re going to read Night by Elie Wiesel…” like um okay, cool lady. but whatever…) but after watching Freedom Writers I have a deep love and admiration for Miep Gies, the lady who helped hide them, her part in the movie makes me cry everytime! The families (Anne’s and one other family) had to keep shades drawn all day and keep as quiet as possible so that people on the bottom floor did not hear their footsteps. I would definitely recommend visiting if you ever stop by Amsterdam

Pictures from outside the Anne Frank House

After this lovely cultural experience we met up with Katherine to hopefully take a free walking tour of the city. When we got there the tour guides were very rude and straight up ignored Ellen when she tried to ask them a question. They told us people with reservations had priority which makes sense but we didn’t make reservations because Ellen was told (in another city that she took the a free tour through the same company) that making reservations was not ever necessary. Apparently in Amsterdam, a crowd of 30 people or more is considered a parade and therefore not allowed… We decided to get some bikes and explore the city while we waited for the second tour. This would have been a lot more fun for me if my legs were just an inch longer. I couldn’t touch the ground! So embarrassing and very uncomfortable. Other than that, it was really cute biking through the city! The people there use bikes as a legitimate form of transportation and they have these little carts that they put their kids in, its soo adorable! Amsterdam is such a gorgeous place, I really can’t get over it! It’s a very typical European city, like when I close my eyes and picture Europe this is what I picture: a city with canals running through, lovely architecture, sweet people, sun and crisp air. I really hope I can make it back here again! 

Of course, the second time slot for the tour was full as well so we decided to take advantage of the light hours (it got dark around 5p) and have a quick photoshoot at the I AMsterdam sign and later take part in some cultural activities. We took a quick spin around the Red Light District. It was still pretty early so it wasn’t poppin’ yet. It was really strange just seeing girls in full-length windows. If you want one, you literally just walk up and go in, close the curtain and do yo’ thang… barf. I kind of felt bad for some of the girls because they looked drugged out and it reminded me of Taken. We stopped at another delicious asian place for dinner called Wok to Walk (get it?) that Ellen’s big had visited last year and highly recommended. We didn’t stay out too late because we all had early flights the next day…

Very proud of this panoramic shot

What they cart their children around in 


Wok to Walk! They give it to you in a container so you can take it to-go


Filed under amsterdam the netherlands holland travel abroad spain anne frank bikes

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catch-up

It’s been awhile since my last post… I’ve been busy with school so whoever said abroad was “like oh my god SOOO EASYYY!!!!” well ha. ha., false, it is not. I’m only taking 4 classes this semester but with class only 2 days a week I’m there all day on Mondays and Wednesdays. Also, around midterms I got super homesick in case you couldn’t tell from my last post but I’m doing a lot better now, especially since starting this coming weekend I will see my best friend/roommate (who’s studying in Cork, Ireland) for 3 whole weekends in a row!!! WOO HOOO!!! 

Me and my BFFL Ellen… freshman year.

Last weekend Heather and I went to Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve never thought about visiting this country, it just doesn’t seem like a real place, no one ever really talks about it… it’s just there chillin’ next to Spain. I only ever remember it because in Princess Diaries Julie Andrews is “…late for a meeting with Spain and Portugal!!!” and refuses to put up with Anne Hathway’s hissy fit about not wanting to be a princess…. totally kidding but moving on…

