February 27

I was tired, but no where on the level of Madrid. Our bus tour left at 10:00 but I was down at the restaurant eating breakfast at around 9:15. The food was excellent. They had fresh squeezed juices, cereal, a cheese and meat tray, yogurt and obviously a lot of bread. I actually had a real cup of coffee as opposed to espresso, which was a pretty welcomed change, I love the espresso over here but the coffee was a breath of fresh air.

The tour was a four-hour tour around the city. Our tour guide was very well informed, and her Spanish was easy to listen to which allowed me to pick up a lot of cool facts about some of the buildings around Barcelona. During our tour, we stopped at Parc Güell, a huge park designed by Gaudi (the famous architect that designed many of Barcelona’s important buildings). Parc Güell was my favorite part because we had an hour to go around and explore. There were countless artists playing popular and unusual instruments, which added a new level to the experience.

After the bus tour, we had the same restaurant we had had the night before. We all ate until we could eat no more. Right after lunch, those that wanted to took a trip to Sagrada Familia. It was a pretty quick metro ride to the beautiful, uncompleted church. It is the most intricately designed church I have ever seen. On one side they have a huge scene carved of the Birth of Christ and on the other side has Christ’s Passion.

Sargrada Familia started construction in the late 1800’s, the date of completion still isn’t sure, but some think it will be close to 2040. When Gaudi passed away, he had not written down a lot of his ideas or techniques that should be used to complete the master design. It has been a pretty stressful project on the Spanish Government. After we toured the church, we took the metro back and had a couple hours to rest before we met up for dinner.

At around 10:30, we went to a Vegetarian restaurant; I was very skeptical at first but actually really enjoyed it. I had some goat cheese and roasted vegetables as an appetizer and some spinach and cheese tortellini for my main course. Everyone shared though so I had the chance to taste a lot of different dishes. After dinner, we went to meet up with Alex and Mary Claire’s friends that were in Barcelona too.

We went to a bar called la Oveja Negra (the Black Sheep) and had a pint. It was a huge bar but still had a small bar feel to it. It took us a while to get a table but I really enjoyed myself. We stayed at the Bar until just past 3:00 when we decided to go to Razzmatazz.

Razzmatazz is huge five level dance club that is supposed to be one of Barcelona’s best, conveniently it was only a couple stops on the metro away too. I had no idea so many people could fit in one place. The dance floors were all packed with people. We danced for a while and then explored all of the levels, each playing a different type of music. It was so jammed that we kept losing then re-finding people from our group. Razzmatazz was absolutely crazy.

At around 5:45 we decided to head on back to the Hotel. The metro is open 24 hours on Saturdays so we took that back to the hotel. I headed to bed, I was absolutely exhausted from all the dancing. It was such a short Barcelona trip, I feel like I only dipped my finger in what the city has to offer, but it was extremely fun and a great experience.

Both pictures were taken at Parc Güell.

February 26

Joe had class and was up at around 8:30; I felt really rested so I decided to wake up too. I through a load of laundry in and had a relaxing breakfast in the cafeteria. I packed a little bit and got ready for our trip to Barcelona. Before we left, I grabbed a quick coffee by La Lonja and met up with the bus at 1:15. We had picnic lunches waiting for us. They were ham sandwiches, a chorizo sandwich (my favorite) and a few tangerines.

A lot of people caught up on sleep for the trip, but I decided to read my book. So far, I really enjoy it, I’ve never read a “scary book” before, and I’ve enjoyed seeing how the author has created such a vivid picture with just words. We stopped at a rest stop half way through; I got a liter of chocolate milk and downed it. It was really chocolaty, but I hadn’t had cold milk since I have been in Spain. It was just what I needed.

The rest of the bus trip, most people just talked. Before we knew it, we were in Barcelona. Our hotel is called the Catalonia Ramblas. It is one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed in. Our rooms our huge, our bathrooms are decked out with a bath tub and a waterfall shower. Joe and Ryan are in my room again, which has been fun. We all got situated for a little bit then met for a drink before we headed to dinner. We walked around the corner and found a busy café in the middle of a small university plaza. We spent about forty-five minutes at the café, all the while talking about how great Barcelona is.

We met up with the rest of the group and walked to a restaurant not too far from our hotel. It is Europe’s take on a Cici’s pizza. There is an endless salad bar and some great pizza choices as well. On top of it all, there were free refills. I powered through a huge salad and four or five pieces of pizza. Weirdest of all, I only got a refill once. I think I am finally getting used to rationing out my drink during meals, that I haven’t been drinking as much.

After dinner, we met up with one of Dave’s friend named Evan who goes to UGA and is studying in Barcelona for the semester. We decided to meet up later after we showered and see the town with a “regular”. The shower was one of the most relaxing I have ever had. I got ready then headed up to Mary Claire’s room to meet some people before we went out.

We headed out around 11:30. The weather was perfect, it felt great to walk outside. We went and got a beer while we waited for Evan to meet up with us. Dave had some trouble getting in touch with him so we didn’t end up meeting him until about 1:00. Once we met up, he was under the impression that we had wanted to go to the discotheques. Because of our mandatory four-hour bus tour that met at 10:00 the next morning, we opted to turn in relatively early. We all decided to meet up and go out on Saturday night. Dave split ways with us to go see a DJ with Evan. We stopped at a bar and had a beer.

We made our way back to the dorm. I hung out in Mary Claire’s room with some of the group. We watched the Olympics and were all happy when we saw the U.S. hockey team doing so well. I headed to bed shortly past 2:30. It was a pretty low key, but extremely fun night. I was so excited to see the city on our tour.

February 25

On my way to class, I went over my two note cards I had prepared for my presentation on Lorca. I was kind of nervous because I had never given a report longer than 5 minutes in Spanish, and this one is between 20-30 minutes. The second we got to class, we had to start. I really enjoyed it because I didn’t have time to really worry; we just did it. Joe and I did great. Celia kept telling us after how great we did. I was really excited.

In culture class, everyone went over the answers to the scavenger hunt we had gotten and we got to try all the different pastries, dried fruits, and meats that are popular/unique to Valencia. It was a lot of fun.

Before I knew it, class was over and it was the beginning of my weekend. It finally hit me that we were going to Barcelona this weekend and the walk back home went really quick. A bunch of us agreed to meet up on the Rooftop patio to get a little relaxation time in before lunch.

I brought my book, my sunglasses, a bottle of water and my Lufthansa blanket that I had from the plane. It felt so good, I stayed up on top way past the start of lunch; I went down to eat around 2:30. Lunch was great. The best way I can describe the main course is to call them meatballs with a country fried steak sauce on top. Naturally, I made a humongous meatball sandwich.

