Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you Everyone!!

Thank you all for the Birthday Wishes. Thank you mom for hacking into my blog and saying happy birthday!

My birthday went well! My grandma came out here on Friday and I have been so grateful that she has been here because birthdays and holidays aren't as fun alone. On Sunday morning we were going to get up and go to church at the Cathedral which is HUGE and beautiful. But since it was the last day of the liturgical year everything was totally different (figures, nothing is ever EASY).
So what was meant to be a morning 30 minute activity at 8:30aM ended up being a much longer activity in the center of Sevilla. First, after trying to figure out the mass times we walked around... then we went back to the cathedral for the mass that we thought was the right one... but that was a "special" mass... a.k.a we weren't allowed to attend. So we went to a café called Café de Indias (which has pretty much the same sign as STARBUCKS) and we had Chocolate (thick pudding like chocolate that you drink. It is warm and delicious. THEN, we walked across the street and had Coffee. Don't judge me it was my birthday and THAT is how I decided to spend the morning! Then we walked around and there was a HUGE parade which completely fascinated my grandma because you could walk with the parade and there was no barrier. It was like a party in the street. Then I finally went to church at 11:30am. Then we went to have lunch at my Señora's house which was really interesting because my Señora does not speak English and my grandma does NOT speak Spanish. Thus, it was an afternoon of translating for me!! My grandma brought flowers and my señora made us Shrimp and fish and some other interesting things. The shrimp was fun considering they still had their heads! She did this because I told her my grandma was a vegetarian. Shrimp with heads and legs was her solution to meat!! When we were getting ready to leave she gave my grandma a gardening book in Spanish (she was trying to pawn it off on someone) her reasoning was that she can't read. NOT that my grandma can read spanish... my señora has interesting logic. Then we came home and I opened my present from my family and from my grandma. Since the oven DOES NOT WORK HERE we couldn't make a cake so at about 10pm we went out looking for a place to enjoy a piece of cake. The only place open was STARBUCKS. We bought a cheescake and a chocolate cake and brought them home and then skyped my parents andwe talked to them as they watched us eat it. And that is how I managed to have STARBUCKS twice on my Birthday!!

I have another interesting STARBUCKS related story.
On monday after my class I thought I would buy a small coffee from STARBUCKS in order to steal a hunk of big napkins (napkins here are small and thin). When I went in I went to say hi to some of my friends who frequent this STARBUCKS and one of my friends said she wanted to buy me a coffee since yesterday was my birthday. So, after a polite refusal she went to order it for me and asked for extra whipped cream, since it was my birthday she told them. I was sooo embarrassed, I felt like a little girl. But they were really funny and excited and the cashier drew a picture and ¡ Feliz Cumpleaños ! on my cup and they really did put A LOT of EXTRA whipped cream and then she went to pay and they said of "no, no, no, it's free for her birthday". It made me really happy!! And so I walked home with the warm Toffee Nut Latte in my hands with the chilly breeze and dark night around me. I was content with a warm cup of coffee and my iPOD playing Christmas music. It actually felt like fall for a moment.

Just a note: CHRISTMAS MUSIC should be allowed to be played BEFORE THANKSGIVING!! and the only thing better than STARBUCKS is STARBUCKS decorated for CHRISTMAS playing CHRISTMAS MUSIC!!! just so you know ; )

So, Thanksgiving has been very interesting but I think it is going to take anther post on another day so I'll let you all know how that went. It was an ADVENTURE (even though I hate that word). I am very proud of myself I think I have gotten through culture shock and homesickness and have really been able to appreciate obstacles. SO...I'll let you know how that all went tomorrow or something!!


I'll see some of you in 20 days! others not but you are all in my hearts and I hope you enjoy your Thanksgiving and Advent and CHRISTMAS!
This is a video of the Parade
~ By my grandma

~ Bye ~

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Birthday Katherine!

Okay, so this isn't Katherine posting this time! But, this is important news and we couldn't leave it to her to post this information!

Today, November 23rd is Katherine's birthday!!!! and since we are not there with her, we wanted to share a song for her here. (Katherine, do not delete this post! I love you!)

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, We love you!
Happy Birthday and may all your dreams come true!
When you blow out the candles, one light stays aglow
That's the love light in your eyes where 'ere you go!!!

Happy birthday sweetie! We love you and miss you! One month!

Blessings, peace, and LOVE ~
Mom, Dad, Emily, Anna, and Samuel

Join in and post a birthday comment for her!!!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hello Everybody!!

Hello Everyone!!

I am sitting in the Dublin Airport, on the floor next to a the plugs so that I can use my computer to write this… on Word because there is not internet here. I think I will start the tale of my adventure backwards. Mostly because I’d like to vent about the airport.

When I got to the airport I thought everything was great I was 3 hours early. I had successfully taken a train from Maynooth (where my friends live) then a bus from Dublin city to the airport. I was very proud of myself. I got my boarding pass which was 5 euro instead of the 10 that I thought it was. It was all going smoothly and according to plan… Then I had to go through…SECURITY.

If you thought it was stressful in the US or a non-English speaking country I’d like to say that you are wrong. These security people were very rude and had not a speck of patience for me or my plight of unorganized-discombobulated-fright!