We decided to go for Heather’s 21st birthday and everyone from our program who visited previously LOVED it! We left for Lisbon on Thursday night and arrived no problem. When we arrived I noticed how weird Portuguese is, I had absolutely NO clue what anyone was saying! Written out on signs, advertisements, etc I could make out some words but if someone were to speak to me, forget it! We took a taxi to our hostel and we fell in LOVE! If you read my previous post about Barcelona you know that I absolutely HATED it, the hostel concept just seriously disturbs me but the place we got here was adorable! It’s a newer hostel that’s a renovated mansion! Heather and I decided to pay a little extra to get a private room which worked out perfectly! We still had to share bathrooms and showers but it was all really clean so I didn’t mind at all. The people at the reception were super nice, this guy named Daniel was cracking jokes left and right and spoke really good English (if you ever stop by Lisbon, check it out! It’s called Go Hostel Lisbon). It was really awkward because when he found out we were American he asked “How’s Obama?” At first I thought he said “How’s the women?” because his accent was still pretty strong so I was seriously confused. I finally figured out he was asking about our president. Okay so just a warning, feel free to judge me as much as possible because my following statements will make me sound like a complete idiot. I was honestly just so taken back by the fact that he asked us this. I am completely clueless when it comes to politics, it’s just something that doesn’t interest me… I hate that people get so heated about it, the whole thing just really annoys me. I just feel so dumb when I’m here, people in Europe know more about/are more interested my country’s government than I am… guess I’ll have to work on that one… The first night we decided to stay in because we arrived after dark and our place seemed a little out of the touristy area of the city. We grabbed some yummy sandwiches and sangria from the little bar inside the hostel and made a game plan for the next day.

We woke up and got ready for a day of sight seeing. We had to walk a little ways to make it down to a real street but it wasn’t bad. We caught a trolley that pretty famous in Lisbon… at least I think… they’re all over every type of souvenir, they remind me of the ones in San Fran except they have red AND yellow ones. We had no clue where this trolley was taking us so we just got off where a bunch of other touristy people did and we found our way to the Panteão Nacional. 

Trolley [photo cred: Heather]


Panteão Nacional. Lisbon, Portugal.

After we had NO CLUE where we were so we caught a taxi to St. George’s Castle. Lisbon is super weird in the way that you can’t just hail a cab, they all wait in a line and you have to get the next cab in line, they won’t just pick you up! We got to the castle and had a nice time checking out the gorgeous view and taking tons of pictures! I also picked up some cool postcards made out of cork…

We were getting pretty hungry at this point and we hopped on one of those big red tour buses that you see in every city, the ticket was only 15euro and was valid for 2 days which was perfect because we figured we could use it for both transportation and sight seeing. For lunch we stopped at this delicious place called Vitaminas and we both got really yummy pastas and a drink they called “Detox” which was a mix of green tea and lemon (it was so good, we ended up eating here the next day also). After grabbing a quick bite to eat, we got back on the bus and did some more of our tour. At one point we both ended up falling asleep because we were so tired and the motion of cars makes us both pass out really easily… oops haha. 

Being ultimate tourists!

Yummy lunch at Vitaminas

Later that night we met up with my friend Stevie who also goes to USD and is studying in Lisbon this semester. The next day was Heather’s 21st birthday so we decided to go out and celebrate!!! Stevie took us to this cute little restaurant by his place where Heather and I both got Salmon and Scallops on top of lime risotto, SOOOO GOOOD!!!! Scallops and salmon are my absolute faavorites! What’s nice about Lisbon is that it’s a pretty small city so everywhere Stevie took us, they knew him! The restaurant, the liquor store, etc etc. Definitely different from the big city vibe of Madrid. After dinner we went went to check out Bairro Alto which is where all the bars are located. This place is sooo cool! All of the bars are really small and most played live music and because the venues are all so tiny you usually just get your drink and hang out outside. Fortunately it wasn’t super crowded that night so we could hang out inside of the bars. We checked out a few different places and got different drinks and shots and finally settled at this reggae bar with a live band and great music! Heather and I got a taxi home around 2:30a, had a little tooo much fun and maybe one too many drinks… 

Bali Bar, first stop!

Live music at the Bali Bar

Me and the Birthday Princess at the Reggae bar

We woke the next morning not feeling super hot, haha but we got up early enough to get the free breakfast at our hostel and we went back to sleep a little longer. We finally started making moves to finish up our sightseeing tour! This time we took a different bus line and say the Torre de Belem and a bunch of other cool monuments which I honestly don’t know the names of… 

That bridge in the background was built by the same builder of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fran!