I was feeling pretty gorged after lunch, I went over to Cava del Negret, a local café and had a coffee and used the free WiFi to write my blog and got a little research done for my big paper due in Literature class next week. I left the café around 5:30.

I went back, and write as I was getting to the dorm, Dave and Ben were leaving for Corte Ingles. I wanted to grab some stuff before the weekend so I decided to tag along. We stopped in a Valencia soccer store on the way back and I picked up a t-shirt before the game.

After we got back, we hung out in Diego’s room. Diego and Greg, the two who I went to the game with, were getting ready. It took us a while to leave, but we caught a taxi and zipped right on over to La Mestalla.

Since this was a UEFA game, there was a lot more intensity in the air when we got out. Bruges, a Belgian team, had beat us once at there field 1-0; in order for Valencia to advance in the tournament, we needed to win either 2-0 or 3-1 because they have a system for counting aggregate goals.

There is a bar called Manolo’s right outside of the stadium. Manolo is one of the most recognized men in Spain today. He is a die-hard Spain fan that is seen at every international game pounding a huge drum. On top of being a Spain fan, he is a Valencia fan. His bar is covered with pictures of him at different World Cups and the greatest thing is he works behind the bar before the game. We went in to grab a beer before the game; Manolo’s was packed with Belgian fans that were chanting that Valencia would never win the cup. Everyone wearing orange and black just kept quiet, we knew that the scoreboard would do the talking.

We rushed into the stadium right before the game started and found our seats, for fifteen euros, they were great. The best way I can describe seats is in football terms so I would say we were about on the twenty-yard line, at the beginning of the second deck. Diego kept saying that we were going to score in the first ten minutes. First possession, what do you know? We scored a great goal and silenced Bruges. Everyone else in the stadium was ecstatic.

The game was really intense, there were a lot of great attempts and shots on goal, but regular time expired with us winning 1-0. Since Bruges had a 1-0 victory at home and we had a 1-0 victory at home, the game was forced into two 15 minute over time periods to determine a winner. It was so intense, all of the buildups were great and eventually we converted on two plays and ended up winning 3-0. What a great game.

We were so excited that we decided to skip the taxi and just walk back. We stopped through at Doner Kebab and I had a wrap. I headed home and got in to bed, afterall I needed to wake up early and get some packing done for Barcelona.

The video isn't of a goal, but there were some great opportunities to score that we just missed...

February 24

I switched it up a little bit at breakfast and had some toast with strawberry jam and butter. The walk was beautiful; the temperature was probably low sixties. In business class, we went over a Spanish interview. We all had our desks in a big circle and got to go through one by one and answer questions, it was fun to see everyone’s responses.

During our break, we took the metro to the Llevante stadium, the other Spanish soccer team in Valencia. It is no where near as nice as La Mestalla but it was still cool to see. We took the last picture for our cultural scavenger hunt. When we got to the metro, we thought we had bought a round trip ticket but actually we only bought a one way. There was still an hour until class started and it wasn’t too far from school; we decided to walk.

In Linguistics, we went over a verb exercise that had us practice using better descriptive verbs as opposed to always using the “safety verbs” like haber and hacer. Then we went over different phrases that are commonly used in Spain. I learned a new one “me hace la boca agua” or my mouth is watering.

I used the phrase with the lunch ladies, they just laughed at me but I noticed them give me some extra fries. I made a steak and French fry sandwich and especially enjoyed my orange soda today. After lunch, I went on the roof patio and read a little of my book. Some of the Spanish kids came up, so we talked to them about Spring Break and what they were going to be doing.

I went down stairs and started working on my Frederico García Lorca presentation that me and Joe have due on Thursday. I already had most of his biography information done, but worked on analyzing La Casa de Bernarda Alba, a very popular play of his. Bernarda, the head female of the house has often been interpreted to represent the fascist reign of Franco.

I worked on my project for about 2 hours before dinner and another two hours after. It felt really good to get it done. Joe was really easy to work with and the project came together without any problems. After I finished, I hung out and helped with our scavenger hunt powerpoint that is also due on Thursday. I had done most of the actual information search, so I was relieved of my responsibility to compile the information.

I was in bed by 12:30; I set my alarm fifteen minutes early so I could shower when I woke up. I was excited to get my first major grade for my Literature class next morning.

The pictures are of the train station in Requena and some of the wine barrels at Coviña in Requena

***I am headed to Barcelona on Friday, so my posts may come at weird times, but I plan on still posting everyday.

February 23

I woke up feeling terrible for some reason. I was all congested and my stomach hurt. I kept hitting snooze on my alarm until 8:25. I jumped out of bed and ran down to grab something to eat. I was out the door by 8:35. It was a beautiful day out and it wasn’t hard to keep a quick pace. I really love walking by myself in the morning sometimes.

In Literature class, we talked about Literary essays and read an old essay on the Spanish middleclass. I didn’t feel much better all of class. I ate an orange and drank a bottle of water and felt much better. In culture class, we learned about the history of Valencia in terms of its ports and Roman, Greek, Celtic, and even Egyptian influence.

I got back from class and decided to wait to each lunch and take a nap. I opened the doors to both of our balcony doors and let the wind blow in. It was one of the most refreshing naps I have had in a very long time. I woke up and went down to lunch; I made a pasta with meat sauce sandwich.

After I went up to the rooftop patio and hung out with some of the group. I started a new book, Shutter Island. They just released the movie, but I want to read it before I go and see it. We have a lot of time traveling to and from Barcelona this weekend so I should be able to do some serious damage to it.

I went back to my room and started booking our stay in Granada. When she firsts gets in on March 5, we are going to Granada for Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, I have tickets reserved for La Alhambra, the last Moorish castle that is supposed to be one of the most beautiful places in Spain. On Sunday we are going to take an hour bus to Almuñécar, an old Roman port with beautiful beaches. On Monday we are heading back to Granada for a night then leaving for Valencia on Tuesday. We’ll be in Valencia until Friday. On Friday we are going to Madrid for two nights and She is flying out on Sunday morning. I am so excited for that week. It is right around the corner too.

Around 6:30, I went and grabbed a drink at Café Lisboa. We sat outside because it felt absolutely great outside. All of the sudden the sky opened up for thirty seconds and it started to rain pretty hard. We ran inside and grabbed a seat in the corner of the restaurant. The winter Olympics were on and it was great to watch.

We left around 8:30 to go eat dinner. I wasn’t very hungry since I had such a late lunch and just picked at my food. After dinner we all hung out in my room, it was pretty low key. I got in my bed at 11:30 and had no trouble going into a deep sleep.

