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!! :)

Weekend trip to Rome!!

First of all.. get ready..this may be a long post because I have SO much to tell you!!!

So our flight was to leave was at 6:20am Friday morning. Kenzie and I had found a very nice cab driver that offered to pick us up and take us to the airport at 4 in the morning.. cabs do not normally run until 6. So for this we were oh so grateful! With that being said, we had a sleepover!!! Kenzie stayed with me because I live closer to the school and that was easier for the cab driver. That night we had a yet another American craving.. guess what it was... Domino's pizza.. So yes we googled the closest Domino's to where we live and then were on our way. We took a metro to what we thought was the correct place, but not quite. We ended up having to ask inside a pharmacy..which the guy working was so super nice and looked up the address and then showed us exactly where to go on a map. So after he said we had to walk 12 blocks.. we were then on our way and determined to find this place. Well 10 blocks later, we found it!!! The pizza wasn't like it is in Kentucky, but it was still VERY good and well worth the walk.  So we get back to the house, get packed, and shower, and then catch a few hours of sleep. We wake up around 3:15am to get ready and catch the cab. Remember, I live like 3 minutes from the school so we left at like 10 till 4. Rafi (the cab driver) is there waiting for us and sees us walking from a distance, waving us down to make sure we see him. It was the funniest thing! So we are now on our way to the airport...So exciting! 

We made it, got checked in, through security, and then looking for some breakfast. We had this yummy crescent with chocolate and then found our way to our gate. About an hour and a half later we finally board the plane. You better believe I slept almost the entire trip. From the airport in Rome we took a bus to Rome City Center which was supposed to be about 30-45 minutes from the airport.. but was over an hour. It was a miserable bus ride and this lady was speaking Spanish the entire time so loud that I can still hear her now.. So we get to the city center and I did enough research to know that we were to take the metro to stop to Cipro which was where the Vatican Museum. So we navigate our way through the metro..which was SO crowded and where we met some guys that were studying abroad in Madrid from Boston. It's always so refreshing to hear American voices. When we get off at Cipro we then have no idea of where to go, so we try to just walk to figure it out. We made our way to the Vatican Museum, but had a specific meeting spot for our tour which started at 11:45. We found our way to the address of where this meeting spot was, but it was a building under construction and nobody was there at all.. So we began to wonder and worry a little as it was already about 11:15 and they suggest to get to the tour early. So we walk back down the other way and end up going in another tour company place to ask. The lady here was SUPER nice and actually walked us down back to the building where we were at earlier and thankfully there was someone on the street who worked with the company and she said that the tour guide was not there yet and to wait a few minutes. So that is what we did. At first, we were a little worried about this tour and if it was legit, but it turned out to be a great tour and I learned SO much! There was only a total of 5 people in our group, so it was great and our tour guide was very interesting and fun! I cannot even begin to explain everything that we saw. It was all so incredible and amazing! Here's what we saw..

- Gallery of the maps- Gian Lorenzo Bernini
- Map Gallery- Michelangelo Buonarroti
- Michelangelo Last Judgement- Museum Pio Clementino
- Pinecone courtyard- Raffaelo
- San Peter Square- Sistine Chapel
- Spiral Staircase- St. Peters Basilica
- Tapestries Gallery- Vatican

Unfortunately we were not able to take pictures inside of the Sistine Chapel, but it was still amazing and an image that will remain in my mind forever. It was just simply amazing! So after visiting the Sistine Chapel we then arrived at St. Peter's Basilica.. this too was just simply amazing x10. It was massive and so so beautiful as well as much much history of course. 

After the tour we went to get some lunch. I won't go into details, but let's just say we definitely fell for being tourists. The waiter was super nice, however we definitely fell for his game. He was speaking to us in Italian knowing we didn't understand and would keep offering us new things to try. We ended up ordering some kind of appetizer with tomatoes, salad, and cheese.. Kenzie and I both got an order without even knowing.. Also when we thought we were asking for our checks, he really asked if we wanted dessert, so here comes two more desserts. Needless to say the bill was a bit high...a lot high..but hey we learned our lesson to never fall for that again. When we got our checks, we were vert surprised, but payed and snuck out because our waiter kept coming back to our table to ask for a tip.. do not tip in Italy!!

