Thursday, May 9, 2013


Well my friends, the journey has come to an end.
Yesterday we left the from Barcelona at 8am to go to the airport. It was a sad moment saying goodbye to the kids and to Jordi and Ane. I had my alarm set at 6:45 and at 6:55 here comes little Jordi knocking on my door to hang out with me before leaving that morning. It was the sweetest thing... we looked through all of my pictures and talked about keeping in touch through Skype! Naora was still sleeping, but I went to give her a hug and say goodbye.. it took her a minute, but she jumped up and gave me a big hug and then on the way out the door, she came running to me with a sweet little bracelet. SO sweet.. that entire family! I'm truly going to miss them!!! I have been assured that I will always have a bed to sleep in at Barcelona though..and was told that I was like a second daughter.. I got a little teary eyed when leaving...

 We had a 10 hour flight from Barcelona to Miami.. It was a super long flight!!! At Miami, we had about a 3 hour layover so we of course had to eat some TGI Fridays, which was so yummy!
We sat around and rested a bit before we took off for Nashville, which was a 2 hour flight.. You better believe we were all sound asleep on this flight. We got back and as soon as we came around the corner from the terminal I could feel tears about to stream out of me.. I saw my mom and sister down the hall and kinda started fast walking/running to greet them.. And yes this is when I lost it.. Happy Happy tears! It was a great moment and I'm so glad to be reunited. I still haven't seen my dad or little sister, but I will on Saturday, of which I will be an emotional mess again.

So today I have really gone non stop. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and immediately started to do laundry. Mom and I went to get breakfast and she headed back home.. then I showered..which was about 30 minutes!! I ran some errands on campus.. got my graduation cords and stoles and then met with Dr. Carter for a de-briefing interview. I then went to the mall to look for a graduation dress and had success, thank goodness! I have been working on decorating my graduation cap and trying to unpack a little bit. My room is a disaster, but I love being home...and of course with my sister!!!!

Overall, this trip was just simply AMAZING and something I never thought I would be experiencing.
I cannot believe I will be graduating in just 2 short days. I truly want to thank EVERYONE who has helped me get to this point and for all the support on the way. I have so so much to be thankful for and thank God every day for everyone and everything in my life. Even though this trip was only 1 month, I have learned a lot about myself and have gained many great experiences that I will have forever!

Thanks for keeping up with me and my blogs!!!
It's great to be home!

Love you all!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Last day at Santa Isabel

So yesterday, Monday, was my last day at Santa Isabel. It was a wonderful day, but definitely went by too quickly. In class we finished writing letters to some of my students back in Kentucky that were so cute. I can't wait to share them!

For lunch, we had a special surprise...which was Homemade pizza!! It was very good and of course we had Coke too, which was wonderful! 

They also had little gifts for us. A yearbook from the previous year, shirts, and laniards with a sweet thank you note from our teacher. This was such a sweet surprise and definitely a great memory to hold on to forever. 

Here is my teacher, Mrs. Olinkha. She was wonderful and we had a great time getting to know each other. She's very very sweet, so much help, and a great teacher! 

Here are the gifts I received from the kiddos and Mrs. Olinkha. She had made me two books where each of the girls drew me a beautiful picture.. I love gifts like this where I can keep them forever and of course always look at them if I'm ever having a bad day. This was a very sweet surprise for me!!!

Overall, my experience at the school was GREAT! I will say that it is VERY different than American schools, but it works for them. Everyone I met at the school was so nice and helpful and I hope to come back later down the road to visit. 

It was so sad to leave all the sweet girls. I received about 50+ hugs on the way out the door and loved every second of it. I cannot wait to keep in touch with these two classes. My thoughts are to make a video of my students from Kentucky and send it for them to watch and remember me by. Also, to meet some new friends!

A wonderful weekend in Paris!