The first picture was taken from my balcony of a horse drawn carriage down below us.

The second picture is of a little boy acting like Spiderman in Requena on Saturday.

February 22

Its always hard for me to wake up on Monday mornings, no matter how much sleep I got the night before. I still made it out of the dorm on time and to class in less than twenty-five minutes. In Business class, we turned in our Spanish resume and talked about writing a formal letter to a business. In Spain, when you want a job, you don’t fill out an application. Rather you write a formal letter highlighting your skills and request an interview.

During our two-hour break, I read over my paper that was due next period, and spent the rest of my break in the building’s computer lab, checking up on ESPN and a little U.S. news. In Linguistics, we talked about the five different tenses you use in the past. Our teacher has great way of explaining and clearing up problems that I never understood from my past Spanish teachers.

After class and lunch (I made a chicken sandwich), some of the people in our Culture scavenger hunt group went out looking for Arab ruins for one of our objectives. We just wandered through a part of the Barrio del Carmen (our dorm’s neighborhood) that we had never seen before. We found the Arab ruins, old pieces of the cities former outer wall that still stands. We were wandering down a small street and looked in a workshop and saw a person building a ninot, the huge life size structures for Las Fallas. We all got so excited about Fallas to be coming; it is only three and a half weeks away.

When we got back to the dorm, I got a chance to catch up with all the family and see how they had been doing. I am still floored that Peter is going to be thirteen on Saturday. I remember my thirteenth birthday like it was yesterday. I hung out in people’s rooms for the rest of the night. Dave, Laura and I decided to go find a new bar/café to get a drink.

We had a place called La Ermita but it was closed. We ended up going in a small hole in the wall bar. They asked if we wanted a porrón (a porrón is a type of pitcher that has a long spout that you hold up to your mouth and pour the beer/desert wine into your mouth). Dave and I got pretty daring with how far we held the porrón from our mouth as we poured. It was really fun. Mary Ella and Rebecca came in and met with a Spanish guy that they had met at a tourist office. We talked with them for a while before we all decided to head back.

I skyped my lady for a little bit than headed to bed around 1:00.

February 21

I was so happy that I stayed in, I woke up without an alarm at 11:00 and threw in a load of laundry. Joe was still asleep for a lot of the morning but I still managed to clean up my room and shower with only the light coming from our bathroom. I went and ate at 1:30 and a lot of us talked about what our plans were for the day.

A few of us went to Escalones de la Lonja for a café and to knock out a little homework. It was sunny, but rain was still coming down. By the time we left the café a few hours later, there was no trace of rain and the roads were dry. I did my resume for Business class and did most of my paper for Composition class. I was happy that I used the afternoon to get work done.

We decided it was a great evening to walk around. We started walking and came across a huge parade for Fallas. Fallas is a huge weeklong celebration that they celebrate here. They had a huge procession of people of all ages dressed as anything from toothbrushes to Wizard of Oz characters. They just recently hung colorful streetlights over all of the major streets and it looked really cool to see everyone marching under it.

Diego, Greg, Caroline, Ashely, Mary Claire, Stockton, Alex, David White and I all decided to go to the beach for dinner, to try and relive the best beach dinner we ever had at la Ola. By the time we all got ready, we thought that the beach was too far of a trek and it was too many people for us to bring in so we decided to find some tapas close by.

We ended up stopping at a restaurant and had some great food. We had two group plates, one of cheese and one of thinly sliced meat. Then most of us ordered a tapa and shared with everyone. We had some melted goat cheese, some vegetable (I couldn’t translate or tell what it was) with bleu cheese, and some tomatoes cooked in bacon oil topped with bits of ham on top (my favorite). We paid for our tapas and laughed because we still had time for dinner at the dining hall.

We all went and got at least something to eat a little more substantial than the appetizer portions we ate at the restaurant. I had the usual fries and orange soda. After dinner, I finished up all of my homework and went and got a late night (11:00) café at el Negrito. It put me right in the mood to get in bed and go to sleep. I fell right asleep.

I have some really good pictures from Requena so I decided to put a couple more up today.

February 20

It was almost impossible to wake up, my bed felt really good and it was till so early in the morning. It was absolutely beautiful outside though. A lot of us were slow to get down to the lobby so we didn’t start to the metro station until around 10:00. I think Aitor didn’t care because so much of our group expressed interest in coming on this day excursion. We took a twenty minute metro bus ride to the actual bus station.

Traveling in between small towns is incredibly inexpensive. I paid 2.50 euros, with my student ID, for an hour bus ride to a small town called Requena. The ride through the countryside was really cool, complete with mountains on either side of the highway. Some of us slept, I was actually hungry so I picked at my picnic lunch the cafeteria had made us.

There aren’t more than 20,000 people that live in Requena. We got off the bus and took about a five minute to a wine distillery called Coviñas. It was really cool, we had a guide talk about the whole process of distilling and bottling the wine. He took us into two huge warehouses where they store the wine, for at least one year in the barrel and at least one year in the bottle. After we walked through the complex they took us to a room and allowed us to taste two different glasses. They were both excellent.

We started off toward the town square as soon as the tour had ended. In the spring every year, towns all have a weekend called Carnaval. Everyone returns home for the weekend and there are a lot of fun activities planned. By chance, we stumbled on a huge marketplace and Carnaval celebration. All of the kids were dressed up in costumes and acting crazy, the looked like they were having a lot of fun.

As the celebration was going on, I went through the marketplace and began to browse. I locked eyes with a sweater buried pretty deep and had to have it. It was love at first sight. I was determined to pay any price for it and was even more excited when the man said it cost three euros. I wore my purchase away from the stand, ecstatic to have gotten my first European sweater.

As the Carnaval was finishing up, a few of us grabbed a café in a little restaurant right in the middle of the town square. It reminded me a lot of the Sun Also Rises because Jake (the main character) always would describe a huge fiesta with a packed café and we were in the exact same situation. In about an hour, the town square had died down and we all decided to walk around the historic part of town.

It was awesome; it was set up on a hill right about the town square. They had tiny streets, white buildings and the bluest sky to complement it. We wandered around, taking pictures for a good forty-five minutes. Everyone was remarking how happy they were that they had woken up for such a great day.

The train back to Valencia didn’t leave for another hour so the whole group went to another café and had a drink. The train ride was great, it took about the same length of time as the bus did, but I was way more interested in the train. Most people slept but I had my eyes glued on the window the whole time looking at everything there was to see.