We then encountered our next conflict...finding our hostel. We really had no idea where the hostel was and needed wifi to get a connection to our email to look for the address. The next 2 or so hours was the worst part of the wknd... We were desperate and asking literally almost every single person or store we came in contact with. No one would help us and I feel like being kind of rude.. but hey we're Americans, I'm sure they get enough of people being lost and asking questions every day... so we finally just walked into an internet place that charged 50cents for like 5 minutes of internet use and then walked to just sit down right in the Termini station (huge train station) and spread out our huge map to look for the street name. Well of course we were just 1 street away the entire time.. We walked down the street, found the sign, and was so relieved, after almost just giving up! It was the greatest feeling.. to know that we actually figured it out on our own.. I may be over dramatic.. but this part was scary.. seriously! So yes we now are checked into the hostel and of course do not want to go out anywhere else with the chance of being lost. We meet one of our roommates... turns out she's from Canada and she is traveling for a month on her own.. crazy I know.. But she was very nice and gave us some tips of things to do that were close by. So we took a small nap and then went right across the street for some yummy pasta and drinks! The hostel had a bar on the main floor and that is where we spent our Friday night drinking (Italian beer is gross) and dancing (yes we taught some Italians how to Wobble). So Friday night was great. We then got up early Saturday morning to see everything we could. We bought tickets for a city bust tour that was hop on hop off. The first stop was The Coliseum and of course we got off. Of course we had to take a tour of this incredible place which included three different monuments to view.. The Coliseum, Palantine Hill, and The Roman Forum. After the tour and learning more than my head could take in.. we went to this cute little cafe for lunch where I ordered an entire pizza and of course Coca Cola! I didn't eat the whole thing, but we were starving and gulped down some food. After lunch we then got back on the tour bus and found our way to The Spanish Steps and The Trevi Fountain..which was amazing and of course, so beautiful! We got gellato, once again which was muy bien! We then found our way back to the hostel and took another small nap, as we were exhausted!! After our naps we found yet another cute little cafe for dinner where I ate spaghetti. We then went to hang out at the bar for a little bit and then back upstairs to go to bed. 

Sunday... our last day in Rome.. Let me tell you.. We walked and walked and walked!!! We walked all day and I swear we were so so close to seeing the Pope.. We supposedly comes out on Sundays to say hello and give a blessing, well we sure saw the crowd but didn't want to think about getting jumbled up in the mess.. We walked back toward that way about an hour later and saw people with flags of the Pope, so we were pretty sure we had missed him. We came across a lot of little shops/markets on the streets where we got a few things for ourselves and family/friends. It was a beautiful day, but SO tiring and so much walking. So we made it back to the airport, which was SUPER crowded and then our flight left around 8:40 arriving back in Barcelona around 10pm. It took us forever to get back to our houses because of trains and metros. But thank goodness we made it and all got a good night's sleep. 

Rome was simply incredible and it's so hard to explain.. I'm sorry I didn't go in much detail, but I hope you can tell from my pictures and actions that it was Amazing! Definitely a place everyone should visit once in their lives.!

Sorry this took me so long to post.. it's been very busy in Barcelona and I can't wait for you to hear about my next post!! 

Love to all!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Another great day!

Today at school was another great day! As soon as I walked to the playground where the girls were, they all ran up to me.. Miss Abby, Miss Abby you changed your hair. I wore my hair semi straight today just because I wanted something different.. They all thought it was the coolest thing, calling me beautiful and asking how I did it. They are SO sweet!

