Thursday, April 29, 2010


So i don't know how many of you know about the religion here in spain called football but last night is a testament to how amazing the environment of football is here in Spain.

Last night was the semi-final 2nd leg of the champions league between Barcelona and Internazionale (for those of you who don't know, this is a HUGE match and 2 very good teams.) Champions league is a europe-wide tournament that takes place apart from the norma leagues in each country and causes some huge matches to take place (i.e. Manchester United Vs. Bayern Munich) and causes many rivalries between the fans of the respective countries.

So last night, sporting my Barcelona Jersey, Werner his scarf and Sophian his hat, we headed out to show our support for our team, BARCA! We always go to this bar around the corner called Merchant's to watch football on the weekends and during the week when there are special matches like this. Usually all the seats are full for bigger matches like Real Madrid or Barcelona beat tonight, you couldn't even walk in this place it was so full. Religion. You could call the bar a place of worship.

Werner and Sophian had been there 1.5 hours before to get us seats, thankfully, and we supported Barca through our enjoyment of the match, roars of ups and downs, and many a cruzcampo pints. As the match went on the tone in the room became less and less cheery as it got closer to the 90th minute and Barca had yet to score. (they had to win 2-0 to advance) in the 84th minute Pique (on a questionable offsides call) put it past Julio Ceasar to put barca up 1-0. THE BAR WENT INSANE. You have all seen what it is like when the hawks score a goal in game 7 or something like that but this is like nothing i've ever seen. People were hugging, high five-ing, kissing, embracing, doing anything with random neighbors at the bar. the rapport of this place was absolutely ridiculous.

At the 90th minute, you could hear a pin drop as stop time began. 4 minutes of stop time (extra time) for delays during the game was all Barcelona had to put in the winning goal. About 2 minutes into stop time, Barca (i couldn't remember who) put it in the net only to have it negated by a hand-ball call which in the replay clearly showed went off his chest and the ref just had a horrible perspective. Hijo de puta.

So barcelona lost and i really think some people were crying. It was saddening for all involved. Afterwards Werner says to me "I need to go out and drink more to forget." he was so upset. So go out we did. After our last pint at Merchant's we headed to Calle Alfafe only to stop at Plaza del Salvador (a local spanish hangout with 1 euro beers) to enjoy the night outside instead of a smokey bar. After a beer or two we ran across some fans wearing inter jerseys, to which we immediately were like, WTF? So we approached them and they hugged us to say sorry that we lost. HAHA. It was so funny. Then we talked with them (all in spanish) about the match and the calls and why they were wearing the wrong jersey.

After saying ciao the the "italians" we began to head to Calle Alfafe. En route we encountered a real McAsshole who wanted to fight us because we were being rowdy and screaming barca through the streets to which werner responded in some crazy spanish i couldn't understand. When spaniards get mad, they talk faster than the speed of light. After getting to the next bar, we discussed the asshole as well as the match some more and headed across to another bar to talk with some people because this one was rather empty. The next bar was a lot of fun.

At our next, and final bar, the place was packed. There was this guy and girl couple sitting at the bar drinking Agua de Sevilla (equivalent to a long island and $20 for a pitcher that rocks your world because its 96% alcohol 4% something else) and Werner and I start talking to them. After about 15 minutes of spanish, 3-4 more beers, Werner tells me, "I want to take this girl away from this guy because she's hot and i'm way better than him" HAHA. To which i said, are you trying to get your ass kicked?! But the girl was a fan of Real Betis (shitty) and we agged on a little rivalry chant between betis-barca.

After interacting with spaniards all night and receiving a few compliments about how well i could speak even though i've only been here since january (wow) we decided it was time to head home. On the way home, we started the chant again and we were pretty pissed at this point. The walk home, to which took much longer than it should have due to frequent bathroom breaks and during the walk we may have pushed all the dumpsters into the middle of the street, who knows if that was us or not. Just before getting to our street some guy got out of his car and started chasing us, but luckily we just ran into our house and he didn't know where we went. I kind of felt like I was in Green Street hooligans for a night between all the beer, football, rapport and ruckus.

After getting home, enjoying a Weisbier and talking to Renee for a while, it was time to pass out. I couldn't tell you what time it was but i would guess past 4. And here i lay, still in bed at 1:30 because Im DONE WITH MY INTERNSHIP and have nothing to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays from now on besides study. Today I'm packing and off to meet up with Laurent and stay with his family in PARIS!! I'm pretty pumped to meet them, see Paris and chill with Laurent.

What a great start to a great weekend and a great way to enjoy the closing weeks of this insane semester in Spain and Europe.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Well after about 5 days of reading nothing about how this volcanic ash cloud looming over Europe and stranding thousands of people all over europe due to flights not being able to fly through the ask I woke up at 430am to call the airport and find out we were going to get to fly to amsterdam. the first flight into the Schipol Airport since Thursday. WOW. The 9 of us that went couldn't believe that we were going to get to make! It was truly a miracle.

