Sunday, October 26, 2014

La Puerta a Marruecos

La puerta a Marruecos 

Hola Hola Hola,

I have so much to contaros! The past week has been inolvidable. To start I’ve got to tell you all the Joys of Marruecos. Fuimos a Chefchaouen, Asillah y Tangier. Esos tres ciudades fueron impersionantes.

Chefchaouen, “The Blue City” or Chaouen as the Moroccans call it was our first venture and I will never forget the beauty I encountered there. Chefcahouen is situated in the mountainous area of Morocco and is breathtaking! (Fun Fact; my absolute favorite color in the entire world is blue) Moving on Chefchaouen was covered in blue! The city is painted blue for traditon and has been for years. The city is painted every year before the spring comes to help yield off mosquitos and bugs! I think its time we paint everything blue in the states…bye bye mosquitos! Chefchaouen is full of life and the food was so amazing! Speaking of food all of our meals were covered in our package and thank goodness because we were given the best of the best when it came to food!

I was enjoying Chaouen so much that I even touched one of the many cats I found sunbathing around the city. Fun Fact: My awesome tour guide Javi told me that animals are not allowed as pets in the homes in chaouen for religious/praying purposes. They pray five times a day here and animals inside would create a filth not suitable for prayer. Also they believe cats to be far more cleanly than dogs, and for that reason you see me petting a cat instead of a cute puppy. 
Thanks Javi for all of your knowledge =] Vuestras guias made this trip inolvidable and were so knowledgeable and helpful. 

Assilah was a long drive, but it was worth it! Its located on the northwest coast and meets the Atlantic ocean. Que vista mas extraordinaria. Tambien en asilah hay arte por todas partes. Assilah has an art festival in which the winners place their art on the walls of the Medina all around the city! The large scale art reminds me of the arte that has been popping up around Richmond within the last few years. It’s much less like graffiti and much more like building sized art meant for galleries! I think I wanted a picture with every piece of artwork I found.




While in Tangier we stayed in a hotel called La Paloma and it was beautiful! Our second night of dinner there came deliciously served, and with a dinner show! These guys were quite the charmers, they danced and made music, and even did tricks with fire! Que guay! Lo mas quay fue montando en las camellos. I also became the queen of henna while visiting Chaouen and Assilah!


Last tidbit! While in Assilah I found these adorable children and had a refreshing few moments playing with them. They were making gimp bracelets...which was one of my favorite childhood pastimes. Its amazing how trends travel! We couldnt understand a single word spoken amongst us but I was more than thrilled to simply be spending time with children... I Miss My Siblings =(

Que experiencia, nunca olvidara mi viaje a marruecos!

<3 Besos y Abrazos

Thursday, October 16, 2014

La Puerta a La Alhambra y Nerja

Hola queridos!

La Puerta a la Alhambra y Nerja

Otra vista entre mi puerta española! Voy a contarles mis primeras líneas en español! Translators
ready! Empecé mis clases miércoles, soy en el nivel 6 que es intermédiate/avanzada! Tengo cinco clases la
gramática, negocios, la economía de España y Latinoamérica, producción oral e escrita, y la diversidad de la lengua española. Todos me parecen muy interesantes.

Now that we got the hard part out of the way, back to English! This first week was very exciting.
 I began classes as you guys hopefully figured out, and we also took some awesome trips! We visited La Alhambra and Nerja. I cannot begin to explain the beauty of Al Alhambra. Los Jardines Generalife, la ciudad a dentro, los mosaicos, las vistas del Albaicín everything is simply breathtaking.

Located in Malaga, Nerja is one of the beaches off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea! The small township was so cute with all of its white buildings and little shops. It was mesmerizing, I even found a pretty awesome 'Puerta' pictured below.  La Puerta a Nerja! I loved my time there, but my favorite part was surely the beach.