Our train let us out at a metro station and we had to take a quick metro train back to our part of town. Everyone was really tired and most people took a nap, but I didn’t. I met up with everyone at 8:00 for dinner. I couldn’t find much in the lunch that I liked, so I chowed down at dinner. It was a hamburger and fries that is nothing compared to an American burger, but I think I liked it so much because I reminisced about how much we miss American food.

There was a big mask party that most of the people were going to but I was too exhausted to go to a party from 1-7 in the morning. Instead a few of us went to a neighborhood over by school to check out a concert at a small pub. It was a really cool spot. The pub couldn’t hold more than twenty-five people. We crammed in and listened to Emma Goes Wild. The lead singer had an awesome voice.

After Emma Goes Wild played for a while, they opened up for an open mic night. We heard four other people play two songs a piece but they were nothing compared to the first group we had heard. We left around 11:00 and got a cab home. The whole ride back, all we talked about was how excited we were for a goodnight sleep.

When we got back, no one had left for the party yet, so I hung out and talked with them until they left at 1:00. I went to bed and feel asleep very quickly after that.

February 19

Having the ability to sleep in on Fridays has been so great; I slept until 2:00, called Laura before she went to work and went down to lunch shortly there after. Everyone had some crazy stories from the huge costume party that the University hosted. I was glad to have the sleep though.

After lunch, a few of us took apart the solar system puzzle and we started on it again. We just relaxed and talked until about 6:00 when I decided to take an hour nap before baseball practice.

I woke up feeling refreshed. I got ready and headed out the door just past 7:30. Practice was fun; it stunk because it rained for the first part. I loved it though because we always do my two favorite things, catching fly balls and batting. We got some bad news though. The insurance didn’t go through for this weekend and we need it to play. John, our coach said he is hoping that it rains on Sunday so we can reschedule the game. It has still been fun practicing with the team. We have had to leave practice by 9:45 and run back home to catch the last ten minutes of dinner.

I showered after dinner, and hung out. We had some people in our room before we went out which was fun. We headed to O’Haras shortly there after and sat with some of the Spanish kids. We all stayed there until around 2:00 before a group of us went to Radio City. It’s really not the best club, but a lot of people go there because it has no cover charge. Some people decided to stay out but I wanted to head back to the dorm and hang out.

I walked back with David White and Mary Claire. On the way back to the dorm, I stopped at Doner and got a piece of chicken pizza with hot sauce. We have a day trip planned to Requina, a small town right near Valencia to a Winery for some wine tasting. The only drag is we have to wake up at 9:30 in the morning. I got in bed around 3:30, exhausted.

The pictures were taken on our Culture Scavenger hunt, these two pictures are from a huge catholic church in the plaza de reina called La Catedral.

February 18

In Literature class we had another presentation, which was pretty interesting. My favorite poet they talked about was Jose Marti, a very influential author in the struggle for Cuban independence. In Culture class, I had a short group presentation on the Basque country, which went really well. The Basque country is home of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, Guernikca (a famous Picasso painting and town that the Nazi’s bombed), and one of the oldest languages, Euskara. Maria was sick so we got out a little early.

We went to knock out more pictures needed to be taken for our culture scavenger hunt. One of the coolest places we stopped was the Casa del las Rocas. Rocas are huge wooden structures that they use during the feast of Corpus Christi. They had a huge one-story exposition of all of the Rocas. It was really cool to walk through all of them.

We got back and had lunch, I had a pasta sandwich and like always fries and an orange soda to drink. After lunch I tried to buy plane tickets for when Laura comes in. Paris looks a little too expensive so instead I decided I’m going to show her what I here is one of the best cities in Spain, Granada. Ryanair has really cheap flights but an error message keeps showing up everytime I go to book it. People in my group have all run in to the same problem.

I tried to run my credit card about once every 20 minutes but I had no luck. In between, I did a load of laundry. I forgot how much I loved dryers. The dryer opened up in the dorm so I had perfectly dry clothes in less than an hour. It was great. I also spent a few hours working with Mary Claire, Dave, and Alex on a new puzzle Mary Claire got, this one is a solar system design which is fun.

After dinner, I went up and hung out with Dave, Greg and Rebecca in Dave and Greg’s room. We had some wine and just talked. At 12:00 Dave and I went to al Forn to get a 1.50 pint and decided we would meet up with the rest of the crew at O’Haras after we finished our beer. We had a really nice talk, he is very intellectual and I like hearing his opinion on certain issues.

There were a lot of people from our group at O’Haras. Hope’s boyfriend is in town for the weekend so we were all talking with him. I ended up going with a bunch of people to Radio City and danced. A lot of people were going to a huge costume party at a discotheque that was starting at 3:00, I’m sure glad I didn’t go. I was so tired and went to bed around 3:30.

February 17

A mixture of staying up too late and baseball practice made getting out of bed really difficult. However it was sunny out for the first time in three days and it was a great walk to class. In Business class, we talked about making a resume for a Spanish job, which was really interesting. The format is almost identical to a standard resume in the United States but I am excited to be making my own for Monday’s class.

Between my break Ashley and I went on a mission to find a sports store. She needed some new tennis shoes and I needed some cleats for baseball. We walked right down the main road that our school building is on and found two sports stores. This time of year is huge in Valencia for sales. I was excited.

I hit a snag though; the average shoe size is WAY smaller here. None of the cleats on sale seemed to have a size over a 9. I went to the largest size they had and luckily found an 11 ½. They fit well and I decided to buy them. We still had about an hour left to kill before the next class started so we went to the cafeteria to kill some time. We have been getting smart and stocking up on snacks from the dorm so we don’t have to spend money when we have our two-hour break.

I read some more of the Sun Also Rises until class started. In class we finished up all of our Ser/Estar work that we had been doing for the past couple of classes. We went over certain expressions that completely change meaning when you use ser as opposed to estar or vice versa.

After class, Dave, Caroline and I went to work on out Culture Class scavenger hunt that is due next Thursday. We walked through a few different neighborhoods that I hadn’t seen before which looked really cool. We have the rest of requirements left split up into three days based on the general area we have to go to. We only had to go to the Mercado de Colon, Mercado Central and la Lonja to take a picture. We ate lunch out, I grabbed a ham and queso bocadillo and an orange soda from a local sandwich shop. It was really good.

After we got back, I brought my book up to the roof patio and decided not to leave until I finished the book. I only had about 45 pages left, so it didn’t take me long. The book was so good though. Its been a while since I read just for pleasure and it was definitely a light read that got me excited to start reading again. I hung out in my room until dinner.

We sat with Daniel, the Nicaraguan, from our baseball team and talked about how practice was and how the game will be on Sunday. We are all really excited, especially because all of the people that were out of town traveling last weekend will be here.