Paris, just like everywhere else on this trip, was just simply AMAZING!!
I'm going to start you out on a little funny note. Kelsey, Tayler, and I had this wonderful idea to stay the night in the airport because we had an early flight. We hear of people doing it all the couldn't be that bad right? Well, wrong...It was a little past miserable, but hey at least we can say we did it! Ha. So also the adventure getting there was a little more difficult than we had planned.
We met around 8 and went to eat dinner. We found this yummy place where I got a crispy chicken sandwich and french fries...and the waiter spoke loved that we were from Kentucky and said he loved the show "The  Voice" and Blake Shelton and he said I like the music, country music, but not the dancing.. a little weird. So dinner was great, and here's where it went downhill. We had it all planned out on what metro and what trains to take to get to the airport to prevent ourselves from having to pay about 30 euros for a taxi. So we get to the train station, after sitting for about 20 minutes and every single person has left on the previous train, that the next one for our stop doesn't come until 5:35 in the we suddenly freaked out thinking about what we were going to do, when then they announce the station we were in is about to close.. you better believe we high-tailed it out of there. We then found the closest metro station and tried to get as close to the airport as we could to then find a taxi to take us the rest of the way.. it was crazy and I'm sure you can see us now running around almost in panic mode. We were all just laughing it off and enjoying the adventure. So we then get to the airport and have to walk all the way down to the only door that was open and then figured out that security was already closed, so instead of sleeping in not so comfy chairs, it was the floor for us! We found a spot and were out of it..well for a minute or two. The floor was so so cold and of course we had nothing except what we had blankets. So we slept (or laid there) for about 3 hours and then was rudely woken up by security. We checked in, went through security (where they threw my shower gel and scrunch gel away :(.. and then were on our way to wait another 2 hours for out flight to leave. Thinking about all of this just makes me laugh.. You always live and learn, that's for sure!!!!

So we finally take off and then have about an hour and 40 min bus ride from the airport to Paris. We metro our way to our hostel and luckily with no problems, find it fast. We recharge for a quick 30 minutes and charge our phones, and then off to find the meeting point for our FREE tour and of course to eat lunch. We eat at a yummy pizza place and relax with a Coke, then ready to start our 3 1/2 hour walking tour.
The tour was amazing and I learned so much about Paris. It was incredible and so beautiful.. Below are some pictures from the day!

After this amazing tour we decide to head back to the hostel for a couple of hours to rest and re- energize to go eat dinner and visit the Eiffel Tower at night!!! Below is a picture and let me tell you I feel like it wasn't real life.. I have always dreamt of actually seeing the Eiffel Tower and as I stood under it, it was just simply amazing! It's hard to explain how amazing it was, really!

 So of course on Sunday we get an early start to see the Eiffel Tower in the daylight.. And as you can see below, it is just as stunning. We took an elevator to the very tip top and the view was just breath taking. The picture below, to me, seems unreal. But let me tell yo folks, it's so real and so cool!

The rest of the day we spent on the metro and walking. We went to Notre Dame, which was also beautiful, bought a few souvenirs, and ate lunch..where we had a whole bottle of wine. I'm very proud of myself for coming out of my shell to try such different wines. It wasn't the best I've had, but it was quite good. We ended our Paris trip with none other than..some sweets. I got this huge waffle covered with melted chocolate, powered sugar, and whipped about heaven in your mouth!

So we then found our way back to the station for the bus to take us back to the airport. We all three got very good naps on the way back to only have to wait about 2 1/2 hours for our flight. We then arrived back in Barcelona and were dragging by the time we made it back to our apartments..

I was so excited when I got back though..I just had to upload every picture before I went to bed which was around 2am. I was also too excited to sleep because the next day, Monday, was our last day at the school.. And that is where I will begin my new post!

Paris was amazing!!!! That pretty much sums up my weekend!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Last week at Santa Isabel and Barcelona..

Well this week has been a bit different.. in a good way of course!
Monday and Tuesday morning at school was a bit stressful. All of 2nd grade had a public class where the parents of students were invited to come in and observe classes and to see what we have been learning about. I, of course was part of the English class, but parents also watched classes of Spanish and Catalan. The lesson was only a 20 minute lesson, but very stressful for a teacher and a student teacher from the USA. Both classes both morning went very well and Mrs. Olinkha and I were both very pleased with the performance and concentration during the lessons. So Monday was a pretty easy day, as we had the public class in the morning, then a morning break, and we practiced our lesson with both classes the rest of the day and the girls had swimming...which they always love. Tuesday was a super easy day, as I normally have about a 3 hour break, it was 4 hours! It was great and I was actually productive with my time. Big girl world is starting to set in and I'm trying to do all I can to be less stressed when arriving back to the states and life after graduation. SOOOO...
Then on Wednesday, there was no school!! It was like a Labor Day in America.
We set out early to take advantage of the the full day we had. We started out for Sagrada Familia where  my breath was just taken away.. This is a large Catholic Church, designed again by the famous architect, Gaudi. It was a church that began its works in 1882 and they are still adding to it today and will for the next 20-30 years.. It was so amazing..the stain-glassed windows were my favorite for sure!

