Top 12 from 2012

This post is long past due and something I have wanted to do for more than a month now. Here are 12 awesome things from 2012. Without further ado, here they are in chronological order.

  1. Madison with the BF: I spent the week after New Year’s with my my boyfriend. I spent the week being shown off (introduced) to family and friends and exploring the beautiful city of Madison, WI.
  2. Dance Marathon: I danced FTK (for the kids) at U Iowa’s Dance Marathon. A 24 hour dance celebration (participants are not supposed to sit for down from 6 pm Friday night until 6 pm Saturday night.)that works to raise money for children’s cancer. (more info here) It was one of the hardest experiences of my life. I didn’t make it all the way. I confess. I almost feinted at the end from exhaustion. I would not trade if for the world. I don’t think I will do it again.
  3. Jar meal: My BF and I save all of the money we find, or bet each other, for fun spending only. Slowly quarters, nickles and dimes go into the jar. Our first jar money purchase was a meal for under 10 dollars.
  4. Easter: My best friends and I continued our tradition of celebrating Easter together. After a month of lent it felt great to cook meat and sweets to share with friends.
  5. Being the National Communication’s Coordinator (NCC) for The University of Iowa Associate Residence Halls (ARH) This one doesn’t really have a time, it is several things in one. In 2012 that meant winning the school of the year award in our region, along with several others. That meant organizing three different schools to go together to Boulder, CO. That meant all of the great memories with ARH and NRHH
  6. Hunting and Fishing with my dad: Maybe this makes me SUPER Midwestern  Maybe this makes me sentimental. Maybe those things are both true, but either way, I am always happy to spend what time I can just my dad and I doing our things. Be it fish, foul, or bear.
  7. Moving to Spain: I won’t blither on about this too much. Read back posts if want that (joking…mostly). Let me just say it has been one of the hardest and most rewarding experiences of my life. It all began here (if you are interested)
  8. Madrid: Our first trip with CIEE, just a few weeks into our program, we were off to Madrid for a long weekend. We bonded as a group and I began to realize what this was all about. Check out my post from the time, Madrid in My Lense. 
  9. Sweden: The 5 days I spent in Sweden were amazing. I have never been to a place so different yet so like where I am from. I could read the body language of people. I could see for the first time where my people come from. It was beautiful and so like home I cried on the bus after I woke up from a nap and thought I was home for a minuet. (Don’t tell anyone it is a secret). Posts from that trip: Hello Sweden!, Monday Morning Sunset: StockholmMonday Morning Sunset: SwedenWhat’s Up in Uppsala and, Top Ten Surprises from Sweden.
  10. Peninsula with the parentals: Spending the holidays with my Dad and Connie was great. It was great to get to see them again. It was enchanting to spend Christmas in Segovia, and the New Year in Madrid.

I can see clearly now…

The rain is gone….

Da da da daaaa dadada dadada… dadada…

The rain bow this morning when I woke up made me feel hopeful. Maybe more hopeful than the day turned out. (not a top ten day in the least. good thing it’s not Friday.) Now that this day is almost over

Now that the day is over, this picture still makes me smile.

Trying to see the world a little clear today.

Trying to see the world a little clear today.

What up Mallorca

OK. So I am still working on uploading ALL of my pictures from winter break, but I do have an awesome video for you today. (OK sorry about all of the italicizing) So one of the many things, and one of the few not dull to talk about things, that I worked on before I left for vacation was this video. I worked on it with my friend Erik, who is who posted the video for me. (THANKS ERIK!) I must warn you that it is all in Spanish, but I have translated all of the text into english. You can find it below the video. 

When you hear the words Balearic Islands, Mallorca, or Palma it is likely that you imagine the white sandy beaches and Mediterranean sun, but the islands, especially Palma de Mallorca offer so much more for you to enjoy. If you want to have a great time when the sun has set, for then euros or less, we have five ideas for you that you won´t find in any guide book.

¡Venga! ¡Vamos!

One of the things you need to start your fabulous night in Palma is one of the Mediterranean sunset. They exist nowhere else in the world.  One of the best parts of the sunsets is that they are FREE. You can see a spectacular, but different, sunset in every part of the city.

