1.13.2010

Ladies and Gentleman, we have arrived!

First off, I just want to preface this by saying: I AM IN LOVE WITH SPAIN. And I realize this is a little presumptuous, because I’ve only been here for 26 hours. And part of that has been spent sleeping...but still, I love it! It is just as I imagined it would be...adorable cobblestone streets, beautiful buildings and rooftops, people walking the streets speaking in blazing-fast Spanish...it is perfect. And now, to recap the journey...I apologize in advance for the rambling.

Before I flew out on Monday, I spent a couple days in Seattle with my sisters. I got to play with my adorable niece and nephews, whom I always miss terribly when I’m away. It was sad to leave them again. On Monday morning, Rachelle took me to the airport at 5 AM. Sydney woke up and wanted to come with us, even though it was beastly early in the morning. So cute. I said my last goodbyes, and entered el aeropuerto Seattle. As I checked in, I looked over and saw Katie checking in as well, so we went through security together and then waited for our flights (we flew separately until we met up in Frankfurt for the last leg of the journey).

My flight itinerary consisted of three flights: Seattle to Toronto, then Toronto to Frankfurt, and then Frankfurt to Madrid. I had never flown international before, so I was a little nervous about making all my connecting flights and everything. The first flight went well, and as I left it was raining. Thank you Seattle! To be honest, there were a few tears as we rolled out of the terminal...the sky was crying, so I did too :) Then we left the ground, and I drifted off to sleep. On the second flight, I was on a ginormous plane and each seat had it’s own TV screen so you could listen to music, watch TV or movies, etc. This was the longest flight, and lasted all night. I read my Spain books for a couple hours and then watched a movie. Oh and I made a fabulous new musical discovery...Pete Yorn. Hence the first song. Anyways, it was dark outside for the whole flight and I had no concept of time, which was very bizarre. That flight was a little late leaving Toronto, so we arrived in Frankfurt an hour late, at about 8 AM. My next flight to Madrid was at 9:10 AM, and I was nervous about making it on time. Luckily, I had overheard a guy on the plane sitting in the row in front of me saying how he was on his way to Spain, so after we landed I found him and asked if I could tag along with him to find our plane to Madrid. There was another girl going to Madrid as well, so we stuck together and ventured off to figure out where to go from there. The Frankfurt airport es muy confuso, and we spent 20 minutes figuring out which line to stand in to get our boarding passes before someone told us that we could go straight to our gate and get them there. We hurried through security, and then ran to our gate. And when I say ran, I mean sprinted. It was the most epic run through the airport ever. We were sprinting up and down stairs, along those moving walkways...three strangers bolting through the Frankfurt airport, united in gate number. People were staring. It was chaos. We finally got to our gate, hot and sweaty and out of breath. And of course, once we got there we found out that our flight was delayed, so the epic dash was unnecessary, but still epic. :)

(This is what we do in airports to curb boredom)
This is where Katie and I met up, and it was sooo nice to see a familiar face. We boarded the plane, and then it was delayed for another hour. I was exhausted at this point, so I slept the entire way to Madrid. When we arrived, we had a few hours to kill so we played cards and tried to keep ourselves entertained until the bus came to take us to Alcalå. There, Katie and I met our host mother, Blanca. We live really close to the Plaza where the bus dropped us off, so we got our luggage and walked through the streets to her house. I was pretty delirious at this point, and making small talk in Spanish was way more difficult than it should have been. Blanca showed us around the house and to our living area, a cozy little room with 2 twin beds. There is another study abroad student staying here too, and she has a room right next to us. She is from Korea and her name is Rosilla (well, that’s her Spanish name). After we unpacked and settled in, Blanca made us dinner (warm soup, which was perfect because it was so cold outside). It was delicious, and soo nice to eat real food again. She told us that at the table we’re only allowed to speak Spanish, so needless to say it was a pretty quiet dinner. Afterwards, we were quite exhausted and went straight to bed, even though it was only nine.

(Our cozy little room! Katie is addicted to a new card game on her computer, and did not appreciate her picture being taken :) )

Today I woke up at noon. Typical. We had lunch at one, which in Spain is the most important and largest meal. Blanca made what she called “tortillas de patatas”, and it was kind of like a potato pancake...more potato and less pancake, but that’s the only way I can think to describe it. Katie and I have decided that we are in love with Blanca’s cooking. And she is adorable-I went to put my dishes in the sink and she was like “no no no, you eat and go to school, and I cook and wash dishes.”  As we left the house, she fussed over my hair being wet, saying it was too cold outside and I would get sick and that I should go dry my hair. Which I haven’t done since probably the 8th grade, so that was fun to re-remember how to do that. :) Then she led us outside and showed us how to maneuver along the streets to get the Plaza. She is so funny--she kept commenting on all the cute guys who passed by. I love her already. I feel like she is perfect for me and Katie. She lives by herself and has been hosting study abroad students for 16 years! I’m excited to pick up on my Spanish skills and be able to have real conversations with her. Anyways, she dropped us off at the Plaza, where we were supposed to meet our group. We waited for a while but didn’t see anyone familiar, so we called our director and he told us that everyone else was still so jet-lagged and exhausted that we would meet tomorrow instead. So we walked around for a little bit, soaking everything in (including the rain and our lack of ‘paraguas’) and then walked back to our house.

(En Plaza Cervantes)
The past few days have been a pretty chaotic, but it is such a joy to finally be here! I am in love with this place, and I can’t wait to explore and fall even more in love with it!

5 comments:

Sarah said...

wow, COOL! so i'm assuming blanca speaks english? how is your spanish? on my mission the first few days it sounded like they were speaking chinese, it was so fast. but you get used to it and start to understand more and more. cuidate!

rachelle said...

Omega 3, so fun to read about your first adventures in Spain! Blanca sounds adorable and I hope you and Katie have a fabulous time with her. I like, nay, love to read your blog so keep the posts a coming! Luv luv!

Bailey said...

Megara!
i love that shelle called you Omega 3!
I MISS YOU! but, i love reading your blog. your descriptions are wonderful and hilarious! and Spain sounds amazing! and Blanca sounds so sweet and cute, i like her! BUT not as much as I LOVE YOU!
xoxo
little hug, little kiss, BIG hug, BIG kiss!

Bailey said...

loved reading your blog and hearing your first words from Spain. Sounds like all is going great and you feel comfortable and happy with Blanca. Thats great news. We love you.
Dad says Hello. Take care and keep blogging. We will love reading your adventures and activities. this is from mom

KyAnn said...

I love that you have a blog. You can click on my name to get to mine. Love you tons!