La playa was very different than beaches in the States.  It consisted of a rock bottom and darker much softer sand. The agua was crystal clear! While at Nerja we had the opportunity to cliff jump, which was amazing. We swam from the beaches to the cuevas where we slowly, but surely climbed up and leaped into the unknown.  After overcoming nerves and the sheer height of the cuevas, I jumped about five times.  Each time was better than the last! From atop the cliffs you could see fish swimming below and could see out as far as the “edge of the sea”. Our awesome tour guide Elly shared with us that on a clear day you can see Africa from the coast! I will return here again in my life, how could I not!

Also while in Nerja we ate paella at the beaches edge! I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much paella in my life! They cooked it over a fire pit and literally used a shovel to stir it! It was absolutely delicious! 

 The only thing that got me were the shrimp.Short story for you guys, I absolutely love shrimp but got pretty sick once from a bad shrimp incident and vowed to never eat them again.  Here in Spain, shrimp are a staple of the customary dishes. I knew I was in for it when I had shrimp as a side with my first meal on my vuelo from Madrid to Granada. So hopefully somehow along this journey I will overcome my distaste for shrimp and learn to love them again. I gave it a shot at Nerja and ate one but that was it haha my little buddy is pictured below. Maybe my next post will reflect a change of heart.  Until then I am falling in love with all things Spain..quedate bien!

Besos <3

Thursday, October 9, 2014

First Week Abroad!!!

Hola Amigos, Familia, Companeros....y Bienvenidos a La Puerta a Espana

Welcome to 'The Door to Spain' an opportunity to see and share my experiences while here. I can’t wait to give everyone back home a glimpse into my daily life for the next three months. Espero que mi blog os da una entrada a la puerta de Espana desde Los Estados Unidos, para que podais ver todo lo increible que esta aqui.  Tambien me encanta las puertas aqui, cada una es diferente. I'll post pictures of my favorite puertas!! Be sure to have 'Translator' ready (lol) as I will be immersing  you into a few Spanish lessons along the way!
Madre Mia....I have so much to share. First things first, one of the biggest surprises I have to share with  all of my Spanish speakers and Immersion friends from home, nunca en mi vida did I ever think I’d be using vosotros..que raro… everything is os os os aís aís aís ad ad ad (lol) I need to brush up on that!
On to more exciting things, my three flights were perfect, a total of about eighteen hours viajando  (traveling). The Jet bueno I think I slept for about twelve hours straight the next day! My Host family is just about the cutest little couple ever Elba y Juan Miguel along with our three pajaritos (little birdies).
My roomie Melissa is from the Sunshine State and is just the sweetest! I had a bit of a culture shock at the lack of my all-time favorite beverages here (soda and juice) tomamos agua con todo (we drink water with EVERYTHING). Anybody that knows me, knows that I NEVER DRINK WATER...EVEEEEEER.  Melissa, being her sweet, thoughtful self bought me my first bottle of orange juice. I tried to savor it for like 3-4 days! The sodas are also different here much sweeter, less burn… I NEED THE BURN (lol) but maybe Spain will make me healthier.
Speaking of health, we walk everywhere Dios mio if I had a pedometer it would be on overload! I walk more daily than you could imagine...kinda like New York some cars, tons of vespas and motos (motorcycles), but mostly walking. Our horario (schedule) is also muy diferente we eat lunch at three and dinner around nine. All of this is based around my favorite part of the day, La Siesta!
La Siesta is the break during the day where most businesses close and families go home have lunch and NAP! Perfect life for me, I’m a big sleeper and have finally found a country that appreciates the nap as much as I do.
It's almost dinner time here, meaning it’s about 3pm in the states! My host Madre Elba esta cocinando y cantando just passing the time in the kitchen, and naturally she’s listening to ‘I’m Every Woman' by Whitney Houston....que chistosa. If only I had the palabras perfectas (perfect words) to describe my first week 7,000 miles away from home. My best attempt would fall short at amazing, inolvidable (unforgettable), and life changing.
Ya amo a España! Todo es perfecto!

Besos <3