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La pagina de viajar de Kristen

Hola mis amigos!! Bienvenidos a mi pagina de viajar! :) Well, here is the plan: I leave for London on August 27th and am there until August 30th. After that, I fly directly to Malaga, Spain, and am taken by bus to my home in Granada. Throughout September, I will most likely be in various parts of Spain, including Madrid and Toledo, some for a few days and some for a week at hand. However, after that, I should pretty much be stationary in Granada, except for some travelling here and there on the weekends. However, please feel free to leave me messages here, and I will try my best to respond to them as soon as I can! Enjoy!! :)

Diary Entries

Tuesday, 29 November 2005

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

Hello all! Well, I realize that I have not finished with my Madrid trip (which seems like forever and a day ago!) and I have not even started on the month of October or November, but I feel the need to write a little bit about my trip to Prague this past weekend, mainly because I think I need to put up a little variety and I want to change the map that is on my page for a little bit (I am starting to get really bored looking at the map of Spain). My trip to Prague rocked, although there were a few minor problems here and there. First of all, the trip was incredibly long... we left on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and it was 5 1/2 hours by bus to Madrid from Granada, and then another 3 hour flight to Prague. Secondly, one guy that was travelling with us (there was a group of about 12-13 of us going on this one flight) forgot his passport, and somehow he got on the flight to Prague, and immigration wouldn't let him through in Prague, so he had to take the next flight back to Spain on Saturday. Thirdly, the airline that we flew on (called Smartwings...just by the name we should've known it was shady) lost another girl's luggage, and then when they finally found it (we were in Prague by then), they were going to make her pay to have it delivered to her. However, besides these minor situations, everything went really well.

We stayed in a hotel that was about 4 Metro stops away from the center of Prague, and it was incredibly nice! The boyfriend of one of the girls on my program owns the hotel (well, his family does) and so we got an incredible deal...we got breakfast and dinner every night and very nice rooms for like 1/3 of the price of what people would normally pay. It would've probably ended up costing us the same or more if we would've stayed in a hostel, so we ended up getting a really good deal! Plus, the people at the hotel were so incredibly nice! They really helped us out with a number of things, and I think they enjoyed having us there.

On Saturday, all of us took a tour together with a tour company that we had decided on the night before. Our guide (George) met us at our hotel, and we headed to the Metro to the center of the city. The tour was so incredibly cheap that you really couldn't pass it up...we got a 6 hour tour of the city with our own guide and an authentic Czech lunch for around 30 euro! It was amazing! I will have to go into more detail and another time (when I don't have so much going on, like today), but we saw Wenceslas Square, the Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Square (which was having a Christmas festival when we pretty!) the Jewish section of Prague, St. Charle's Bridge, St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague Castle, etc., etc. It was an amazing day!

On Sunday, my friend Laura and I basically just walked around Prague and checked out some of the other places that we didn't get a chance to see the day before. We went to the Museum of Communism, the Jewish Quarter (we went into this synagogue that had practically all of the names of the people who had died during the sad! We also visited the Jewish cemetery and the Ceremonial Hall...), went back to St. Charle's Bridge, visited St. Nicolas Church, and then we headed back to the Old Town Square to do some shopping. After that, we headed back to the hotel to have dinner, and to get ourselves ready to head back to Spain!

(There are so many funny storie and details that I have left out because I don't have time to fill it in...however, I will probably end up writing a new entry about this sometime soon, so stay tuned!)

Monday, 14 November 2005

Location: Granada, Spain

The next day in Madrid, Laura woke up early because she had to catch the group trip to Segovia and El Escorial, while Brenda and I were lazy bums and slept in at the hotel. We woke up around 10 a.m., took showers, and got ready for the day. We quickly realized that we had woken up too late to catch breakfast in the hotel, so we went to a little convenient store close to the hotel and got some breakfast, which consisted of bananas, this package of marble cake slices, and a carton of piña y uva juice (our favorite!). We were just going to go back up to the room to eat, but what's the fun in that?!? We first decided that we were going to eat our breakfast outside of Palacio Real, but since we had already eaten dinner outside of there, we decided to move on to Plaza Mayor to eat. It took us a little while to figure out where we were going, but eventually we found the Plaza (we entered from a different way than we had before). Plaza Mayor was really hopping on a Sunday morning! There were all of these tables set out, and there was this little makeshift market going on. Brenda and I sat down on a little bench in the Plaza and basically just "people watched." There are some really strange people out there... While we were sitting, there were all of these painters that kept on bugging the two of us to pose for a painting. At first, we were really flattered, but we realized that they would end up trying to sell us the painting and making us pay for sitting there and being bored, so we told them that we weren't interested. After finishing our breakfast and taking a few pictures of ourselves in Plaza Mayor, we started our journey towards the Thyssen Museum (which is basically across the street from the Prado). The Thyssen Museum was very cool! It had all of its paintings organized by date and movement, so you could really see the progression in art from the earlier centuries to modern art. Plus, the guards were not as stingy as they were at the Prado, and around many of the paintings there weren't any ropes or guardrails, so you could get as close as you wanted to some of the paintings without any problems. Very cool! There was also an incident in the bathroom between Brenda, myself, and one of the guards, but I will leave that for another time... ;)

