Monday, November 1, 2010

October... and now Spain

October was a crazy month.  If you thought for one second that September was busy with sales in Skagway for me, ha! October was three times that busy.  I jammed three months of work into one month (though I still have more to do), as well as, recruited 25 plus volunteers and helped raise more than $54,000 for Get Hitched Give Hope.  I would love to do an entire blog just on GHGH, but I will leave it to the blog website to fill you in.  The entire month I didn't stop.  I had Sarah and Jared in town, then right after Terry and Drew in town.... a short trip to Ketchikan, and then Mom and Michelle in town in Seattle.  My birthday weekend was a blast.  Valerie came to visit and we enjoyed every minute of it.  Thank you Ketchikan weather for being so amazing! Here are a few pictures of my October.

Hike with Matt (and Valerie) in Ketchikan

Home town, view from 3rd avenue trail

Beautiful Carol, Michelle and I at GHGH

Soooooo basically October was so busy that I hadn't even really processed the fact that I was about to leave to Cadiz, Spain for three months.  And here I am.
As I got off the plane in Madrid, the first thing I smelled was tobacco and.... well Spain.  Memories of my last trip flooded into my heart and I smiled with this giddy grin as I found my way to the next connection.  Then, with no apparent warning, this entire crazy idea of going to Spain for three months hit me, right smack in the head.  I hadn't been able to process it because life has been so busy.  I got panicky and thought.... WHAT AM I DOING??  But then I remembered this:  The majority of times I have felt this nervous fear in my stomach was when I was about to do something that scared me.  I felt this way last year and ended up having the time of my life.  And as Amy Spencer says "If you’re afraid of it…then it’s probably exactly what you need to do."  So I took that quote, stuck it in my pocket, took a few breaths and got onto the plane to Jerez.

After my 19 hours of travel time, I had only slept about 2 hours.  I even took a sleeping pill from Dallas to Madrid, but 2 hours of sleep was all it gave me.  Marcos and Paco (brothers) met me at the Jerez airport to drive me to Cadiz.  Seeing Marcos was surreal.  We have been chatting online multiple times a week, practicing Spanish and talking about life (since February), to see him in the flesh just felt unreal.  With many hugs, and tugging of 3 bags of luggage, we set off for the 45 minute drive to Cadiz.

By the time we arrived to Marcos's house, I was feeling sick from lack of sleep.  I quickly unpacked and took a small nap (love me some ear plugs, have I ever mentioned to you Spain is loud?)  I have my own little room, TV, internet, and a great family to keep me company.  Lola, Marcos's mother. doesn't speak any English, but we seem to be able to communicate.  She has a boyfriend Manolo that I met today too, very nice gentleman.  I also met one of his sisters, Chari, his best friends Miki, Vane, and Paco's girlfriend Lucia.  Marcos has five sisters, and one brother.  I have only met Chari and Paco.  Isabelle is the oldest, then Chari, then twins, Monica and Alicia and then the triplets, Marcos, Paco, & Ana.  Lola had seven children with only four pregnancies! 

Tomorrow I start school.  I'm excited, kind of nervous, but seeing as this is my third time in Spanish schools, I feel it will be great!  Marcos will walk me to school so I don't get lost and then this weekend we will go to Ikea to make my room more "me".  We have many little trips planned: Barcelona, Granada, Arcos de la Frontera, Seville, and the "white cities" that surround Cadiz.

It's good to be here.  I'll keep my blog as up to date as possible with many pictures.


Susan Stevenson said...

Have an exciting trip! I look forward to your updates.

Travel safely,
Susan in North Pole

Carol said...

Glad you made it safe!! I hope you have a blast(I know you will) Tell Maros hi!! We (Michelle and I) had a really fun time with you in Seattle. We bought the gown on the day we left!! more thing to check off. I love you, keep in touch....and send me the bb password...and instructions we forgot to go over. Love, mom xoxo

Michelle Loretta said...

I'm LOVING this!!! I love SPAIN... and I love watching you on this journey. Abrazos amiga... cuidate! - Michelle