Monday, May 11, 2009

tres semanas

i only have three weeks left of class. it is mind boggling that my time here in spain is coming to an end, and i'm not quite sure how to feel about it. three weeks ago i was so ready to be home, but now that it is coming closer and closer i am starting to remember how much i like life here and what i am going to miss about it. don't get me wrong, i am still really excited about seeing everyone, moving in with the girls i'm moving in with, and starting school(shock of a lifetime, i'm actually looking forward to school). also, i really hate the feeling of knowing that something is ending and saying bye. i would almost rather just leave tomorrow than go through this whole last month of being like oh this is the last time i will get to do this, or this is my second to last class and things like that. i guess i should just not think about that and then it will be fine, but it's hard not to.

anyways, the last month since greece has been really fun. i went to barcelona with sarmite for a weekend with the sole purpose of going to the beach and getting a tan. mission accomplished. then the next weekend i went with her and some of her friends from when she did a study abroad in lithuania to granada. it. was. amazing. soo pretty and just a really great atmosphere in the town. the most famous thing there is the alhambra, which we did not go inside of and now i'm wishing we had. but anyways, it was a fun weekend with fun people. then this past weekend i went to visit dre for the last time in oxford. she and her 2 housemates, tess and patty, were having a garden party at their house. they all invited friends from their churches, jobs and classes and they had a really good turnout. it was really fun bc i didnt know anyone there besides the housemates and two other friends of dre's that i met over easter, but spent the whole night talking to people and never felt out of place or anything. on saturday we went to high tea where we had great scones with strawberry jam, finger sandwiches, cake and of course, tea. we had been talking about doing high tea since we were in oxford the first time, so it was nice to finally do it, and i have finally eaten a cucumber sandwich and it was really good. we also went and saw star trek, which was so good. i love actiony/adventure/sci fi kinds of movies, and i was so glad dre was willing to go with me. usually those aren't her fav types of movies, but she enjoyed it too. so, all you blog readers, go see star trek.
now i will leave you with some photos from the last month. the first one is actually from greece. i wrote about how dre and i put greek yogurt on our sun burns, and i got the pictures from her this weekend so i wanted to put this one up.

Friday, April 17, 2009

todo es griego para mi.

madre mía, what a week! be warned that this post is going to be really long bc i was gone for nine whole days and i can't seem to tell a short story to save my life.

my flight landed in athens at 2:30 in the morning, and i became an expert on the non-security zone of the athens international airport because i had to wait 10 hours for dre to arrive. at first i tried to sleep, but that was not happening, so i wondered into the bookstore and much to my surprise they had a book i had been wanting to read IN ENGLISH! so that kept me occupied for about 8 hours. once she got there, we took a train into the city and set out to find the parthenon. it was not as easy as you might thinking, it being one of the main tourist attractions of the city. in route, the metro broke down, so we had to get out and take a bus the rest of the way, and thankfully a friendly greek man took pity on us and made sure we got off at the right stop. history lesson- the acropolis is a really big hill in athens on which are a lot of ancient temples and buildings. one of these old buildings is the parthenon which was as originally a temple for Athena, but over the years it has also been an eastern orthodox church, a catholic church and a mosque. it was impressive, but it was covered by scaffolding, so it kinda took away from it. we walked around on the acropolis for a little while, and also climbed Mars Hill, which is a huge rock where Paul talked to some greek men about "the unknown God". that was pretty cool. after that we went to get a drink before we headed to the port to catch our ferry to santorini. we had another problem with the metro, and ended up having to take a bus to the port. so we find the correct bus, get on, and then decide that there's a good chance we are going in the opposite direction, so we get off. then we try and flag down a taxi, and when we finally get one to stop and dre starts to get in the car, the taxi driver starts yelling and pushes dre back out of the car. it was really strange. in the end we made it safely to the port, got our tickets and made it to the ferry with time to spare. then we settled in for a five hour ride to the island. when we got there it was raining and then that quickly turned into pouring, so that was not a great start to our time on santorini.

day 1 on the island was rainy and overcast. we got breakfast at this great bakery, where they had awesome chocolate croissants and coffee with the perfect amount of milk and sugar already added. then it started raining a lot more, so we went into this cafe to get some coffea/tea (dre gave up coffee for lent which is a BIG deal bc she's totally an addict) and we just sat in there for a really long time. then we went to get lunch at this place where the waiter was really funny and the food was amazing. that's where we got our first taste of the greek salad. it was awesome. we went back to the hotel after that and ended up taking a little nap bc it was just too gross outside to do anything. so day one was pretty uneventful.