After dinner, we all hung out on our floor for a while until we went to grab a drink at 11:00. We went to El Negrito. I had an espresso and bailey’s which did not disappoint as always. A few people went on to O’Haras but I decided to turn in for the night. I kept doing more research on plane fares and found that Paris is going to be just too expensive. Instead I am going to take her to Granada for the first half of the week. The city and flights into it are much cheaper, and I have been told it is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Spain. I got in to bed around 12:30, exhausted from another great day.

February 16

I decided to take my time finishing my breakfast and decided I would walk by myself to class. It was really nice, not only was I faster, it was really nice to have my own time to just enjoy the sights of the city myself. In Literature we discussed romanticism and we examined a few examples of Spanish poems from the 1600s. While literature has never really been my thing, I have enjoyed the class very much.

Culture class, like always is a great learning experience. We learned over a dozen gestures that are popular over here in Spain. We split up into groups and had to perform a little skit, incorporating as many of the gestures as we could. After class, I went with Brittany and Grace to Corte Ingles to look for some baseball cleats and a belt to hold up my oversized pants. Strikeout, I left empty handed, baseball is not popular over here at all and I couldn’t find anything I needed.

The other two girls I was with had some stuff to get so we split up, I took the long way home unintentionally, but once again I enjoyed just walking around the city. I got back in time for lunch. I made two sandwiches. One was a fried pork and French fry sandwich and the other was a spaghetti sandwich. I was gorged after I finished.

After lunch, I went to the Cava del Negret, right across from El Negrito and did some homework and drank a couple coffees. They had free WiFi so I got a lot of things for the week done. I returned back to the dorm at around 6:00.

Laura and I are looking to go to Paris when she comes over, so I started investigating flights and fees. I found really cheap airfare but where they get you is charging thirty euro per checked bag. No thanks. I am still looking into it, possibly going by train. We’ll see though, I have a plane ticket that arrives in Madrid on Friday March 5th in time to meet Laura’s international flight in. I can’t wait.

We had baseball practice at 8:00. The fields were slosh so we mostly did outfield practice, catching fly balls: my favorite. We had a little batting practice and called it a night at around 9:45. The coach gave us warm-ups and a polo shirt which were really nice and sent us on our way.

That gave us 15 minutes to get back until dinner closed up. We all ran back as quick as we could and got back with 5 minutes to spare. After dinner, I showered and went out with about 10 or so people to get a drink. We were headed to al Forn but it was closed when we got over there so we headed to O’Haras. A lot of the Spanish kids were there so it was fun to see them all.

I talked to Juanjo for a while. I met a Philosophy professor from the Netherlands that had been staying in our dorm this past weekend for a conference. It was his last night. We talked to him until the bar closed; he was really interesting. I headed back to the dorm a little later than I had hoped but had no trouble falling asleep with how much I ran around at practice.

February 15

I woke up really tired but excited to start another week of class. The weather was pretty awful, cold and rainy. It made the walk to class a little rough. Business was a pretty fun class, we learned about 8 (the most popular 8) of the 17 labor contracts present here in Spain. It basically just outlined the amount of hours needed to work, the age you must be, etc. to work under a specific job title.

In between my two classes, I used my time to ask a Spanish student for some help on my corrections to our paper that we needed to have corrected. I think it really interested her to read my paper so we both got something out of the exercise. I had a café coratada and talked to the rest of the people in our group that went to Ireland and Granada about how their weekend went. It sounded like a great time, but I was glad I stayed in Valencia for the weekend; I am just so in love with this city.

In Linguistics, we practiced more ser/estar (both verbs mean “to be”, geographically speaking and descriptive as well), which seems quite simple to follow but in reality there are so many slight exceptions that make the exercises really hard. Our teacher is really good at explaining each situation clearly, and I have been getting the hang of it. Class went really quick and before I knew it I was headed back to get lunch at the dorm.

After lunch, I read a little in my book and took a light siesta until about 6:30. At 7:30 we had a meeting about our weekly agenda for afternoon excursions, we announced to everyone that our baseball game is on Sunday at 11:00 and I think a lot of people are going to come support us which will be a lot of fun. I walked up to my room before dinner started and saw Mary Claire, she asked if I wanted to go to Mexican with some of our group and of course I said yes, after all its been about month since I had tasted cheese dip.

We met up with the Attaways at the restaurant. We had cheese dip, some of the best guacamole I have ever had, and steak fajitas. All of it was outstanding. After we finished eating we took the Attaways to O’Haras to meet Juanjo and to see our normal stomping grounds, I had a pint of Fosters and decided to call it a night. I thanked the Attaways for everything and headed back to Rector Peset, excited to go to sleep.

My fresh sheets for the week felt really good and it didn’t take me long to fall into a deep sleep.

February 14

I woke up, gathered all my stuff, met Diego and was out the door at 9:30 with Daniel (a Nicaraguan exchange student that’s on a study abroad program as well) headed to el Rio. It was pretty chilly out, but the sun was shining and we were all commenting about how excited we were to play.

We were there a good thirty minutes before any of the other players so we had to kill sometime before we could get our uniforms. When Alfonso arrived, he rationed out uniforms (I’m number 19) and we got ready to take the field. My pants didn’t fit me and I didn’t have a belt so I had to ghetto rig my pants up with a string. I looked pretty ridiculous but at least I could run now without my pants falling to my ankles.

We were playing an all Latin American team named Los Indios that looked a lot more intimidating than they actually were. We warmed up a while and got loose. The sun was warmer and I was really excited to play. I played left field, which was a lot of fun. Our pitcher, Nacho, prefers to use the off-speed pitch so I saw a lot of ground balls and action out toward me. Batting wise, I went 0-1 with two walks (one of which I was pegged in the chest with a pitch), and a run scored. In regards to my grounder out, I was just happy I put the ball in play.

We were winning until the top of the fifth inning when they opened up the score and had an twelve run inning. I had a three run homer sail over my head and the fence during their slaughter fest. We got to bat one more time but they called the game because of mercy rule with a final score of 16-5. I had so much fun.

Diego and I got back just in time to grab lunch. We walked in and there were a bunch of people in our group just waking up so we had people to talk to. After, I went up stairs, skyped Laura to wish her Happy Valentines Day, and showered. The rest of the afternoon, I spent catching up on homework and reading a little bit of my book I have been loving so much.

Mary Claire was using my Magic Jack to call her mom who had just got in to Valencia for a few days and she extended me, Caroline and Ashley an invite to come get tapas with them. We quickly said yes, excited to try some good tapas and meet Mary Claire;s family. Her family is so cool, her Mom is a Delta flight attendant and has been doing so for over 30 years so she has some really funny stories. Mary Claire’s older sister is a Georgia grad that works for Phillips Arena, the Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers as an event coordinator.