  At the what is going to be the new entrance into Sagrada Familia!

So after we finished our tour here, we got some lunch and ventured off toward the Gothic Village part of town. We found some very pretty and old buildings, and some stunning churches and cathedrals! We walked and walked and walked forever in search of the Chocolate Museum, and soon found out that it was closed for the day, being a holiday. So anyways.. we then decide to stay downtown to watch the Barca game. We found a nice little fun Sports Bar to watch it at and we just felt at home and like a local.. trying to fit in as best as we could. It was a good day/night.

But today was VERY tiring!! I believe all of this ripping and running 24/7 is catching up to me fast. School was wonderful and I continue to feel like a superstar around my sweet girls.. They seriously attach to me and tell me that they aren't going to let me leave.. They are SO sweet and I'm definitely going to miss them. I can't believe we only have 2 more days at the school. I'm going to miss a lot about the school.. the teachers are SO nice and it's a great school!
We got to take pictures today with my sweet girls that I've been talking SO much about.. Here they are below.. and the 5th grade boys I have for Art once a week are below also (but they were taken last week)
So yes, I love all the students.. they are all so cute over here in Spain.. Everyone.. so pretty and handsome.. not meaning this in a bad way, but I haven't seen like one bad looking person over here.. it's weird! Ha so anyways.. here are my kiddos that I only have 2 more days with....:(

Just a few of the 5th grade boys.. the others were either in trouble.. or up to trouble ;)

My SWEEEEEETT Girls!!! 2nd A


                     2nd B

They are SO precious!!!!

After school Tayler, Kelsey, and I ventured off to Mount Tibidabo.. which at the top is where the best view of the city is.. well long story short.. we walked and walked and walked...up hill.. finally making a smart decision to walk back down.. We thought there would be some kind of lift or bus or something that would take us to the top, but hey we're tourists.. we don't know anything.. so I don't want to say it was a wasted trip, but we didn't get to go to the top. It was still fun though and we definitely got our exercise. 

I'm so excited for school tomorrow to take in these last two days!

Bye for now. and I hope you all have a very Happy Friday!!! :))

P.S... get excited.. I'm off to Paris this wknd!! City of Romance!!!!! ohhh la la

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Weekend in Sitges

Happy Sunday!

It's still raining (trying to clear up) in Barcelona and definitely a lazy kind of day! Tayler, Kenzie, and me traveled to Sitges this weekend.. which is a beach right outside of Barcelona. It was about a 40 minute train ride. We sat out on Saturday around 1pm and of course made a stop at Starbucks first to get coffee and free wifi! We then ventured out to find the correct train station.. which we finally found and then were on our way.

When we arrived it was beautiful.. surrounded by mountains and the sea was so pretty! We really had know idea where to go or which way to go to find where we were staying, so we just started walking and found a cafe with wifi to look it up and set our maps on our phones. We finally walked a pretty good ways to our address of the apartments we were staying at, which then to find out we were to check in at a totally different place.. we walked to this place to check in.. which was so SO far away. We tried catching a bus to take us back to the apartments for the second time but really had no idea where we were and were just wasting time, as the bus kept going in circles.. no where near where we needed to be. So we just got off and started to walk with a pretty straight stretch to the apartments. We finally got there to put our backpacks down and rest and charge our phones a little. We the set back out to find a cool little sports bar we found from walking earlier that we would sit and eat and drink at for the night. Turns out, we were right on time.. The Barca game was playing and we got a table just in time. The food at this sports bar was AMAZING.. we got chicken nachos and cheese sticks for an appetizer and then I ordered a Club sandwich with french fries.. which was also amazing!! We stayed here most of the night until about 10ish because we were feeling very tired.

We got to sleep in this morning a little and had plans to sit and enjoy the sand and beach, BUT it was pouring down rain all morning so we decided to just come straight back to Barcelona. When we got back we did eat at Hard Rock Cafe and it was delicious!!!!

I am not back at the apartment, I've showered, and now just being lazy on the couch. I'm still very very tired and may try to take a nap soon!!