For lunch, we went out to The Chocolate Box where we got sandwiches and a small pizza, along with dessert of course. I think we have found our favorite place to eat for lunch closest to the school... very very good and reasonably priced!
So I had the 5th grade boys for Art today. Let me just say this.. I was praying all day for them to behave well and not go crazy and hit and scream at each other.. and well it must have worked, because they were angels... well not quite.. but they were MUCH more well behaved than last week. We were painting frames for their moms for Mother's Day which is coming up and we were listening to music while they were working, so it went quite smoothly. I was asked by two students if I danced and I said of course! They then began to ask about The Harlem Shake and the Gangnam Style.. I also started singing a Kelly Clarkson song that came on and they just thought it was the funniest thing. I realy connected well with the boys today and it was a fun class.

After school, Kenzie, Tayler, and me went to the port! It was beautiful and we managed to find the correct metro to get there to prevent from walking so far. We also took a 40 minute boat ride where we were given a coupon for a free drink during the ride. You better believe we took advantage of this and each had a cup of Sangria! This boat ride was VERY relaxing and exactly what all three of us needed. We then followed to get some ice cream (or gelatto) down Las Ramblas. Very very good ice cream!!

I am home now and got to Skype my mom  and dad again for a few minutes. Of course she was busy.. They were finishing up the Prom tent at MCHS. I'm so sad I'm not going to be there to see all of the madness, but I cannot wait to see my beautiful little sister in her gorgeous dress!!! :)

One more day of school for this week and then I'm off to Rome!!!! I'm so excited and we just booked a tour that visits the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican, and lots more! We are SO excited and I can't wait to share it all with you!!!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Happy Tuesday!!

Today was wonderful!!

School was great...get this. I had over a 3 hour break!!! From 11 until after lunch (2:45) I was free!!! That does NOT happen in Kentucky schools! I thought it would go by so slow, but it didn't at all. I graded some papers and looked up information for our ROME trip this weekend!!! Today was a very easy day at school! I love every day at Santa Isabel! It's a great school, very different than in Kentucky, but I still love it and the girls I teach are just the sweetest. My teacher is wonderful as well as all of the other teachers at the school.

We went out for lunch today.. called Los Tomas... and it was good. They are famous for their potatoes. I had chicken, potatoes, and eggs, with bread of course. It was really good..but when it was time to pay.. we felt like complete idiots. The workers there either a) didn't understand or speak any English or b) were just annoyed with us American teachers coming into their restaurant. One of the two..but it was still a good place to eat.

After school, Kenzie, Kelsey, Tayler, and me once again ventured downtown. We now have the metro down pat and know exactly where we are going and how to get back.. which is a plus! We went to a HUGE store called Corte English which is like a Macy's x 10! It was a huge store with 6+ levels and had everything you could think of. We then went across the street to H&M where all four of us found some great deals!! Shopping therapy...gotta love it!

So I got home to the kids eating their dinner. Naroa immediately gave me a hug and was smiling ear to ear. I love both Jordi and Naroa so much.. they are so cute and fun to be around. I helped Jordi with his spelling words and then we played some English games on the computer and he read some English stories to me.. He is very good at speaking English.

Jordi(the dad) then cooked dinner for me. He made homemade french fries (which I'm pretty sure my sweet sweet mama told him was one of my favorites) ;) and we also had some kind of beef. I'm not sure of what it was, but it was muy bien! (very good)!

Okay.. now for the highlight of the day!!
In the middle of all of that I was chatting with my mom on Skype. She said she didn't have service and had to talk fast. Before I know it she is video calling me and when I accept.. there I see my mom, and two of my aunts (Denise and Benita) I was so surprised and so so happy to see them.. as they were to see me too :) I then got another call later to find another one of my aunts (Karen) AND my grandpa!!! It was such a sweet moment for my grandpa talking to him over a computer from Spain! Today has been wonderful and that was just the icing on the cake!!!

I am now getting ready for bed until tomorrow!! Wish me luck.. I have the 5th grade boys tomorrow for Art!!!

Prayers to all those in Boston AND to my wonderful grandma who is having a surgery as I speak this afternoon in Kentucky!! Sending my prayers that way!

Love you ALL!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Parc Guell and A Beautiful Sunday in Barcelona!