After we had hung out at the museum for a couple of hours (and seen practically every painting that the museum has to offer, which is a lot!), we headed over to this park in Madrid that is very popular with both the people in Madrid and visitors to the city (for some odd reason, I can't think of the name right now... I will have to look it up). It is a beautiful park, with green grass and big, bushy trees (very hard to find that in southern Spain, where I live), and in the middle of the park, there is a lake with a huge monument in the background, and on the day that we were there, there were tons of couples out on the lake in rowboats just soaking up the sun. I felt like I was in a painting! It was so beautiful! Brenda and I sat on a bench close to the lake for a little while and just took everything in. However, after a couple of minutes, our stomachs started to yell, so we headed over to this little cafetería in the park to get some bocadillos. We had sort of a picnic lunch in the park...we found a nice sunny, quiet spot to sit and eat, and after we were done, we decided that we needed a little nap to rejuvinate (sp?) ourselves. Oh...we didn't go back to the hotel, but instead, we just sprawled out where we had eaten, set the alarms on our cell phones, and drifted off to sleep. After about 1/2 hour or so, I woke up to this strange little Chinese man standing over me with a sign. It scared the crap out me! I had no idea where I was when I woke up...I was like "Am I in Hong Kong? I don't remember travelling to Asia..." However, I quickly realized that I was still in Madrid and the guy was asking me if I wanted a massage (which I would've taken him up on if I didn't have to pay for it). Brenda woke up quickly after, and since it was 3:30 p.m. and we told Daniel we would meet him at the hotel at 4, we decided to head back.

We got the hotel with like 5 minutes to spare, so Brenda and I utilized those 5 minutes as much as we could to prepare ourselves for the RealMadrid game that night. We met Daniel downstairs in the lobby, and the 3 of us head off on the Metro to met Coqué and Pilar for the soccer game. It took us a while to find Pilar by Corté Ingles, but eventually we did, and we started to make our way down to the stadium. There were so many people going to the game!! It was incredible! All of the sidewalks and the streets surrounding the stadium were full of people!! If it was a popular game (such as RealMadrid vs. Barcelona) I would've expected, but they were just playing Mallorca. However, the Spanish are very passionate about their soccer players and soccer teams, so they must go and support whenever they can. Brenda and I stopped to buy scarves for the game (because apparently that's what you have to have a scarf that says RealMadrid somewhere on it), and then we headed to the stadium to meet up with Coqué. We started to make our way up to our seats (which was quite a hike!), and all of a sudden I was being pulled back by somebody. I saw that there were officials outside of the doors, but I thought that they were just checking to see if we actually had tickets, so I showed him my ticket and moved on. I thought I was being detained or arrested or something, and I had no idea what I had done. However, the guy just wanted to check my bag to make sure I didn't have any guns or explosives (I forgot to put them in that day...jk!), and then he smiled and said "Gracias."

The game in itself was very cool to see, however, I was a little disappointed by the opening! I was expecting all of the grandeur that you see in the States with the SuperBowl, but there was nothing like that. The players just ran out on the field, and the announcer introduced the players, they sang some kind of song (which I assume to be the Spanish national anthem), and then the game started. I really enjoyed watching the game, even though I didn't understand a lot of what was going on. However, I got to see David Beckham live and in person, so what else really matters?!? The 5 of us had a great time at the game! We shared snacks and cheered really loudly whenever RealMadrid scored a goal (they ended up winning 4 to 0). Brenda pointed out a section down close to the field that was constantly singing and chanting, and she told Coqué that the next time she and I came to a game, we were going to sit there. Coqué told us that it was a dangerous section to sit in because most of the people are completely drunk out of their minds and there is always a fight, and Brenda and I changed our minds.