We go into Amsterdam airport around 1030 am on Tuesday April 20th and the Trip took off immediately. A) the airport was EMPTY and B) nearly every flight on the board was cancelled, I have no clue how we got to fly in but i am not going to question it because we got to go and we didn't crash.

We had lots of luck getting into the airport and our flight working out, however, we didn't have as much luck with trains. It is about a 30 minute train ride from the airport into Amsterdam and about half way through the train in front of ours decided to have an accident or break or something like that. So we had to go backwards and switch trains and finally go to the DAM!!

Amsterdam, upon arrival, immediately became my favorite city of Europe. The place is amazing. The bikes everywhere, the canals, the buildings, the environment, the culture, everything was literally incredible. After we got there and checked into our hostel and got settled, it become apparent that Amsterdam has nearly every type of food you could possibly imagine (except taco bell and some other american traditions.) Kabobs, Fries, KFC, McDonalds, Sandwiches, Panini's, pizza, etc... just to name a few. It was all very expensive but very good.

After reconvening we set out to see some of amsterdam. We ventured through the city and saw a lot! We went to Anne Frank's house where she wrote her diary and hid during WWII which was rather uneventful (and why i have no pictures of it haha) as well as rather expensive! But it was cool to see that. Then we did some more walking and sightseeing!

After the first day of walking around the city and seeing stuff and traveling and getting next to no sleep we packed it in rather early. While back at the hostel i chatted with some Scots and Brits who had been working at a club by night and skiing the alps by day for 3 months and ended with a week in Amsterdam only to get trapped due to the volcano for another extra week. They were awesome guys and had been living, working and skiing for the past 3 months at 18 years of age....Europe is one big playground and it is nuts what some people do!

Day 2 was by far the busiest day i've ever had on a trip. We woke up, had breakfast and some coffee and set out on a mission. We went to the Iamsterdam sign, the heineken factory, the Van Gogh Museum and ended the day by taking a train 20 minutes to see Alice in Wonderland 3D in IMAX. It cost 20 euro but it was sweet. After getting back to downtown we decided to meander through the red light district for awhile, when in amsterdam, right? So the red light district really does is unreal. I will try and describe it to you all:

So...the Red Light District, where to begin? First off, it is rather large and legal for this place to exist. (thanks to loosely written laws and loopholes in Dutch government) There are tons of alleys and stuff that are all lit up with red lights inside and out and there are tons of doors, not windows, where women stand near nude and try and lure you into their "booth"/"room" idk what you would call it. They would like tap on the door to try and get you to look at them and then wink at your or point at you or something, it was WEIRD. The other guys took a walking tour after I left and said should you choose to go inside a room it goes as such: You pay first, for 15 minutes. Then she makes you shower in there, which counts as part of your 15 mins. Then you get it on haha. The more you want from her the more you pay! It was so weird to see rooms with chicks in the doorway and a bed in the background with just a curtain if front of the door of which a lot were closed as we walked past....someone was enjoying themselves!

So that's the rundown of the red light district (and no, none of the people in our group went into a room.) A very INTERESTING experience and sight and one that I'm sure won't be found anywhere besides Amsterdam.

Day 3 began the same as the rest and we just kind of hung out until I had to get on the Train to Frankfurt to meet P-carbs! For a snack before the Train i had a delicious browny and it reminded me of just how bland the food is in spain compared to other places. They don't have spicy food really at all, very weird!

All-in-all, amsterdam was an amazing city, my favorite so far! Only Paris and Madrid left to see before heading back across the pond. It is crazy how fast this time has gone!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Past Due

So I haven't blogged in a long time. Spring break was way fun. My parents and I met in Italy, which was awesome. If you wanna hear all the details, ask me about it because I don't feel like typing all of that out.

After Italy my mom and dad came back to Sevilla to see where I've been living this whole time, see some of sevilla and the end of semana santa. We came back saturday and did some laundry and walked around sevilla and saw some of the pasos through the streets. This town was PACKED with people. It was nuts. You couldn't even walk through the streets and you had to take all the back roads.

On easter sunday, we went to church for about 5 minutes in the cathedral and walked around Sevilla again. It was just nice to be with my parents in Sevilla and it made me even more homesick being with them here instead of in chicago like usual. After a few days and a lot of Tapas with my mom and dad, they headed for Barcelona and I headed for Morocco!

Morocco....what t o write about you. First off, this was a school trip. We had rules and had to be up at the crack of dawn (5am 1 day and 6 the other 2) so it wasn't the most exciting trip. We started off with a bus ride to the south of spain to take a ferry across the straits of gibraltar. The seas decided not to cooperate with the boat and it was the roughest boat ride I had ever been on in my life. A lot of people were feeling a bit queasy and were ready to get off the boat.

