April 22

I woke up at 11:00 and threw in a load of laundry. Everyone had the same idea, but I was the second one to the washing machines that morning so I didn’t have to wait. While I was waiting on my laundry, I started to collect all of my things together to pack up. I couldn’t believe it was already time to leave Valencia.

At 1:30 everyone headed down to the cafeteria for our last lunch in the dorms. We had spaghetti carbonara that I cut pieces of ham into and made a sandwich out of. The olive oil I doused over it completed my masterpiece. After lunch, I threw in another load of laundry. It was rainy and overcast but Diego and I decided to go out in Valencia for a while to pick up some souvenirs and to get one last big walk around the city.

We went to the Valencia Soccer store and Corte Ingles. In between our destinations, we took the long way and we cut through Plaza de Ayuntamiento, Plaza de la Reina and Plaza de la Virgen. They are all so great, it was hard to walk through and think that they wouldn’t be a daily routine to see them anymore.

After we got back to the dorm, I took a shower and hung out with everyone on the hall up until dinnertime. For dinner we had an excellent meal; we had chicken strips and fries (I made a sandwich), bacon and mushroom pizza and an orange soda. It was definitely the best last meal at the Rector Peset that I could ask for.

After dinner, we hung out in the dorm until about 11:30. We headed to O’Haras (just like our first night in Valencia) and mostly just talked about how much fun we had and remembered stories from the trip. I went with Ben, Brittany, and Caroline to Doner Kebab to get my last fill for the trip. I had a piece of chicken pizza with hot sauce. It was as good as ever. After we finished our pizza and said goodbye to the owners of Doner, we headed back to O’Haras. We stayed there for about thirty minutes longer before we headed to the discotheque Mya.

Mya has a really cool location, in a corner of the City of Arts and Sciences looking out at the reflection pool that the Artic Monkey’s performed at earlier in the year. The walls were white but the lighting projected a light pink color on the walls. If you add in the all white dress theme, it looked exactly like a Miami nightclub. We got there at around 2:40 and were the first ones on the dance floor. The next thing I noticed, the dance floor was packed. The club was really cool, the music was great and the people I was with were awesome. It was a great way to say goodbye to Valencia.

We all decided to leave just before 5:00. We were exhausted and had to be in the lobby all ready to leave for Madrid at 11:00. We had all three of our taxis stop at La Lonja. Some of the girls were hungry so we found some pizza and headed back to the dorm. As I went to bed, I couldn’t help but think about how great this semester had been.

**Internet is really slow and I can't upload images but I will get pictures up soon.

April 21

I did the same method I did the day before to study when I woke up. Study in the study room, review at breakfast and review on the way to class worked well. My Business exam went well and I am anxious to get my grade back. Virginia has been a great teacher, and the actual class content has been helpful and relevant to my major.

I finished the test about thirty minutes so I had two and a half hours to review before my Composition exam started. I went down to the cafeteria at school with Diego and Kristen. I normally don’t like studying in groups in Athens, but Spanish has been helpful because a lot of times if you don’t know something like the meaning of the word, they can help and vice versa. This test was difficult to prepare for because the exam was cumulative and I had about 10 different chapters to look over.

The exam was pretty hard, it was seventy multiple-choice questions and we had to write a letter about a recent trip. I talked about my parents coming and I had more than enough to write about. After I finished, it didn’t hit me that I was done with my spring semester of my junior year. The walk back was beautiful, another perfect blue-sky day. For lunch we had steak and fries that I made a sandwich out of. They have been putting the ketchup out from behind the counter so now we can take as much as we want. Four packets are always better than two.

After lunch Diego, Taylor, Scott and I went to a public park over by the Torres de Quart. We hung out kicking the soccer ball and two kids started playing with us. We were kicking the ball around for a while when an old man with a cane approached me and spoke really raspy Spanish. He said that he enjoyed watching us playing soccer with the kids and he proceeded to show me team pictures when he played for Valencia back in the 1950’s; he had over ten pictures. It was really cool.

After we hung out in the park, we were near Alberto’s man pad so we called him up. We played some pro evolution soccer on playstation 2 and hung out. We left a couple hours later and walked back. It had been a great afternoon in Valencia.

We hung out in the dorm until dinner. We had curry chicken with rice, which was delicious. This is one meal that I could eat in the U.S. After dinner, we didn’t start getting ready to go out until right before 12:00. First we went to the Irish pub right outside my balcony in my room. After we finished our pints, we decided to go to El Negrito. Mary Claire and I stopped in the dorm and woke up Scott and D White who had been sleeping since dinner. They rallied and came out with us to El Negrito. We didn’t stay too long but we had a beer at some tables in the back of the restaurant. It was fun to go out with everyone; it had been a while.

