Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's a Granada thing.

So update on my lovely blog:
Granada is beautiful! It's a small city but great to walk around because it seems like there is a surprise around every street corner whether it be a cupcake shop, a disco, or a wonderful shoe store (they have shoe stores everywhere!!! ah, I'm in heaven). The past two days were wonderful. Yesterday was full of Granada!! It was wonderful! We toured the huge Cathedral which was called The Royal Chapel (sounded better in Spanish of course). Fun (yet kind of disturbing) fact of yesterday: to unify Spain, Isabella and Ferdinand (King and Queen of 1400s) made a rule that you must speak Spanish and worship as the Catholic Church does and if you don't you had to leave. There were a lot of Jews and Arabs in Spain at that time and they were not allowed to speak Hebrew or Arabic at all. Well, that was my fun fact for yesterday. Hope you enjoyed that tidbit of Spain.
So if you have been photobucket stalking me you will notice that I have been branching out of my little bubble and trying new things . . . scary!! So if you noticed I tried beef! Crazy!!!! I also went to a Spanish night club. Typical night clubs in Spain open at midnight, people don't show up until 3 or 4 in the morning and it closes at 6. We went a little before one and no one was there. People started showing up around 2ish and that is when Tiff and I decided to leave. :( We still had a lot of fun and I salsa danced.
So that was my adventure yesterday. Today was wonderful. We went on a tour at the Alhambra at 9 this morning and let me tell you it was *amazing*. If you get the chance tour the Alhambra! Amazing, amazing, amazing. I didn't take any pictures because sadly my camera's battery died :( but I will be stealing pictures from people and posting it on photobucket once I have the chance. For those who don't know what the Alhambra is I will tell you. The Alhambra was built for the Sultans in Spain. It was built on the hill overlooking Granada which made it a picture perfect place, but my camera died . . . I'm a little bitter about that.
Here is a picture that I stole off from Wiki for you:

Beautiful! My future home. I wish! 
After gazing at the wonders of breathtaking architecture a group of us headed to a real Spanish restaurant. Well, it felt like it because we were the only Americans there. Spaniards' biggest meal of the day is lunch time so they take it very seriously. We spent 3 hours eating lunch there! For 10 euros I got bread, glass of wine (more like a bottle), soup, a huge chicken with french fries, and dessert! My tummy was very happy after that, obviously!
It's amazing here! For dinner, Spaniards drink and eat tapas (tapas are appetizers) and the tapas are free!- It's a Granada thing. Every night so far we have been going to the bar, ordering a glass of wine and eating tapas. I feel like a lush because I've been drinking so much wine lately but it's so good, I can't stop!! hehe, I don't want to stop.

Yup, that's me drinking wine and eating a beef tapa. fyi, only nibbled on it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Safe and sound in Spain!

Currently I am in Chicago waiting to board my plane to head to Spain first. My plane boards at 4:45 and it's 1:35 right now and no internet. So when I finally put this on my blog I will be safe in Granada, Spain. (update: in Spain and in my hotel room safe and sound) Some people have been asking me what I will do next. Good question! I arrive in Spain on Jan 28th (today). On Jan 29th I will be introduced to Granada (a tour most likely). On Jan 30th I have free time to explore the city and an orientation meeting. On Jan 31st there are two orientation meetings scheduled (still in Granada). Finally on Feb. 1st, I head to Tangier (which is in Morocco). On Feb. 2nd is when I will head to my home for the upcoming months - Meknes.
Please note this schedule may change--That's what it says on my itinerary.
I was going to post this last night (the 26th) but didn't have the chance. My suitcase weighed too much! I'm allowed one check on and one carry on luggage. When I first weighed my suitcase it was 50.6 lbs and I wasn't done packing! So, after repeated visits from my room to the bathroom (where the scale was) I finally got it down to 47 lbs! Whooo!! Went to bed and slept sweet dreams. In the morning (this morning the 27th), I decided to measure my luggage and good thing I did. Iberia only allows luggages that have a total length, width, and height of 62/62 inches. I had my dad check and he got 68 inches so I had to put everything (47 lbs worth) into a smaller (much smaller) suitcase. I had to take clothes out and am really hoping that I can find room to bring back souvenirs.
What I will miss the most: Matt (wonderful boyfriend I was telling you about in the last blog), my family, my friends, cereal, mac and cheese, and spinach dip.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

6 days before I leave!

Welcome to my blog! I'm going to take you on a wonderful adventure to a magical land where carpets fly and genies are found in every lamp (crossing my fingers). I will be doing a study abroad program in Morocco with ISA. For those who don't know me, let me introduce myself. My name is Heather (aka Bellydance Barbie), I'm 23 years old, a student at Grand Valley and yes, I am a bellydancer. My major is International Business and Marketing and my minor is French.  I am leaving home (home is Michigan) my wonderful boyfriend Matt (aka Ken or Dexter), also 23 years old, also a student at Grand Valley and no, he is not a bellydancer. His major is German and his minor is Applied Linguistics. Aww, don't we make a cute couple :) I can speak to him in French and he can respond in German.

I will embark on this journey in 6 days. I leave the 27th (next week already) and probably won't be back until mid June. I will first arrive in Spain where I will meet my study abroad group and on the agenda is of course bull fighting and flamenco dancing. Okay so I lied there, for real, what is on the agenda is just sight seeing and orientation. And then after a week, I will be heading across the sea to arrive in the wonderful land of Morocco.

You may ask, "Why Morocco?" And my response is, "Why not Morocco!" My minor is french and the typical destination for french minors and majors is of course France. Well, hello! I am a bellydancer! Of course I would choose Morocco instead of France.

So with only 6 days to go until I leave, I decided to start packing my belongings in a large suitcase which seemed to get smaller and smaller as I packed more things in it. Wish me luck packing everything back in when my program ends!
 Check out my packing buddy and my suitcase on: