Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Rapid Fire

It is really late over here (late for this old lady, anyway) but I am determined to give you a recap of the last week(s) before I leave tomorrow for Pais Vasco!

Bear with me, I am about to bombard you with potentially very boring anecdotes from my life. As the students say in gym class: Ready, steady, GO!

I had two lovely Thanksgiving dinners. We celebrated on Thursday with a small group (we even included two Spaniards!) and a big meal. And on Sunday someone in my program hosted many of the auxiliares for another delicious meal and pleasant afternoon. Here are pictures of Thanksgiving Thursday:

The food:

The company (minus two):

This has been a pretty easy week: Tuesday was Día de la Constitución and therefore a national holiday (day off work) and tomorrow is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, which is also a national holiday. And, we have what is known as a "puente" (bridge), so Friday is a day off work, as well (though I normally have those free)!

Saturday I went with friends to have churros con chocolate. Translation: pure sugar heaven:

After that we went to the public library to do some work, and we discovered a new, beautiful study room! I'm going to call it the West Wing, due to it's somewhat secretive location (Sorry, I am not referencing the television drama, but my favorite Disney movie instead...I am a child):

Sunday I went to Cuenca with Jessica, Alex, and a professor from Jessica's school. It was a beautiful, sunny day (though chilly). Cuenca is known for the "casas calgadas", which are hanging houses built into the chiseled cliffs. We went to The Museum of Abstract Art. I am not normally a huge fan of abstract art, but thoroughly enjoyed the museum, and found a few artists I really like. It helps that Raquel is an artist and was able to help interpret the art work. We found another art museum-modern art-but we just took a quick walk-through to see the building (quite impressive, I think it was once a monastery/church). Here are a few pictures, but more to come next week:

This dish is typical of Cuenca. Part of me does not want to admit what it is, since I did indeed eat some. Intestines. Gross, I know. It didn't taste horrible, though I probably won't eat it again. But, you know what they say: When in Cuenca, do as the Cuencans.

Yesterday I spent most of the day in bed with another yucky cold (I feel much better today, so I am hoping the extra rest did the trick!) and writing a paper for my online class. When I couldn't stand being cooped up anymore, Jessica and I went searching for a quiet cafe to study and read. We couldn't find one that wasn't busting at the seems, but we did stumble upon a free art exhibit!

It is a collection of Baroque art (one of my favorite periods in art history), and mostly Spanish painters. There is currently a photography exhibit featuring the nature in Spain's 13 National Heritage cities. A neat realization: both Toledo and Salamanca made the list; I have called two of the thirteen cities home! Another interesting fact is that the museum used to be a church. I saw my friend Patricia at the exhibit, and she said that the Church in Spain has had to sell a few properties to the government; there are too many big, beautiful buildings to maintain. I am at least glad that this is being used as something as worthy as an art museum!

As we were walking home, brainstorming dinner plans, we came across a new bakery that opened recently just down from our building. We went in "just for a look" and left with a spinach quiche, blueberry cheesecake, and a free sample of hot chocolate. It was all delicious-perhaps dangerously so.

Happy Constitution Day, Spain!

The Christmas lights are up and on in Toledo! I didn't think the streets could get much prettier, but they certainly have. I love it; I finally feel like Christmas is approaching. Speaking of Christmas, I will be home in two weeks to celebrate the holidays! I cannot wait!

This week's timing of holidays is especially sweet because Tuesday and Thursday are my days at the preschool; and I mean no offense to the little ones, but I relished the break. I must say, it is sweet to hear the excited "Hello, teacher!" while walking through the hallways.

I am really enjoying teaching the science classes. I don't know if I have two great classes, or if I have a captive audience (unlike P.E. where they just want to run around and play soccer-ahem, "fútbol"), but I love these two hours. I think it is because I feel the most useful.

Today after school there was a "tortilla y tapas" competition! It was pretty delicious-I can't say I minded eating with a purpose to determine the best tortilla (it is one of my favorite Spanish dishes: an egg and potato deal, similar to a fritata. But different; I am determined to learn how to make it one of these days!). I actually made bruschetta (way to represent America, I know) to "enter" in the competition, but I left in a hurry this morning and forgot to bring it!

Phew! There you have it. You can't say I didn't warn you.

As I said, tomorrow I am going to San Sebastian, and Bilbao on Saturday. We (Jessica, Alex, and Greyson-another from my program) rented a car (that was a learning experience...) so we are heading out on our first Spanish road trip! Saint Christopher-please protect us!

Much love y un abrazo muy fuerte.

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