Category Archives: photos

Never Thought I’d Miss Humidity…

Last week I visited a city many have recommended to me, and I think I visited at just the right time. I took the train to San Sebasti├ín, which is in the north of Spain near the border of France. As some of you have heard from me or read in my last post, it is unbearably hot in Madrid right now. It’s a lucky day if the high is only in the 90s. If I’m inside my apartment, I spend most of my time taking cold showers, chugging ice water, and sitting in front of my fan since air conditioning is still not the norm. So a weekend journey to the beach where temperatures were in the 80s sounded wonderful. I have to say to all those people who recommended this town, I wholeheartedly agree! It’s definitely on my top 5 places in Europe (speaking of, many of you have been asking about my favorite places, so I might just make a post about that soon…). I took a solo trip, but in the end made several friends from my hostel and by just putting myself out there and talking to people. Onward to photos! Continue reading

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Pomegranate?

From the comfort of my bed, I’m here to bring you some mid-week entertainment. This past weekend I traveled with some friends to the city of Granada, which is in the south of Spain. I haven’t gotten to travel much within Spain yet, so this was a great opportunity to see how different other cities are. My friends who have traveled around Spain have all said that the North and South are quite different from each other and also very different from the big city of Madrid, which is smack dab in the middle of the country. Things definitely seemed more relaxed and easy-going in Granada, and the countryside, hills, and mountains were absolutely beautiful. It was also great to see some green again. Oh, and “granada” is the Spanish word for “pomegranate.” Something I didn’t realize until one day my roommate was eating one. Though the origin of the city’s name may not be that simple… see here. Continue reading

Canal Gals

Two weekends ago I was in Amsterdam with my friend Leigh, who I’ve mentioned before. We had all the major sightseeing planned out, but so did everyone else. Even with advance tickets, we still faced lines upon lines upon lines. Much of the trip was spent waiting to see things, but we did pick a great weekend to see the tulips in bloom. Amsterdam is a really cool place. I love the canals and boathouses, and the red light district is certainly something strange. Also, never in my life have I seen so many bikes. Get ready for a bunch of tulip pictures! Continue reading

Bienvenidos

So I’ve shared my trip to London with my parents, but that was just part one of their adventure. As I mentioned, I returned back to Madrid while my mom and dad ventured to Paris. The day before their flight to Madrid, they found out that French Air Traffic Control decided to go on strike… So hundreds of flights were not just delayed but cancelled, including theirs. I was worried they would never make it here, which would not only have been a bummer to not see them again, but their flight back to the States was also leaving from Madrid. In the end, everything worked out. They were able to take a flight the same day, but much later, and eventually made it into the city. Being the organized (and slightly neurotic) person I am, I made my parents a guide to Madrid, filled with places to see, eat, and avoid. I also threw in some Spanish lingo and general tips. Madrid isn’t like Paris or London in terms of a plethora of places to visit and see. Instead, it’s more of a cultural experience and taking it easy. I’m sure my parents were fine with that after running around two other big European cities. I didn’t take too many photos since I did months ago when I first arrived, so instead, I’m sharing my mom’s wonderful photos. If you think my photos were any good, these are 10x better! Continue reading

Mind the Gap

This post is veeeeeeery late, considering I visited London at the beginning of April! School has been fairly tiring recently, and I’ve lost track of time, but I’m determined to show you all some pictures from my trip to London! During Semana Santa (basically my Spring Break), I first went to Mallorca then later met my parents in London. I hadn’t seen them in 7 months, yet with the ability to Skype and text, it didn’t feel like it had been that long. It was my first time to this city, my dad’s first time to Europe, and a return to a place my mom visited 19 years ago! Unfortunately, my brother couldn’t make it, so I felt a bit like an only child. I’ve gotten to be quite the navigator, so my parents were happy to have me guide us around which fits my slightly bossy attitude. I think I’ve also reached an age where my parents look to me for what to do, which is a bit scary (they’re getting closer to retirement age, and I’m getting closer to being in debt and making major life choices age). So here are the pictures! Most of them are mine, but I’ve stolen a few from my mother in case you don’t have Facebook/don’t know her! Plus, she has a nice new DSLR camera thanks to my dad, and it takes 10x better photos than my old iPhone. Continue reading

I’M GETTING MARRIED!