So Saturday was a fun day! 
We went to Parc Guell...which is a large garden with amazing architecture. It was built between 1900-1914 by Antoni Gaudi (a very famous architect from Barcelona), and was later made into a park in 1922. It was absolutely beautiful and I could have spent all day there! It was path after path with beautiful scenery and flowers that kept getting higher and higher. We made it to the very top where we found a cross on a huge stone that looked over all of Barcelona! It was breathtaking..those are the only words to describe it!! Throughout the park there were lots of people playing music and they were very good. We came across a band with about 7 players (Jamaican, I think) and they were awesome. They music was so awesome that we had to buy their cd...Not to mention some of the players were pretty good lookin'!! After leaving the park we went to a small cafe where we split a pitcher of Sangria which was muy beuno!

We then had to make it back quickly in order to be with our families. One of my children had a tennis match and I promised to go watch it.. We had to make our way back to the metro..which is very confusing... and wait, wait, and wait for the next subway. At first we were at the wrong stop, but thank goodness we noticed and ran over to the next really fast, but still missing the current train. Funny thing...we heard and saw another train coming, but little did we was not stopping. Kelsey, Tayler, and I all three leaned back as the train flew by...we didn't really know what to think!!! So we finally got on our stop and then ran back to our apartments. We thankfully both made it in time to leave with our families. 
We went to a club they are members of where Jordi had a tennis match. It was very nice and good to stay out in the sun. It is so beautiful in Barcelona and definitely something I can get used to. So Naroa and I played tennis on our own on a separate court.. She is so so cute and I think..I hope she really enjoys me being around and playing with her. 
We then met up again that night to go girls! The first place we went was of course a free wifi our first choice was Starbucks.. We were waiting on Kelsey to meet us downtown and after waiting for about an hour, found out she was lost....So we finally connected to wifi with her and she was at the Apple store...that seems to be our central spot.. easy to find, and free wifi!!! We found her and were all a little freaked out.. We saw a McDonald's and immediately said yes yes McDonald's it is.. we needed some American in our lives. I will say this... People in Barcelona LOVE McDonalds... it was packed!!...and also very very good for us, but very expensive!
We then just walked down Las Ramblas (a very famous street for lots of bars, with young people, and lots of pickpockets for us tourists, especially from America! So we were literally walking down the street with death grips on our purses... Oh I forgot to mention this.. On the way to meet Kelsey we had two girls stop us trying to get us to come to their store having a big sale on bras.. 5 euros each.. which is a great deal..They were begging us, so we told them we had to go get our friend and then we would be back. And you better believe we did.. We all got 1 or more and love them!!!! 
We found the sea and then sat down to have a pitcher of Sangria. We walked back to the fountains (a central point) and then found a cab to take us back to our apartments.. we didn't want to fool with trying to find the right metro. We got dropped off and of course I couldn't get my key to work at the apartment.. I was almost to tears, but it finally budged and you better believe I ran in.. I was exhausted! But I'm not the only one.. Tayler has trouble getting her key to work also. Ha :)

I slept so good that night and got to sleep in a little bit before church on Sunday! On the way, Jordi (the dad) said he had a surprise for me.. Turns out the church we were going to was an ENGLISH MASS! I was so happy and loved every minute of mass. Although I caught myself fast.. Over here in Barcelona, they have yet to convert to the new way of saying mass.. you Catholics know what I'm talking about.. so yes, I was following along with that exception. Also, it was so great.. they played one of my grandma's (Carlita) favorite songs and I was singing it so proudly...well softly so no one could hear...but it was very VERY she was there with me! Ahhhh, I loved it!!!

So after church we went back to their club where Jordi and Naroa had a swimming party. It was so nice.. we dropped them off to swim and we went to sit up on the terrace where Jordi surprised me again with a Coke!!! Ha, it was exactly what I needed! So we sat up there for a while and I met some of Jordi's friends. It was very nice and relaxing sitting in the beautiful Barcelona sun!

Kenzie and I met up after we got home and went back downtown and wanted to walk to the beach. It was very hot and we walked all day. The beach was so pretty, but very crowded and definitely a tourist spot. We had another pitched of Sangria and tried to relax while enjoying, yet again, the Barcelona sun!! 