After the game was over, the 5 of us walked a block down from the stadium and ended up going to TGI Friday's for dinner. It was amazing! I had no idea how much I missed eating American food! I just ordered the nachos as a meal, and they were so good. Then, Brenda and I shared this Oreo dessert, which was also amazing. However, I couldn't help but feel a little out of place then because it was Coqué and his girlfriend, Daniel and Brenda (who are practically dating), and then me...alone. I felt sort of like the 5th wheel or the single friend that everyone invites because they feel sorry for you, but oh well. Also, I felt bad because yet again I was incredibly tired and just did not know what to say at dinner, so I really didn't say much of anything. I know everyone was looking for me to talk more and get involved in the conversation, but I just couldn't get myself to do it. After dinner, we all decided that instead of going out on the town (which we had planned to do, since we didn't do it the night before), we were going to go back to Pilar's dorm room to hang out and listen to music. Coqué and Daniel went in Coqué's car, while us 3 girls went to the University in a taxi. It was really interesting to spend time in a Spanish is very similar to American universities, except the dorm rooms are very spacious and immaculate (at least, this one was). Of course, there were tons of students running around the hallways, and there were all of these mini-parties and drinking games going on. It was really active that night because people were just moving back to the University (school doesn't start until October here in Spain). Well, the 3 of us headed up to Pilar's room, and she showed us her room, things that she had just bought, photo albums, etc. I think all of us were just trying to find things to talk about until the boys came...finally, after like 20-25 minutes, the boys showed up, and we just chilled and listened to music on Pilar's computer. Coqué tried burning us a c.d. of popular Spanish music, but when we returned to Granada and tried to listen to it, it didn't work...I was a little bummed! After about 1/2 hour or so, all of us realized that we were completely exhausted, and Coqué drove us back to our hotel. We all hung out in our room for a little while (there was a mini-party going on in there...nothing wild, just watching t.v.), and then went to bed because we had a daytrip to Toledo in the morning.

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Recent Messages

From Lynette
Okay so apparently I dont think this journal thing likes me....I wrote a long long letter to you like last week sometime and it never got posted on here. So anyways how are you doing and how does it feel to know that you will be coming home in less than 2 weeks!!!! I cant wait to hear all of your stories and to see your pics!! It has been going alright here a lot of stress now that finals are just around the bend but i am done with everything after the 14th and will be home on that day and cant wait. well I should get going but I hope you have a good remaining 2 weeks.
Response: Hey Lynette! No...I did in fact get your letter that you posted on here (and thank you for that...I love getting updates!), but it wasn't posted on here because I chose not to, mainly because they get deleted after so long, and I want to keep as many as I can and print them off when I get home for memories. It's less than a week until I go home now! Crazy! I am so excited to go home and see all of you guys again, but I am a little sad to say good-bye to Spain. While it hasn't always been easy being here, I have enjoyed my semester and have made a lot of good friends. It's sad to see it come to an end, but what can you do? Yeah, I have 3 finals tomorrow, and I haven't really studied for them...I should be more stressed out about them, but I just got back from an amazing trip to Portugal (mostly the Lisbon area), and I just cannot focus. Plus, I am realizing that it is my last week here, and studying for tests is the last thing that I want to do! Anyways, dear, I hope you are doing well, and I will see you soon (yeah!)!! :) Take care!
From Sarah

How was the weekend? Mine was pretty fun, but nothing much really happened... an odd combination! I went to the Berenstain Bears on stage with Kylee, Hailey and Tracy on Friday. They both really liked it, but the bears were orange, and Sister Bear couldn't sing... so I was kinda dissapointed! I just chilled after the show... I finally got all of my Asia pictures into albums, all the negatives organized, and have captions on most of the pictures... I'm pretty excited about finally getting that all done! On Saturday, I had rehearsal for Amanda's opera during the day, and then I went to my roommate's recital. After the recital, Angie, Cynthia and I got busy getting drunk at my apartment! We went to a dance later that night, but we really didn't do much.... but somehow, we still had a ton of fun! It was strangely great!! On Sunday, I had Amanda's recital... I was a sheep!!! Basically, I had to dress in white with quilt batting sewn to me, and randomly baaaa! It was quite fun and entertaining!

Four weeks until you're home!!! One month!!! Yeah!!! I'm sure it'll go really fast. Boo for Spain, yeah for home! (Ok, I'm biased!.... but at least I admit it!!!) Hopefully, we have some snow here so you can have a white Christmas waiting for ya!!!

Anyway, I should do some homework, so I'll talk to you later!

See you soon!

Response: Hey there! My weekend was excellent because Jess and Tiff came to visit me here in Granada. We had a good time just roaming the city, eating out, shopping, and horseback riding (yes...that's right...we went horseback riding in the Sierra Nevada mountains!). So you went to a Berenstein Bear concert...that sounds like it would be a good time. However, I would be disappointed too if the bears were orange and Sister Bear couldn't sing! Boo to that! I can't believe I have less than 4 weeks before I am back in Minnesota...I can't wait to see everyone again! I hope that we have some snow there as well (without the frigid temperatures!!), because Christmas just isn't the same without snow! Anyways, dear, I have some homework that I need to be tending to... Take care, and I am sure I will talk with you sometime soon! :)
From Lynette
Hey girl, I heard that you had a great time with Jess this past weekend!! I am soo very jealous of you that you got to go horse back riding. I have never gone before. Just think you will be home in 4 weeks already. It seems that it has gone by so very fast. Not too much is new here. I have been working on huge projects that are due and trying to stay saine before finals come.

