Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Spanish Thanksgiving

Hola! Hello!

It's been a while since I posted last. Oops! I am so busy here all the time. Between exploring the city and playing with my host family, I completely forgot it had been so long.

Last weekend we stayed in Barcelona. On Saturday we took a Gaudi tour around the city to see many of his works of art! Wow! He was an amazing architect. The tour ended at La Sagrada Familia which I had been dying to see. It was breathtaking! We didn't go inside because the line was so long, but decide we would get tickets to come back. After the tour, Sarah and I visited Montjuic- an old castle way on top of a hill on the outside of the city. We rode cable cars to the top that were really neat. The view from the top was amazing. We would see sooo much. It's so neat how Barcelona is in the middle, with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. It definitely makes for pretty views from everywhere. On Sunday we went back to La Sagrada Familia and went inside. The inside is even more beautiful then the outside. The whole church is full of stained glass windows that were so pretty with the sun shining through. We walked around for a long time. There was so much to see and I feel like we still probably missed something. After leaving La Sagrada Familia we went to Park Guell, a park full of more Gaudi work. It is all made from bright color tiles placed together. I'll post pictures so you can see how pretty it was! For dinner we visited a place near the top of another mountain known for it's awesome views. We got to the restaurant right before sunset, so we got to see a beautiful sunset over the city. I know I keep saying everything is so pretty, but it really is! Especially the sunsets!

Last week at school was wild and crazy like always!  I love my kindergarteners, but they sure do wear me out! We started working on some Christmas projects. I helped them make snowflakes from popsicle sticks and then we painted and covered them with glitter. Glitter and paint are always fun with 5 year olds :) They loved making the snowflakes, so it was well worth it. We've also been working on their Christmas play, which has parts in all 3 languages they learn at the school. I've gotten to help a lot with the English part and it's been so great to hear the kids finally speaking full sentences in English. Throughout the day, the only English I usually hear is either "May I go to the toilet?" or "HEYY sexy lady" as they're singing the Gangham style song. Very entertaining! But at the same time it has been very challenging to be in a classroom all day with kids that don't hardly speak English. This week we are continuing to work on the Christmas play and making salt dough Christmas ornaments.

On Wednesday last week we visited Casa Batllo, another Gaudi house. My host dad got us free tickets because his family now owns the house. It was very nice of him! The house was so neat inside and we all really enjoyed it. Thursday was Thanksgiving. My first Thanksgiving away from my family, but I have to say, the people at the school and our hosts families all did a great job of making sure we felt at home for this holiday. The school cooked us turkey for Thanksgiving lunch and all the teachers made sure to tell us Happy Thanksgiving. This holiday is not celebrated in Spain, so it was very nice of them to put forth so much effort to celebrate it with us. After school my host mom was so worried about me being with another "American teacher" and having a good Thanksgiving, so she asked Ane if I could join them for their Thanksgiving meal. Ane is the host mom of my good friend Amanda. I went to their flat and we had a fantastic dinner together. She cooked many traditional Thanksgiving foods and even a pumpkin pie.  The two kids of Amanda's host family broke the wishbone and we taught them all about that tradition. It was the best possible Thanksgiving I could have ever had here in Barcelona. That night I also FaceTimed all my family back home :)

Finally, last weekend we visited PARIS! It was wonderful! We flew out Friday night and got into Paris late. We were exhausted so we just went to our hotel and called it a night. Saturday morning we got up early and headed to explore the city. Our first stop was Notre Dame. We got lucky and got right in without having to wait. It is beautiful inside!! After Notre Dame we went on a tour around the city. We saw the lock bridge which I was so excited about. I couldn't believe how many locks of all shapes and sizes were on it. I mean that thing was packed. It was hard to find a place for my lock, but I finally did. After the tour we headed to the Eiffel Tour!! The line for the elevator that takes you to the top was sooooo long, so I talked Sarah and Amanda into taking the steps. Laws have mercy we about died on the hike up those steps, but we finally made it! The number on the last step was 669, but supposedly it's actually over 1000 steps. Regardless, it was a lot of steps and I felt VERY accomplished after doing it! The view from the top was amazing and definitely made it worth climbing all those steps. We stayed at the Eiffel Tower until it got dark and they turned on all the lights. I was truly in awe by how beautiful it was all lit up! After the Eiffel Tower we went to the Arc de Triomphe and then did a little shopping. It was a jammed packed day full of sightseeing :) Sunday morning we got up early again and went to the Louvre. We were there before it opened so we luckily got right in. We got to see the Mona Lisa and many other famous paintings and sculptures. After the Louvre we had to head to the airport to catch our flight back to Barcelona. We had a great weekend in Paris and I was SO happy I got to go! It was another thing I got to check off my bucket list!

This is our last week at the school. I can't believe how fast it has gone!  I am going to Rome this weekend, so I will definitely post again with lots of exciting stories :)

Mary Bruce
La Sagrada Familia

View of Barcelona from Montjuic

Park Guell

Park Guell

Happy Thanksgiving from Kindergarten!

All the American teachers on Thanksgiving

Jordi with the turkey

Our Thanksgiving supper. Yummy!

Even pumpkin pie!

The lock bridge in Paris

The Louvre

Red Towel Picture!

Lovin'  Paris