After the 1 hour long boat ride we had another 40 minutes to Tetuan where our hotel was for the weekend and where we started our tour of morocco. We walked through a medina (which i don't have a clue what this word means in spanish but i would say "neighborhood" would be appropriate.) After walking around the most foul smelling market and seeing some stuff that I really couldn't tell you what the hell it was, we went for some COUS COUS! YUM!! we also had some orange mint tea that we soon figured out is served 16 times a day in morocco and got sick of very quickly.

After lunch we went to the Coca-Cola factory in Tetuan! That was really cool to see! We walked through the whole factory, got a tour, got some souvenirs and got some samples! They have this apple soda called POMS in morocco that was very tasty. It was crazy to think that they had state-of-the-art machines in the factory but outside, some people don't even have running water in their houses. A very surreal feeling to think about.

day 2 we went to Tanger, one of the largest cities in Morocco. It was pretty sweet but the most exciting thing was the market in which we didn't get sufficient time and I only ended up buying 1 thing, maybe a good idea seeing as how i'm living on a tight budget! After Tanger we went back to the hotel and had dinner and got a short nights sleep before waking up at 5AM the final day. YUCK!

Our final day we drove through the mountains to Chef Chahouen, a blue city in the hills of the mountains. They paint all of their buildings blue to help deal with the heat that can become sooo hot in the summer. They paint their houses 6-7 times a year and the only color is blue. It costs less than 10 euros to paint the whole house, very cheap! They also fit about 30 people inside 1 house consisting of 5-6 families!! crazy! After getting a tour of the whole town we had some more free time at another market and we just kind of wasted time until it was time to leave and head back to spain.

When we got to the port, we were told that the ocean was so rough all the smaller boats had been cancelled and just 1 big one was running so we had to wait for that one. Worth the wait! We all got these baller 1st class seats that were like on an airplane that went down and stuff. It was good because the big boat made it so you couldn't even feel the waves and saved a lot of people from getting sick. After the boat, we still had another 2 long hours on the bus and a lot of jokes and riddles were told on the bus to make time go by faster.

After a lot of busses, boats, and walking we finally made it back to sevilla. It was nice to be back in civilization where you can drink the tap water and don't have to buy bottles of water to brush your teeth with!!

All in all, cool to see morocco and i got to ride a camel! So i've been to africa, but it wasn't realy africa, just northern morocco!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Travel to Venice

Spring Break is finally here!

I'm in the hotel in venice waiting for my parents to arrive so i figured I would update this about my long travels to Venice!

After a full day of work I headed to the Santa Justa Train Station in Sevilla to hop on the AVE train to Madrid. If any of you have ever seen those trains in movies that are based in europe that travel extremely fast, this is that kind of train. From the outside it doesn't look like much but on the inside this thing is like a 1st class ride all the way. The 2nd class seats, which were huge, all have radio and headphones like an airplane and they showed a movie for the 2 and 1/2 hour trip to madrid (which i chose to not watch and watch the Blind side on my lap top instead.) One cool thing about the train (which is electric powered) is that every seat has an outlet, so i could charge my computer as I worked/watched a movie. The train had stewardesses and a cafe car. I seriously thought i was flying first class on a train and the the train was nearly brand new. It was really cool and although a bit slower, was definitely better than flying from Sevilla to Madrid and cheaper too.

Once I got to Madrid, i took 3 Metro trains to the airport where I had 5 hours in between to kill. Sleeping on a marble floor may seem rather difficult but after being awake 20 hours, i had no trouble catching a 2 hour nap before check-in began. After checking in and the stupid lady making me pay 20 euros to check my bag (so pissed) I was finally on my way to Venice.

Upon landing in venice, it was very foggy and very hard to see anything. I hopped on a bus to Piazzale Roma and met these people from Syracuse, New York that were about 50 and spending holy week in Italy for the 2nd time in 3 years. Instantly I started talking shit to them because they lost to Butler (thanks for telling me Renee!) They were thrilled haha!! I told them next year to hit up southern spain for Semana Santa and showed them some pictures from Sevilla. Really nice old folks.

After the bus i had to take the Venice version of the metro...the Vaporetto...or water taxi. How cool?! I would hate to live here and have to commute on this thing because it is very crowded, slow, and unreliable on time. Not to mention EXPENSIVE. It cost 6.50 euro to go like 1 mile on the damn boat!! NO GUAY! But when in rome, right?! (or the same continent for that matter)

I've just been moseying around Venice waiting for mom and dad to get here! I know the weather will get better soon so i can deal with day 1 being crappy, it can only get better from here! There are some pictures up for your viewing pleasure and I will update you all on the rest of the trip throughout!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Midterm March Madness

Well midterms are certainly nice to be behind me! March madness soon ensued after my exams on wednesday! Straight after my last final, i was walking home and what should i pass but an irish pub. It is 74 degrees and everyone is wearing green and drinking outside, naturally I walk in.