We came back to the dorm and hung out in Diego’s room for a while, listening to music. I decided to go to bed just past 3:30. I couldn’t help but think about how quick this trip has gone.

April 20

I woke up at 7:00 and started reviewing my literature material. I went down to one of the study rooms and Diego and Mary Claire had beat me down by a few minutes. Not more than ten minutes later Kristen and Brittany came down. We went to breakfast around 7:45 and reviewed our study guide at breakfast. I had a café con leche and some toast. They haven’t had strawberry jam all week but I settled for a jam that is a close second in taste, apple.

We left for class around 8:15 and got to class early and got to ask Celia questions that we were unsure about. The test went well, it was four short answer (a paragraph in length) and an essay (about 300 words). I finished a few minutes before class let out and hung out in the hall until Culture started.

In Culture we had a big discussion about our papers and what we have learned. We went around and we had to tell the class if we thought we would come back to Valencia. There were a lot that said that they wanted to return after the graduate and work over here. I decided that I don’t think I could live in Europe, I would miss being in the U.S. too much. I love the culture, the language and the food and I will hopefully plenty of vacations back to Spain.

After we got back to the dorm, I hung out in my dorm before lunch. We had pasta with cheese that made a great sandwich when I doused olive oil over it. After lunch, I studied for a couple hours for Composition. I took a break and hung out on the roof for a while. The weather has been perfect.

I came back down at 6:00 about two hours later and started studying for Business. A big group of us went to dinner at the Rector. We had a cheese plate, patatas, and baked wings. They were good but they don’t really compare to the baked chicken ma makes back at home. My parents have already taken requests for my meals that I miss most: Cheeseburgers and Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches (my Dad has perfected both on the grill).

After dinner, I spent the rest of the night studying. I decided to go up to bed just pass 12:00 and wake up like I had before to review.

April 19

It was a beautiful day in Valencia, the sky was blue and the temperature was perfect. I woke up, took a shower and enjoyed a nice breakfast of café con leche and toast with apple jam. It was delicious. In Business class we had a review day. The exam is luckily not cumulative and it is as big as a test.

During my break, I used my time to finish up my culture paper. It was pretty easy to finish but I used my full two hours to read over and correct it. I really enjoyed writing the paper and thinking about all I have learned, and it has been fun asking other people in the group what they think too. In Composition class we checked our homework on prepositions that we had over the weekend. Our exam is going to be pretty difficult because it is cumulative but she did hand out a practice exam that we got to look over and review in class before we handed it back to her.

After lunch, I headed straight to lunch at the Rector Peset. It was a little hot outside and I broke a sweat walking back in pants. Lunch was chicken and fries. They had a soup that didn’t look very appetizing so I opted just to have one course. It wasn’t very satisfying, but I was full. After lunch, I started studying for my Literature final and skyped with Laura. She was in between work and class so I got the chance to talk to her for a while.

For dinner, we had tortilla and my favorite pizza bread. I was lucky enough to have the man serving give me two pieces of pizza. I spent most of the night studying; I took a break and hung out in Diego’s room right before bed. I went to bed at 12:30 and sent my alarm for 7:00 to wake up and review.

**Both pictures are from barcelona (port vuell and the cathedral of barcelona)

April 18

I woke up at about 11:00, saw that no one was up from the night before and decided to head back to sleep. The extra three hours I got when I went back to sleep was incredible and I woke up feeling great. We headed down to lunch at 2:00. More chicken and French fries, but I guess I am happy with anything besides jamon. After lunch, I sent out some emails, and got a chance to catch up with most of the family. Laura had her induction for Arch Society and President Adams was at the inauguration that Laura gave a speech to. It was pretty exciting. The Arch Society gave out superlatives to all of the members and Laura proudly received “Most likely to take over President Adams’ job before they graduate”. I laughed when I heard the news because it is so true.

I worked a little more on my final paper for culture. This paper has been pretty fun to write because it has allowed me to stop and think back about all of my experiences from this past semester. I sure have had a lot. As I have been writing it though, it has just made me more anxious to get back to the United States. Hopefully the volcano in Iceland won’t present any huge disruptions for an easy flight home.