We ended up going to three different restaurants and tried a lot of different tapas. My favorite was the Mussels at Bar Pilar, they had a great spice to them and the broth was so good. We tried Agua de Valencia; I can’t wait for my mom to try it. It is fresh squeezed orange juice, white wine, sugar and vodka all mixed together. It honestly tastes exactly like orange juice and is delicious.

We ended up staying out until just before one, pretty late but it still allowed me to get a decent amount of rest before having to wake up at 8:00. It was a great day.

February 13

I woke up feeling really rested, ready for an exciting day leading up to the huge MTV Winter Valencia concert that night. I read a little, posted my blog and had a quiet morning to myself before I met everyone at lunch.

After lunch a group of the dedicated puzzle-doers got to work and we spent the entire afternoon doing it but finally finished. Some of the UGA group left with the Spanish students at around 6:00 but I decided to wait at the dorm and eat before we left.

Ashley, Mary Claire, Nikki, and Caroline were all on the same page and we met down at dinner at 8:00. It was eerily quiet because everyone had already gone on to the concert. After we finished, the five of us walked over to the Torres del Serrano to catch a taxi over to the Arts and Sciences Buildings.

Taxi’s over here are a lot different then Athens. The taxi’s only hold four people and once you have four, that’s it. No squeezing. Niki, Caroline and Ashley got in one taxi and I rode with Mary Claire. We just decided to meet up when we got over to the concert area.

Mary Claire accidentally forgot her cell phone so we couldn’t get in touch with the other group. We decided to wait for a few minutes outside of the gate, hoping that we beat them to the entrance and they hadn’t left us. We saw them eventually and were happy we met up.

It was my first, but I have decided concerts in Europe are the best. Everyone is so much shorter here; it is so easy to see the stage. The five of us pushed through the crowd and found a little pocket really close to the stage. The main band that was headlining was the Artic Monkey’s (a band from the UK that has exploded in Europe). It’s not my choice music, but the concert was awesome! The stage had an incredible backdrop of futuristic looking buildings. We danced and had an awesome time. The highlight of the concert was during one of their last songs they launched confetti that covered the entire crowd that was really cool. The wind was blowing and it stayed up in the air for a long time.

After the concert was madness. There was at least 20,000 people there and there was only one exit. It was a huge bottleneck. All the five of us could do was link arms and just hold on for the ride. I don’t think I took a step for a good 200 hundred yards; I just got pushed and slid forward. I wish I had brought my camera but I was afraid with so many people there, it would have been stolen.

We caught a taxi home and decided to call it a night; after all, I had a big baseball game in the morning. I stopped at Doner Kebab on the way home and had a piece of chicken pizza with hot sauce on it. My bed felt really good.

February 12

I was floored when I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and saw that the little slap I had received the night before was a full-fledged black eye. My first ever (besides running into a fence post when I was sledding at our Hillbrooke house), I was really embarrassed. I went up a flight of stairs where everyone was hanging out and explained my story behind my black eye.

I went to lunch but wasn’t very hungry. I felt awful that I even put myself in the situation. I picked at my food and left when everyone else was leaving. Four of us decided to go read at the café we had to the day before called Escalones. I had a coffee but just couldn’t stop thinking about how embarrassed I was. I left the other three and decided to head back to the dorm.

I called Laura and she had me feeling a little better. I decided to take a nap and see how I felt when I woke up. I woke up right before 6:30, just in time for our group excursion to go get tapas. I headed to the lobby and met up with the rest of the group. The first place we went to was my favorite. We had muscles, olives, and calamari. I was feeling a lot better about everything.

We went to a second restaurant that was a good bit further than the first one. It is a chain restaurant but they have a lot of different varieties of tapas on top of pieces of baguette. I had the most meaty looking one in the restaurant and it was delicious. We got back in time for dinner at Rector Peset. A few of us just grabbed a drink, yogurt, and some fries and hung out for a little bit. I called Laura when I got back to the room and was having a really tough time. She told me to go check the mail because she had sent me something. I got a package with our t-shirt from her formal and a letter. The letter was exactly what I needed. It was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever written to me. My mood was sky high.

I definitely was not going to go out. Diego, Scott and Mary Claire all stayed in as well which was cool. Diego, Scott and I decided to watch Space Jam. We hadn’t seen it in forever and it was really fun. I forgot how much I loved Michael Jordan until they showed the opening scene with all his NBA and college highlights. Incredible.

After the movie finished I decided to call it a night.

February 11

Soccer must have taken a bigger toll on my body then I thought because I was extremely sore getting out of bed. The wind was blowing pretty hard and it was noticeably colder than it has been lately.

In Celia’s class there were two presentations from Diego, Taylor, Eden and Dat, which were all really interesting. Culture class was by far the highlight though; we talked about some Spanish History and Spain’s first inhabitants. There are actually some mountains right in our back yard that has some cave paintings that you can go and see. I am definitely going to check it out.

After class and lunch, a lot of people started leaving on their respective travels. A group went to Dublin and another went to Granada to ski. Instead of napping, Ashley and I decided to bring a book to Escalones and have a coffee. I brought The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I thought it would be a fitting book since I have/will be traveling all over Europe.

We noticed a guy sitting next to us tutoring a Spanish lady in English and we thought it was really cool. After she left, Ken came up to us and introduced himself to us. What a small world it is; he is from Decatur, Georgia and has been living here for twenty-three years tutoring. We talked with him for a while which was really cool. He told us that the key to speaking a foreign language is just being confident. He said if we want to come back he would give us a free tutoring session and we said definitely.

We spent about two and a half hours and I got a good bit through my book. After we got back, I did some more of my puzzle and hung out until dinner. After dinner we got ready to go out and met up with some of the Spanish students. All of the students in Rector Peset had an open bar for everyone. We paid 12 euros for a ticket, which was well worth it.

It was a lot of fun. The entire bar had been rented out and there was some good music. I danced for a while and practiced a great deal of Spanish. As we were leaving, I was looking for a taxi and cut through four guys not even really thinking. They scoffed at me. I most definitely should have used my head but I responded saying, “Ten cuidado.” Which means be careful. One of the four guys open hand slapped me across the face, which was pretty ridiculous. I guess I had it coming to me though. Scott was with me and the situation fizzled out as quickly as it had started. I was just really surprised.

I took a taxi home and called it a night, a little disappointed that such a fun night had been overshadowed by such a silly thing like a slap.