Hope that you have a great Thanksgiving and wonderful week!!

Response: Hey Lynette! I was hoping that I would be hearing from you sometime soon! Yes, Jess, Tiff, and I did have a good time in Granada this past weekend. If it makes you feel any better, we did think of might not have been while we were horseback riding, but there were times during the weekend when we brought up your name and wondered how you were. Are you going to be home for Christmas? I am hoping that all of us will be able to get together at least a few times before I have to move back to the Cities in January. Well, I should probably be getting back to my homework! I hope you are doing well and "staying sane!" Happy Thanksgiving! :)
From Kayla
Oooh, ooh, I know the name of the park! It's called El Retiro! Yeah, I've been there and it's super pretty. I even did the rowboats with almost everyone from my high school group that went...we weren't very good tourists as a few of us got in a bit of a water fight and were kicked out of the lake. :) Yes, yes, memories. At least it was a fun time. And being yelled at in Spanish doesn't have quite the same affect as being yelled at in English.

I love hearing about Madrid since I can still picture a lot of the places you're talking about...and I can't wait to hear about Toledo!! I loved that place.

Hope life is going well!Definitely give me a call or email when you're back so we can get together and chat. And, I'll see Sarah on Friday so I'll tell her to post a message.
Have a great rest of the week!
Response: Hey Kayla! I can't believe that you were such a trouble maker when you were in Madrid...I'm beginning to see a whole other side to you!! Jk! Anyways, I am hoping to get around to posting about Toledo soon. I have so much homework all of a sudden that I need to finish, and I am starting to feel the crunch because I really only have 3 more weeks of class left! Scary!! Plus, all of the next couple of weekends I am going to be travelling to some place, so that really doesn't leave me much time! I have a feeling that I will be posting a lot of stuff during the week that I am home, because I don't know when else I will get the time...oh well! Better late than never! Anyways, definitely do tell Sarah to post something on here. I haven't heard from her since the first few weeks of being here! Hey...are you taking a J-term class? I am, so if you are around, we should definitely get together! I will definitely let you know when I am back, though, and we should make plans to get together. I hope that all is well with you as well! Take care! :)
From Sarah
Yeah for the procrastination! Thanks for the update Kristen!!!
Response: No problem! I do what I can!! :)
From Rachel
Edinburgh ROCKS. We should marry Scots. From Edinburgh. With wonderful accents. Not Scots from Glasgow, though, even if they do have wonderful accents. Glasgow does not ROCK.

Yes, yes, send me an e-mail with your musings on el pais! T'would be wonderful!

Hasta pasta,

Response: Hey Rachel! Yes...I do need to send you that e-mail! My time here in Spain has been a series of ups and downs, and there are things about this country that I don't think I will ever understand (like today, for one of my classes (a make-up class), my professor took us to the Albaicin, but first we had to stop at a Tabacco store so that he could buy cigarettes (which he smoked almost the entire thing throughout the time we were together), and he stopped several times to answer his cell phone...crazy!)) Anyways, yes, I do love Edinburgh as well! I think we should both definitely marry Scots. from Edinburgh and live together in peace and harmony in little cottages in Scotland. I am planning on doing that, anyways! Hey...what is the status on you and Ireland? I am trying to talk my Mom into letting me move to Scotland after I graduate to work for a little bit. It's a little rocky, but she's starting to come around! Hey, just out of curiousity, why does Glasgow not rock? I have never been...been close, but never seen the city...
From Sarah
Well, I haven't left you a message for a while, so I figured I better do that so you know what's happening in Sarahland!!!
This weekend was actually quite boring for me. I went out on Thursday and got drunk, and was in the bar with all of the smoke... and in my voice lesson on Friday, my teacher yelled at me and told me that I was not allowed to go anywhere near a bar (meaning smoke or alcohol) until my recital (this friday, the 11th)... so I was banned from basically any fun this weekend!! :( I didn't get to go out with the new 21 year old... poor Arica had to get smashing drunk without me! :( :( :( SADNESS!

Yeah, so I sat at home on Friday and Saturday night. I did some homework, that was definately a good time. I am still working on that stupid summer class through LSU... I haven't gotten that thing done yet... and I need to get it done soon if I want to graduate on time!!! :S not good Sarah... not good!!!

Other than that, my life has been pretty much a bore. No real excitement. I'm getting nervous for my recital. I don't have my three German songs memorized yet... so that's getting a bit stressful... I should really work on that!!! EEK!

Anyway, I am going to do that right now... run to the practice room, and then work on my LSU class for a bit tonight. Hope all is well, and I'll see/talk to you soon!