I typed up our last assignment for Business class, a formal complaint letter. It didn’t take me too long at all and I emailed it to Virginia right before 8:00. At around 8:15 I headed down to the cafeteria to get dinner. Some of us had plans to go and eat with Celia so I just grabbed a ham and cheese croissant and some French fries to hold me off until we ate. At 9:00 Diego, Joe, Greg, Dave, Dave and I met Celia in the reception lobby and we headed to a nice tapas bar (the name is slipping me right now).

I enjoyed having dinner with Celia, Diego and I split some patatas bravas and a tapas dish with sausage and peppers. We talked about the difference between American and Spanish students, which was funny to hear a professor’s opinion on the two. She said Americans were very hard workers, which I was proud of. I was so disappointed when she explained that in the past some students have lied about family members being sick in order to have an excuse for not doing an assignment. It is true that some people will do whatever it takes to get a good grade or an extension on an assignment.

After dinner we said our good byes to Celia and I headed back to the dorm. I started reviewing a little bit of my Literature notes for my final on Tuesday. I went to bed a little bit after 12:00, very content with the happenings of my last weekend in Valencia.

**The pictures were both taken in Toledo over Easter

April 17

I woke up at about 12:30 and do what I normally do on weekends. First, I check my email because Laura always gives me an update of what went on with her meetings and stuff after I go to bed, which I love reading. Second, I check ESPN for any scores that I should know about that I might have missed. Third, I update my blog. Fourth, I find people who are awake and go to lunch. I followed my normal rountine to the “T” and headed down to lunch shortly after 2:00. Lunch was decent, I made a chicken sandwich and had some French fries. I have been really disappointed with no orange soda at meals though; I should probably find the story out behind the illusive orange soda.

The Manchester City vs. Manchester United game was being televised yesterday so Diego, Joe, Greg, Dave and I all decided to find an Irish bar to go watch the second half at after lunch. We went to Finnegan’s first but decided to move on because there were no good tables left to see the game. We ended up going to every Irish bar we could think of (5) after that and they were all closed. We ended up walking around for a good hour and a half; we decided to come back to the Rector Peset with our mission unsuccessful.

I skyped with Laura for a little bit, showered and went out again to get a drink. This time I was successful. I went to the Lounge and brought my book. I haven’t read really at all this whole week and it was good to pick back up with the story I love so much in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I finally thought McMurphy had been beat but it looks like he is coming back with a vengeance at Nurse Ratched. After a couple hours, I decided to come back to the dorm.

The group of us who went to find the soccer game at the bar plus Taylor all decided to skip the Rector Peset dinner and go to an all you can eat Chinese Buffet for 8 euros. I decided to stick to eating things that I knew would be chicken, beef or rice. I had a total of four plates of food. Chicken lo mein, fried rice, Chinese doughnuts, spring rolls, and plenty of soy sauce were only some of the highlights. Diego and I had to take three deep breaths to actually stand up from the table. It was a pretty miserable walk home, I was filled to the brim.
We got back to the dorm just after 11:00. I didn’t do too much else, I found the Hawks game streaming online and watched the first half before I fell asleep in front of my computer, gorged from the meal I just had.

April 16

I woke up around 1:00 and we started getting everyone rallied to go to the beach I knew it was going to take a while to get everyone up and going so we shot to leave after lunch. For lunch we had a chicken breast and fries. After lunch, we packed up and were on our way to the beach just a little bit past 3:00.

The weather was definitely not the typical beach weather you would expect, it was in the mid-60s and overcast but we decided it would definitely be one of our last opportunities to go so we wanted to take advantage of it. The tram was pretty full of people in their normal Friday afternoon routine.

After we got to the beach, we met up with about 6 people who had gotten to the beach before lunch. It was fun to have such a big group on the beach (around 12). It was pretty windy and cold, so I put on sweat pants. We got hungry so we split a pizza from Da Vinci’s. It hit the spot. Some played soccer against some other Spanish kids, but I just laid on my blanket and enjoyed the view, there were tons of sailboats out on the ocean and it is fun to watch them go by.

As the sun started to set, we decided to catch the tram home. It took us probably a little under to get back home and we were back at the Rector Peset just before 8:00. I had a wonderful shower and got ready to go to Mexican food. I got ready a little early though, we didn’t actually leave until about 10:00. The restaurant was good but it’s no Cinco, I had grilled chicken nachos with jalopenos, onions, and pico de gallo scattered on top. It was delicious. We all enjoyed a couple drinks and some appetizers.

We didn’t end up leaving until just after 12:00. I came back to the dorm, skyped with Laura for a little bit then decided to hit the sheets and fell asleep by 1:00. I couldn’t believe it was my last Friday in Valencia, but I loved it.