|Our class and teachers after our graduation|
Friday: Today we got to sleep in. We went to the school at 12:30 for our little graduation. The teachers told us how nice it was having us there, said their goodbyes, and gave us each a diploma. We then took group pictures and got free t-shirts. We said goodbye to some of the students that we wouldn't see later that night, and went home for lunch.
Lunch: Eggs on rice
After lunch we got everything packed, which didn't take very long. Since there wasn't anything else to do (we didn't want to go out because it was 100 degrees out, hottest day of the whole six weeks) we both tried to take naps but it didn't work. Finally, after pacing around and telling each other how bored we were, we decided to go out and brave the heat. We walked to El Corte Inglés (the big department store, w/ A/C) and browsed around in there until it was time to meet the other students for ice cream.
We met Alex, Emily, Jon, Zou, Clémence, and Breanna at Smöoy to have frozen yogurt and to hang out for the last time. We ate it at Plaza Mayor, then walked around for awhile until we decided it was time to say goodbye and head home for supper.
Supper: tortilla de patatas
When we got home, Mercedes told us we should take the last city bus (10:00) from the nearby Plaza San Pablo to the bus station. Even though the last city bus was over 2 hours before our bus to Madrid would leave, it seemed like a way better idea than walking 75 pounds of luggage 1.6 miles in 100 degree weather. Before we left, we took some pictures with Mercedes and Reyes, and we gave Mercedes a picture of the two of us. She was so excited to get it; it was very cute and she said now she could always see us :) She also gave us some of her old jewelry. She said she does that with all her students. Bailey got a watch and I got some earrings.
|Waiting at the bus station|
Mercedes and Reyes walked us to the bus stop and we said our goodbyes. We then took the bus (the driver said “Did you bring your whole house?” when she saw my luggage) to the bus station and waited there for two hours.
Saturday: We took the 12:30 AM bus from Valladolid to the Madrid airport. We got there at 3 AM, checked in, and went through security. We waited at the gate for a couple more hours, then took our first flight from Madrid to Paris.
|Can you find the Eiffel Tower? (click to enlarge)|
All of the announcements were in French, Spanish, and English. When we were just about to land, the plane suddenly lurched back up into the air. They announced that a plane hadn't cleared the runway that we were about to land on and it would be another 6-8 minutes before we could land. Although it was inconvenient and a little unsettling, something cool came out of it: we flew over Paris while we were killing time, which we wouldn't have done otherwise, and I saw the Eiffel tower outside of my window and took a picture (although a not very good one) with my iPod!
We finally landed, and Bailey and I frantically tried to figure out where to go next. The Paris airport is incredibly confusing. We had to ask for help. We went through a passport check, then had to go through security again. We were really concerned about making the flight, but we got there as it was boarding. We also were asked a series of questions about the contents of our luggage before we boarded.
The flight to Minneapolis was a little over eight hours. It seemed to go by pretty fast though because I watched three movies (The Adjustment Bureau, M:I 4, and This Means War). They also handed out customs forms that we had to turn in when we landed. Our meals were salad, pasta, crackers, cheese, a roll, and a cookie when we took off and a panini and ice cream before we landed.
|Minneapolis to Omaha (I'm in the back row)|
Our Minneapolis layover was three hours, so it was more relaxing because we weren't worried about time. We turned in our customs forms, did a passport check, claimed our luggage, answered a couple questions about it, rechecked our luggage, went through security AGAIN (a receipt in my pocket set off the scanner), found our gate, and waited there for awhile. Finally, we took our last flight (in a tiny plane) to Omaha and we were home!
This was my last blog post. Spain was an amazing experience; I got to see lots of awesome places and I learned so much! I would definitely recommend the program to anyone considering it in the future. To see all my pictures from my trip, go to http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3553695803896.2132207.1317690207&type=3&l=6a42a74eb4 and http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3658125574575.2134912.1317690207&type=3&l=ab1113a4a3 (there's two albums). Thanks for reading!