Response: Oh, Sarah...I am sorry to hear that! I usually look to you for all of the good stories. However, you have to be very careful with the voice, especially with those important recitals. Oh...give my best to Arica, and tell her Happy Birthday from me! I wish I could've been there to celebrate! Anyways, I have to run! I hope that everything is going well! Don't stress out about your will hurt your voice (so I've heard, anyways)! ¡Mucho amor siempre!
From Kayla
Hey, Kristen! I was just reading the news and I was wondering how things are going over there in regards to the rioting in France...apparently there have been copycat acts around Europe- has anything (threats or otherwise) happened where you are? Stay safe!

Response: Hey Kayla! Thanks for the concern, but as of right now, everything is fine. I was actually in Scotland and London this past weekend and only heard about the riots in France through my Mom. Luckily, Britain wasn't affected by them either. However, there were some girls from my program in Paris, but from what I understand, everybody is ok. I hope that you are doing well! Take care, and you stay safe as well! I can't wait to talk with you soon (only 6 weeks until I am home...crazy!)!!
From Rachel
Yep, my dear, still using the UST e-mail. I'll let ya know when it changes. : )

I miss Spanish bocadillos!!! The bread is so much better over there. I miss the little things, like walking past a bread store and thinking the really deep thought, "Dude, that is a LOT of fresh bread they have hanging in there..." or sitting down in a plaza on a sunny day and just watching the fountain splash and the people walk by... or looking up and suddenly seeing the Sierra Nevada (those mountains were the love of my life, they just looked so cool, me being from the Midwest and all!).

It's interesting that I can relate so much to your experience with the bullfight. Watching the first bull die was really rather shocking. I just sat there thinking, good gravy, is this SERIOUSLY going on?? But then it got better, and I started to find it kinda interesting. I would never make it a hobby or anything to watch bullfights, but I'm glad that I went to at least one when I was in Spain. And it's such a traditional thing... I get annoyed with people who say with 100% certainty that they will never EVER go to a bullfight because "it's, like, so cruel." Yes, it's cruel, but cruel according to American culture standards, where we assign animals with dignity and worth practically comparable to humans. And like I said, even if it is shocking to us, it's also a very interesting aspect of Spanish culture to explore if one can temporarily throw away our PETA-like sensabilities. Ok, sorry, starting to ramble!!! I know you know all that, I'm just going on a typical Rachel tirade. And I'm so glad you were open enough to going to one, even if it's not something you plan on doing again (as in, you don't want to open up a Minnesota plaza de torros with me?!?!).

Oh my gosh, and speaking of bull fighting, I watched this show once (in the cafe we always hung out in in Granada) where they show accidents and other horrific things that get caught on tape (like our shows here in the U.S., where we show police chases or crazy racing accidents that people survive or elephants going beserk in a circus), and they started to show bull fighting injuries. In one scene, a guy literally had half his face torn off from a bull's horn. I almost puked into my coffee. That was definitely a moment of, "What the HELL are they showing on tv in this country!?!? What is WRONG with Spain?!?!"

I had to smile at your Madrid trip. I still think Madrid is one of the ugliest, yet still fun European cities I have ever been to. : ) Although I loved the Prado, simply because the building itself inside is so beautiful, plus I loved "Las Meninas" - that sucker was HUGE, and I thought the perspective from which it was painted was very neat. Yeah, and Guernica was cool, wasn't it? Do you remember the poster I had by my bed last year, the one called "Muchacha en la ventana" by Dali? If I remember right, I think I bought that at Reina Sofia. Oh, and doesn't that 5 hour bus ride suck?!?! We've all been on longer bus rides then that one (like when my mom and I were trying to get the heck out of Italy, but France and its dumb train strikes stood in the way, so we took a bloody bus from freaking Milan to Barcelona), but for some reason I always hated the 5 hour trip to Madrid, even with the charming movies playing. : ) Oh, and I laughed at your comment about the tour guide on the bus in Madrid. Too funny. "Who is making flash!?!"

I miss you, too!!! I'm still so bummed that I couldn't be in Ireland at the same time you were in Spain... it would have been a hoot and a half to have met up somewhere. So seriously, if you and Kayla and anyone else want to visit in the spring, DO IT. : )

And I'm also still so excited that you're studying abroad in Granada - it's fun to have someone who can relate so well to your study abroad experience, and I love hearing your stories. See why I always got frustrated when EVERYONE at the UST study abroad country meeting for Spain would be going to Madrid?!?! Granada, people, Granada. It rocks.

Oh, and I'll e-mail you my home address for that postcard.

K, I should get going now - sorry for such a long message!

