Just got back from Fall Break! AKA: a crazy insane cultural terrifying whirlwind of a week! Here’s a little daily play by play: Feel free to skip to the summary at the bottom if you don’t want to read all of this haha
Friday: Italy-wide strike in transportation. Planes, trains, and automobiles. Our flight left the next day!
Saturday: Because of the strike we get to the airport approximately 6 hours early. The airport was not affected at all and we weren’t even allowed to check in… We slept on the ground of the airport for a few hours but eventually took off! We stay at St. Christopher’s hostel in the heart of Barcelona. (Also next door to a Starby’s). We throw our stuff down and meet a couple KDs (one of which was Malibu Manali my ex roomie) and Amanda’s on/off boyfriend Cici. We meet up at a bar called Chupito’s that was so packed grinding was necessary to get to the bar. They only served shots. Erin and I ordered a tequila, then said “surprise me” in which they lit the bar on fire and pulled our shot glasses from the fire and gave us straws to drink from them….. , then finally a “boy scout” which involved roasting marshmellows. Then we went to a bar where you poured your own drink for 3euro and they gave unlimited popcorn. A french man came to hit on us and went around the table duck-duck-goose style saying “American.. American.. American..” and when he got to me “Spanish!” at which everyone at the table immediately did a spit-take and loled. I also introduced myself to a boy, thinking he was a local spaniard, that actually was a KA at Furman that had come to meet up with us and I just never knew he existed. Woops! After the second bar I went home but Amanda went to make out on the beach with CIci (who knew Barcelona was on a beach?) and had her purse stolen
Sunday: Went to a park designed by the architect Gaudi (designed most of Barcelona- his stuff is really cool look it up!) and then to a fancy tapas dinner which Sara’s dad paid for and was one of the best meals I’ve ever had! I had flan, stuffed eggplant, crawdads, chorizo sausage, manchega cheese, and sangria!
Monday: MY BIRTHDAY! We went out to a delicious brunch then did an all-day bike tour and had lunch on the beach. First time I’ve been to the beach for my bday! Then we went back to the hostel where I facetimed my mom and got ready for a fancy rooftop dinner at a place called the Attic. They brought me free bday champagne, sangria, gluten free bread, wine, salmon puffs, and grilled tuna filet! The girls got me a birthday crown at Burger King and we went to another bar with free popcorn. I bought the coolest mug there (It had a sheep on it) to commemorate my 21st but the bouncer at the next bar took it. Then we went to an Ice Bar! You paid 15 euro for a drink and 30 min in the bar (you couldn’t stay any longer or you would get frost bite!) Everything was made of ice: drinks, chairs, floors, wall. The drinks tasted gross but the atmosphere was cool. You also got to wear a puffer coat. Needless to say at this time I was a little tipsy. I stole a pineapple from the middle of a table display and “hid” it up my dress. Don’t worry… I’m sure pictures will hit the world wide web soon. After this event the night got a little scary. Erin and I were waiting at the taxi stand when she says “Alright lets go!” We get in a taxi and both of us fall asleep on the way to the hostel. At a red light Erin just jumps out! So I jump out too and she says its this way…. and starts roaming around the city. It’s about 4 am. It took me approximately 20 minutes to realize that she didn’t know where she was going. Thankfully we ran into another taxi and got in and tried to explain where our hostel was. That took a while…. but eventually we made it home safely! Praise the Lord!
Tuesday: Today we left Barcelona and went to Paris! I honestly don’t remember anything from today so it must not have been to exciting
Wednesday: Today was our first day in Paris. We woke up early and went to the Orsay! I loved it. Then we got food and went to have a picnic under the Eiffel Tower! It was literally perfect. We sat there for a couple hours just talking and laughing and had so much fun. Then we went to Thai for dinner (the variety of food in Florence is nonexistant so we have to take our opportunities as they come). After thai I started feeling sick…
Thursday: Got up and went to the Arc de Triumph. I started getting really nauseas so I didn’t climb with everyone but waited at McDonalds. We walked down the Champs Elysees and got the world famous macaroons! Then I felt really sick so I went to bed and slept from 5pm until 8am the next morning only waking up to get cereal for dinner from the grocery store….
Friday: Today we went to Amsterdam! We had to wake up at 4 am to go to the train station…. ick! Erin and I finally got to Amsterdam on a later train than everyone around noon. The city is absolutely gorgeous! The architecture is awesome the restaurants and shops were incredible everyone speaks Dutch and English so it was easy to navigate! We went to a Carnival and the Anne Frank museum. The Anne Frank museum was such a touching experience. Its the office of her father’s jam company and the family’s original hiding space upstairs. The hiding space was bigger than expected but horribly claustrophobic because they could have no exposure to any sunlight or the outside world. The words of Anne were posted all around the house and she is so profound. I also didn’t know that she rewrote her diary before her family was arrested just in case it was found after the war!! She added dates and more details so it could be used (like it is now) as a document on the times. I thought that was amazing! By this time it had been 9 girls together for almost a week…. so needless to say we weren’t 100% lovey dovey and personalities were coming out. The girl here with an eating disorder was really bothering me the most…. at the Anne Frank museum there was a quote about how bad pickled kale smelled after it had been stored for a few years (a statement on how little food and gross food the family had to eat) and the girl goes “mmm! I love pickled kale!” I think I stared at her mouth-agape. After the Anne Frank museum things turned toward the worse… We went to a “coffee shop” which is where they sell weed (it’s legal there). Everyone but Patce and I split weed brownies. After about an hour everyone was obviously high. Their eyes got red and they got super giggly. Patce and I were just laughing at them, but 5 minutes later they started hallucinating and got really nauseas. Patce and I had to get all of them home across this foreign city using public transportation! They were yelling that their eyeballs were being pecked out, their hands were falling off, they couldn’t walk….. It was literally a nightmare. We were supposed to go to a museum together at night but they all went to bed at 7pm…. Patce was so emotionally rattled by the ordeal that she just called her mom and cried and then went to bed. I didn’t want to go to the museum by myself after dark so I went to the grocery store and ate a bag of raw veggies from a bag in the lobby by myself… the girls wouldn’t wake up the next morning so I went to stand in line at the museum by myself and was just so frustrated. Finally Betsy and Erin came and met me and we had a good time but I was just so frustrated with the whole night and wanted to get back to Florence!
Summary: I had such an amazing week! These girls are so fun and we had such a great time but a week of navigating with just us in foreign cities was stressful and really took it out of all of us! Now were home catching up on homework and sleep. I really miss you all so much. I am so thankful for your friendships and am counting down the days until I see you! Mike comes here Thursday and I am beyond ready to see him:) then 3 days after we get back from Switzerland my mom and grandma come!!! And I am so ready to see them as well! I love ALL OF YOU!