Torre de Belem

After we finished up our tour Heather and I made it back to the hostel completely on our own using the bus and the metro! We were so proud of ourselves! Of course it was time to take a nap again! We decided to make it a quiet night because the next day we had to leave for the airport at 5:45a. We met up with Stevie and his friends again for dinner. We went to this port where a bunch of restaurants and discotecas are located and got some yummy italian food for dinner. As we were waiting for our bill, a magician approached us and gave us a little show and it actually ended up being impressive, we were all in awe! I would try to describe the tricks but I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to capture the “magic” in words soooo…. We said goodbye to the boys, hopped in a cab, and headed for home… We noticed right away that our cab driver spoke very good English and he proceeded to tell us that he was a political refugee from Belfast, Ireland! His story was very interesting but to be 100% honest I was a little sketched out. He told us that our hostel was in the immigrant area of the city and that the Red Light District wasn’t too far… I was thinking that he was going to capture us and sell us or something but he didn’t, duh. He was really nice and I really hope that everything works out for him! He has 19 months left in Lisbon and got a place to stay there with the help of the Catholic Church. 

Huge Lisbon-shaped pool just chillin’ down by the port.

Stevie and me

The time we spent in Lisbon went by pretty quickly but it was the perfect amount of time to do everything we wanted because it’s such a cute and small city. Apparently Lisbon is the second oldest city in Europe after Athens, Greece! 

Otras Cosas….

1. Portugal loves dates! All the plazas and all the monuments are named after important dates in their history. I really don’t understand how they can keep so many dates straight! 

2. Portugal also has reeeeally yummy pastries!

3. On our tour they had one stop at the El Corte Ingles. There’s about one on every major street here in Madrid but it seems to me that they are harder to come by in Portugal. Anyways, Heath and I decided to stop there for some snackies. While we were there this cute girl in all white offered us a sample of a hot pink drink. She explained that it was a drink mixer and “aphrodisiac” and casually stated that it went perfectly with vodka or rum. Apparently there was a bunch of different natural ingredients like chiles and acai berries so it tasted pretty good but I’m almost 96% positive that that drink does absolutely nothing, the alcohol you mix it with the the “aphrodisiac”, let’s be real. 

4. I’m really missing the customer service in the U.S. Normally I hate talking to sales people in stores… like, if I need your help, I will ask you stop following me around and asking me a million questions! Here the people could care less! I miss going to the register and having someone asking me “Did you find everything okay miss?” or “Have a great day!” Apparently the Spanish think Americans are superficial because we smile so much but whatever, even if it is fake it makes all the difference!

5. My time here in Spain is quickly coming to an end and as much as I miss home I know that I will miss (most things) about this place! For example, being able to drink legally anywhere/ everywhere/ the metro/ Cien Montaditos etc etc. I only have 2 more trips planned and a 3rd one in the works!

¡Es todo!

Besitos,

Hil xox

Filed under abroad bairro alto birthday europe hostel lisbon portugal travel go hostel lisbon

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finally “home”

After about a week and half of living out of a suitcase, I’m back in Madrid!!! It was really cool traveling to different cities in Spain and I saw/ did a lot that I probably wouldn’t have done on my own… 

Granada was interesting. During the day there were so many people hustling and bustling about but at night it was absolutely dead which was a bummer for sure. I don’t understand where all the people went after it got dark. Granted, we were there on a Monday and Tuesday but even on Sunday night in Valencia, people were still out! Anyways, on our second day in Granada we went to visit the Alhambra and Generalife gardens… this place was absolutely amazing! It’s a military fortress turned royal palace, and it was breathtaking… especially the gardens! It was kind of hard to soak up and appreciate all of the beauty because it was so incredibly hot. I know I keep complaining about this, but it is a serious issue, we’re constantly on walking tours so I feel like I am constantly just frying in the sun. 

Generalife

After our tour, we were beat! After we returned to the hotel we showered and slept. Later that night we found a little restaurant that had a pretty good deal for dinner, 2 courses, a dessert, and drink all for 12euro! I got paella, calamares, y helado… vino to drink obviously! It was really yummy, their paella was definitely my favorite one so far! We all wanted to go do something after dinner because the next day we would be traveling to Sevilla. It literally took forevvverrrr to find something but we ran into a few other people from school and hit up a bar. There were some locals and some music, nothing too outrageous… After, some people wanted to hit up a club but some of my friends and I decided just to head back to the hotel, we were done with walking all over the place!

