Sunday, October 17, 2010


Hello everyone!
This past weekend my host family and I went to their beach house in Alicante.  Its about a 4.5 hour drive southeast of Madrid to the Mediterranean coast.  Now a 4.5 hour for me is not that long considering how far most of our road trips are back home.  However, a 4.5 hour drive with my host dad driving is another story.  Spanish people in general drive like they are from Illinois (no offense to the flat-landers out there).  They drive really fast, come right up on the next cars tail, and then slam on the brakes.  I don't think they realize that if you gradually approach the car in front of you, there is no need to slam on the brakes.  (and you would avoid causing everyone else in the car to get car-sick...)  But we made it in one piece and I had a few days to recover before making the trek back.

That first night we drove down to the beach and walked around the city of San Juan.  Their  house is about a 10 min. drive from the beach and about 15 mins. to Alicante.  (San Juan is a smaller city on the coast)
The first full day we had in San Juan we spend the afternoon at the beach.  My host parents took me and it was great.  The weather was perfect and because the tourist season is over it wasn't very crowded.  The water was quite chilly but I went swimming anyways and my host mom and I walked to the end of the beach and back.
my host mom and I at the beach :)
After spending most of the day at the beach we went back to the house to change clothes, pick up Raúl (who for some strange reason didn't want to go to the beach...) and then went to lunch at a paella restaurant.  The paella was HUGE and very good, although I prefer the paella my host mom makes at home.  (I told her that, gained points) 

The next day we went to Valencia, another city on the coast about 2 hours away.  Valencia is the city of art and sciences and is very modern.  We spend the entire day at the aquarium, one of the largest in the world, with the most species of fish in one area.  It was really cool and a fun day with my family.  The aquarium is located in downtown Valencia in a complex that also contains a theater and the science museum.  It is a very famous complex designed by some famous spanish architect.  Here is a picutre of my host family and I in front of the science museum.  (the blue building in the background is part of the aquarium)
My host family (minus Héctor, who had to work)
Overall the vacation was really fun.  It was difficult to spend so much time with no english but I can tell it was worth it because I am understanding a lot more.
I am still having a great time and learning new things everyday.  I am feeling more and more like Madrid is no longer a vacation, but that also means the "honeymoon" stage is over.  The hardest part right now is that I don't have many friends.  Its a lot harder to make friends when you don't speak the same language, and can't tell a funny story or joke around.  But that will get easier with time, and I am currently trying to find a club or something on campus to get involved with and make friends that way.

Love hearing from everyone, thanks for the all the comments!  I like to know that people are acutally reading the blog :)



Hanna said...

made me sad that you dont have be your friend

i miss you, but its gorgeous there.

Joe vadeboncoeur said...

I read it every day. You have lots of friends from Illinois, they do not all drive bad. I hope the club thing works out so that you can gain more friends. Love you and miss you a lot.


Analia said...

Glad you had a nice time in Valencia. It's pretty over there, huh?
I really understand your loneliness issues, believe me! It's very hard to present yourself well when you can't express yourself fully. Remember that Cuyler and Marisa went to secondary school there and know some bi-lingual kids your age. I can hook you up with Carmen who's daughters are your age, too. Leave me your info in a message and I can connect you with her.
Big empathetic hugs! Un beso.

Jacob said...

Hey stranger, hope you are doing great. Just stumbled on your blog and wanted to tell you it look's great. Hope you enjoy your week.