day 2 was another cloudy/coldish day, so we nixed our plans to go to the beach and set off to find Mama Cyclade's Cafe, which was supposed to have a really great breakfast. it was just down the street from our hotel, but we never found it. we did, however, end up walking to the next village in search of another bakery and then ended up eating at a cafeteria, where i had the best omelette i've ever had in my life, and dre had a huge bowl of greek yogurt and an entire loaf of bread. then when we were coming back we walked past a car rental place and a man out in front on the street offered to rent us a car for 20 euros. we had been planning on renting atvs the next day, but since the weather was not very stable, we decided to take the car offer. we got a car for the rest of that day and the next for 35 euros! it was awesome. neither dre or i have driven since being in europe and its been 4 months now since either of us has even driven at all. so we spent the rest of the day driving around the island looking for the places we wanted to go back to the next day when the sun was out. greece apparently doesn't believe in helping people find their way around by putting up signs, so it was an interesting day. but since we didn't really have any definite plans, it was ok. we ended the day in oia, a really cute town that is supposed to have a beautiful sunset. the sunset wasn't out of this world, but it was still cool.

day 3- finally the sun decided to come out so we headed to the beach. we got there a little before 11 and then camped out on some super comfy beach chairs. the weather was perfect and every once in a while one of us would say, "i can't believe we are actually laying out right now" the weather had been so bad the previous three days and neither of really believed it would turn so nice. but it did and we loved it. we ate lunch at the restaurant whose chairs we were using and it was really good. we had another greek salad, some typical santorini dish called tomato balls and chicken risotto. we also got a complimentary desert from the owner which was super tasty. after lunch it was back to the sun, but by then it wasn't as warm so we didnt last too long. we headed up to oia to see the sunset again and to do a little shopping around the town. in one of the stores the lady told us that putting yogurt on our sunburn would take the sting and the red out. so of course, we bought some yogurt after the sunset and when we got back to the hotel we smeared it all over our faces/backs/chests and in my case the tops of my hands, which got really burned. we had to leave it on for thirty minutes and when we washed it off, i was totally expecting to see no sunburn. unfortunately that was not the case, and i'm not really sure if it did anything at all.

day 4 was our last day on the island and we went on a boat tour of the volcano that formed the island. it was this cool old timey looking boat and we met all these asian people who were doing this big greece trip in a huge group. they were pretty funny. we walked around on the volcano, which doesnt really look like the typical volcano that you think of when you think of a volcano. instead of having a cone that sticks up, its more like the cone or opening is underground and when enough pressure builds up, then it explodes. any volcano experts would probably laugh at that explanation, but thats more or less what i understood and its unlikely that a volcano expert will be reading my blog. our guide was amazing bc he gave the whole tour in english, french and spanish. then later on the boat he spoke with one of the passengers in german. i'm not sure if he was totally fluent in all of the languages, but he was answering questions so that means he hadn't just memorized the information for the tour. anyways, i was impressed. after walking all over the volcano, we took the boat around to another little tiny volcanic island that has hot springs. so we jumped off the boat into the freeeezing cold water and had to swim to the hot springs. a more appropriate name for them would be "slightly warmer than the rest of the mediterranean" springs. seriously they were just a little bit warmer. so we hung out there for a few minutes, then had to swim back to the boat. and you know how when you go from warm water to cold water, it makes the cold water seem sooo much colder? well we definitely experienced that and the swim back was way worse than the swim out. and then once we got on the boat, we just had to air dry in our swim suits bc we didnt have towels to dry off with. that was a fun ride back. we ate our last meal in santorini at our beloved bakery and then headed down to the port to catch our ferry. we got back to athens at about 10 and when we checked into our hostel, they told us we had been upgraded from a 6 person dorm to a studio apartment. we were in heaven. we kept flipping out bc the place was soo nice. it totally redeemed athens for us, and we stayed up later than we had all week watching tv in english and getting caught up on the somalian pirate ordeal.