Our next stop was in Sevilla…. our first day there we had a short class that was held in a local park/museum and the rest of the day was “tiempo libre” so there was a lot of sleeping, some shopping and exploring. Later that night a professor showed us the way to a bar. When we got there, it was filled with locals watching a flamenco show and it was verrrry hot and muggy inside. It was a little different than we all had expected… I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t actually see the show (we sat in the back). I loveee flamenco, it’s so wonderfully passionate… Some people in our group met these other Americans and we all decided to follow them to some other bar/club. We were guided through a bunch of weird deserted alley ways and I thought to myself… “what a fabulous beginning to a horror film…” We finally arrived at this little plaza area where a bunch of young people (and a random group of cougars dressed in white and shades of coral/pink) were drinking. We made our way to a few different bars with cool deals (i.e. 2 euro for a shot and a beer, 1 euro shots, etc etc etc). That night ended up being a lot of fun but after some cops showed up to clear the alleys, we took a cab back to our hotel.

The next day we had tours and such… HOLY MAJEEZERS it was HOT! If you want to get a taste of hell, just stop by Sevilla… It was 41° C at one point, yikers. We toured a cathedral and some park, standard touristy attractions. At the cathedral we saw the tomb of Christopher Columbus and walked up a tower that had some saw some pretty cool views of the city 

Sevilla, Spain.

Our last night in Sevilla, I went with a couple friends to a bar across the street for a drink… they had pitchers of “tinto de verano” (me and Heather’s FAVORITE) for only 2euro. It was a really low key night but it was really nice just hanging out and chatting. 

Today we embarked for a quick trip to Córdoba. We visited the mosque there which was really unique because there was a cathedral built inside of it! During this past week and half during class/ our tours we are always discussing the rich mixture of 3 cultures: christianity, judaism, and muslim. The usual story is that Muslims were there first and then Christians take over, think they are better, and destroy everything to build their own stuff. This was different because instead of knocking down this breathtaking place of worship, the built another one inside so that the people of 2 religions worshiped in the same location just on different days. 

Inside the Mosque

Mosque

Cathedral inside of the Mosque.

After we left Córdoba it was another 5 or so hours back to Madrid. I cannot tell you enough how much I hate buses now… someone calculated how much time we spent traveling in them and in the past 9 days it’s been around 40 hours… yuck!

I am so happy to be back and finally get 2 free meals a day again, haha. The travel seminar was great though, it definitely bonded us all and now it’s kind of sad not being with everyone in the same building….

Otras cosas

1. I finally took a picture of our tiny elevator at our host mom’s house. Every 2 apartments shares an elevator, theyre soooo itty bitty!!!!

outside

inside

2. the people of andalucía (southern spain) are definitely the pretty ones… but they do dress kind of weird.

3. “boli” means ‘pen’ (normally I would say “pluma”… “boli” is short for “boligrafo”, thanks 8th grade spanish)

4. try to avoid traveling in large groups… locals will stare you down even though you aren’t doing anything… sort of weird.

¡Es todo!

Besos, 

Hil xox

Filed under granda sevilla cordoba spain travel europe madrid home generalife alhambra

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¿que tal barthelona?

Yesterday we took the ridiculously long train ride from Madrid to Barcelona. I’ve taken this trip twice before but this by far was the longest! Before I’ve stopped in this cute town called Zaragoza but this time we stop at 2 different rest/truck stops (puke) for food and bathroom breaks. The trip is supposed to be 7 hours but this time it felt like 7 years, again lots of sleeping!

When we arrived at the hotel, the director of the program held a make-up orientation (thanks again for that Irene) and then we had to night to ourselves. For dinner we stopped at a tapas bar and had some really yummy sangria. After, we went back to our hotel to get ready for the night and attempted to go to this club called Opium but they wouldn’t let the guys in with t-shirts (lamesauce) so we went next door to some club, nooo idea what it was called but it was soooo much fun! We danced all night and took a cab back to our hotel.