Everything went wrong… first I thought I had put my little plastic baggy of toiletries on the top so I could grab it because as you can imagine; I do not actually intend to be unorganized and frazzled while going through security. However, the security lady seemed to think that It was all part of my elaborate plan to hold up the line. I moved to the side and began to frantically search for my plastic baggy. At which point she turns to me and says, “ you should have done that before hand”. UM DUH!!!! I’m sorry I meant to be searching through all of my stuff right now, I thought it would be fun!!

So finally I found the baggy only slightly irritated but not rude, mostly because slightly irritated was overshadowed by completely SCARED. I hate security sooo much anyway so this was not NOT fun. I make it through the weapons detector doorway! It was all clear… obviously, I smiled at the guard and went to get my bag. I was standing waiting for my bag when the other security guard yells to me, “miss, miss, is this pink bag yours?”. It was.
“ Well you need to take your laptop out and your jam and go back through!” OH NO!!!
I forgot about the jam and I forgot that it wouldn’t be allowed (it was blackberry. There isn’t jam in Spain). I also forgot about my laptop (honest mistake due to my headache of toiletry searching) OH… and that lady again. I had already had to toss a bottle of water and the jam AND I had held up the line. I have to admit that my second time through security I got a little choked up… No Jam. I got over it though considering that I was finally through!!! And that was Irish Security!

Now, the rest of Ireland, and the beginning of the story. The hostel was incredible!! Wifi, Clean, Breakfast, Coffee, and in the center of town. It was not at all frightening and actually ended up being quite pleasant. Even though a certain someone ( CATHY) decided to bring up the horror film HOSTEL on HALLOWEEN on skype. Thanks Cathy!!! Actually I wasn’t scared, I’ve never seen it. The first night I went strait to the hostel and went to bed after eating one of my bocadillos (sandwiches) that my Señora made me. She made me enough food for 3 days! I was grateful, and happy that I got to eat it at my own pace! Then I went to bed. On the second day (Halloween) I walked all over Dublin. Really, All OVER! I saw Everything, well except the young- hip arts district that I didn’t know about until yesterday! However, it was great! I walked for 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours after lunch. In the evening I went out for cocoa and read my book (BRISINGER – thank you Emily). It was a quite an enjoyable Halloween, I talked to my family and the Talbots on skype and got to see the pumpkin carving ( I could see into the dining room from the library – due to the new arrangement of furniture – THANKS mom). It was nice to talk to people and see what was going on for Halloween in the USA.

The next day I woke up and had breakfast, packed up, and checked out! Then I got about five cups of coffee and chatted with my mom on skype while I waited to leave to meet my friends at the airport and to head over to Maynooth where they go to school. Oh, so something not so great about Ireland even though I thought everything was absolutely incredible, is the cost of transportation. SO, I took the 6 euro bus to the airport and then had to take it back to the city to take the bus to Maynooth… It was slightly ironic. I got over it. Maynooth was beautiful. I can’t explain everything that happened, obviously, so I will give you some of the highlights.

DONUTS, BAGELS, COFFEE, APPLE TURNOVER, PIZZA, and CHICKEN NUGGETS. Not all at once of course. But these were all things I had been missing oh, along with Muffins, and Ketchup. For all of you who live in St. Joe and have eaten the heavenly food of the BROAD STREET CAFE then you will understand that it is something to be missed, and it has been. So I was very happy to come across a bagel shop! I had something like and eggwhich (though not quite as good, it was still awesome) . I got to see three of my friends and meet some other awesome people. I was able to watch TV in English. I watched F*R*I*E*N*D*S and the Simpsons and American Idol.

Also I got to go to a REAL Irish Pub. It was really, really cool! I tried Hard Cider (really good) and I did try… drum roll please… GUINNESS. It was bearable. It was not my favorite but I would drink it again if someone else paid for it. I did finish it! We also were graced with the company of two extremely drunk Irish men who wanted to talk about… you guessed it… POLITICS! However, we had some fun with them and by the end of our conversation we had changed from American citizens with our own names to people from all of the world including Canada, Argentina, and Germany. And one of us (Elyse) had Tri citizenship because she had been born on a plane from Germany!!! They were very confused. It was amusing! So that was the pub. Guinness and BS, if you haven’t ever tried the combo I recommend it!

So, I’m going to stop writing now because I will be boarding soon! But I thought I’d try to be a little better with my updates! Talk to you all soon (hopefully) oh and Happy November, I’m coming home next month!!

See you all and talk to you all later have a wonderful November, it’s the best month you know ; )

~ Ta Ta for Now ~

OH!! PS. I wrote this on Monday but today (Wednesday) I write this as we have a new president… it is kind of weird because I know this is a historical moment and It was my first election so it was kind of interesting to get up and watch the news (In Spanish of Course) of our New President. It was a weird feeling knowing that I had participated in this election so that when I woke up at 6:30am (12:30am Eastern time) I was excited to see what had happened and who will be in command for the next 4 years… at least!

I hope you all appreciate your right to vote and I hope you all voted!!

AND now that I have gotten on a tangent I just want to say… I am really excited to have peppermint mocha coffee this Christmas and I am hoping that they still have that kind of creamer!!

~ Hasta Luego ~