After a few hours of irish drinking music and some rowdy folks, i headed home for dinner and some futbol. Afterwards i went out to the river with Werner. We had a little irish fiesta with 20 or so of his friends from class. So i was hanging out with a bunch of spanish people, which was pretty sweet. I am sure that my spanish prolly as garbage but met some cool guys. Juan Jo, oscar, and one other whose name is evading my mind right now.

Thursday was normal, i didn't go out because I had to get up at 7am to go to a winery for my class. (a field trip to a winery, hell yeah) We went to this winery about an hour away called La Gitana in Cadiz province. After listening to them talk to us (or not listening) about their business operation we got to the important part, drinking the wine. The first we had was a 40 year aged sherry that was in a barrel that was 120 years old, it was rather...weird tasting but it was 100 euros a bottle and 18%, so we enjoyed a few glasses. Next, we had a white wine (manzanilla) that was a lot lighter and aged only 5 years. But we drank it right after the owner hand ladled it out of the aging barrels, which was pretty sweet. Lastly, we had some wine that was also 18% and was so sweet you could put it on waffles as syrup. It was nuts. After the winery the bus ride home was a riot because we were all a little drunk. We shared some crazy stories and at this point it was 30 degrees celsius outside (so warm.)

Immediately when i get to my house, Werner tells me there is a huge party across the river, so we grab a 12 pack and head straight there. I was expecting 100-200 people and we get there and there was about 15000 people, if i had to guess. It was like a tailgate but everyone was speaking spanish. We stayed and drank and socialized with spaniards until dinner time at 8pm. It was a great way to spend a day out in the sun and meeting people. Afterwards, we met up with Francois and headed out to Calle Alfafa. Due to the nice weather, the streets were overflowing with people. We hung out outside and had a few drinks and headed home rather early due to the whole day of drinking, and by early i mean 4am or so.

Saturday was fairly uneventful during the day. It was laurent's last weekend before he heads back to paris so we chilled and then went out last night after watching Sevilla lose in Futbol. We went to Betis, not altogether my favorite place to go but it is cheap. We ended up meeting and talking to a lot of people, again. For some reason we met a bunch of people this weekend. we left and walked home around 6 am and then decided to stay up and drink some tinto together until around 8am. Werner was out of his mind at this point and we were all having a blast and jamming to music, our neighbors prolly hate us but who really cares about them? A solid last weekend for Laurent I would say.

So here i sit at 8pm still in my bed. Quite a relaxing day, i must say. Thank god i am done with midterms. Now just cruising on easy street until the weekend when i meet the parents in italy for spring break!!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Por Sevilla


Since london, the weather in sevilla has been great! It is usually around 70 degrees and it has been sunny everyday. A lot better than the month straight rain we had before then! I have 3 midterms tomorrow so this past weekend I spent studying for them. The weather was nice, so i went down by the river and did a bit of reading there and then spent the rest studying in my room and/or starbucks. This week kind of sucked studying all of the time with the weather being so nice, but it will be alright once tomorrow and midterms are over!

This weekend should be rather fun, it is Laurent's last weekend in town before he heads back to Paris, so i assume we will go out and celebrate! The weathermen are predicting rain, but let's just hope they are wrong as usual. I found out this week that I only have 45 more hours of my internship left, which was a good thing to know. Over half way done! and 8 more hours will be done thursday! I can't wait for that to be over. It is good for my resume but it is BORING and makes the days go soo slow...I will probably finish up my 100 hours the last week in april and then have all Tuesdays and thursdays off to start getting stuff done for final projects, papers, and exams, which will be another stressful time. I don't like how they leave almost 50% of your grade for the last 2 weeks. That is dumb. But it will turn out alright. The exams aren't going to be nearly as hard as exam's at IU and i am not too worried because i did a lot of work for them.

Next thursday I leave to take the train to Madrid and then I'm flying to meet my parents in Venice! From there we are traversing Italy for 6 days before returning to Sevilla, it is going to be great to finally see them!! I can't believe it has been so long already! I have been here for over half of the time and the last half should go even faster than the 1st because there are 2 weeks where i have no classes! Gotta love Semana Santa and Feria de Abril!!

Still to come in traveling are: Italy (Venice, Florence, Naples, Capri, Rome and Tuscany,) Amsterdam and Frankfurt (during Feria) and finally Paris! That is about all the budget is going to allow, otherwise another 1 or 2 might be added in there because i have a few free weekends. But it will be nice to relax and enjoy sevilla a bit instead of spending time in hostels, airports, and paying for meals, which although fun, gets to be strenuous and expensive after a while!!

I hope all is well back in the US or wherever it is that you are reading this! It's now midnight and time to get some sleep! Goodnight!

PS: the clocks don't change in Europe until 2 weeks after the US....very weird!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


So after a lot of problems with Vueling airlines and a bunch of Bs with our bookings, the day to head to london finally came! we ended up having to stay 5 days (which was really cool but really expensive!)