the next morning, after receiving our breakfast in a basket outside our door, we headed to the airport and flew to london. we met up with some of dre's friends and her housemates at CHILI'S for dinner in Reading, a city about 20 minutes from Oxford. it. was. so. good. dre and i both had already planned out everything we wanted to order, but sadly they didnt serve the two main dishes we wanted, so we went for our back-ups, but we still got skillet queso, chips and salsa and a molten lava cake AND we got free refills. i really like the food in spain, and i loved the food in greece, but it was really nice to have a little taste of home. when we got to oxford that night we went over to the acu house to eat some awesome deserts that the girls had made and watch a movie. on sat we got sandwiches from my favorite oxford sandwich shop, on the hoof, at with emily and ashley(two of the girls who came to barcelona) and then hung out with ron and janine for the rest of the afternoon. that night we went to a friend of dre's house and ate homemade korean food-cauliflower with this really good sauce that was almost exactly like the sauce that comes with crab wontons at pei wei, and lettuce wraps with this super good beef. it was delicious. another highlight of the day was cycling around oxford. dre has an extra bike that i got to ride. and let me tell you, cycling in oxford is not like cycling in abilene. i always think of bike riding as fun and peaceful bc we used to go for night rides around campus or in the neighborhoods around campus. cycling in oxford is the opposite. it is a legit means of transportation and it can be a little scary. especially bc the bike was just a smidge too tall for me, even with the seat all the way lowered, and i had a hard time starting once i was stopped. but i made it through the day without any major hang-ups and i feel like it was a pretty big accomplishment.
on easter sunday, we went to st. aldate's, the church i went to when i was in oxford before. it was just as great as i remembered and it felt so good being back there, especially on easter. we ate lunch with some of the acu kids at the eagle and child, where i got the sunday roast that i used to always get. so good. we went to get starbucks afterword, bc dre could finally drink coffee, and we sat and people watched from the upstairs window. after that, we went back to her house and watched fried green tomatoes with one of her housemates and then went to church again. the night service had a choir so we wanted to go for that, and it ended up being a totally different service than the morning. after that we ate at this place called the mission, which is like chipotle and it was really good. then we went to the acu house for nine at nine, the devo they have with the whole group every sunday. i left early the next morning to catch my bus for the airport.

so that sums up my semana santa. it was so great to travel to a new place and go back to my beloved oxford, and all with a great friend.

here is the link to see all the pickeys.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

angeles de abilene

at the end of february i went to Barcelona to meet up with some of the ACU students who are in Oxford this semester. I only knew one of them, and not even that well. it was Bryan's friend Tate, and then 4 girls who pledged Siggies this past year, and then a few other kids that i didn't have any connection with, but all of them turned out to be really fun. before i went, I kept thinking that they were probably going to think I was a freak for wanting to come hang out with them without having ever met most of them, but I decided to just go anyways. I am soooo glad that I did. It was such a blast. i fell more in love with barcelona, and i think it may be my favorite big european city. we did a lot of stuff that i had already done in barcelona, but it was fun being around people from my same background, but in a totally different context. plus they are just fun people. i'm going to get to see them again when i'm in oxford next week and i'm so glad.

tomorrow i am leaving for greece/oxford and i'm soo excited!! prayers for safe travel would be appreciated!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

que piensan los ingleses de texas.

i found this dialogue in one of the books we use in class and felt I needed to share it. the book is published in england.

Marta: Who's that?

Teresa: That's my cousin. He's from Texas.

Marta: How often does he visit?

Teresa: He doesn't often visit. My mum usually doesn't invite him.

Marta: He's very noisy.

Teresa: Yes, you're right. Let's go to the park.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


i might be kicked out of blog land for my lack of updating. i don't know what my deal is, it's definitely not that i'm too busy. march has been a very, shall I say, relaxed month. another word for it could be boring. i'm trying to save money so that i will be able to live it up in greece at the beginning of april with dre, and that means i've spent a good number of weekends in march close to barbastro. i only have one more weekend before i leave for greece and i cannot contain my excitement. i just really hope the weather cooperates with our plans of laying out on the beach everyday. right now the high's are in the upper 50s, which i think is still a little cool for laying out. but oh well, we will have a great time anyways.

so now for part 2 of my berlin trip.

day 2 in berlin was super. we woke up and headed over to the meeting point for the Fat Tire Bike Tour. This was my third Fat Tire tour, and I had some pretty high expectations bc the tours in Barcelona and Paris were so good. They definitely did not disappoint. Our tour guide Marielle was actually a fellow Texan, from Dallas! what a small world. she knew what she was talking about and was entertaining. We saw tons of interesting things, learned a lot, and i ate some strange food. I can't tell you how cold it was. A few times I thought I was going to die from slipping on the snow/ice, but it all turned ok.

