Saturday, December 24, 2011

Amor por el mar- Cantabria

Here in Spain there is a thing called a puente. They have a lot of holidays that are on a Tuesday or a Thursday and they take the days off in between. So if there is a holiday on Tuesday, they will take the Monday before that off and call it a puente (bridge). In the beginning of December, there was a week where we had two puentes in one week! Actually, most schools took only one puente and worked two days in the week. I was supposed to work two days of the week, but I somehow weaseled out of it and ended up having to work only one day- and got two puentes! So two of my roommates and I went on a road trip up to one of the northern regions of Spain- Cantabria. We had had a few girls from Santander come visit and stay at our place a few weeks before hand so we figured we would call them up and see if we could stay with them and explore the area. My one roommate has a friend native to the area, so we had a list of awesome villages around Santander that we needed to visit.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Los Pirineos

Since we live so close to the Pyranees, we decided that we needed to go visit them! So one weekend we rented a car and drove up there.

We were looking for a tiny little town named Sallent de Gallego, just a mere 30 minute drive from the French border. It was quite a beautiful drive through the Spanish country side, ending in breathtaking views of the Pyranees. Once we got to Sallent de Gallego, we had a quick bite to eat and then went as quickly as we could to try and get some hiking in before the sun went down. After hiking, we drove over the French border to have a coffee, just so we could say we'd been to France! We also ran over the border because there was no border patrol....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Viva Italia- Milan!

My first international trip....from Spain! A few weeks ago a group of us who wanted to go on an international trip met up to decide when/where to go. After perusing the flight prices, we decided on Milan, Italy. Mainly because the flights were so cheap. Now I know why- it was freezing!! And foggy. Oh well, it's still a beautiful city.

So after stuffing ourselves repeatedly with pizza, pasta, and gelato, we toured the city and also took a day trip out to Como Lake. I also happened upon a traditional Milano dessert, called meneghina. It's a raisin bread, layered with cream in between, toasted and covered in Grand Marnier. Delicious!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I love Donostia! (San Sebastian)

San Sebastian.... known to the locals as Donostia, is my new favorite city in Northern Spain. A big group of us decided to go up to San Seb together last weekend to hopefully catch some of the last days of the year when it would be warm enough to go swimming. My roommate from Belgium has a car, and she said she could drive so we decided to pack as many people as there are seats in her car. That was a bad idea- her car is tiny. But we survived the long and cramped drive and finally made it without getting lost too many times!

La Concha- the tourist beach, and the harbor on the other side of the mountain

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Porque la vida es como te la tomas...

I realize that it has been quite some time since I wrote my last post, but it has also been quite some time since my life has felt any sense of "normal." I think that probably has to do with the fact that I just moved to another country, but I digress.

La Calle Gran Via

These first couple of weeks in Spain have been quite the whirlwind. My very first weekend, in Madrid, consisted of an "orientation" and meeting heaps of new people that I soon learned I would probably never see again. Although, we did have a good time. We went to visit the Museum of Reina Sofia, which was jam packed with modern and crazy art, including some cubism and an entire floor devoted to Pablo Picasso. We also found ourselves wandering around around the Plaza del Sol and sampling more than one pitcher of Sangria. But, we only had a short time in Madrid and then quickly moved on to LogroƱo.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Only two days left?!

I know I've really fallen off of the blog train here, but I haven't really been doing a whole lot, so don't worry! You didn't miss anything. Since I am leaving on Tuesday morning, I have been doing my best to get everything done and see everyone that I want to see before I go. I put my car up for sale, and 17 hours later had the money in my pocket and the car was gone. I spent my last days at the boat today, and these past few days I have been hanging out with all of my friends and saying goodbye. I still have some goodbyes to say; some will be for much longer than others!  I can't believe I'm leaving in only 3 days!!

Since I haven't shared any pictures in a long time, here are some from this weekend. My last day at the lake for  a long time! I sure will miss sailing; I will have to find a way to do some of that in Spain.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My first 14er!

I don't know how I've managed to live my whole life in Colorado and never climbed a 14er! It's been on my to-do list for a while, and it was about time that it got done! I wanted to do Grays and Torreys because they are one of the easier 14ers to start with.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Weekend back in Colorado

This weekend my uncle and cousin came out to visit from California. The main thing we did while they were here was have an 80th birthday party for my grandpa. His actual birthday isn't until halfway through September, but we can always have the party whenever we want, right? We went to a park and all the family that lives in Colorado joined us for the festivities.