Friday, after about 45 minutes on the Tube from Heatrhow, we got to london and went straight to the Hostel in Russel Square, if any of you are familiar with London or the tube bombings a while back, Russel square and the Piccadilly line is where the bombing happened. There was a memorial plauque by where you purchase your Tube tickets. so that was kind of, cool? to see.

after getting checked in, we hit up Tesco Express for some groceries to save pounds from not having to eat out every meal. This turned out to be a GREAT idea. After that, we had some Raspberry Absolut drinks in the hostel and headed out for a night on the town.

After speaking with a local and asking him where to go, we settled on this pub called, The Lamb. It was this old little pub and man was it cool. It had these things called spin mirrors that were used to distort your image so other people couldn´t tell how drunk you looked because the mirror would make everyone distorted! We sampled the local fare of beers which included Young´s. I would highly recommend that you try every kind of Young´s they make...they´re delicious.

While at the Lamb, we manage to start talking to these 2 English guys. They were both wearing capri pants which initiated the conversation and led us to discover that they are bikers (bicyclers) and had just gotten off a ride and started slamming Carlsberg´s. I couldn´t tell you their names for the life of me. After a few pints and slight inebriation, we head to some random ass bar with these guys and pick up some Red Stripe, which they bought, on the way.

Once we got to the other bar, i managed to sneak in 2 red stripes and sat there talking to people and drinking a can of beer I clearly didn´t buy in the bar. After a while and deciding it was time to get some sleep, we headed back to the hostel.

Saturday was dave day! we started the day by heading to Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, the London Eye, and a few other staples of london. We took the tube almost everywhere. In Europe, which i don´t think they do in the US, they sell day travel cards for the Trains (HINT CHICAGO.) They cost about $10 a day for central london and the further away you travel from the center the more they cost. At every tube stop, this lady with an english accent (recording) would come on the PA and say "This is Picadilly Circus, Please Mind the Gap, Mind the GAP!" Apparently a 5 inch drop from the train to the platform is a gap that causes some people great problems stepping. Also, London is home to some of the LARGEST escalators i have ever seen. The tubes are so deep that you take these escalators about 5 times the size of one from any mall in the was crazy.

After some sandwiches we made for lunch, we jumped the tube to north Greenwich to get in line for the DMB show! The O2 arena was really cool. not only did it have the arena but inside the O2 "Bubble" were tons of places to eat, drink, shop, and be merry. It was like a mall with a concert venue in the middle instead of a food court or movie theater, very neat. We got into line around 430pm and the doors didn´t open until 6:30. We met a few people in line from the US, one named frost who was buy himself so he joined us for the rest of the nights activites, mainly talking about dave and watching the show. He had flown in by himself for the show and works for Marriot. Very nice guy and will be at Alpine for the shows this summer!

After eating dinner in line for dave the doors finally opened! As the show started I immediately knew it was going to be a great show when we found ourselves in the 5th row, again. We waited a long time and the show finally got underway. Once difference about the GA floor, NOBODY was drunk. Almost nobody was even drinking the whole night. A very big difference than any dave show in the US, but a welcome change for once. When dave came out to introduce Alberta Cross, the opening band, he talked for longer than I have ever heard him. I didn´t know he could string that many sentences together in his state of mind. This excessive talking continued throughout the show. Dave talked in between songs more than I have EVER heard in my 20+ shows. Even more than a Dave and Tim show, so that was really cool to hear/see.

After a great set and the return of Sugar Will, we stuck around to get front row and try and get a set list. After much deliberation and avoiding being thrown out by these asshole security guards who tried to tell me they didn´t have any setlists (which i knew to be 100% BS) one of the techies gave me Tim´s setlist! Another great souvenir!

After standing for like 7 straight hours, we went back to the hostel and passed out to get ready for sunday!

After a hearty breakfast of Toast and Coffee at the Hostel, we headed out for day 3 of london. 3 of the people I was with had to head back to sevilla so we kind of had a rushed morning trying to get things done. We went to St. Paul´s Cathedral, which was like $20 to enter so we just looked, the Globe Theatre, The Tate Modern (art museum,) across the Thames, back to Big Ben for more pictures, and then to Marble Arch. After this the girls hopped on the bus to the airport. for the rest of the day, a lot of walking was done! We checked out china town, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus, and just the general area! After a slight rest at the hostel, we headed out to take some night pictures of Big Ben, Parliament and the rest of london. It was so cool to see what you see in soo many pictures and postcards lit up and gleaming across the River Thames. Very cool...After a long day of walking we went to a local pub and sampled Strongbow, a traditional English Cider. I don´t know how people drink more than 1 of those a night, but i guess it can be done. I had one and had a sugar rush to the head, i am glad i only had 1 as a hang over from that would prove DEADLY. After 1 strongbow I decided on a delectable Guiness. I can´t beleive how much I have grown to love guiness and I am sad I can´t make it to Ireland this trip...reason to come back!!

