Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Change of Itinerary

So, Morocco is out. That's right. No camels or turbans or Jasmine costumes. It's just too dangerous right now, and we decided it was in our best interest not to go to an early grave (or to send our parents to one). So we have decided to cut Sevilla and Cadiz also. Our new itinerary is as follows:

Thursday-Lisbon, Portugal
Sunday------------I'll continue as planned.

As sad as I am not to get to wear my Jasmine costume, we will all be safe and sound speaking Portuguese and learning about El Greco. More deets to come.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You likey?! So here's what happened. I go in Ozark Outdoors in the Heights because I heard they had the best selection. I fully intended on just whipping out the big bucks and paying for one right then. BUT things took a beautiful turn. As the dude man was looking for the measurements (you know me, I had to know specifics), he said, "Hhhhmmmm. It doesn't look like they make that one anymore." It was still marked full price, and I KNEW that any store in that neighborhood would not mark anything down (It was marked for $230.00). I got the name, and I did some research on-line. REI Outlet had it for $142!!. Of course I got it. So yay for me having purchased the most important thing. Now I can start loading that baby up :)

Peace and Blessings!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Land of the Blueberries

Totally forgot to add in the bit of awesomeness in my last post. This will brighten even the awfulest of days, so please watch. Pretty stinkin fabulous.

Unicorns and the Land of the Blueberries

Hostels are booked!!

Hello friends!! Brian got the hostels for Sevilla and Cadiz booked.

Sevilla    http://www.oasissevilla.com/sevilla   We got a room with four beds so hopefully they won't put a anyone else in the room with us!! This hostel has bathroom in the room and free breakfast. Seems fun! This one is going to run about $29.57 each.

Cadiz    http://www.hostelincadiz.com/eng/  We are again in a four person. It's either a four, six, or ten I believe. Let's hope they don't book a fourth person, and it will be like a private room. This one is going to run us about $33.15 each.

So far, our housing total is $63.00 each. Of course, mine is substantially larger due to my extra time in Europe. I'd say $63.00 isn't half bad for two nights. Brian is still researching Madrid. It's so big it's hard to find a spot. We will be there three nights, so if anyone has any ideas let me know. Now on to Morocco...the more I hear, the less I want to go. All but one story about Morocco has been good, and that scares me a little bit. Those who know me know that I am not easily scared, especially when traveling. I've always traveled by myself, and I believe myself to be a very cautious traveler. I'm just getting more uneasy as we approach, but I am SURE it will be fine and dandy. Rick Steves' suggested the Hotel Rembrandt. Brian did his research and found that it is a VERY nice hotel, will run about 40 a person, and that it is located close to the consolate. Yay about that. Take that back. DOUBLE YAY!! Who knows what trouble could arise...maybe I'll laugh out loud or accidently pet a chicken that doesn't belong to me. Next thing I know, I'm in the stocks wearing a burka about to get my hand chopped off. Just a wee bit worried. Here's the link for the Hotel Rembrant:  http://www.hotel-rembrandt.com/  The site is in French; it could say stuff like, "We hate Americans. Don't come here or we will kidnap you." Again, slight anxiety. Don't worry mother, anxiety comes in all forms. I just ate half a pan of rice krispie treats (which by the way ya'll travel well overseas when wrapped in foil).

Peace and Blessings!

I hate visiting the Frustration Station

Am I heartless when my students come up to me on presentation day and tell me they need to go print off stuff? Or when they ask me, "We aren't ready. Can we present next time?" Of course I say NO. How am I preparing them for the real world by saying, "of course you can present next time. The world revolves around you. Now here's your happy meal. Enjoy!"

Teaching isn't just about teaching content but character-things that will help them be successful. It doesn't matter if you work at a law firm or McDonald's, a boss is not going to put up with an employee who is not prepared.

I LOVE each student. Truly, I do. If I didn't I would call in sick to escape them. If it's not obvious yet, babying is not the way I love. It's tough love, I guess. I wanted these presentations to be a final booster to their grade, a way to successfully end the semester. The presentations have been detrimental to their grades. Frustration strikes its ugly head again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Europe trip update

Here's the route.
Let me put it to you in layman's terms: this time next month I will be in Sevilla, Spain. That sends chills down every one of my vertebrae. I mean, really ya'll. Chills. To think I will be walking the streets in Spain, laughing with my friends, finding me a Spanish man, eating Spanish food, finding another Spanish man....the list could go on and on. 28 more days until departure, and I've already started packing. That's right. One can never be too prepared.

