Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sevilla y Córdoba

    I'm really getting into the groove of my life here in Spain and so thankful for God's faithfulness, everyday! Just started volunteering as a teacher aide for 2 English classes this week, and I'm absolutely loving it! Nothing fuels my passion like teaching. :) Classes are going great, learning lots & lots & lots (ok, you get the point) of Spanish, meeting tons of amazing new friends, and seeing some of the most beautiful places ever here in Europe. Thankful for all the blessings God has given me here in Granada, and this semester is teaching me just how faithful our God is!
Thank you for your prayers. :)

   Enjoyed the weekend traveling with my CEA program to Seville and Córdoba & thought I'd share a few photos ;) . Since we don´t have classes on Fridays (¡Olé!) we left early Friday morning and got back to Granada Sunday night. It was a nice long weekend! Really enjoyed touring Córdoba and experiencing all their ancient historical monuments, I still can´t believe how OLD Europe is! Seville was super fun to see again too, we toured different things than I had with my aunts so that was great to get to know Seville even better. I hope you enjoy these pictures from the weekend, I seriously can't believe my eyes here in Europe- so many beautiful places to see!

Córdoba. Isn't this bridge just gorgeous? Made by the Romans. 
How cool is that?!

We toured the famous Mosque of Córdoba, built by the Moors in the 600s. 
It was absolutely amazing, so massive & ornate! 

      Then when the Christians came to Spain during the Reconquista they added this cathedral to the Mosque.  Problem solved. Seriously though, It was crazy to see 2 strikingly different cultures combined in one building. Only in Europe! 

On to Seville...

And here we are touring yet another ornate palace in Seville. Honestly, I forget the significance of this one... Someone really rich & important decided he needed a palace a LONG time ago.  ;) Europe's definitely not lacking in beautiful cathedrals, palaces, fortresses, etc.

In front of Seville's grand Cathedral. Too bad it's not more ornate... 
Gotta love that Baroque arquitecture! 

From the top of the bell tower. I was standing in that plaza below in the previous picture. 
Great panoramic view of Seville!

On to the Plaza de España, by far my favorite place in Seville. 

The CEA group in front of the Granada section of the Plaza. 

Things got silly...

 Before heading to Granada, we stopped at some Roman ruins on the outskirts of Seville. 
Italica was super awesome, getting me excited for my trip to Rome!
 Don't we look like Romans?! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Missing Home

Well, I guess it's official. Just experienced my first big wave of homesickness tonight. Trigger? Skyping the whole fam... I miss them so much! I've been dreading this moment every since I came. :'(  Now don't get me wrong, I still L.O.V.E. Granada, Spain and wouldn't trade this experience for the world. Just especially aware of the distance between España and good ole Estados Unidos today. So if you would, please say an extra prayer for me today... it would mean a lot! And PLEASE don't worry about me! I'll be fine, just had a l.o.n .g. chat with Jesus (and ate som ice cream!) and He's carrying me through. :) Just wanted to make sure all my friends & family from back home all know that I love & miss you all lots!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sailing the Strait of Gibraltar

     I thoroughly enjoyed my break from classes sailing the Strait with my tias Luann and Cheryl. We had a fabulous time! We spent the week soaking up the sun, exploring several Spanish and African coastal cities, sailing the Mediterranean , eating bon bons, and well you get the idea. ;) It was an ideal vacation, that's for sure!  So thankful for such wonderful aunts that came to visit me her in Spain and for all the memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. I'm so blessed!

Come sail with us... :)
The amazing view in front of our Sailboat.
 That's the Rock of Gibraltar to the left. 
It was so cool to sail around the Rock of Gibraltar our first day at sea. The last day we had some rough seas so when we were heading back to Gibraltar the rock would get bigger (yes!) and then smaller (no!), and then bigger, and then smaller... We were so glad when we finally made it! The rock was a great reference point for our whole trip. :)

At one of our stops on the coast of Africa, in Cuenta. 
Africa's version of a "Spanish" Gibraltar. 

We tried Spanish paella for the first time at one of our stops along 
the eastern coast of Spain. ¡Que rica!

So many gorgeous sunny days, the water just sparkled!

At this port on Spain's coast we were able to see 3 countries. 
Morocco, Gibraltar, and Spain. 
Sitting on Spain, with Morocco to my left and Gilbraltar to my right. Amazing! 

I learned lots of new skills on the sailboat that I'll definitely be adding to my resumé.
For example...
I learned how to hoist a sail. Check out that concentration!

And how to raise the country's flag for all the different ports we entered everyday. See that string in  my right hand (yeah, the one with the flag), 
you're NOT suppose to let go of it. Whoops...  

And how to sail the boat- I'm a sailor, I sail! Only piece of advice from the captain... 
Don't hit the buoys.  Got it.

And we all learned how to tie all sorts of a handy knots to be used on the sailboat.

There was something about a rabbit and tree...?! 

Our last day at sea was by far the roughest, but I still really enjoyed the day a lot. Once we got all geared up in our weather gear we were definitely prepared. 
Dressed for success, that's for sure! 
Don't we look lovely?! 

Our mightly Seawolf sailed on faithfully through the stormy seas. :) 

Our last stop was spent exploring the coast of Africa and touring a small city in Morocco named Tetouan, pretty cool but we were  glad to be back same and sound on our boat. 

Here's Aunt Cheryl trying to buy a Moroccan basket... 
How many Moroccans do you need to sell 1 basket?!  

Touring a Moroccan market.

It was such an amazing trip! 
We said goodbye to Gibraltar by walking around the lighthouse on the Rock. 
Oh, and we stopped for ice cream! ;) 

It's so hard to walk by ice cream shoppes! 

It felt so great to get back to Granada. What a wonderful week it had been! :) 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Granada con Tias

     Just enjoyed a WONDERFUL week sailing the Strait of Gibraltar with my aunts! Adjusting back to "normal" life here in Granada after an amazing vacation. Crazy how I never thought Granada would never feel like "home" here but after being away on vacation it sure did feel good to get back to my casa here in Spain with sweet Mercedes. Classes started today, I only had one and the professor never showed up... So it's been a pretty easy first day of classes. ;)

     I have so many pictures of the week that I'm sure it will take more than just one blog to summarize all my happenings. I really enjoyed showing Cheryl and Luann around Granada before we left Tuesday for Gibraltar.
Here's a few pictures of our wanderings. :)

It was super fun to show them my school. Glad we didn't run into any of my professors that night, how would have I explained why I wasn't home studying for the final?! ;)

Then I took them to my favorite park!
This time, I made sure to look at the gate closing schedule. 
No worries, we were out of the park WAY before closing! ;D

 I really appreciated the opportunity to share with them all the sights I've been enjoying here in Granada. And I think they enjoyed them too! 
 It was absolutely AMAZING to be with my aunts for the whole week! 
Great memories! :) 

More photos to come...