Monday, August 6, 2007

I'm HOME!!!

After a whirlwind six weeks, I'm back in the United States! We left the hotel at 10:30 a.m. Paris time, were delayed for an hour before taking off, spent over 9 hours on the plane (we had to circle around the Atlanta airport several times due to weather), spent another 2 hours going through customs and immigration, and then it took another 1.5 hours to drive back to Athens. By the time I got home at 10:15 at night last night, it was 4:15 a.m. Paris time. Andy said a surprise was waiting for me at home, and I got really excited that it somehow was my 77 pound bundle of joy. Unfortunately, Sammy's still in Cincinnati with my parents and in-laws, but Andy did buy me gorgeous roses. I supose that's a nice surprise too! Because I only slept about 6 hours last night and woke up at 5:15 a.m this morning, I'm a bit tired today. I'm trying to keep myself awake today so that I can get back on my normal schedule as soon as possible. Andy was so proud of me this morning because I started my 5 loads of laundry (no I'm not exaggerating!), uploading pictures and music, and putting away all of my crap.

I had such a wonderful time in Spain (and France) this summer. This trip was everything and more that I expected when I signed up several months ago. I found a renewed love of Spanish, and of course my level is much better now than it was before I left. I also relearned to appreciate being an American and all the things that we take for granted, such as ice, free refills, free water at restaraunts, our education system, TiVo, air conditioning, etc. I also appreciate understanding the language of where I am, whether that be in the USA or in a Spanish-speaking country, because it's really scary being in a foreign country on your own and not understanding anything!

I hope you all enjoyed reading my blog as much as I enjoyed writing it. I also hope you enjoyed looking at my pictures too. I have the daunting task of going through all 500+ of them (they're being uploaded onto Snapfish) and choosing which ones I want to purchase.

My summer is almost over, and I'm going to try to enjoy my next week off (and catch up on my sleep). On Thursday, I'm going to Cincinnati to pick up Sampras (I'm SOOOOOOOOOO excited to see him!!!), and then I'm driving back either Sunday or Monday. I will return to work at The Office of Information Technology next week a few days before classes start (next Thursday), and I certainly hope to that I will enjoy my 2 classes this fall, at least better than I have liked my previous courses.

I'd love to hear/talk to everyone soon. I'd also love to receive emails to hear about your summers!

'Ta Luego!

Paris (August 3 - August 5)

After a full day of traveling, we arrived in Paris around 8:00 on Friday night. This just happened to be Kindall's 21st Birthday, so we wanted to take her out to celebrate. We sort of lost our way and ended up in the Latin Quarter, but then we found a delicious restaraunt and split several different types of fondue and wine. Then, we ventured towards the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral and met some very "interesting" men from Turkey and Egypt.

Saturday was our only real day in Paris, and like Clark W. Griswold, I wanted to see it all. Therefore, I went to The Palace of Versailles in the morning and really enjoyed seeing all of the rooms and the beautiful gardens. (For Mel Brooks fans, this was the setting for his take on The French Revolution in his movie History of the World: Part I.) After Versailles, I went to The Museu de Orssey (spelling?) which is famous for its impecable collection of impressionalist art (Monet, Van Gogh, etc.). I really wanted to spend several hours there, but by the time I arrived from Versailles, which is located on the very outskirts of Paris, I only had about 90 minutes go visit the museum. I then went back to Notre Dame and got to hear mass in French, which I really enjoyed. I also liked seeing the Romanisque/Gothic structures that I learned about from my art history class.

If my day wasn't busy enough, I then went to the Eiffel Tower with some friends around 9:30 at night (it closes at 11:00). It took FOREVER to buy our tickets and get up to the very top, but it was really worth it. It was fun and a little scary seeing how high up we were and feeling the wind blow against us. We also decided to walk down the stairs from the second level because it was going on 12:30 and the lines for the elevator were super long. By the time we got a cab and made it back to the hotel, it was nearly 1:30 in the morning. We were all exhausted and hungry.

Paris made me realize how scary it is not to speak the language of the country, and I was quite happy everytime I heard English or Spanish spoken around me. It's too bad that we only had 1 day to spend there, because there certainly is more that I would have liked to do. Oh well, I'm sure Andy and I will make it back someday.

Mallorca Pictures (July 31 - August 3)

Barcelona Pictures (July 27 - July 31)

Please enjoy these pictures of Barcelona. We had a wonderful time!

Thursday, August 2, 2007


So I´m at the beach right now updating my blog. The weather is beautiful here, and I have quite a nice tan, although I´ve been super anal and have been reapplying the sunblock several times a day to make sure I don´t burn.

We arrived in Mallorca on Tuesday morning, and I had to spend the rest of the day grading journals for the undergraduate students while they got to lay out at the pool. Yuck! However, I did officially find out that my grades for all three of my classes (four if you count my ¨teachers class¨) were A´s, so that made me very happy!