After a nights rest, we woke up early on monday to go buy half price tickets to see Avenue Q, the musical. We got tickets for 12.50 pounds which is about $20. so that was a GREAT deal!! Afterwards, we ventured to all of the Museums of london that are free including the National Portrait Gallery, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum. The reason we went to so many is because they are FREE. I think that all of these are free in order to offset the extreme cost of everything else in London. We also went to Kensington Palace, where Princess Diana lived as well as her memorial in Hyde Park, which was a cool fountain that depicted her life through the flow of water, choppy and rough at sometimes and then ending in a pool of calm after death, etc... So that was cool to see. It is crazy to think it has been 13 years since she was killed!! Time flies! Afterwards, we jumped the Tube to Camden Town.

Camden was one of the coolest things I had seen in London. It is a huge area with markets, stores, shops, food places, and tons of different kinds of people. It is kind of a hippie/ punk area but the stores were sweet and had a variety of various things for purchase. After meandering around for a while, we went to a swanky joint called Pier 1 to sample some Fish & Chips. It was a little bit pricier than most but thanks to the recommendation of a local brit, the fish and chips were awesome. The piece of Cod I had was HUGE!! Afterwards, we went back to get ready to head to the Theatre for the show!

Upon arriving we were told we had been given a free upgrade! Dress circle for $20, I´ll take that thank you very much. The theatre was sooo small compared to the mostrous US theatres and the show was ABSOLUTELY HALARIOUS. If you haven´t heard or seen it, Avenue Q is a spoof off of sesame street with puppets held by people that talk and sing. The story line is about trying to find your purpose in life through love and sex and friendship. There was a ton of swearing, sex and funny lines. A great show that I would suggest to anyone over the age of 16!

Afterward we chilled in our hostel for a little while. There was this kid named Tyson who was from San Francisco orginally and took a year off from college to just live in Europe. He had been all over and living in London for the last month and working at startbucks to save up money for his next 2 month trip. He said sometimes he even just sleeps on the streets when he runs out of money and can´t afford hostel´s or doesn´t have friends to stay with...truly CRAZY. I know my mother would KILL me if she knew i were doing that! (don´t worry mom, I´m not!) So we talked with him a bit about his adventures as well as ours and it was cool to hear some of the things he had done!

For our last day in London, we didn´t really know what to do after having seen what we thought was everything we wanted to. So we took the tube out to Wembley. It was about a half hour ride, but it was cool to see the arena! We also went to The Nationaly Museum (Free!) to check out the rosetta stone! That was really awesome to see in person! We also headed to Harrod´s. If you think Nordstrom is expensive or cool, than you have never been to Harrod´s. This place was not only OUTRAGEOUSLY expensive but had everything in it. They had different rooms with different things in each room such as a bakery, a tea and coffee room, a candy room, a perfume room, etc... They also have every designer product you could ever want at prices you never want to pay, but people were spending small fortunes while we were in there! It was a mecca of shopping and if you ever win a shopping spree, I would suggest you go to Harrod´s in London.

We didn´t have time to make it to Wimbledon, which i would have liked to have seen, but we got to see almost everything else in london!!

After 4 nights, we finally headed back to heathrow airport. Once through security, we encountered a mall that gave Orland Square mall a run for it´s money as far as size and had, once again, tons of designer stores. You could have gotten every designer purse and never even left the airport! It was nuts. The flight went well and I was glad, after a long weekend, to be back out of the bustle of the huge city. all in all though, an amazing trip!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Heading to london for a nice weekend. Dave on saturday and lots of sight seeing the rest!

It will be cool to finally see all the things that are in so many movies from london! (and some fish and chips and cider of course!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Munich 2/19-2/21

Munchen! The heart of Bavaria was so cool to see! I headed out on friday afternoon and had a 4 hour lay over in madrid, which was brutally boring. Luckily i bought a good book by Stiegg Larsson to pass some of the time!

Once settled at the 4you Munchen Hostel, we went to another hostel to drink some German beers. Wow. German beer is amazing. They have to spin the bottle in order to get all the beer out at the bottom and it settles like guiness but is not as thick. Weisbier was amazing. Kind of like a Blue Moon taste but much thicker and heavier. I headed to bed early friday night because i had to wake up early on friday to head to the venue where DMB was playing to try and buy my ticket.

After a breakfast at the hostel which was toast with some home made jelly and making a sandwich for a snack, I went to Zenith to buy my ticket. A 20 minute metro ride led me to an old train repair warehouse built in 1918 where We would be seeing DMB that night. Little did they say on the phone I couldn´t buy tickets until 14:00 day of show. Shit. So I called this guy named Craig I met on that was in the US army in germany and had an extra ticket. I met him at the Central Station in munich and paid a little bit less than face value for my ticket, which was awesome.

After all this it was still only 10:3oam. We attempted to go on a tour of Munich, but found it a waste of time to listen to this chick blabber and we saw the same stuff in a fraction of the time on our own. We saw the famous chruch´s, royal residence, the Mac Store, and just all the stuff in my pictures on facebook! We then went to the Olympic Village from the summer games in 1972. It was cool to see but kind of snow covered, which was bit of a bummer. After that, we ended our day of tourism at the HAFBRAHAUS!

