Friday, December 16, 2011

Hasta Luego

I'm all packed up, room is empty minus a stack of books I'm leaving here for the next USAC student.  I had to throw a few things away to make room, and will probably have to throw a couple more things away.  Many of the USAC students are a plane back to their homes, scattered around the states.  There are a few that I am really going to miss, who really made this trip the best it could have guys know who you are.  The last trip to London and Amsterdam was a good way to end things, for now.  It's not the end, there are so many more adventures to be had.  I'm not good at goodbyes, because I always try to end them with "I'll see you in..." or just some type of temporary closure, even if I know I'm not going to see them ever again.  It just feels so fake to say it, but I don't know how to say goodbye forever, which is why I always take the alternative route and make "arrangements" to meet again. 

Although I am here for another three weeks, the fact that everyone I have been around for the past 3 1/2 months is leaving, makes it hard.  There are a few still here, and I'll spend my time with them of course.  It will be a new experience being here without the compfort of the USACers, but that's reality.  It'll be a good experience and show me how it will be when I return to Spain.  It won't be the same, there won't be the group of us, no Rey Juan Carlos, no USAC staff, etc. but that's something I've realized and am expecting these next three weeks as well as when I return to Spain. 

The next three weeks are going to be awesome, I'll have about a week just in Madrid to take everything in for one last time.  Eat at certain restaurants, visit museums, Retiro, maybe a day trip or to out of the city, and just walk around this city I've come to call my home.  I have friends coming into town as well, super excited!  New Years here will be amazing, and sad because by that time I'll only have a few days left.  I'm off now, out of this apartment where I've been living for quite some time.  Very surreal feeling...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Updates, London, and Amsterdam

Wow, it has been a long time since I have written a post here.  I think it's a combination of me being too busy, and my computer being to slow to the point where I don't want anything to do with it.  But I've never had luck with computers so lo que sea (lo que sea=whatever).  Me and two friends of mine, Q and Kerry, finished our USAC yearbook last week before our break and are excited for everyone to receive them these last few days of school.  Two days of school, then finals on Wed. and Thur. then done!  I'm excited to be done with school but sad that it is all over, kind of, not really over, because those I want to stay close to with I will stay close with, and if it means a bit of traveling then hey all the better.  I feel rushed with finals and packing and figuring out where to store my things and where to stay and what not, but it is nice to know that I will have about a week here in Madrid after my travels to just relax, enjoy my last bit of time here, and do everything I didn't get to do, or twice. 

I'm excited to fly into the Bay Area and see my home, such a great feeling.  I'm excited to see my family waiting for me at the airport.  I'm excited to be surrounded by familiarity.  I'm sad to leave my home of Madrid.  I'm sad to have to "return" home to California, because it almost feels like I'm going backwards, instead of forward. Instead of continuing my travels further, moving somewhere, etc.  But I have time, and I need to realize that!  I'm moving forward with all the experiences I've gathered here and will carry with me onward through this crazy thing called life.  Still a bunch of things to finish up back in the states anway, like college haha...

Anyway, this past month has been a breeze, spending time in Madrid mostly.  This past week though, we had several days off from school so many of us took it as an opportunity to travel.  I ended up venturing off to London for 3 nights and straight to Amsterdam afterwards for another 3 nights.  I enjoyed the people I was with, the sightseeing, the food, the laughs, not so much the weather, but it could have been worse. 

Not really what I had expected, not my favorite city I've been to, but definitely had it's hightlights. 

The London Eye from a distance
London is known for their fish and chips...these were delicious!
 Got to see some great art at the Tate Modern Museum, free!
 Outside of the Tate, guy in top right hand corner is playing a saxaphone and this scene reminded me of Bleeding Gums Murphy from the Simpsons, had to capture it.
London Tower on the left and the London Bridge on the right, so beautiful at night!
 When to pay a visit to Harry Potter since I was in town
Double Decker, the chocolate bar. How appropriate.
Never thought I'd be walking Abbey Road, especially in elementary school when I first was introduced to the Beatles, but here we are, just walking along the road...after many attempts throught traffic.


this city really exceeded my expectations, it was beautiful, with great people, architecture, food, good vibes, and overall a great city to be in, great way to end this trip. 

 Olivia and I on our free tour, it was freezing, but worth it.  And we got free cheese.

 We all rented bikes, it was a lot of fun especially going through the park, almost died a few times, but don't worry Mom we were okay.

The city was gorgeous at night
 Bikes EVERYWHERE, literally, so many people riding bikes, looking all jolly and happy.
 Outside of the Van Gogh Museum, the moon made it seem even more like la-la-land.
Ray made me take a picture here, glad she did it turned out nice!

Y las dulces (and the sweets)...

I really enjoyed my time in Amsterdam, even my hostmom said that most people really enjoy Amsterdam.  It has basically everything you could want.  London was a good time as well, just not really a place for me I suppose, good for a visit.  Time well spent overall.