What a group :)
Thanks for coming guys!
Well, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland was over, but the excitement definitely wasn’t. Leigh and Ty didn’t make it to Dublin, but they did make it to Brussels where they then flew to Málaga. Seeing Leigh come through the arrival gate was just as emotional as seeing Ryan; and this time I even teared up. Having her and Ty there was so surreal I couldn’t believe it. I think Jenny said it best: after 10 months of living through a computer, it’s so awesome to actually be able to give my friends a hug.
I got to show them around Cádiz a little bit on Sunday, but it’s so hard to find places that are open on Sundays to eat at we ended up walking around for quite a while, but finally found a place where Leigh could try Spanish paella. Monday the three of us got up to go for a run. It had been SO long since I got to go run with actual people! I’ve been running by myself all year except for just a few times and it gets sort of lonely. Sometimes I like the peace of running alone,
The King and the President
The President is the gray-haired man right above the purple hatted lady and the King is the older man directly to his left.
but sometimes I just need someone to talk to. We ran all the way to the end of Cádiz and back. The next day while we were on the bus Leigh asked, “Is this where we ran yesterday?”
“No, we ran right over there by the beach. We ran the entire length of the island yesterday, Leigh.”
“Yeah it’s not very big.”
That same day was actually the celebration for “La Pepa,” the first democratic constitution of Spain; signed on March 19th
, 1812, this year was the bicentennial of the Spanish Constitution. For the celebration many of the leaders of South and Central American countries came here to Cádiz for the day as well as el Rey Juan Carlos I (the King of Spain) and Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish President. Leigh and Ty and I gathered in, or really, happened upon, the plaza where the king and the president would be walking through and we actually had pretty good seats, and so within 24 hours of getting to Spain, Leigh and Ty got to see the King and the President of Spain as well as many other leaders in
The Louvre and Its Visitors
Leigh and my's favorite Louvre visitor.
the Hispanic community. Not too bad of a spring break, eh?
Because it was a holiday in Cádiz once again almost everywhere was closed, but we found some things to do and see around the city. I got to take them to my favorite places like La Castilla Santa Catalina which used to be a fortress on the beach but is now home to art exhibits and local artists. One of the expositions they were showing this month was called “The Louvre and its Visitors.” Photographer Alécio de Andrade has been taking photos of people in the Louvre for forty years and his project is simply to make art out of the people coming to visit art. Leigh and I decided he has been making a living off of being a professional “people watcher” and as engineers still busting our behinds in college, well, we just don’t think that’s fair. If he can make a living off of that I could make double that off of people watching in Cádiz. It was a really neat exhibit, though, and worth a look-see if you ever notice it in an art gallery in the States.
Tuesday was an even more exciting day. Things were back to normal in Cádiz so stores and restaurants were actually open and I got to take Leigh and Ty with me to my riding lesson and to meet Carlos! Well, it wasn’t a dull lesson that’s for sure. Of course the day I bring people is the day Corrala decides to go off her rocker and just be plain mean. She wouldn’t jump anything. It was a really long, really tough lesson, but I got the first photos of me riding in nearly 6 years, so that was plus.
We hurried back to try and catch the sunset, but on our way there we ran into some very nice girls. Through the glass of a bus stop I swore I saw a purpley-pink sweatshirt, and then the purpley-pink sweatshrited girl and her friend broke out into a run. Then I was sure. Jenny and Alex. They too came to Spain for their spring break! They spent the first weekend in Madrid and got to Cádiz in the evening on Tuesday. They had had quite the time getting around Spain without really knowing Spanish. Jenny’s approach was just
walking in and saying “Hi,” don’t bother with “Hola” because then they think you speak Spanish and start talking really fast. Alex’s approach was to become a very accomplished mime. Both tactics got them to me in Cádiz, so I consider it a success.
Since it was Tuesday and there were no more holidays I could finally take everyone to my favorite tapas bar “Veedor 10,” my favorite café “La Clandestina,” they got to meet most of the API group at Woodstock Bar, and we could go to the Cathedral and its tower to get a 360° view of the city. We didn’t have much time in Cádiz, though, because Wednesday we set off for Sevilla! Yay! Everyone knows I love Sevilla, and it’s become more than just because Sevilla has the only Starbucks between Cádiz and Madrid, Sevilla is just such a beautiful city. The group agreed.
We were sort of rushed to see some of the sights because we missed the stop on the train we needed because these two older women didn’t push the button to open the train doors. They sort of just stood there as we all waved goodbye to the
San Bernardo train station and had to ride all the way to Santa Justa. Uhg. However we made it in time to see Sevilla’s Cathedral with Christopher Columbus’ tomb and the tower La Giralda. Jenny claims Chaucer’s grave in Westminster Abbey is more impressive, but I’ve never seen his grave so I still stand by the fact that it’s the most impressive tomb I’ve seen; even more impressive that Jim Morrison’s in Paris. (Sorry Evan).
We toured the royal palace, El Alcazar, La Plaza de España, and more of the city center. The next morning Leigh, Ty and I got up and went for a run to the bus station to get them to the airport in time. They missed the bus, but that’s the beauty of Europe, taxi’s everywhere. Jenny, Alex and I had the morning to spend together before their bus left for Madrid, and then I took them to the station.
“Oh, is this where we have to say goodbye?”
“Yeah, I’m afraid it is.”
It was hard saying goodbye to them. It’s probably a good thing Leigh and Ty had to leave so fast because I didn’t have a lot
of time to get too emotional, but Alex and Jenny I had plenty. It was so nice having everyone here. For a few days it was like everything was back to normal, the only thing missing was our friend Kate (who is studying in New Zealand by the way). It was so surreal while it was happening, and it passed so fast that now it literally feels like it could have just been a very vivid dream. I went 10 months without seeing any of them, I have five more until I see them again, it’s been almost 8 months since I have seen anyone in my family, two until my parents get here, and three until I am back on US soil. It’s weird to think how long I’ve been gone, the things I’m not in the loop on, like “Tim Tebow-ing?” Apparently it’s a stance he does after he makes a touchdown? Well, made
touchdowns, I guess Payton Manning is taking care of “The Tebow.” I may be in Europe but at least with Wi-Fi I can watch ESPN online…or see interesting news on my friend Dillon’s Facebook and then go
to ESPN.com to see what’s happening.
And Jenny does it do well.
It’s a long time to be away from everyone I love, but it’s true that it only makes me love everyone more. I’m just glad a few of my friends got to see a little piece of my life here. It’s really what my time here in Cádiz has become recently: life. Just life. It’s not always studying abroad anymore. I pretty sure I’ll always be an “outsider” here, but I’ve found my places where I sort of fit in and those are the ones I got to share with my friends. To a lot of you I’m still only living through a computer, whether it’s Skype or Blogs, and I know it’s not the same, but at least my friends have gotten to see it and so they got to bring a piece of my life here back with them, which is at least in improvement over Cyber-Devin.
I really love and miss all of you
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