Hafbrahaus, for those of you who don´t know, is the culmination of beer drinking and oompah bands. It is long tables for 10 people or so all over with a band playing the best drinking music imaginable, women carrying around and selling GIANT homemade pretzels, men wearing liderhosen, lots of bockwurst, kraut, potatoes and other fresh german fare and waiters carrying out LITERS, yes liters (thats 1000ml or about 38oz) of fresh from the tap Hafbrau beer. The environment was quite the perfect place to pregame for dave. Much different than the dave days of summer, but a nice change of atmosphere!

People laughed at me when i wore a DMB shirt to Hafbrauhaus, best decision ever. When you mix lots of beer, lots of US natives in deutschland, and DMB you get a lot of people sitting around drinking heavily and discussing our origins and excitement to be there. We met a lot of people from the US military based in germany and took quite a few drinks with them and even met up with these 2 guys we met from ohio in the show. We met so many awesome people all because they knew we were americans and going to dave from my shirt!

Besides the camaraderie and drinking, the food was fantastic. I have never been a big fan of saurkraut but that´s because in the US it is actually sour. In germany, it is so sweet. It was deliciious. The Bockwurst and 2 other types of sausage we ate were also delicious. This one girl named kate is a vegan so she got a baked potato with hand whipped sour cream. it was sooo delicious. I´d say it was a great success.

After all of these escapades, we headed to the show a little early to get a good spot to stand because the show was GA. We ended up getting in the 5th row right in front of Steffan Lessard, the bass guitarrist, for those of you who don´t know. I won´t go through the whole show, but it was incredible. we were so close and saw some great songs, of which, my favorite was by far crush. After the show we went to get some food and headed home for the night.

Sunday morning was awful. I was woken up at 730am by 10 roomates all yelling German. Talk about pandamoniu. how people make sense of that gibberish is beyond me. Seeing as how falling back asleep was impossible, i woke up and used the extra time to see more of Munich. I started out by heading to Dachau Memorial Site where the nazi concentration camp was from 1933-1945. It took a metro and a bus to get there (about an hour each way in total) but was very interesting to see. You learn so much about the devestation that Hitler caused and everything about these camps but until you stand in the rooms where people were gassed and cremated, or starved to near death, it doesn´t really hit home. It was amazing to finally see something you hear about in history class your whole life. After wandering the city and doing a little bit of shopping for a few gifts, I headed to the airport which got me back to sevilla right around midnight. Another very exhausting yet fun filled weekend in yet another country!!

Next to come: London the weekend of March 5th-8th!!


It has been a while since i´ve posted anything but times have gotted pretty busy with classes and my internship keeping me busy during the week and traveling and having fun in sevilla on the weekends!

So the weekend of Feb 5th I met up in BarÇa with Jen and around 10 other people from the U of I Architecture program. we stayed at this place called Centric Point hostel which was in a great location close to a main Metro station and a lot of the Gaudi Architecture. It was right by the Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia. They got in pretty late on friday so we headed straight out to this guy named Blaha´s apartment where the guys had been taking some drinks for quite a while. we then went out to some club called Opium that was a complex labyrinth that was impossible to get out of, and was wayyy over priced. After quite a long day of travel and what not, passing out was not hard at all.

The next day we woke up early and hauled ass around Barcelona. We went to La Sagrada Familia, some othre architechture by Van der ohs, (sp?), Park Guell and some other stuff as well. Park guell was like Dr. Seuss´s inspiration, i felt like i was in whoville or something. Very cool.

The metro was really efficient there and we used it to go pretty much everywhere. After a long day of walking around we went out for some tapas! We went to this place called Bo where we had 12 people and tried a ton of awesome food! Not to mention, some cervezas! After a 2 hour meal and lots of tapas, beers, and a free shot, we headed to another place called Elefante. It was on the outskirts of town (or so we felt) but was a cool place. They had all these characters walking around on stilts, which was nuts.

on sunday, jen and everyone had to leave early in the morning so I ventured around Barcelona all day until my flight in the evening. Seeing a city by yourself may seem boring, but you get to go exactly where you want to go. So i went to the Catedral, Christopher Columbus Statue, walked through some Barrios and along the Med. Ocean! After that, i ended my trip to Barcelona in La Pedreda, one of the coolest things i saw. It was an apartment complex designed by gaudi in 1900 that looks like it was built 10 years ago. It had tons of awesome sculptures and parabola effects that were amazing to walk through and see. He was a genius and i can´t wait to go back to barca in 2030 when La Sagrada Familia is complete!

One thing i hated about Barcelona was the language. It is like a combination of french and spanish that nobody should understand. I would ask for something in spanish at a store or restaurant and they would look at me like i was crazy. Screw Catalan.