Wednesday, we spent over an hour getting to a beach since our hotel isn´t located by one (we´re in the harbor were there are LOTS of good-looking sailors from all over the world for some big tournament...the royal family is even here!). Once we finally found the beach, the water felt SOOOOOOO nice and relaxing. I certainly enjoyed myself, especially because I only make it to the beach about once a year. A lot of the guys I was with enjoyed looking at all of the topless European women too (haha)! When we got back to the hotel, some of us decided to spend some time at the pool, which was relaxing and fun too. Then, last night, we went karioking at some bar. Everyone was super lucky to hear my lovely renditions of Abba´s ¨Waterloo¨ (Amanda G, you would have been so proud!) and my even lovelier duet of Grease´s ¨You´re the One that I Want¨ with my friend Kristen.

Today, most of the group and I took a boat tour of the entire island which started at 9:00 and ended around 4:30. As I´m writing this blog, I still feel like I´m moving with the waves. It was so bumpy/rocky that several people were throwing up off the side of the boat. Luckily, I brought some Dramamine, so I was okay for the most part, but some others looked green the entire trip. The boat docked once in the Med. Sea, and we got to jump off and swim in some of the clearest and bluest water I´ve ever been in. Then, we went to another beach for a good 1 1/2 hours before returning to the boat for a yummy lunch of paella and sangria.

Tomorrow, we´re leaving Spain (sob, sob) and we´re heading off to Paris. I´m so excited to spend all day Saturday there, and I think that I´m going to hit up the art museums like The Louve, The Museu de Orsey, The Picasso Museum, etc. I don´t think anyone else wants to do art museums, but I don´t mind going by myself. A lot of people want to just walk around and go shopping, but I can´t go shopping again. I´ve already spent too much money (Andy, I hope you´re reading this!), and I don´t have any room left in my suitcase.

I will be back in the USA on Sunday around 5:30 at night. I don´t have to go back to work at UGA until the following Monday, but I will be going to Cincy to pick up Sampras next Thursday. And yes, I might be more excited to see him than Andy, but Andy feels the same way too!

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Hi all,

I only have a few minutes, but I´m here in Barcelona which is still one of my favorite cities in the world.

On Friday, we took a 12 hour plus bus trip here from Salamanca. Yeah, that sucked, especially because there was no bathroom and it was either too hot or too cold.

On Saturday, we spent the whole morning doing Gaudí stuff (he´s the crazy architect who designed La Sagrada Familia, some famous park, and some nutty houses. Just imagine yourself high and/or drunk and Smurfs on acid, and that´s what his buildings look like. We ate hamburgers at the Hard Rock Café (sooooooo delicious!), and then I got lost going to the Olympic Museum and the Miró Museum (I was by myself in the afternoon). So, I found a really good art museum featuring Cataluñan artists, such as Picasso, et al. that I enjoyed instead. Getting back to the hotel was quite an adventure, esepcially because I couldn´t remember its name, street, or location. Luckily, Andy was home and was able to get into my email to find out this information. However, the subway stop that I was suppose to get off on was closed due to construction, and I took some bus that was suppose to take me close to the hotel. 30 minutes later, I still had no idea where I was at! Luckily, a very nice old man finally directed me to the hotel, and all in all, it took me over 1 hour to find the hotel when it should have taken about 20 minutes. Haha.

Today, we went to Figueres to the Salvador Dalí Museum, and then we spen the afternoon at the Picasso Museum. Both were amazing! Tonight, 5 friends and I went to see ¨The Simpsons¨ at the local theater. To our wonderful surprise, it was in English!!! The movie was really funny, and I´m glad that we went.

Tomorrow is our free day, but all the museums are closed on Mondays, so my friends and I are going to hit the shops and have fun.

Tuesday, we´re off to Mallorca (the beach). We can´t wait!!!

I´ll try to post up some pictures later.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Last Days in Salamanca

Today was my last day in Salamanca, and I´m so sad to be leaving tomorrow morning. I truly had an amazing month here, and the time just flew by so quickly. I did very well in all of my classes (which were awesome!), learned some yummy Spanish recipes, and did a bit more shopping than I probably should have! I was also sad to say goodbye to my professors today, because they all were super nice and fantastic.

Tomorrow we leave for Barcelona, which should be about a 10 hour bus ride. Yuck!!! However, Barcelona was my favorite European city from 7 years ago, and I´m SOOOOO excited to visit it again. We´re going to be there for 3 days, and then we´re off to Mallorca (the beach) for three days. We end our trip in Paris, but that´s only 1.5 days. Oh well, it´s better than nothing!

I´ll try to post some pictures later on, but unfortunately, this computer won´t let me do it.