We then walked very far back to the fountains to get on the metro. We finally made it to the right one and it was smooth sailing from there. I came home and a Barca game was on. Susana and Oscar were over and Naroa was in a fairy costume with Jordi in his Barca jersey... it was so cute!!! We had dinner.. Jordi cooked peas (my favorite)  and ham for me.. it was very good!!!

I then went to bed somewhat early because that beautiful Barcelona sun had gotten to me.. I was exhausted!!!

I love it here and can't believe it has already been a week! 
We venture off to Rome this weekend and I am beyond excited!!!!

Sending love all the way to Kentucky!!!!! 

First Weekend!

Yes I am a little behind and have A LOT to catch you up on.. so here goes.

Friday, April 12
School was great! I could totally get used to having short breaks throughout the day and the nice long 1 hour and 15 minute lunch break every day! For lunch we found a little bar restaurant place that 1) looked nice 2) they had Coke! 3) they had English menus and 4) their fries were the best! I got a hamburger and french fries..the hamburger was okay, just not what I am used to. We then went across the street to The Chocolate Box where they had the most amazing strawberry cheesecake!
After school I came back home with Jordi who had a friend over. Naora was at a friend's house playing. I Skyped my mom and dad and they also got to talk to Jordi (the dad) and Jordi (the little boy), and later on Ane (the mom). It was great and I'm so happy to have a great host family that feels like my own.
Ane was going to the airport to get her boarding pass for her flight that leaves in the morning. She's going to Honduras for 15 days for a work conference. She wanted to go ahead and get checked in to save time early Saturday morning before leaving out. I went with her and when we got there, the American Airlines counter was closed..She said it was a wasted trip, but we still ad a great time talking.. she told me many stories about her experience flying and dealing with American people in Miami. She's so funny and very nice!
We then went to pick up Naora at her friends house where I met the parents and children.. they were very nice too and spoke a little English..which is always comforting. We then went back home where Ane's sister, Susana, and her husband, Oscar, who speaks English very well were here along with another friend. I had been having problems with my phone connecting to wifi at the apartment, even though my laptop connects so Oscar..being a tech super smart person, wanted to get to the bottom of it and figure out why it wouldn't connect. He seriously was working with it for like 2 hours and called some different people to try to get it to work.. Unfortunately he could not figure it out, and still says that he's not finished trying. I told him that it's really not a big deal, it just doesn't make sense at all of why it will not work.
So we then got the kids to bed and talked a little and then had dinner. It was penne pasta and was SO good!!! We had a great dinner and talked about lots of things. Somehow The Harlem Shake got brought up and Jordi brought out his computer to show everyone The Harlem Shake that we made at Easter. It was so funny and we watched it like 5 times laughing harder and harder each time. Everything was great! We were talking and they were telling me funny stories about each other. It was a great night...we stayed up and talked until about 2 in the morning.

Saturday, April 13
Ane had to leave early in the morning to catch her flight for Honduras. Jordi took her and I slept in a little. Kenzie, Kelsey, Tayler, and me had plans to go venture around Barcelona and see an attraction today at 8:45. I got up to shower and get ready and the little boy (Jordi) had already woken up and was watching cartoons in the living room.
When we met we decided to go see Parc Guell for the day.. Kelsey and I both had to be back by 3:30 to do things with our families....

Really fast.. Today is now Monday, April 15 and on Monday's I don't have to be at school until 9:45, which is great. But I am about to leave so I will catch you up on the rest of Saturday and Sunday later on today or tonight. I'm sure you have seen some of my pictures on Facebook.. and yes I am having a great time!!

Have a great day and I will be back to finish soon! :)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

It's already Friday...almost!

Well it is 12:00 am and I cannot believe tomorrow is already Friday. Even though, when I think about my day and all that I did, it seems very long, but the days go by really fast..especially while at school.

I got to teach in both Science classes today at school to the 2nd grade girls. We were learning about factories and the service industry. The students loved it and were sitting there staring at me listening to my pronunciation of different words. I am also teaching again tomorrow in Science!