                                Katelyn and Mia                      Dad has a parasite growing off his arm...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thoughts on returning to the States

I just got back from Korea on Saturday. It was a very loooong Saturday seeing as I left Saturday morning at 8:30 am and got into Colorado 30 hours later at 11:00 pm on Saturday. Time travel is weird. I've hesitated to write a post because I've had a lot of things to process and I was hoping to organize my thoughts, but it seems to be turning out that just a few days isn't going to do the trick. So here I am, trying to put into words all of the things that I've been feeling/thinking these past couple of days. I have some writer's block- mainly because I have no idea where to start.

My first thoughts on returning to the USA:

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beachee Time!!

My final weekend in Korea :(

Luckily it was a three day weekend...for me at least. Many teachers had to continue to work all through Friday and all of Saturday. The work schedule here is insane. But at least they didn't force us to work the long weekend. I might have rebelled had they scheduled me. Anyway, moving on.

Robert and I took the 2:30 shuttle out of the village on Friday afternoon just to get out. I didn't want to go straight down to Busan so we could just relax for a little bit after a crazy week. It was nice hanging out in Daegu without having to worry about catching the shuttle bus back to the village. We were able to eat dinner and wander around and just sit and talk without any stress. We found a tiny family restaurant and ate some delicious dolsot be-bim-bop (a rice and veggies thing in a super hot stone bowl) which has become one of my favorite varieties of Korean food. This little restaurant was the first time I had ever eaten at one of the floor-level tables. It was definitely a new experience; but it's something I could get used to.

 After dinner we wandered over to the 2-28 park which is the place to be it seems. There are benches all over the place and almost every single one is occupied. It makes sense though, seeing as it is a great place to have a conversation.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Korean Fashionista?

Last weekend when I was prowling downtown looking for street photographs, I met two men who were also looking for street photographs. Except they were looking for street fashion! I walked past them when a car drove by one time and they caught up with me quickly. They both said hi and that my "sunglasses were so beautiful!" the one guy told me he was a fashion blogger and the other guy is a fashion designer. Try guessing who is who in the picture! Haha. But they took my picture, asked me questions about what I was doing here in Korea and how long I would be here and such. Then they took my email address so they could send me the picture. I didn't think that they would actually send me anything but they did! Here is the link: I know it's in Korean and all but I have figured out a very loose translation. The heading says something about my style of attractive spontaneity, the other heading says charming beauty, and the main body goes on to say some very poetic things about my style including my camera, umbrella and my smile! I'm not trying to be vain or self-centered here, but I think it's pretty cool that I made it into a fashion blog in my camelback and chaco's! Woot for Coloradoan style!! Here are the guys who took my pic (I know I already posted it but I'll post it again!)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Mt. Apsan & Sky Jump

I realize that I said last weekend was quite an adventure, but so was this one. Apparently I've got a trend going on! After an exhausting week of teaching all day and staying up late at night, I jam-packed my weekend with fabulous/new things.

I wanted to go on a hike on Saturday, but it’s so hot and humid lately. Also, if we took the shuttle bus into town on Saturday morning, we wouldn't get to the mountain until around noon. I decided that the best thing to do about that would be to stay in Daegu overnight so we could get to the mountain early in the morning when it wouldn't be so hot. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 10 Hour Bus Trip!

We had quite the adventure this weekend. On Friday Earney, Gwen and I went into Daegu to find an English bookstore and for Gwen and I to look for a silver jeweler.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Seoul Soul

This last weekend we went up to Seoul...I know it's been a couple of days since we got back but I've been busy! The only reason I have time to write right now is because I'm on call for this class period and nobody called in sick! :)

We left the village on Friday afternoon and went into Daegu to take the KTX up to Seoul. The KTX is a super fast train! The fastest we went was 305 km an hour which is equivalent to about 190 miles an hour. So on the KTX it only took us 2 hours to get all the way up to Seoul. There is a slow train too, which is cheaper, but also takes about 4 hours. The KTX feels like a plane inside. The seats are exactly like in an airplane but there is no annoying wait time for take off and landing and such! The ride is also incredibly smooth for a train. The funny thing is that when we got back on to go from Seoul to Daegu, we were going backwards! They don't turn the train around so you are sitting facing the same direction but traveling backwards. So I traveled backwards for two hours..what a trip!

We get into Seoul station and go straight down into the subway. Now this is the first time I have ever ridden a subway and it was a little overwhelming at first. You go in and have to look at a map to figure out where you are going. Then you have to buy a ticket and make sure you get on the train going the right direction! The first time we got on we almost went the wrong direction but a nice guy who overheard us told us to go to the other side.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Donghwasa Temple and Bath House

Yesterday we had another full day of exploration and fun! We got up early so we could go out hiking...and we had to get up early because it took almost two hours to get to the mountain where Chris wanted to go. Maybe next time I'll go to the mountain that's not quite so far away. First we had to take the free shuttle bus into downtown Daegu, which is about 40 minutes, and then we had to take a city bus up into the mountains which was another 40 minutes at least.