February 10

I woke up feeling a little sore, but a good sore. I ordered a café coratada and the lady actually understood me and made it the way I wanted. It was a pretty cold morning especially when the wind would pick up but the walk to class went pretty quick.

In Business class we talked about writing a formal letter in Spanish and different expressions we could use for introductions and conclusions. It was extremely helpful. Class got out a few minutes early which was pretty lucky.

Ashley was looking for a health food store that was close to Campus. I asked to tag along because I didn’t feel like sitting in the building’s cafeteria for a whole two hours. We walked through a neighborhood that I had never seen before but was very interesting. There were a lot of little fruit shops everywhere and cool little places to spend hours in. We walked for about 15 minutes until we decided to ask some people where it was.

Each person we asked would send us in a different direction. It was kind of confusing because no one knew what he or she was talking about. We happened upon a store called Salvia that had a lot of stuff that she was looking for. The two owners were a husband and wife and were so nice. The talked to us for a while about Valencia and asked how long we would be here. As we were leaving the lady gave us a really cool pen and said she hoped we enjoy Spain.

We walked back a different way that went much quicker. We got to class about 10 minutes early. In Linguistics, we went over Ser/Estar uses, which can get pretty tricky. She also returned our papers that had been proofread. Our assignment for the weekend is to find a Spanish student and have them sit down with us and correct our paper.

I got back from class, ate a pork sandwich I made at lunch then headed with a group of 13 of us to play soccer in el Rio. It was a lot of fun until our team got exhausted. We were winning for a long time but ended up losing 7-3. Pretty awful. I got destroyed going for a ball on a break away. It was pretty embarrassing but what can you do.

After we walked back from el Rio, I took a shower and went with a Greg, Ashley, Caroline and Laura to a café called Escalones for an espresso. We came back just in time for dinner. I wasn’t very hungry and only had some fries and some rabbit (i'm not sure how it was prepared but it tasted like chicken) and of course orange soda.

After dinner, I worked on the puzzle with some people but was exhausted and went to bed just past 11:00.

February 9

I ordered a café cortada at breakfast but I don’t think the lady knew what I wanted because she gave me a regular café con leche. I stuffed my bag with an orange and some breakfast crackers and was out of the dorm by 8:30 on the way to class. It was a really nice day out and the walk seemed to go faster than normal.

In Literature we studied some famous Camerlite saints that had written some poetry that was really interesting to look at the rhyme scheme. In Culture we talked listened to examples of all the different accents based on the region of Spain. It is funny because much like the United States, each part of the country has a completely different pronunciation. We all got a pretty good laugh out of it.

After class, I went back to the dorm and dropped off my bag. A group of us decided to head over to El Mercado, which is a huge market place for all types of really cool stuff. On Monday through Saturday they have all types of stands for fish, meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables. It was fun to wander through and check out how fresh everything looked.

We got back in time for lunch to start. I made another pasta sandwich and put some olive oil on it. I must say it was one of my best tasting sandwiches I’ve made so far. After lunch I printed and faxed off my lease to my new landlord for a house that I am leasing next fall. I can’t wait. The fax took forever to send internationally, all the while I was waiting in the office to receive confirmation that it had sent.

I went out and grabbed an espresso then hurried back because we had baseball practice at 8:00. Some of the students that are staying at our dorm are on the University Club Team and they asked if any of us wanted to play. Diego, Sean, Taylor, Ryan and I all said sure and we went to el Rio to the baseball stadium. They gave us all gloves and we threw for a little bit.

We did some ground ball drills, pop flies, and batting practice. My situational hitting definitely needs a lot of work but it was still so fun. Most of the kids are on about the same level so I think I’ll see a lot of time. We are coming in the middle of the season but our first game is on Sunday. I am actually really looking forward to it.

I came back to everyone working on the puzzle and hopped right in. I worked on it for a little bit but turned in at about 12:15, exhausted after practice.

February 8

I was happy to wake up and see the Saints had gone on to win. I hurried down to breakfast, grabbed a few breakfast snacks and was out the door on the way to Negocios class.

We talked about the format of a professional letter, how to write addresses when sending mail and discussed subjects when writing emails. This class has been really helpful. We sit in a huge circle, so it’s pretty easy for everyone to practice pretty actively.

In my hour and a half break between classes, I worked on our homework assigned from the class before (it was just some reading) and hung out in the cafeteria. I had an orange and noticed that there were a lot more people in the cafeteria than ever and thought we must be because regular class schedule was starting back up. I ordered a new type of espresso that is so far my favorite. Its called cortada which is a shot of espresso with only a splash of milk. It is awesome.

In Linguistics, I learned something completely new that I wish I had known before I came to Spain. “Cuanto Cuesta?” Is a response I was always taught was used to ask for how much something costs. Our teacher told us that actually over here they use, “Cuanto Vale?” is the more preferred expression over here. We went over a very useful ser/estar practice sheet that cleared a lot of things up.

I walked back and caught the tail end of lunch. We had a plate of meatball type things with fries on the side we had a huge hunk of lasagna. My mouth was definitely watering; I used my standard issue piece of bread and made the best meatball sandwich with a lasagna filler I have had in a long time.

I went back to my room after lunch and took a quick hour nap that was perfect. I went with a few people and got another cup of coffee. We tried out a new bar that was really cool. The coolest part I remember was there was a guy giving a student English tutoring. It was really interesting to see what they were talking about and how he taught her. It kind of reassured me a little bit.

We decided during coffee that we were going to have a game night and wanted to play Monopoly. We went to Corte Ingles had to go up every floor and over to the second building before we found it. Monopoly was ridiculously expensive; it was something like 80 euros, which is over $100 U.S. dollars. We saw Manzanas con Manzanas (Apples to Apples) for 44 euros and decided we were going to come back after we had some more people to throw in on it.

We decided a puzzle would suit us well and found a dinosaur print for 14 euros. We hurried back in time to have our meeting about weekly events. The meeting got out at 8:00 and I went right to dinner. There was some fried pork that I proceeded to make another sandwich out of it. I topped it off with a rare but much needed piece of cheese that Nikki had won from the scavenger hunt that we did one of our first days here.

After dinner, we worked on the Puzzle for a while but had to give up because it is so much. It was fun though; there were a lot of people coming in and out helping us. I got in bed pretty early and fell right asleep.

February 7

I woke up at 11:30 still pretty tired, but I wanted to be the first one to the washing machines. I gathered all my clothes and hurried down, only to see that Greg had beaten me to the chase. He was almost finished though and I got to put in two loads of laundry at around 12:15. After the wash cycle was done, I brought them up to the deck on the roof and hung them to dry. I ate lunch and decided with a group that after we ate we would go and get a coffee.