This morning we had to be in the hotel lobby by 9:15a… soooo early and I felt really icky (thank goodness for hotel breakfast!). Our first stop was the Olympic Stadium… I didn’t think it was anything special but it was still pretty cool. I was most excited for our next 2 stops, Parque de Guell and La Sagrada Familia. Both of these places were designed by Antonio Gaudi… the details and colors are absolutely amazing!!! (sorry for no pics :/ left my cable at my host mom’s house but the picture below I took with my phone)

View from Parque Guell

I was kind of bummed because the day was sooooo rushed and we hardly got to spend time just walking around. If the didn’t speak Catalan here I think I definitely would have wanted to study abroad in Barca… not that I don’t like Madrid but still! We are leaving Barcelona at 9:30a and will be heading to Valencia

Other things…

1. The title of this post is not misspelled… that’s how the spanish pronounce it. and now I am starting to incorporate the dreaded lisp into my spanish… can’t tell you how/why… it just sort of happened naturally

2. One thing I do miss about home is our practice of refrigeration… Europe doesn’t seem to understand this concept and it sort of freaks me out (i.e. last night at the tapas bar they just had shrimp and crab salad just sitting out on the table…. gross!)

That’s all for now!

Besos,

Hil xox 

Filed under barcelona spain gaudi travel

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¡hola a todos!

I feel like so much has happened and it’s only my second day here! The 7 hour layover in Mexico City felt like an eternity but thankfully we got a few hours of sleep while waiting for our connecting flight. I can’t remember exactly how long our flight was… somewhere between 11-13hrs. Again, we slept for most of the time but it felt like the flight would never end! The feeling of finally landing after such a struggle was definitely one of excitement and relief.

Going to get our luggage after a long 21 hours of travel

We arrived in Madrid at 5:30am and Amanda and I took separate cabs to each of our host family’s houses. I was a little worried that I wouldn’t be able to get into my host mom’s building and that she lived on the 9th floor (what if there was no elevator?!). My cab driver was really nice and helpful, he took my luggage to the front of the building and helped me call up to my host mom…. and then left! My host mom (señora Mercedes) said something about an elevator but I had no clue what she meant. I tried looking for signs of an elevator but I was out of luck. I then heard someone down the hall and she came down to greet me, she was still in her robe because she had just woken up so I kind of felt bad but she hugged me hello which I thought was nice and definitely made me feel better… I FINALLY made it to the right destination. The elevator just looks like a regular doorway and is literally 3’x3’ I was surprised that all of my luggage, me, and my host mom all fit! She told me that Laura, my roommate, was asleep and since we are sharing a room I should wait to unpack until she woke up. Then she asked me about 6 times if I wanted to eat to which I kindly said no because they literally stuffed us on the plane ride. I just wanted to wash my face and attempt to sleep until my roommate was awake. 

I walked into the bathroom to wash my face and there was a sign that says to limit showers to 10 min… a joke, right?! I’m going to have to get used to turning the water off in between shampooing, shaving, etc etc etc (I mean I should probably be doing that all the time anyway, being eco friendly and saving water… duh… and apparently utilities are super expensive here so there you go). I then walked into our room which smelled kind of weird and was really hot which really worried me (if you know me well enough you know that I turn into a heater at night, like I’m seriously convinced that my core temperature raises by at least 10 degrees as soon as my head hits the pillow). I tried to sleep but it wasn’t really working and while I was tossing and turning I broke my heart necklace that my mom gave to me last time I was in Europe and that broke my heart a little but I told my host mom in the morning and she going to see if she can get it fixed, thank you Lord!  