after the tour we went to starbucks for a nice hot coffee and ended up staying there for a pretty long time. we wanted to go back to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, because I wanted to learn more about the wall, but when we got there we found out it wasn't free and we didn't feel like paying. we killed some time before eating dinner and then we decided to go see another movie. haha. In case you were thinking about it, don't see Nick and Norah's Infinite playlist. It's not even worth renting. after the movie, we went to the Reichstag, which is the Parliament building. One of Dre's roommates heard that the view from the top of the building was really pretty, so we wanted to check it out. Even an hour before the closing time, the line was really long and we waited for a good 45 minutes in the cold to get it. We finally thought we were at the front of the line, about to go in, when we discovered that we still had to wait in a small waiting room before we could actually enter the main building. we started making horribly inappropriate jokes about whether or not would should let German people force us into a small place with lots of other people. it was really bad, and if the people around us knew why were laughing so hard, i'm sure they would have thought we were awful people. anyways, we had to go through a security checkpoint, which made me nervous because German people just make me nervous. we were then ushered into a really large elevator. more inappropriate jokes. then we finally made it up to the observation area and realized that the top was open and it was freezing. also it was really cloudy so we couldn't see this supposed good view. we only stayed up there for about ten minutes bc it was so cold, then we went back down and headed back to our hostel.

Overall the weekend was a lot of fun, and it's always good to get to see someone who knows me so well and always laughs at my dumb jokes. I am sooo looking forward to my week away from Barbastro during Semana Santa, but even more because I'll be spending it with a friend. Thanks Dre for being my travel buddy!!

Thursday, March 05, 2009


berlin was amazing. dre and i both got in around the same time on thursday night and then had all day friday and saturday to see the city. our hostel was really cool, besides the fact that we had snoring roomies all three nights, and by snoring i mean like chain saw in your ear snoring.

our first pickey in berlin.

we went out to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, just outside of berlin. i don't really know how to describe the experience, but i guess impressive would be a good word. and not in the sense that i was impressed by it, but that it left an impression on me. maybe there is another word that i am looking for, but i'm not finding it right now. it was similar to when we did the D-Day tour in france. i couldn't believe that i was standing in the exact spot that all these things took place. the camp has been turned into a museum/memorial and it was really well planned out. they put each exhibit in a different place in the camp. so in the bunker where the prisoners slept, there was an exhibit all about their daily lives and routines. in the infirmary they had an exhibit about the medical treatment of the prisoners and also about the experiments that were done on them. it was pretty horrifying to read and see all the things that were done in that place, and then to think about how many more camps there were and how many other horrible things happened in those places as well. it was also snowing that day and obviously really cold, so i kept thinking about those poor people who had to live in those conditions during the winter. it really is sobering to think that people treated and still treat other people in such an inhumane way. i just don't understand how some people have fallen so far off the mark. anyways, it was an experience that i'm glad i've had and something that i definitely won't forget.

two of the bunkers where the prisoners slept.

the gate leading into the camp. i think that it means "work will set you free"

after the camp, we headed back to berlin and went to the (supposed) world's largest chocolate house. it was pretty amazing. they had replicas of buildings made out of chocolate and even a volcano that was bubbling over with chocolate. pretty much my dream come true. we made a few purchases in there, and then we were going to leave, but we decided that we couldn't pass up the opportunity to drink hot chocolate made from the world's finest chocolate beans. it was delicious.

after spending almost two hours, maybe more, in the chocolate shop we went to see a movie. it may seem like a total cop out to go see a movie when you are in a foreign country, but let me explain. rick steves guidebook talked about a film haus that shows movies in english. so we thought, hmm that could be a cool place to go see a movie. i mean, its called a film haus. also it was freeeezing cold and snowing outside and we didn't want to walk around anymore. so we decided to go check it out. we got there and discovered that they only play weird movies, not normal ones that regular people enjoy watching. but thank goodness, there was another regular movie theater located very close by, and we went to see "he's just not that into you", which we both enjoyed. the theater was packed and we were very impressed by the germans' ability to understand english. there's no way that everybody in there was a native english speaker and everybody was laughing and reacting to the movie. it was incredible. that would never happen in spain, bc i dont think there enough english speakers here to even fill a movie theater.

when the movie finished we set off to find another rick steves recommendation- the oldest beergarden in berlin. we consulted the map, plotted our course and set off. it took us forever to find it, and when we walked in we were told the kitchen was closing in five minutes, so we had to hurry and order. the food was really, really good and when we were leaving we figured out that there was a metro stop about five minutes walk up the street, so we didn't have to walk back through the shady neighborhood we had come through on the way there.

and that was the end of our first day in berlin. and this is the end of my post for today, bc i am getting tired of typing, so looks like this one is going to be a two parter. stayed tuned for more of my adventures in berlin.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


life is great. i love love love living in my new apartment, i've done some fun stuff the last couple of weekends, i found out that i am accepted to grad school at UTD and tomorrow i'm meeting up with dre in berlin! this post is super short bc i have to get ready to go to school, but i promise i will get back to regular updates when i get back from berlin.

for now, here is a slide show of what i have been up to lately.