We went over to a different neighborhood than usual near the central market area and sat at a curbside table at a small cafe. We started noticing more and more scary looking people around us. There were junkies and homeless people everywhere and they would look at us pretty weird. One woman, covered in unusual makeup and black clothes, was going around and picking up cigarette butts to use the leftover tobacco for her own cigarettes she was going to roll herself. It was a pretty creepy experience.

When we asked for the check an impatient lady came over and stood over our shoulders and waited for us to pay. She began to grow really impatient and I asked her nicely for a few minutes to talk over who was paying what. She left pretty angrily. After we had collected all the money, I brought it up to the counter and said sorry for everything and thank you. They replied with a very sarcastic, condescending, “Muchas gracias muchacho.” It kind of irked me but I didn’t care, I was just happy to be leaving the whole situation in general.

After we got back, we all hung out for a while working on random stuff for school and what not. Dinner was really good. I made a lasagna sandwich and ate like a king. After dinner, I was feeling tired and decided to exclude myself from the super bowl festivities and rather stay close to home. I took a shower and felt a lot better. I ended up going with a few people that had stayed back too and watched the first quarter at a bar right near our dorm.

We all returned home pretty early and headed to bed shortly there after.

February 6

Today was awesome. I woke up at 11:30, showered and met about 10 members of the group down in the lobby before we left for the science museum. The walk to the aquarium was awesome. It was probably the warmest it has been since I have been here, the sun was shining, and the sky was bluer than ever. Since all of the science buildings are at one end of el Rio, we took a long way through the river to enjoy the day even more.

The cafeteria had made sack lunches for us to eat of the way, but about four of us forgot to sign up for them. Instead we stopped at a little sandwich/café place in el Rio. I had a ham and cheese bocadillo (sandwich), an orange soda and some French fries. When I ordered my fries they asked me if I wanted salsa, thinking ketchup, I said sure. Much to my surprise and like, the fries were actually covered with hot sauce and a garlic aioli that was absolutely delicious.

After we took about thirty minutes to eat, we set off to the Aquarium called L’ Oceanographic. The science buildings are like out of a science fiction museum. The same architect did all of the buildings and he went for a very natural, futuristic approach using curves, natural shapes and white buildings. In the shadow of every building there are hundreds of square yards of wading pools with pristine, Caribbean appearing blue water.

Walking in, we saw a huge crew working in a huge wading pool that they had just drained. I found out that an MTV crew was building a huge stage for a big free concert next Saturday that they give every year in Valencia. This year they are hosting the Artic Monkeys. They aren’t my favorite band in the whole world but the opportunity to see such a huge concert in that venue would be absolutely awesome.

The Aquarium was really cool. It was open air and organized into pods such as Tropical, Sharks, Artic, Mediterranian, etc. If you went to each pod there were steps down to the actual exhibit. Everything was so cool.

Each corner we turned was a new mind blowing fish I had never seen before. We all met up at 3:30 for a dolphin show which was great. The trainers (who were in the water) would have the dolphins put their snouts under the feet and propel them across the length of the pool. Then when they got to the edge the dolphins would shoot them up out of the water and they would land perfectly on the edge of the pool, almost as if they had taken a step right out of the water. We laughed to each other because we realized dolphins here speak Spanish because of their trainer’s commands. The dolphin show was by far the coolest part of the day.

The science museum was pretty bad. I pictured huge hands on activity place that I could go back to and relive my youth trips to interactive museums, but in reality It was pretty lame. I played with the tornado creator exhibit for a while but decided to leave the museum after about an hour and a half. Some of us that went on the museum trip wanted to go to the Valencia soccer game but by the time we finished both museums, it just wasn’t feasible to get over there in time.

Some of us went to get a drink at a bar that we just randomly found and watch the first half of the Valencia game. The bar looked like it was owned by an Eastern European family and the crowd looked the same. We got to the bar just in time because about 15 minutes after we arrived, it was slammed with everyone looking for a good spot near the TV. Valencia scored two great goals in the first half and both times the whole restaurant would roar and cheer.

Since we were kind of tired and far we decided to take a taxi back. Of all the taxi drivers and people needing a ride in the city, we found our same driver from Thursday night. He didn’t recognize me at first but I remembered him for sure. After I asked him he remembered everything. It was really funny to talk to him again. He said he would see me next time and I just laughed and said of course. We were starved and flocked into the cafeteria at 8:00.

Everyone hates on the hamburgers here but I really like them. I have been putting onion on it, which makes it taste incredible. I also had a potato and cheese soup that was to die for. After dinner we all took a two hour nap, woke up and got ready to go out for the night.

Most of the Spanish kids went home for the weekend to see their parents so it was just a group from the UGA trip that we went out with. We went to an older bar called La Negrita (the same place I had gotten an espresso and baileys a few days prior). It was a welcomed change because there was a lot more of an older crowd, which was fun to hang out with.

A few of us went to Radio City and danced until about 3:30. It was fun but that bar just gets so packed that no one can move at all. As we were leaving, we stopped at Doner Kebab but I resisted and saved my money. It looked really good though.

I went to sleep not too much longer after we returned home, exhausted from a long, fun day.

February 5

Once again, I was ecstatic that I got to sleep in. I went down to lunch at 1:30 and heard about everyone’s experience on trying to get to class on time and had a few laughs. After lunch, I went with David White, Scott and Gregg to Mercadona (the local supermarket) to get some snacks for our room.

It was such a beautiful day that we found a plaza with some green space and just sat down and took it all in for about 45 minutes. At Mercadona I bought some deoderant, baguette and a hunk of goat cheese. It tasted so good and the bread that I bought was still warm from the oven. We took a roundabout way home just to see some more of the city and enjoy how nice the weather was.

I went up to the deck for about an hour but I spent most of my afternoon hanging out with people in the room. The night kind of snuck up on me, I was exhausted. Some people went to sing karaoke but I knew how busy my Saturday was so I went with some of the Spanish students to a bar right around the corner called el Fon (basically it means oven). I guess the bar used to have a huge oven that was on the second floor of the bar. They gutted the bar and put in a seating area. It was cozy but had only 6 foot high ceilings. My hair kept rubbing up against it when I would stand up so I was forced to hunch over which was pretty awkward.

I left with a group that were heading back to the dorm. We stopped at Doner Kebab and I had a piece of chicken pizza with hot sauce on it. Some of the people we were with stayed out but about three of us came back and all went to bed. I skyped Laura for a little bit, then hit the pillow hard and fell fast asleep.