I think it was around 10 in the morning by the time both me and Laura were awake and I started to unpack. Our host mom came in and asked “¿Quieres desaynar?” and I turned to my roommate and asked “Are you hungry?” to which my host mom sort of snapped “¡Solo español!” which kind of surprised me but I guess they want you to learn the language. Anyways, we had some toast, I had coffee and Laura had tea. I finished unpacking and then we had to be at school at 3pm for a city tour of Madrid. We take line 6 (I feel like J.Lo circa her Jenny from the Block days… that was when she released her On the 6 album right…?) for about 30 minutes, no switching lines or anything which is cool. What not cool is that so far, they tell us a meeting time and we don’t start until a whole hour later!!! but that’s a whole other Oprah…

The outside of the building I will be living in for the next 4 months (no… I don’t know those girls… awkward timing FTW)

My side of the bedroom (yes those are pillow pets… feel free to judge… not sorry about it)

Bedroom (con’t)…

The Madrid tour was half by bus and half walking which was nice but I was STARVING to the point where I just felt sick so that was kind of a bummer. Luckily, I’ve been to Madrid a couple times before so I was familiar with everything and I am now realizing is also the reason why I don’t have ANY pictures from the tour… oops. After the tour we were free to do whatever the rest of the night so we got some food and drinks, walked around Plaza del Sol and then headed home.

We had dinner at around 9:30pm which is customary here. I think Madrilenos do everything so late because the sun is out for SO long! It’s already 8:30p right now and it’s completely light out! Then Laura and I struggled with our biggest dilemma so far… go out or stay in? We had to be at school at 9:15a so that was kind of a factor. We ended up going to a bar with an outdoor terrace with this girl Megan who is also part of our program and a local girl who Megan knows some how. We got outrageously over priced mojitos but they were REALLY good! The metro (subway) in Madrid closes at 1:30a so we ended up taking a taxi home and called it a night at around 3a.

Today we took a day trip to Toledo which was really cute. It’s about an hour away from Madrid. When we got there I was hungry (typical) and I got french fries from McD’s as soon as we arrived (go ahead, sue me… I was hungry and I had been craving then since last night!). We toured a monastery, a cathedral, a museum thing and who knows what else.  We did a lot of walking around the town… Our professor, Isabel, walks soooo fast! I’m almost sure she’s a professional speed walker. The tour ended around 2:30 and we had till 4 for free time. I went to lunch with some friends and ordered paella, a dish native to Spain with rice and seafood, it was yummy but I couldn’t eat it all because it was toooo salty. On the way home I crashed sooo hard! No sleep is definitely catching up!  

Toledo

Tomorrow we have to be at school by 8:15a and we will be gone on a Travel Seminar for 9 days! First stop, BARCELONA!!!!!! aka MY FAVORITE CITY!!!!!!

Other things…

1. I thought I understood spanish really well but the spanish here is SOOO different! They talk with lisps and have weird slang… i.e. “vale, vale” is every other word or finishes off almost every sentence… it basically means “ok” (it’s almost like trying to understand the British or an Aussie… yes they speak english but… what the hell are you trying to say?!)

2. no free water sucks but i’m ok with their whole “no tipping” policy (apparently it’s included in all the prices)

3. It’s REALLY dry here… I’ve been guzzling water and after I shower I have to put on like 3x the amount of lotion I would at home to feel normal… not okay

4. Spanish people aren’t really pretty… some of them are but ehh no for the most part they’re just whatever…. the guys are really skinny here too (gross) **UPDATE: I found the pretty people! When we left for the travel seminar Deloitte had some recruiting thing at our University and all the people there were gorgeoussss… it might have helped that they were all dressed in business clothes (we were all in sweats, talk about awkward)

5. they frown upon flip flops but cute sandals are just fine (can’t I just wear my rainbows without judgement in public?! nope, no such luck)

6. it’s customary to wear shoes inside the house/ it’s rude to be barefoot. my señora called me out on that at dinner last night… definitely a little upset about this… I hate wearing shoes 

I think that’s all for now!

Besos,

Hil xox

Filed under travel spain toledo

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an update

8 more days until Madrid! How awesome is that?! I’m feeling more prepared but I still feel like I’m missing something but I can’t figure it out… hmm… Anyways, I just received the schedule for my first week abroad. When we arrive we have a day or so to settle in and then we will all be apart of a Travel Seminar around Spain and our first stop is Barcelona aka my absolute FAVORITE city in the world!

Filed under countdown madrid barcelona spain travel