The mountain was nothing like I had expected. There were little towns all over the place with restaurants and convenience stores and a lot of people were driving right up to the temple. The temples were all full of very intricate wood work and paintings. Many of the buildings were newly constructed or under construction so who knows how old most of the buildings actually were. But the informational sign said that the Donghwasa temple represents the Buddhists of the Silla Dynasty and it dates back to 430 A.D. The area is still used as a place of worship by many as we saw when we visited.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Downtown Daegu

Since we only had a half day on Friday, (all the kiddos go back home!) we decided to get off campus and do something fun! At first we were going to go to Costco because Mary wanted to buy a camera, but then we decided she could find a camera elsewhere and that we should go into Daegu. First we took the shuttle bus to Yeungjin college, the parent school of the Daegu English Village and from there we took a taxi into the downtown area.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Talk About Exhausted...

Hello all....well I have been in Korea for 3 days now and it has been a total whirlwind! On Monday, we spent most of the day training and we observed one class. On Tuesday, we lesson planned, taught two classes and debriefed for a period and went shopping in town. Today, I taught a full load- 4 90 minute classes. Tomorrow I will teach the same, only a different class and I have to get the lesson plan together tonight! Most new teachers that come here get a full week's worth of training before they start teaching, but they are so short staffed right now that they just had to throw us in the mix and hope we survived. With the way I feel now, I hope I'm still alive by the end of tomorrow too!

Backtracking a little bit....the 12 hour plane flight was miserable. Twelve hours is a really long time to be stuck in a tiny plane seat eating yucky food.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

On My Way

I have finally started my journey ! I am sitting in the San Francisco airport with a five hour layover and am trying to stay awake.

It all started at 3:20 this morning when I got up to drive to the airport in Colorado Springs. Our flight left at 6:30 am.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Summertime Livin'

I know it's been a long time since I've written anything but I've felt like I don't have anything to write. I'll think of something. First of all, Korea is coming up so fast I can't even believe it! I get so nervous when I look at the countdown on my page and it says only 1 week. Just looking at that today has made me realize that I need to start packing soon. We had a meeting last week on the UCCS campus and I met some of the other interns that I will be traveling with. I am the youngest in the bunch! There are only 3 other people but they are all much older than I am and obviously have a lot more teaching experience. Its a little overwhelming going into this with people that have so much more experience; but I'm hoping that my enthusiasm for what I'm doing will shine through and snag me some merit points. I continue to talk with people who have suggestions for what to eat but I haven't written any of it down and don't remember most of it!

Garden of the Gods from afar
Other than counting down the days until I leave, I've just been trying to enjoy my summer! I've been catching up with old friends and enjoying outdoor things.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Back to the Daily Grind

Tomorrow is my first day back at work after being off for two weeks because of my surgery. I'm not really looking forward to going back, but at the same time, my money stash has been slowly dwindling. It's going to be strange going back to work because there have been some major changes going on while I've been gone. The Kindercare center closest to us has closed down and so we have had to take on most of their kids. Also, the two's teacher from that center will be taking over my job as two's teacher. It's a bittersweet moment because I will miss my kids, but at the same time I think I will enjoy floating.

This last week I have spent preparing for South Korea since the countdown is down to one month! I have been shopping my buns off trying to find some appropriate professional clothes for the extreme heat and humidity that I will be facing in the late summer months in Korea.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Letter from Spain!

I got my letter from Spain today! I was looking for a normal-sized envelope (don't ask me why) so I almost missed it! My dad is the one who picked it out of the pile of letters and recognized it. Of course, being a letter from Spain, it is written 100% in formal Spanish and I don't understand a lot of what it says.

Friday, June 3, 2011

How Korea Happened

Last week my mom got an email from someone she works with that had a flyer about this internship. It is through UCCS and is six weeks long. UCCS has made a partnership with Yeungjin College in South Korea and they have made a "village" called Daegu Gyongbuk English Village. This is a live-in, immersion style village where students of all ages come to learn English.

Just the Beginning....

Since I am on the edge of starting my worldly adventures, I've decided to start up my blog! So, day 1. I applied for an internship to teach English in South Korea last week. Turns out, I have been accepted! So, I will be winging my way around the world in just one months time. Wow! It's all happened really fast!