Tuesday, December 22, 2009

First Week Back in the US

Well hello all. It's been one week since I've been back! And it's SO crazy. It's so weird to hear everyone speaking in English and being able to overhear people and one hundred percent understand them! Crazy!

What have I done since I've been back? I spent the first few days in GR with my fabulous housemates. They picked me up with a poster, caramel brownies, and some Godiva liqueur. Then we slightly caught up. I told stories. Haha. Then on Wednesday I spent some time shopping with Christina. That was fun. Then my housemates and I got all dressed up and went out for desserts and drinks at TGIF downtown GR, I love getting dressed up. :)

Thursday I went to Calvin and CHANGED MY MAJOR! That's right. I switched it from a five year education program, which I no longer had my heart in, to a FOUR year Interdisciplinary major--consisting of Psychology, English, and Education as the three parts of the group! (interdisciplinary is a group major consisting of two focuses with one minor, education is my minor). So the good news is I GET TO GRADUATE THIS MAY! Hooray! I'm so excited yet so scared. I'm thinking of either working right away or going to get my MSW (masters of Social Work) at Grand Valley or wherever. So yeah! I want to be a counselor of some sort! :) Yay! I'm so pumped you have no idea.

Okay enough of that. What else. Thursday night my parents came and picked me up. I hung out with Kathryn for a few hours. Friday I spent all day at St. Joe High School with my mom visiting old teachers and whatnot. That was weird but kind of fun. Umm...Friday night I hung out with Erin, we grabbed fruity drinks at DDBR31. Gotta love it. Saw Geeta. Haha.

Saturday we drove in to Chicago to pick up Ben and his girlfriend Kristen, who I absolutely adore by the way. And we spent the day at a German market down there and then we went out to dinner with the Carpenters. Fun times, but very cold.

Sunday we went to church then out to bagels as per usual. Sunday afternoon I went to Ken Welch and Stephanie Dykhouse's wedding at church with Erin, which was absolutely beautiful. Sunday night our fam bam had a big Sunday dinner and then I went to the Boathouse with Erin and Kathryn and Sean. Saw a ton of old high school people which was kinda weird but kinda fun. So yeah.

Monday our fam and Kristen and Matt and Vanessa went up to GR Rivertown Crossing to shop for a bit. Now it's Tuesday! So yeah! WHEW quite the week. I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends and seeing family and whatnot. So that will be fun. :)

Merry Christmas everyone. Love to you all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Week in Spain

Lots of lasts going on, aren't there? Haha. Well I am currently safe and sound in Grand Rapids, hanging out at the Griggs house that I lived at last year and that I will be living in next semester. :)

So...we woke up and met at the Plaza de Autobuses on Tuesday at 8:30am. It was so sad to say goodbye to my host family, Maria and Raul. I plan on writing them a letter at some point over Christmas break and having my professor grade it, cuz I'm sure it will need help! Lol.

Then we spent 4-5 hours in the bus driving to Toledo, pronounced Toe-lay-dough, not Toleeedough. Haha. But whatever. We hung out in their downtown area just exploring.

Wednesday we hung out in Toledo. It was alright. Haha, then we spent a good chunk of the day driving to Extremadura.

Thursday we were in Caceres in Extremadura. Hung out in their downtown area, quite fun. Except we went during siesta time so most of the stores were closed. However, I sat with Luke Alyssa and Andrew and we watched some punk kids doing acrobatic tricks, so that was pretty cool. Plus I also bought some awesome boots in Caceres so I enjoyed that.

Friday we were in Extremadura in a twon called Merida. That was fun--it was FULL of Roman ruins and whatnot. I absolutely LOVED that. So cool.

Saturday we drove to Madrid, a couple hours--I don't really remember how many. Then we explored Madrid and Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor and whatnot. Then we took a bus tour and looked at all the Christmas lights.

Sunday we went to two art museums--Reina Sofia, more modern art, and El Prado. Both were FANTASTIC. I got to see the Guernica and Las Meninas. Two very famous paintings that are amazing. Then we hung out for the rest of the day walking around and whatnot, it was a great day.

Monday we started the morning out by taking a tour of a tapestry factory (remind you of Carole King, aye?) and then we spent the rest of the day walking around and shopping for this and that.

Tuesday was a day full of TRAVELS. Woke up around 6:30am, 9 hour flight to Newark, 2 hour layover, 2 hour flight to Chicago, 3 hour drive to Grand Rapids...and then I got picked up by my WONDERFUL housemates who came with a welcome home poster and caramel brownies! It was so nice. I love them so much and have missed them dearly.

So that's the week in short! Tomorrow my parents come and pick me up and then on Saturday we go to Chicago to pick up Ben and Kristen--so that should be fun! I love family and friend time. I've missed everyone so much.

All in all, Spain was a FAN-freaking-TASTIC experience. I wouldn't trade it for the world, so worth it. But now I am home and I am going to embrace that. I love you all dearly and can't wait to catch up with each and every one of you!

love to you all.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Last Weekend in Denia

Sorry Mom for no pictures...but I don't have a camera, did you forget that small detail?

Well this is my last weekend in Denia. We had our grammar exam yesterday and it was KILLER. I have absolutely no idea how I did. I guess I will find out Monday. The nice thing is though that our professor said if worse comes to worse we can retake the exam. So that's good. :)

Last night we went out to a jazz and blues club and I danced! It was SO fun! I am a horrible dancer. The theme of the night was Cuban music. Man oh man I don't know my salsa or whatever it is, but it was fun.

Things have been crazy busy here. I'm at the cyber cafe because I am supposed to be researching information for our cultural exam on Monday. Ugh, NO fun. :( But hopefully I'll find some good info. We'll see.

We leave Denia on Tuesday morning at 8:30am. Then we're off on our week long excursion then finally home! I am so excited to see my housemates, my St. Joe friends, my parents and Ben! Hooray! Such fun, such fun.

Alright, I'd better get back to my research. Love to you all.