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Sunday, February 01, 2009


dre came to visit this past week and it was absolutely wonderful. i'm so glad that at least one important person in my life has seen barbastro and experienced a little bit of my life here. we walked all over barbastro, ate a lot of bocadillos (sandwiches on crunchy baguettes), drank a lot of cafe con leche, went to visit a castle, ate dinner with my weirdo, old housemates, saw half of a really strange play in spanish, visited some historical sites in zaragoza and in general had a grand 'ol time. she was here for my birthday on friday which was sooo great, bc i would have been depressed to be here on my birthday alone. there are a lot of stories that i could write about, but i'm just going to put up some pickeys because it's easier.


this is me in front of pedro primero.


and me in front of alto aragón.


the castle in monzón. it took us forever to figure out how to get there, and we didn't even go all the way up.


dre with the beautiful city of monzón behind her.


our next album cover. the title will be "monzón, you've been good to us."


my picture for my solo album.


we started taking pictures like the ones people take at the leaning tower of pisa, except with normal objects. they aren't as exciting and didn't turn out so great, but we thought we were hilarious.



i LOVE her face in this one. we accidently left it on the timer setting so she had to hold her arm up for ten seconds before the picture took, and she got tired.



we met up with sarmite at one of my favorite places, el cortés, and a friendly spanish man offered to take our pic. too bad he didn't realize he needed to use the flash.


this one is better.


at one time a lot of spain was occupied by Arabs, so in some places there are still examples of their architecture. this is part of the aljafería, in zaragoza, and at one time it was a castle for an arab king, and throughout the years its been used as tons of different things. it was so pretty, but i didnt get any good pictures of the outside bc it was raining. i'll go back on a pretty day and take more pictures.


the inside courtyard of the aljafería, those are orange trees.

THANKS DRE for coming to visit!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009


i am about to move into a new apartment (like in the next twenty minutes) and i am sitting here looking around at all my stuff. i came here with a large suitcase, a large backpack, a large carry-on duffle and a purse. i didn't pack very carefully since i only have to put the things in a car and then carry them up one flight of stairs, but it looks like i have accumulated a lot of stuff in only four months. but if you know me, then you know that is very likely. i've used all of the aforementioned luggage items, plus a lot of grocery bags to carry the rest of the odds and ends that wouldn't fit in the big bags.

i just realized that i've already written about how i'm moving, so this post is going to end right here. but i'll leave a preview for what my next post will be about...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

un buen descanso

so i have been taking a little break from blogging, but not really intentionally. there hasn't been to much spanish news to update on. i had an absolutely wonderful time at home and a huge thanks to my parents for bringing me home bc i definitely couldn't have paid for my own ticket home. it was soo good to see my whole family and a lot of my friends. i stayed a few days in dallas with brent and linds, went to lubbock to see all the family, then i was in austin for new year's eve with my ACU friends, then the whole fam went back up to dallas for a few days right before i left. i ate sooo much food and went to all my favorite restaurants and saw some great movies. i tried to fit in all the things that i really love doing and i think i got most of them i.

when i was leaving to come back, i was strangely void of feelings. i just felt really neutral about coming back. it's hard to explain but it wasn't a positive or a negative thing. i was just coming back and that's it. it's weird to feel that way about something as big as leaving the country for another five months, so i don't really know that means. anyways, i got stuck in paris for 7 hours in a freezing cold terminal. something was wrong with our plane so they found us another one and then when we finally boarded, i fell asleep right away, and when i woke up an hour later, we were STILL on the ground. yikes, it was a long day.
but i made it back to Barbastro, and things are going well. I am happy to be back in school. the kids are still precious, and in one of the classes one of the boys yelled "she came back, she came back!" so that was nice to see they were excited to have me back.

this coming wednesday, Dre is coming to visit me and I am so excited. i don't really know what we are going to do, but I know it will be fun and i can't wait. Another big thing coming up is that i am moving! a friend of mine found an apartment and asked me to move in with her right before i went home for christmas, and its cheaper and i don't have to live with carmen anymore. if you remember, carmen is the woman who owns the house that i currently live in, the one who smelled my jacket. she is a very nice woman, but its like living with a very in-your-business mom, which thankfully is not the kind of mom i have. and i haven't even been living with my own mom for four years now. anyways, she's just a little too much for me, and i am looking forward to living somewhere that, hopefully, i feel more at home. anyways, i will put up pictures when i move in, or maybe you will get some more cribs action.

hasta luego.