After a long weekend of next to no sleep and tons of sight seeing, getting back to sevilla was a warming welcome and so was my bed!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Busy in Sevilla!

Hola! It has been a while since I have written, but when they say the first two weeks of class is an intensive spanish session, they mean intensive. I have had a lot of work to do and cannot wait for this weekend to be here!

To bring you up to speed:

Last week we had our midterm, which I got a 100% on, so that was good news! The weekend was pretty standard. Friday I went out with my 2 roomates, Laurent and Werner to have some beers and sure enough, a half hour later 120 american people walked into the exact same bar. So we just got drunk and headed out to meet some of Laurent's friends and people at the Discoteca, which was packed and expensive!

Saturday I met up with Laurent and his french friends who had been drinking heavily and were HALARIOUS to watch. They were so drunk that they got kicked out, so that was the highlight of the evening and I got some sleep to rest up or sunday!

Then sunday was the best night of the weekend. It was my first Soccer/fútbol experience. Let me tell you, I know now why people are obsessed. It was an awesome experience and I am now becoming obsessed as well. I went with this guy named Stephen from my program and we met up with some people for dinner before hand and then headed into the game early to watch the pregame warm ups. A few hours later and 2 awesome goals from Daniel Negredo, Seville beat Valencia, their rival in the division. It was an awesome night and a lot of fun!

This week has just been filled with homework and projects and a final on friday but I am looking forward to traveling to Barcelona this weekend!

Make sure you check out all of the pictures I posted on Facebook!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sevilla: La ciudad que no duerme

Sevilla: The City that never sleeps. Sevilla is amazing. It is like chicago, because it has 1.5 million people, combined with the oldest city you could possibly think of. The streets are more confusing than the new york subway system, which if you've ever visited, is impossible to navigate. A sevillano named Sergio was our guide for the first few days and he has lived here he even gets lost sometimes, so you can't possibly imagine trying to walk around a new city in a new country where people only speak a language that is near impossible to understand....quite a daunting task.

The first weekend was so crazy here in sevilla because we had all kinds of meetings during the day for orientation and then events with the people from CIEE (the program here in sevilla) at night. The tapas are awesome and the food is different, but delicious. I've been trying things I can't even pronounce! We have gone to several different places to eat and I haven't tried something I didn't like!

I moved into my dorm on friday and my roomate is awesome! He is from valencia and his name is Werner because his mom is german. He is studying pre-med in Sevilla and he speaks english and spanish so he helps me when i don't know a word and i help him when he doesn't know one, so it is awesome. He is also halarious. he has a great sense of humor and we're always making each other laugh. So i lucked out with him! A lot of people don't have internet in their homestays, and i have not only internet, but wi-fi, so i'm pretty lucky! all in all, i am very glad with my living arrangements thus far with the exception of how uncomfortable my mattress is and how thin my blankets are. But other than that, todo esta bien!

This weekend was a lot of fun and we expereienced some of the night life in sevilla, which if you haven't heard, is some of the best in the world. There are clubs, bars, pubs, and other places to go and most of them are open from 11am until 6-7 in the morning, CRAZY! When we walk home at the end of the night, there are adults out in the streets just socializing and it makes me realize why spaniards take naps: Becuase they don't sleep mcuh at night! It is hard to believe that there are so many people around at all hours of the night!! I wish that everyone reading this could come and see for yourselves how incredible and crazy it is! pictures do no justice to the beauty, quaintness and bustle of this amazing city!

I will try and get some more pictures up, but I am constantly forgetting my camera in my room. My schedule is crazy and I'm trying my best! we start class tomorrow, so hopefully a routine will start to develop soon and I can finally begin to have a semi-normal sleep pattern. If you require a lot of sleep to function, don't come ever come to sevilla because you will not enjoy it!

For now, time for a siesta and then later Werner and I are going to an Irish Pub (weird right?) to watch los partidos de futbol americano, which start at 9pm and 12:30am here! Crazy!!

Until next time, Adios!! I hope all is well back in the US!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bienvenidos a Sevilla!

I finally got to sevilla! The flight was a verrryyy long and tiring experience but I am here safely! Everyone here speaks so fast, so that will definitely take some getting used to. But on the whole, I'm not overwhelmed.

After landing, we took a bus to our hotel where we will be for 2 days for orientation and then move into where I will live for the semester (which is TBD tonight.) Then, we got our hotel rooms and ate lunch. Lunch in spain is much different than I expected! It was 3 courses: the first was scrambled eggs with mushrooms and peppers followed by carne (steak) and lastly, postre! (dessert). It was so filling that I couldn't even finish it!

Tonight is full of orientation activities and meeting more people! Mucha divertida!

Adios de Sevilla!

Monday, January 18, 2010


Well, tomorrow is the day! It seems as though I have been planning this trip for months and it was never going to come, but it is finally here! There are so many things I am sure are going to be so different, i don't really know what to expect!

I will keep you all updated as much as possible on what is going on and I hope everyone has a good few months while I'm away!