Besos y abrazos,

Response: Yeah!! It's Rachel again!! I was so excited to see that I had an e-mail from you in my inbox, and then when I opened it, it was just a short message and your address, so I figured that you had left me a message here. Boy was I right!! :) I am going to have to send you an e-mail soon, because I have some thoughts and feelings that I want to share with you about Spain, and I am curious if you ever felt the same way. Thank you for leaving me your address, by the way! I will have to send you a postcard soon! On Thursday I am heading up to Edinburgh for the weekend (and 1 1/2 days in London), so I probably won't have time to mail one until next week. Anyways, I have to get back to typing a paper...hope you are doing well, and I can't wait to hear from you again soon!
From Sarah
I see that Lynette was the only one that left you a message this last time, so I decided to leave you one too, just so you would have at least one next time you checked! This weekend, I went out for Halloween to my friend's party. It was pretty low key... I didn't even get drunk! (yes, miracles do happen!) but I was a lovely "Miss Trailer Park USA" and people thought I was hot... especially when I used my cleavage for a beer can holder! I'll send pictures when I get them developed!!!
Hope all is well!
Response: Ha! That's awesome, Sarah! Very creative... I am bummed that I will be missing Halloween for the 2nd year in a row (last year I was stuck in the airport in Milan, was...uhhh...interesting...)! Hopefully next year I will be able to celebrate! You better send me those pictures...I am very curious to see them! :)
From Lynette
Hey girl, It sounds like you are having a great time. Things are going good here and can't wait to see all of you pictures!!! Have a great week!!!
Response: Hey there chica! It's good to finally hear from you! Yeah, things are going pretty well over here and I am enjoying myself. I'm going to be dead broke when I come, but as they say here..."¡Vale la pena!," which means "It's worth the pain!" I can't wait to show you some of my pictures! In a matter of a few days, I should be able to FINALLY post some of pictures, if I can figure it out. My program is supposed to be getting some new computers and a new student center, which is very exciting! I hope that all is well with you! Have a great week, and I hope to hear from you again soon!! :)
From Sarah
One more quick question... did you get my letter? Jess got hers faster than I expected, I'm not sure how long international mail takes!
Response: No I didn't get the letter yet! I've checked everyday in the hopes that it's there, but everyday I get disappointed... :( I'm sure it's on still on its way! I'm still waiting on a letter from my Mom as well...maybe they will both come on the same day! That would be awesome!

(Ok, I posted this response this morning, but now your letter has come! Thanks Sarah!!)
From Sarah
The link was just a little sad picture of some froggies without legs in wheelchairs and on crutches coming out of a kitchen by a couple feasting on frog legs. It was sad.. it made me cry. Actually, it was kinda funny, but never tell my froggies that!!!
Response: Wow...ok, maybe I didn't want to see that! Oh, one of my friends went to Paris and had frog legs. She said that it tasted like chicken, but doesn't everything?!? ;)
From Jessica Smith
Way to go on your spanish tests!!! That a girl! :)

Do you celebrate Halloween in Spain?

I got these great ladybug wings from Target, they were $1. Yes!

Take Care!

love, Jessica
Response: Hey Jess! I was wondering when I would hear from you again! Ladybug wings for $1?!? That's amazing! Yes, they do celebrate Halloween here, but it is not as big of a deal as it is in the States. Actually, there is this great Halloween costume store that is down the street from my school...I am tempted to buy something for Halloween! I don't know what I want to be yet, though... Plus, I am not sure if I will be here for Halloween or not, because my roommate and I (along with a few others) are thinking about planning a trip to Moracco. Don't tell my parents, though...they will flip out!! He he! Anyways, I hope you are doing well! Take care, and I will send you an e-mail soon! :)
From Sarah
Just thought this quick little VERY SAD picture would brighten your day... beware, this may be more sad than any bull fight!!! *sniffle* g-legs.html

Response: Sarah, the web page doesn't work! I tried copying it, typing it, etc., and nothing is going through...I guess I just won't see it... :(
From Kayla
Hello, dear Kristen! I haven't written in awhile, so I figured you just must be dying to see a message from me! :) Things are going well here...although I'm in a bit of a crisis over my education major...something to discuss at a later time so that I don't take up all the room on your website! Oh, and get this- I swear the bookstore lost my coat!! Every time I go there, and it's been a few times now, they're like, well, I know Kristen left something, but I'm not sure where it's actually pretty funny. Good thing I'm not in short supply of coats! :) And it's been too warm to wear them anyhow. So, I guess I'll just wait for you to come back or something.

It's been good to hear from you- I'm glad your trip is going so well. The things you're doing just look awesome...I can't wait to hear everything in full detail when you're back. And I'll have to tell you about my bullfight experience as well when I was in Spain.

