I’ve spent the last 4 days in Portugal and I’ve had a great time! I stayed in a suburb of Porto with a friend in his family’s home. *NOTE: We took a day trip to Aveiro, but I will write a separate blog post for that.* His family was so nice and I really enjoyed seeing the everyday aspect of their lives. Leça da Palmeira (my friend’s town) has a beach, but most of what I saw was pretty rocky. My friend told me that there is a section there that is mostly sand and that’s where he goes. Although very rocky, the beach was beautiful! We went to the roof of an old chapel and took pictures on the rocks. Here are a couple of photos!
You have to get down from the rocks somehow!!
Today I arrived in Bruges. The city is beautiful!! Getting here is usually pretty easy, but of course I had some issues.
First, we flew into Brussels. From Brussels you must take a train to Bruges. My dad got the tickets and said that our train would leave in 5 minutes so we hurried to the platform. We get to the train after hearing a whistle and I get on the train first. That seems pretty easy, right? WRONG. I get on the train and the doors close immediately after me and my dad and step-mom are left on the platform… with my ticket. Sooo I was on a train, in Brussels, without my train ticket, and also without my parents (duh). So I did what any smart girl would do… hope that the nice-looking mom and daughter next to me spoke English. I’m lucky because they did! They helped me out and they were actually going to Bruges as well. I didn’t know where to meet my parents as we went through many train stations, so I decided to meet them in Bruges. Good thing I had my Spanish SIM with me, because otherwise I wouldn’t have had a way to call my dad.
It all went alright, but it was a bit stressful at first! This city is gorgeous! Check out some photos!
Sooo remember when I told you that it was getting hot in Madrid? Yeah… it’s bad. I’m finding it really hard to sleep at night, but I’m getting a routine. First, my window stays open 24/7. During the day I lower my persianas (awesome blinds) so that the sun doesn’t get in but some air can still get in.
(imagine these blinds but with holes in them… they look like metal like mine, but I’m not sure)
In the afternoon I lift them and “enjoy” the cooler night temperatures (which is still way to hot to sleep in). Another key element to this recipe is the POOL! I’ve been going to the pool more than I have ever gone in my life! I’m not such a tan person, but I think I’m probably the darkest that I ever remember myself being. I’m so freckly!!
Another thing that I’ve done to beat the heat is go to the beach! I went to Valencia and Lisbon (again) in the past month or so. Here are some pictures!
For the last week I’ve been working at a camp outside of Madrid. It’s really tough! I had two five-year-olds, one four-year-old, and a three-year-old. When the kids are so young you have to be creative to keep them interested. Also, when one acts up you have to stop the others from following their lead! I’ll continue the camp for the next two weeks and then I have two weeks off to pack and get ready to go back to the states for a bit! I’m hoping that my mom and step-dad can come visit during that time. I can’t wait to show them my city!
I got to Atlanta on Thursday night after 21.5 hours of traveling… and I’ve never been happier to be home! The flight was pretty uneventful until the captain SANG over the intercom as we were approaching the airport in London. It was cute!! I had a few hours to check out the airport, so I ate a little bit and did some duty-free candy shopping.
After all of that goodness, I sat at my gate to wait for my plane. After a few minutes, I heard someone say “Can I sit next to you?” I looked up and it was my friend Hannah from my university!!! She has spent the last year in Denmark and she was coming home at the same time. What a small world!!
The flight from London to Madrid was kind of miserable, but I always hate long hauls like that. My back hurts from the seats and I can hardly sleep… but I made it! The airline left Hannah’s bag in London, so she had to sort that out. Then the ATL airport put my bag on the wrong belt after I went through customs and rechecked my bag (hard to explain if you aren’t familiar with Hartsfield-Jackson)… but I found it after an hour! So all is good.
And now it’s snowing! This is the first white Christmas that I can remember having! I got a lot of nice presents and everyone liked what I brought for them from Spain (or they are good at pretending! ).
I’m very glad to be home and I’m extra happy that I get to spend a lot of time here before school starts again!