This morning and all day the girls were amazed and so excited to hear me speak Spanish. By no means do I know a lot, but I would say buenos dias, hola, por favor, muy bonita, etc and they just thought it was the funniest thing and would keep asking me to say different phrases just so they can hear it and just giggle. The are precious and I literally feel like a movie star every time they see me.. Miss Abby, Miss Abby, Miss Abby! I love it! Toward the end of the day I got to introduce Big Red to them and explained that it is the mascot of where I go to school. I gave the class the "Big Red Book" that talks about all the different places around WKU and a little stuffed animal of Big Red! They loved it and asked so many questions after I read the book to them.

For lunch today we went right outside the school to a pasts place, which was pretty good. I was able to drink a Coke, which was fabulous! Everyone is very nice and immediately knows that we are Americans. Whether we're at the supermarket, a restaurant, or on the street everyone is very helpful.. for the most part, which is very good. For example we went out to walk around downtown more tonight and we were totally lost and could not find the correct metro to get on to go back to our apartments. We asked 3 different people of where to go and to point us in the right direction. Luckily, they spoke English, thought we were nuts, and we were on our way. Needless to say, we didn't make it to the metro they were explaining to us, but we finally just got a taxi to bring us home, after we found out the metro closes at 10pm anyways....Lesson learned. While downtown, we also found a massive store...el cortez ingles....which apparently has lots of American things, including hair straighteners, which I need. I'm finally home and about to go to bed!

But before, I also stayed after school to watch Jordi practice soccer.. he was very good and I enjoyed it very much...Not to mention his coaches.. jk, I think they were a little too young.

But for now, it's been another great day and I can't wait until tomorrow and the days to come. We have plans this weekend to just stay in Barcelona to travel around and take tours. I am finally almost adjusted from the time change and feel right at home. My family is absolutely wonderful and fun, which is a plus!

Buenas Noches!!! Happy Friday to those in America!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

First day at the school....and some adventure!

Today was perfecto! Even though I am still very tired, the day went by really fast and I absolutely loved the school. 
I woke up around 7:30 not really knowing where I was, as if I were still in a dream, but yes I am in Barcelona, and am loving it!!
I got to school in the playground area, where all of the kids are lined up by class. I look around and all I see are kids, everywhere. I said goodbye to little Jordi and then was in search of my class of girls. I was walking around and then I see Kenzie, thank goodness. I see my teacher and are both very excited to start my first day. All of the little girls are staring at me and when I look at them and smile, they all just laugh. They were so cute, trying to talk to me in English. 

The day went by really fast. In the morning there was a class of English and then PE with the same group of girls. We then had a 30 minute break where we went to the teacher's lounge and I had to drink a coke to get me going for the day. After that break, I had another class of girls for English and Science.  Both of the girls classes were so sweet and adorable. They were all so giddy and excited for me to be there hugging all over me and asking lots of questions. 

We then had another short break while the kids were in a different class. My teacher, Mrs Olinkha, took me out around the school to show me little shops and mostly places to eat. She showed me a supermarket also, which I went to after school. Here's the best part about today, well one of them: Our lunch was 1 hour and 15 mins long!! It was amazing. I could take my time to eat and socialize with others and then still had time to walk around and get familiar with the school. We went to see the pool, gym, and basketball court downstairs. After our awesome long, much needed lunch break, I was in for a surprise. We then had a class of 5th grade boys teaching art. I will just say that I am so so so thankful and glad that we only have this group once a week. I know they are boys and in the 5th grade, but goodness were they wild. It was insane. There was lots of disrespect towards the teacher and to each other. It was just not the normal behavior I am used to. After that art class, I was done for the day,,,woo hooo, I got out 30 mins early.. that only happens on Wednesdays. 