Have a great week, and I just have to say it...sayonara sucker!!!
Response: Hey Kayla! I am so sorry about your coat...I hope that they didn't lose Sarah's calculator as well. I'm sure it's there somewhere...I'll look for it when I get home, I promise! I really want to hear about what's going on with your major and your bullfight experience...if you have time, e-mail me! However, if it's too much to type out, I can wait until I get home. I'll have to call you when I come home in December, and then we can chat a bit about all of this stuff! :) Did you see that there was a message from Rachel? Have you guys seen each other at all this semester? I miss all of you girls (by that, I mean the roomies in Morrison...Sarah, Rachel, and you)!! We will definitely have to have a reunion sometime! I got an e-mail from Sarah in the beginning of the semester, but I haven´t heard from her since. If you see her on campus, tell her she needs to post a message or something...I want to hear from her! Anyways, I have to run to class! Take care, have a great week, and I hope to hear from you soon!

P.S.: Even typing "sayonara sucker" scares me! I just imagine you when you said in the hallway that one night...creepy!! ;)
From Sarah
If you are a bit more patient... the suspense will be relieved soon!!! :)
Response: Come on Sarah!!! I've been waiting to hear this story or news or whatever that you have to tell me!! Hurry up!! :)
From Rachel
Hey kiddo,

Just wanted to say hi - it's been a while since I stopped in to read The Adventures of Kristen. As far as where the shot bars are in Granada, I don't remember the specifics - other people were usually leading the way, plus by the time we left them I was a little, oh, fuzzy headed, shall we say? : ) I think there was a good one on Pedro Antonio (don't know if it's Calle Pedro Antonio or what, we just referred to it as Pedro Antonio).

Oh, and about that feeling great one day, feeling rather overwhelmed the next - totally normal. I did that a lot during my semester, and the only time it went completely away was my last fews weeks there, when all of a sudden I realized there was so much I was going to miss and the realization that studying abroad, something I had been looking forward to for years, was DONE, and there wasn't time in the remaining days to be sad (well, ok, yes there was, but not sad about missing home and feeling like "what the crap is up with this country", but rather, sad about leaving Spain!). Ok, that's enough with depressing things. But just so you know, yes, the wild mood swings from euphoria to depression are quite normal. : ) They tend to forget to mention that in the study abroad prep booklets... I think it's cuz you come home and you forget about the hard days and simply remember your time abroad as one giant blinding ray of joy. : )

Oh, and a happy belated birthday to you, my dear. Enjoy these last two months - they'll fly!!!

Suggestion of the week: have you found that to die for gelatto place that's near the main plaza (w/ the big 'ol fountain)? Good heavens, I wasted a lot of Euros there on the way home from school...

Ah-ta lue-o (Granada pronunciation of hasta luego!), y besos,

Response: Yeah!!! It's a message from Rachel!! I have been meaning to send you an e-mail for so long, but I wasn't sure if you were still using your St. Thomas e-mail or not. Anyways, that is so reassuring to hear about the whole mood swing thing. You are right, though...thinking back on the past month and a half, I really only remember the good times that I have had. It's funny how your brain works like that... Anyways, I am really enjoying my time here in Spain, mainly because (like you stated earlier) I realized that I don't have that much time here and I need to change my attitude and stop being so paranoid all of the time (I'll have to explain this in further detail in an e-mail). Anyways, this past week has been nearly perfect, and I hope that things continue down that path. Oh...and I live right next to Pedro Antonio (we call it the same thing), so I will have to check out the "chupito" bars! Also, I have been to the really good gelato place next to Isabel de la Católica (called "Los Italianos"), and I have also spent a lot of Euros in that place! In fact, when my host padre first took me to the plaza, he pointed it out to me and my roommate and was like "Now there is where you can get great helado!" Oh...I miss you Rachel!! :( Kayla and I will have to make a trip out to visit you sometime next semester! Thanks for the belated birthday message, and thanks for checking in on me! I hope to hear from you again soon!! Oh...before I forget...what is your address in Wisconsin? E-mail it to me, because I want to send you a postcard! Love ya dear!!
From Kat
Hey Kristen,
Just writing to say hello. I'm sitting in my usual DSP spot and I thought I would drop you a message. Everything is going well over here, a bunch of us are interviewing for full time jobs and going out occassionally! :) We miss you so much! COME HOME!! :) Anyway, I hope all is well and I hope you have a great time and meet some cute Spanish boys and come back with a bf so we can chat about him! hahahahaha. Well, I have to go get my senior pics taken so I will ttyl... bye and have a great time! :)
Response: Hey Kat! I'm happy to hear from you!! :) However, you are really freaking me out with the full-time job talk...I feel like I am a million miles away from all of that when I should be doing everything that you guys are doing. I miss you guys, too!! :( I wish you all were over here with me so that we could go out and party like rock stars. I haven't done a lot of partying over here just yet, but I am gradually working my way up to it. I am hoping that I will get the chance to go back and visit Jess in Madrid so that I can have the true Spanish party experience! We kind of did it the first night I was in Madrid, but I need to build up my tolerance to staying out until 6 or 7 in the morning! I forgot about the whole senior pic thing...I guess my face won't be in the yearbook...oh well! Anyways, just think...I will be coming home in exactly 2 months from today...crazy!! In reality, that's not a lot of time...I need to spend it wisely! Thanks for the message, Kat! I hope to hear from you again soon!
From Molly Anderson
KRISTEN! So Katie gave me a lot of crap from you.....but that is okay! How are you? Sorry I haven't emailed you yet! Don't worry, one will be coming soon! Hope that you are having such a wonderful time in Spain and I miss you lots!
Response: Hey Molly!! FINALLY...I get a message from you! JK! How are things with you? I hope that you are doing well. Things have been going well for me here in's had its ups and downs, but that's to be expected. I just got out of a torrential rainstorm here in Granada, and now my pants are, there is some strange Spanish guy that is trying to talk with me through AOL in this internet café...I'm a little weirded out! Anyways, I hope that you are doing well, and I can't wait to get that e-mail from you!! :)
From Katie Boe
Miss you tons Kristen, can't wait till you are actually back in the US and are right next door to me!!! You and I will be sharing a bathroom if everything works out!!! I feel so sorry for you!!!! HEHEHE!! It sounds like you are having a blast and hope classes are going well!!
Response: Hey Katie! I'm so excited to have a message from you! How are things going back at UST? I don't know if I will come back to the US if I have to share a bathroom with you...jk! How are Michelle and Molly doing? I haven't received any messages from them yet...have they fallen off the face of the earth?!? Give them crap from me and tell them they need to e-mail me or send me a message a.s.a.p.!! :) I miss you tons as well, and I'm excited to live with you guys in Selby (I heard from somebody that the apartments are REALLY nice)! Take care!!
From Sarah
Ok, just have to mention that my tab button isn't working on my puter... and it's driving me absolutely bonkers!!! Ahhh!!!