If you are looking for the young crowds in Palma on a Tuesday or Wednesday night you need only look in one place, the Ruta Martiana (Tuesday night route).  A beer or a glass of wine with a tapa is only 2 euros.  With more than 12 small bars, this is a great place to pass an inexpensive night.

It is not important what type of music you like, Palma offers a wide variety of live music every night of the week. Two examples of great places are Shamrock, on the Paseo Maritimo, and Blues Ville, near the cathedral.  Both bars offer live performances of Rock, Reggae, Blues, and more. Have a drink, or two, and have a great night out with your friends for less than 10 euros.

A well known tradition in all of Spain, and especially the Balearic Islands, is a night in one of the best clubs in the world. Every weekend you can find an inexpensive and lively party in most of the clubs. If you leave before the sun rises you have left before the party is over.

If you don´t want to pay for a great night out, or you want something a little more relaxed, you have the opportunity to see the beautifully illuminated monuments around the city. The cathedral is a great example of a place which is more beautiful and more precious at night. Also, if you are in Palma during the holiday season you have the unique opportunity to see the lights all around the city. They create a special sense of magic.

See you soon and safe travels!

Monday morning sunset: rainbows

Well it is good that there is a 7 hour time difference between here and home because it is 5:30 PM here and the sun is setting in reality. Today I am also cheating a little. I am borrowing a photo from the internet, but it looks almost exactly like the rainbow I saw as I walked to class this morining. Sometimes rainbows are a blessing because they always remind me to look at the beauty in the storm, I needed that this morning. So here you go. Happy Monday everyone

“Man is born with rainbows in his heart and you’ll never read him unless you consider rainbows” ~Carl Sandburg

A dog named cat and another named whiskey and other new things about my Spanish home

When I left for Spain my dad told me he had a feeling that I would be with a family with kids and a really good cook. Well I bought presents for kids just in case and it was a good thing that I did, mostly because everyone is enjoying the magic growing moose a lot, but also because mi madre espanola has a daughter. She might be a little old for kids toys at 15, Lola, is a bundle of fun and hormones, just like 15 year olds all over the world. The four people who live with me are loud and full of life. The argue at the kitchen table and scold each other, they poke fun and sing made up songs while they cook, they are kind and above all things patient when I say one more time “explicame mas no oye rapido” (explain it to me again, I did not hear you fast enough). I cannot pass too many judgments as these are all early observations after only living in their home, in my new home, for a few days, but I think I am going to like it here a lot. These people remind me of my own family, but, you know, Spanish.

So there is this fancy and formal picture of the three of this, but when Nuria, my host mom, threw her arms around her daughter and told me to “take a picture with my fancy camera” and it turned out like this, I thought it was worth a thousands words o solo, me encanta

My apartment is on Avenida Alejandro Rosello (Alejandro Rosello Ave.), a main street in the old town of Palma. We are on the ninth of ten floors, which for Palma is about as tall as it gets. I have a small bedroom off of the front hall, the other bedrooms are in the back of the apartment. It is perfect for me. I have more than enough space and the most amazing view, EVER! but more on that later. There is a snug and warm kitchen and a moderately sized and well used living room. There is a large balcony attached to the living room which has the same view as my room.

A stagnant view from my room

The VIEW! Can you see it there?! SEE ^^^^ Enlarge it if you dare! Ok enough of that… I call the view stagnant because each time you move it changes what you can see. There was no way to get it all in one shot so here it is, in and outside of the pic, from left to right. At the sky line on the left you can see the Mediteranian ocean. My sight lines include the route into the harbor so I often get to see big ships (I have seen four so far). As you move right you can see the buildings of old town. Notably there is a Gothic cathedral and then THE Gothic cathedral, La Catedral de Palma. Behind that large white glaring building (visible when you shift left or right) is a view of Spain’s only round castle (yup a castle), called Belver (which means beautiful view). Starting mid view and getting larger as you move right are the Tramatura Mountains (they tell me they might have snow on them in the winter). Finally, not visible in the pic is a great view of the street below my as it pours into the Plaza Espana, Palmas most bustling plaza.

FEW! a lot of information. Seriously there are more than 600 words in this post so I will stop. Is there anything YOU want to know about where I live? Digame (TELL ME)! Me da. ( I will tell you)