So I came back to the apartment trying to get my phone wifi situation scared away..long story, not worth talking about, bottom line, my wifi doesn't work at the apartment of my phone. No bueno. But Kenzie and I then decided to go walk around downtown and I wanted to find the Apple store to see if there was anything I could do with my phone. So here we go, we meet in front of the school and then proceed to the metro. This was my first time on the metro and it was a bit scary. Thank goodness it wasn't too busy. 4 stops later, we arrived downtown and we just started walking! We took pictures and were just taking in the beautiful city around us. We then finally came across the  Apple store and was so excited. Here's the funny thing: I wasn't sure if they would have a worker who spoke English, so of course I translated a paragraph explaining my problem from Google translate to give to a worker to try and understand me. Well the first guy we went up to to help us spoke English.. thank goodness!!!! He told me that he doesn't know why it's not connecting, because right there in the store it connected to their wifi with no problem. It's just crazy and a mystery of why my phone is deciding not to work. 

So we then start to head back toward our homes and we wanted to stop and get a glass of wine. We stopped at this nice little cafe where Kenzie ordered a nice sweet white wine for me, which was good... and I don't drink wine. We witnessed an argument between the management and a customer after the customer dropped and broke his glass, and then was kicked out of the cafe. Even though they were speaking in Spanish, we knew it was getting heated. 

We started heading back and of course we begin to get lost, not recognizing any of the buildings. We continue walking for about 20 minutes and then finally decide to just get a cab, because it was already getting late and we told our families we would be home. We got back, thank goodness and then walked back to our separate apartments. When I got in, Jordi (the little boy) met me at the door to come watch the Barca game with him. (soccer). He was so excited. Ane cooked me chicken, which was very good with cream also, which from what I understand was just a blend of lots of vegetables.. it was very good! I've take a shower for the night and then watched the rest of the Barca soccer game... and THEY WON!!! It was great, and it's so cute to see how big of a fan Jordi is. 

So I am now laying in bed ready to go to sleep. It is 11:34 pm here and the morning will be here soon. 
I'm excited for tomorrow and think I am slowly but surely getting adjusted to the time change and being here. 

Have a wonderful day/night!!
Much love from Barcelona!!! :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 1 = success

It is currently 12:00 am here and I am absolutely exhausted. I just had a yummy dinner: salad and hamburgers!! Not to mention for lunch, I was very proud of myself. I tried some new food of which I do not remember what it was called, but it was good. I had a salad made of potatoes, peas, carrots, mixed in mayonnaise and some kind of dried ham sandwich.

We then rode around downtown Barcelona where there were some beautiful buildings, lots of shops, and tons of people. The streets were so busy with people, cars, and motorcycles. The driving down here is crazy.. I would wreck for sure!

I then came back to the house and took a much needed short nap before heading to our orientation and to meet the children! I met Naora at the school, but Jordi had futbol practice. We then had our orientation about the school and important stuff to know. After, I cam back to the house and finally got to meet the little boy, Jordi. He met me at the door with open arms and he is so adorable! They both are and they talked me into giving their presents because I accidentally forgot to hide them in the process of unpacking. They both loved their gifts.

I can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store.
Off to bed for now for some much needed sleep!

I'm here!!!!

Hola from Espana!!!
I made it all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to Barcelona!! I'll tell ya, I feel like I'm in a dream. I'll just give you the run down of my day.