Don't worry about the guilt trip... I was just trying to see if I could make you feel guilty, you don't necessarily have to feel guilty! :) I just like playing that fun little game! :) bwahahahaha!!!

And... since I"m a do-do head, would you by any chance have your address somewhere... I think I remember you sending it or something, but I don't know where to find it! So, if I could have that, you can have some mail!!! :)

I think you'll like the gossip I can provide... hmmm... what hints to drop about the gossip... (can't decide... so you just get to wait with suspense!!!)

Response: Hey Sarah! have gossip?!?! You can't leave me in suspense like this!! Well, here is my address...PLEASE USE IT!! :)

Kristen Nathe
c/o AIFS
Plaza del Campillo N (and then a little degress sign) 2

Edificio Mácia 3 (temp. degrees sign again) E

18009 Granada, Spain (make sure you put Spain on there...otherwise it goes to Jamaica first!)

Well, there you go! All of the spaces inbetween each line means that you need to start a new line, not that you need to space it out like that! I can't wait to get some mail!! Woo hoo!! :)
From Sarah
You're being a slacker and not updating!!! I have a need to procrastinate over here in St. Joe MN... and you're not helping me much!!! Just trying to make you feel guilty... is it working??
Response: Hey Sarah! Yeah, your guilt trip is working...I swear I am working on getting my updates on here, but I haven't had a lot of time this week! We got back from Madrid on Tuesday night, and then I started my actual classes early Wednesday morning. I promise, though, I am going ta get my Madrid trip up here soon! You are just going to have to find other ways to procrastinate until then! ;) Miss you and love you lots!
From Kayla
Hey, Kristen! Good to hear from you again- it seems like your trip's been a lot of fun! Can you believe it's already been a month? Just wanted to say hi- can't wait to hear about Madrid!

Response: Hey Kayla! It's always to good to hear from you! I miss you a lot, and I especially miss living with you. I am having a lot of fun over here in's definitely been an experience! I promise I will get up everything about Madrid soon! I hope you are doing well and that you are enjoying your classes! Take care, and keep leaving me messages! They make me smile! :)
From Jessica Smith
Hey Kristen,

I hope your feeling better! I wish you many more relaxing weekends to come! :)

Minnesota and St. Thomas are good. The leaves are starting to turn and the breeze has a new chill. I just love fall!

Tommorow is my first PRSSA meeting and I'm so nervous!

Best Wishes,
Jessica Smith
Response: Hey Jess! How are you? Thanks again for sending me the birthday card! I have it hanging up in my room (like I did in our dorm room), and I look at it everyday and think of you. I am working on writing you a real letter, but don't expect it for a while because I am going to gone for a week in Madrid and then I start my new classes, so it will be a while before I finish it and actually mail it off. However, I will try my hardest to get it to you before I come home! ;) Jk! Anyways, I miss you and I hope that you are doing well! Take care of yourself, and I hope to hear from you soon! :)