Here's the run-down of cities/countries:
June 12--leave USA/arrive in Madrid, Spain. Stay 2 nights.
June 15--leave Madrid, train to Sevilla. Stay 1 night.
June 16--leave Sevilla, train to Cadiz (oldest city in western Europe). Stay one night.
June 17--leave Cadiz, train to Tarifa. Ferry over to Tangier, Morocco, Africa. Ride camel dressed like      Jasmine. Stay one night.
June 18--Leave Africa, fly back to Madrid. Stay one night.
June 19--Friends leave. I fly to Palma de Mallorca (island). Check in at language school.
June 19-26--I am living it up on the island of Mallorca off the coast of Spain.
June 26--Boat over (I think) to Barcelona. Stay 3 nights.
June 29--Fly to London. Stay 5 nights.
July 4--Back to USA unless I find travel buddies to go elsewhere.

Plane tickets are booked, my Barcelona hotel is booked as of five minutes ago, and language school is booked. Brian, my friend who lives in NY, is booking all hostels because he's awesome at finding the good deals. Jules and I are just sitting back and relaxing very impatiently (notice how I contradicted myself on purpose?).

Here's a closeup of the island. The little dot is the city where I will be.

The beach in Palma...I will be there so soon!!!!!!
Here's what I've spent so far:
  • big daddy plane ticket--1,181.00
  • plane ticket--Africa to Spain 55.18
  • plane ticket--Madrid to Mallorca 70.76
  • plane ticket--Barcelona to London 101.23
  • plane ticket--madrid to London 65.94 (this was my mess-up. It's non-refundable.)
  • language school--510
  • hotel in Barcelona--381
Total so far:  $2,364.11

Here's what else I will have to pay for:
  • hotel in Morocco
  • hostels in Madrid, Sevilla, and Cadiz
  • train ticket from Madrid to Sevilla, Sevilla to Cadiz, Cadiz to Tarifa
  • boat fare from Tarifa to Africa
  • boat fare from Mallorca to Barcelona
  • any taxis or bike rental
  • meals
Things I need to buy for trip:
  • Flip camera--duh. How else will you see me make music videos?
  • back pack--remember this is all I am carrying
  • snacks to cut down on meal costs
  • a new water bottle
  • one of those under-the-shirt money things (someone told me I could borrow those but I forgot who that was so please speak up). That reminds me of that Eminem song: "Will the real slim shady please stand up, please stand up, please stand up."  Remember? Does that ever happen to you? You say something that reminds of you random events in your life and you laugh all by yourself?
I already have me a stack of clothes that are ready to be packed up. They are old t-shirts I can leave over there. My debate with myself right now is what shoes to wear over there for walking during the day. Should I wear:
  1. tennis shoes
  2. Toms
  3. chacos
  4. flip flops
I am already carrying flip flops because that is a "can't do without" item, especially for the beach. Experienced travelers, please let me know. 

You are about to see pics of the Hotel Continental Barcelona in...Barcelona. This is where I'll stay for three nights. The pics tell a story all by themselves. Just wait and see.

The front.

It's right off La Rambla which is the equivalent of 5th Avenue in New York.

You only thought blush and bashful were bad in Steel Magnolias. I will be vomiting pink. This is not an illusion.

The best thing about this hotel other than air conditioning is the 24 hour snack bar. It's included in the room price. So awesome and worth every penny. This will save me big money on meals.

This weird looking thing is the "electronic panel". I will have a key to turn on the electricity to the appliances in my room.
That's it for now. If you have been to any of these places, I would love your input. Right now, it's just me and good old Rick Steves. Have a great Monday! Peace and Blessings!

Monday, May 9, 2011

I am loving my freedom

WOOHOO I am done with college FOREVER! No more homework, no more classes, no more late night studying. More reading, reading, reading. I have been glued to the television, catching up on shows from January. It's been amazing! I finished LOST (what a great experience), started Glee (another great experience). I truly thing Glee was made for me. Why I didn't know about the auditions keeps me constantly confused. I could have been Rachel but much taller and so much more cooky.

With the trial, graduation, and the end of school coming up, it has been a bit crazy. I am loving the freedom. I am also getting pumped about my trip. I leave in a month! Isn't that nutso? I have almost everything booked. It's getting very real to me.

I know I had more to say than this, but I can't seem to take my mind off of Glee. I promise to be more diligent. Peace and blessings!