Hope that title got everyone’s attention. It’s my lame April Fools’ joke considering that I don’t get to celebrate it here. But really, I wanted to share some photos from my recent trip to Mallorca, an island off the coast of Spain in the Mediterranean. It’s Semana Santa here, and I spent the first part of my vacation at the beach! Tomorrow, I leave for London to see my parents, who I haven’t seen for 7 months. The last time I hadn’t seen their faces for that long I was in the womb. I’m sure the weather in London isn’t going to be as stellar as the Mediterranean, but I’m very excited to see this city with so much to do and of course my parents. We’ll be there until Monday, then my parents will be stopping in Paris for a bit, and finally ending in Madrid where the weather should be lovely. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of pictures to share later. Continue reading

Weekend Mini Adventure

Hi, everyone. This weekend I decided to stop being a bum and go to some places in Madrid I had never been before. I also wanted to enjoy the good weather before it starts raining the rest of the week. I’ve been itching to go on a trip but spent big bucks planning out my “Semana Santa” trip (Easter break). So this weekend, anything I could do that was relatively cheap or free sounded good to me. Plus, it’s been awhile since I spent some time wandering around Madrid. Still amazes me how different the city can look depending on where you are. Continue reading

Where’s the craic?

I’m very behind and am just now posting pictures from my trip to Dublin, which was about two weeks ago! Whoops. Let’s just pretend I really wanted to build up the tension. Anyway, I spent several days in Dublin, Ireland (clarification only added since my parents now live in Dublin, California). I went with a couple of friends (who went to MU actually!), and we had a great time. It was refreshing to see some green grass, the ocean, and hear some English. I have to say I really like the Irish accent though many other foreigners I met seemed a bit thrown by it. Dublin looked exactly as I pictured it, and the pubs were absolutely wonderful – plenty of pints, live music, and good food – and the countryside was even better than I imagined. Oh, and if you’re wondering, “craic” is just the Irish’s word for “fun.” No, it is not a play on “crack cocaine” but rather stems from Middle English (if you’re a linguistic nerd like me, here is a bit more info). Enjoy the photos. Maybe they’ll get you inspired for St. Patty’s! Continue reading

Carnaval

Lucky for me, today was my last day of work this week, and I’m headed to Dublin tomorrow morning. Today, we celebrated Carnaval at school, and it was a pretty fun day despite the (usual) technical difficulties. I’m not gonna pretend to be an expert on this holiday and will instead kindly link you to this wikipedia page. Carnaval is celebrated in many countries, and it’s a pretty big deal in Spain. Everyone dresses up in costumes (similar to Halloween in the United States) and parties, parties, parties. At my school, the teachers were supposed to dress up as “rock stars,” which mostly translated to 80’s punk rock. I was told about this a day before our celebration, and I can’t say my wardrobe is very extensive here, so my costume consisted of me wearing black and sunglasses. Each grade had a different theme. My little 1st graders dressed up as instruments, and some of the costumes were really awesome! I’ll share some pics I took today. Continue reading

Obrigada

Happy Sunday (technically Monday here…)! Hopefully, I can brighten up the start of your week with some pictures of my recent trip to Portugal. Luckily, by the time of my flight I was feeling much better and for the most part, just suffered from a runny nose. I had a 4 day weekend to take advantage of, and I spent it in Lisbon and Porto. This was my first solo trip, so I made sure to do some before-trip planning to keep myself entertained and to make sure I could navigate from an airport to a hostel, from a hostel to a train station, from a train station to another hostel, and from a hostel to another airport. Planning a trip all on your own really makes you realize how much your parents had to do for family vacations! Portugal is a safe country, fairly inexpensive, not too hard to navigate, and many of the natives know English, so I wasn’t very worried about this trip. I think traveling solo offers you a lot more freedom. There are some downsides, especially when you’d like to have a sit-down dinner with friends, but I met some cool people and could do whatever I wanted when I wanted. Picture time (there are a lot)! Also, the title is the Portuguese word for “thank you” (not translated literally), which I heard ALL the time. But be careful because for men it’s obrigado! Here’s the reason why for all you linguistic nerds like myself. Continue reading