9 more days and I will be coming home!! Can't wait to see you all!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A rainy day in Barcelona..

Hola Friends,

Today has been a dreary and much cooler day in Barcelona. School was crazy busy as my teacher has been getting stuff ready for next week. Monday and Tuesday parents will be coming in for 20 minutes to view a lesson prepared by each of the 2nd grade teachers. We're doing an awesome activity will classifying and sorting materials, and also recognizing old and new inventions. It's going to be super fun, but I have been cutting material cards, laminating them, and then cutting them again for the past 3 days and finally finished today in time for the girls to do a run through before the real thing on Monday and Tuesday. It's been a great day and week, but I am just drained!!!
Also at school today, after working on cutting laminated cards and a short meeting with Kristin (our goto person here), I walk into the 2nd class a little late and the girls start clapping for me. I had no idea what was going on and they all ran up and crowded around me. Some of the girls had gotten together to make a little book of drawings and pictures for me, along with a little flower ring and flower earrings from two of the girls.. It was the sweetest thing and absolutely made my day! They are SO sweet!!

So after school we had plans to just go downtown and hang out, in a free wifi spot of course, but it was  raining right after school so I just decided to walk on home and take a nap.. Now my friends, this is the FIRST nap I have taken since I've been here and it was AMAZING!! I feel like I was out forever, but only about 45 minutes. So yes I am now fully refreshed and a little rested ready to tackle on Friday and the weekend..
Speaking of the weekend.. it's also supposed to rain in Barcelona all weekend. :(
We have made plans to travel to a town right outside of Barcelona called Sitges which has a beautiful, non tourist, beach!!! So we are super pumped and just hoping and praying for good weather!!

That is about all for now. I'm still loving it here, but the more the days pass by, I keep thinking about getting home to see my family and friends.. and of course graduate!!! It was funny, today at lunch a few of us were talking about who was picking us up at the airport.. I hope all my family gets to come, because our flight won't get into Nashville until 10:20pm, but we were thinking about it and saying how we were all going to just throw our stuff down, run, and hug our family and friends as we cry.. just like on the movies! So yes we are all kind of getting excited to get home, but still love it here and am enjoying every minute of it. We only have 12 more days until we leave for the airport to come home!!

Hope all is well in the states!!
Love you all!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

St. Jorid's Day


I am writing this today on Wednesday, but I am talking all about yesterday, which was Tuesday, April 23. Yesterday was a big celebration for the people in Barcelona. St Jordi's (George's (english) Day! This celebration is very similar to our Valentine's Day but less over rated. To be short and sweet, it's about a Saint who came to save a Princess from a dragon and saved a whole village from this dragon. (youtube/google it). It was such a fun day at school celebrating. It is tradition for the guys on this day to give a rose to the girls and the girls to give the guys a book. 
I woke up to Jordi (the dad) giving me a rose and in return I had a book to give Jordi (the little boy). It was The Cat in the Hat and he loved it. The day at school was full of activities and celebration of this holiday. Snacks (very good sweets) were sold on the playground during break time and my teacher was oh so sweet to buy me a cookie made of a rose, of course after I had a yummy brownie with powdered sugar. After lunch, each of my two English classes performed a small skit of the story of St. Jordi.. It was the cutest thing. The primary director also surprised us with candy gummy roses for the teachers, which was a very nice gift from the school. 

After school, it is very popular to go and just walk downtown on the streets.. especially Las Rambla.. One of the most popular streets. Imagine a Ham Days like in Lebanon x10. It was super crowded full of booths of roses and books for sale. It was super fun though and very interesting to see how they celebrate this day here in Barcelona. 

Another highlight of yesterday was the Barca played (soccer folks). The parents of Jordi and Ane's sister as well as brother in law came over to celebrate both St. Jordi's Day and the game of course. We had a great dinner, in which we ate in the living room while watching the game.. I love it.. Barca futbol to them is like UK basketball to me... it's like a religion. But anyways, we had Spanish omelets and lots of bread and snack food for dinner. The spanish omelet is eggs and potatoes and it was delicious!!! Unfortunately Barca lost, but it was very fun to sit and hang out with the family that night. 

I love it here in Barcelona and can't believe two weeks from today we will be on a plane to come home. Yes I miss everyone at home, but yes I could also stay in Barcelona forever! It's amazing guys!

Love to all.. Happy Wednesday!! :)