We (Mom, Dad, Anna, and Me) left the house in Lebanon this morning around 8:30 after I was doing some last minute stuffing into my suitcase and duffel bag. I got one last greasy unhealthy breakfast meal from McDonald's along with a large drink and we were on our way to Bowling Green to meet Daily. Both of my sisters are too sweet.. going along to send me off, taking off from work, and using an unexcused absence. But we were running super late, so we got to the house in Bowling Green, had a restroom break, and piled back in the car. Daily, miss world traveler herself, had a huge bag FULL of little things for me that she knew I would not get by without while abroad. Looking at the bag, I thought goodness there is no space for any of this. So here we go again, packing and unpacking both my suitcase, carry on, laptop bag, and purse. She's so sweet and thoughtful and knew the exact little snacks to help me get through the next month.. chips ahoy cookies, sour gummy worms, peanut butter crackers, nutella, along with a nice magazine, and a sweet sweet card that of course I teared up reading.
So as I am trying to fit all of these snacks and what not into my carry on, mom is zooming to Nashville because we are of course running late. We get there, park, and get me checked in. The airport was a little CRAZY. There had just been a chess championship with over 5300 kids and also a cheerleading competition, so you could imagine....chaos. So then it is time for goodbyes so I can get in this incredibly long line. We take pictures of course and I call for a group hug.. well of course here come the tears, but I somehow managed to hold it together and not get too crazy. Mom and dad walk me to my line as if they were going to go all the way through with me, but then venture off. I'm standing there literally shaking in my feet, because I was terrified, nervous, and sad all mixed into one. I look over and there is Mom, Dad, Daily, and Anna still standing there waiting on me to be out of sight before they leave. We keep waving back and forth until I finally moved through the line. I will tell you this, I also looked like a complete idiot, because here I am standing here with a huge duffel bag, my laptop bag which is stuffed, and my purse. I am clearly struggling to keep it all together and carry it at the same time. (Lesson learned for sure about that one!) Funny part is: mom and Daily both told me I shouldn't take all that, ha ooops, but it's worked, I got here all in one piece.

Kenzie and I get Auntie Anne's pretzels in the airport before the flight.. another greasy, yet scrumptious American food. We begin to board the plane and take off. This flight wasn't too bad at all. We flew straight to New York for our ned straight flight to Barcelona!! We got to NY with just enough time to charge my phone a little and get a drink. Before I knew it, we were boarding again, but this time for good. All the way to Barcelona... 7 hours! This plane was HUGE and I was a little nervous! The flight was okay, except I only got about an hour of sleep the whole way...due to being uncomfortable, crying babies, and they kept serving us food, which I'm not complaining about. So we arrive in Barcelona at 6:30am and go straight to get our baggage. From the minute we stepped off the plane we were all getting some stares, which was quite funny. Our wonderful host contact, Kristen, meets us and takes us to our bus, which took us about 30 minutes away to the school to meet our families! Imagine this... 17 WKU students walking down the BUSY streets of Barcelona with loads of suitcases not knowing where or what the heck we were doing. It was quite entertaining.. and not to mention dangerous.. the people drive crazy over here!

So I am now literally 3 minutes away from the school with my wonderful host family, Jordi and Ane in their very nice apartment. I am all unpacked, showered, and getting settled. Ane and I are about to go out and run some errands around town and show me around a little. We have an orientation tonight at the school where we will get lots of great info and I will get to meet the two kids of Jordi and Ane's. They are Jordi (7) and Naora (5).

I absolutely love it here already and am super excited for the next 4 weeks!!! My family is SO welcoming and wonderful, telling me to just make myself at home!

I still just can't believe how unbelievably blessed I am to be here and have this opportunity!

Well.. you will here from me soon..I'm going to explore Barcelona!!!!

ps (that's definitely one thing I need to improve spanish speaking skills) :))

Have a very happy and blessed day!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting a little anxious..

Well it is the night before I fly out, and well I have a feeling I'm not going to be sleeping a wink. I have had an incredible past week at home spending it with my loved ones. Words cannot describe how blessed I am to be given this opportunity. To all of the people who have helped me get this far, THANK YOU! My mom and dad... could not have asked for any two better people to raise me and teach me right from wrong. Love you both and I will miss you so so much. To my older sister, Daily, I'm following in your footsteps girl.. I have one GREAT role model to look up to. I love you and will miss you tons!!! And little miss Anna, girl you just keep growing up and before I know it, you'll be in college too. Keep mom and dad sane for me. Love you chick!
To all my family and friends, thanks SO much for the prayers and blessings!!! Do not worry, I will keep you ALL posted with LOTS of pictures and updates. I cannot wait for this experience and you better believe I am going to take in EVERY single moment while I'm abroad!!!

Love you all! :))

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

6 More Days!

Well I've finally set up my blog for while I'm in Spain! I leave in just 6 short's so hard to believe. I have yet to start packing..ooops! I am so excited for this adventure and hope you enjoy reading my posts while in Barcelona!! :)