Mountain Climbing with Flip flops!

June 30, 2010
For anyone back home who was wondering and wants the super quick recap of the last several days…yes I am still alive, Spain was awesome, and I am on day 15 with no luggage!

Now for the slightly longer version for your reading pleasure!! We got to Spain early Thursday morning (the 24th for all those people on land who still keep track of days and dates!) ate a quick breakfast and went to a diplomat briefing that we have to do at every port. After our briefing the ship was cleared and we were aloud
onto dry land…unless you were lucky like me and got to go listen to several Spanish poets for your poetry class! Lol After the poetry discussion and lunch we headed out to explore downtown Barcelona and it was amazing!

We started with walking down Las Ramblas one of the busiest streets in Spain and after an hour or two veered off down one of the side street and it was like another world! There was instantly hardly any traffic and the few people that were there all seemed to be locals; away from all the tourists. We spent the next 6 hours walking through all the tiny streets through the city taking pictures, talking, and loving the views! On all sides there were winding roads with tall building with their balconies and flowers growing from them like in the movies, we loved it! After walking for so long we came back to the boat later for a quick power nap and headed out again around 10 for dinner (the payee was delicious!) and then walked around the city till about 1 when we headed back into port for the night.

Friday morning we woke up early again and went back into town to catch the Red Bus Tour. With this tour we were able to buy on bus ticket that went around the city explaining different buildings, histories, and things like that while stopping and allowing us to wonder and catch another red bus when it came through. We stopped and visited many places in Barcelona including several Gaudi homes and the Sagrada Familia church (also by Gaudi) which was absolutely beautiful! The stained glass inside as well as the facades on the outside were so awesome to see. For lunch we stopped on the side of the road to a small sidewalk cafe and I enjoyed my lunch of a salad with pineapple, grilled chicken, fresh bread with olive oil, my glass of red wine, and flan (I felt very sophisticated lol). After our late lunch we rode back to the main street in town and pretty much ran back to the ship to make it just in time for a set of free SAS tickets that we got for a "Barcelona at Night" tour. It was to be a tour of Barcelona, although it was very rushed and we revisited the Sagrada
Familia we also went to this huge fountain where they have a water/sound/light show every weekend night that was really neat to watch both the fountain and the mass of people! After a long day we finally decided we were hungary for dinner around midnight so we grabbed a bite to eat while walking around the city at night.

Saturday morning..waking up early again! (I’m noticing a not so fun trend starting here!) we got on the metro to the train station and from there rode the train to Monserrat. We had heard several people talking about it and decided to give it a try for ourselves and I am certainty glad we did! Once there we rode the cable cars up the mountain a bit till we reached sort of their town with a church in it. After walking around exploring for a bit we went inside the church which was beautiful before deciding we should climb the mountain as well! From where we were on the mountain we rode a funicluar farther up the mountain to a place where we thought at the time had fabulous views. While taking pictures a guy our age near us asked if we were speaking English and we found out that the 3 of them were currently studying abroad in Europe as well and after talking for a bit we decided to climb together. As we continued to climb we passed more and more people who were deciding to turn around but we were determined to read the top and once we did it was breathtaking. We had miles upon miles of hills and small towns spread out before us it was all we could do to stand there and stare. We climbed to the top of the second highest peak (you needed actual rock climbing equipment for the highest as well as something besides flip flops for shoes assuming!) After climbing back down the mountain we parted ways after exchanging emails and headed back to Barcelona after finding out
that rock climbing for 6 hours tends to make one tired! Once back in town we grabbed an early dinner and ran into some SAS students on the streets and headed back to the boat for an early night in.

Sunday, also waking up early!, wasn’t nearly as eventful, Kelsey went with me to the Barcelona airport and after nearly 5 hours in the airport here are the current stats on my luggage!
15 days….5 (yes 5!) countries….12 airports….3 airlines…and its still nowhere to be seen! (I’m sort of jealous of it!)

Well that’s about it for now hope I didn’t put anyone to sleep with all of this! And we are off to Italy tomorrow so wish me luck and I can’t wait to hear from everyone!

Whales and Dolphins and Land...Oh my!

June 23, 2010
So the title pretty much sums up my last 3 days! I'll start from today and back track from there...yesterday we saw land!!!! It was the first land I have seen in the past 8 days so we were all pretty excited when the tip of Africa came into view and shortly after that (and after convincing our professor to let us out early!) we sailed through the Straight of Gibraltar and were able to see the tip of Spain on one side of boat and Africa of the other!!! It was so windy though! I would wait until a huge gust of wind and jump into the air and would end up at least a foot behind from where I started lol.

Other than that and classes I have been able to see Dolphins and whales this week too! We were all eating dinner one night when someone jumped up and ran to the window yelling so naturally we all followed and saw at least 30 dolphins near the ship jumping away together through the was an incredible sight! Then the following day while eating dinner out on the back deck of the ship someone told us to look out in the distance and there were whale spouts shooting out of the water! We saw it probably 15 to 20 times before he disappeared but it was still pretty cool!

Lastly we are in our first port tomorrow! We are docking in Barcelona, Spain tomorrow morning and after listening to a Spanish poet for a short time on the boat for one of my classes my friends and I are excited to spend the next 4 days walking around and exploring Barcelona! While in Barcelona I am also hoping to find my bag as well...I have all my fingers crossed that my bag will be there patiently waiting for me but any prayers towards its safe arrival and our joyous reunion are being graciously accepted! Hope everyone from home is doing great and can't wait to hear from you all!

-Almost to Spain!

Still Lots of Water!

June 19, 2010
Not much new on the open seas! Lots and lots and lots of water! (if only I had the same problem with luggage!) I'm making the most with the 3 outfits I currently have on board and thankfully I don't think anyone has made mention of the fact that I have a 3 outfit rotation! (of course 1/2 the ship knows I don't have luggage!) lol

Other than that I started classes several days ago and so far they are not going too bad. I have also signed up for several clubs around the ship knowing that I can't sit still for long :) and am excited to help out with community service, the young kids on board, and the shipwide auction and the end of the voyage! Also a group of friends and I have been working at planning our iteneries while in port and am proud to say that I think we have figured out a rough schedule of what we want to do in Spain and have great ideas for Italy as well! Lack of internet makes planning hard but we make do with bugging everyone at home to look things up for us!

I've completely lost track of days out here so having class on Saturdays isn't as bad as I thought and surprisingly I've become very used to the ship after 5 days of being rocked back and forth with the waves....loosing an hour of sleep every night though isn't quite as fun!

Hope everyone back home is having a great summer and I can't wait to hear from you all!

Just a little stinky!

June 17, 2010

So I have officially been out in the middle of approximately nowhere for the last 2 days…with no luggage! The airlines managed to lose my bags and as far as I know the poor bag has been in at least 7 different airports since the last time I saw it... But…luckily I came well prepared! I get my luggage in 6 days when I get to Spain and until then I have 1 pair of pants, 2 shirts, 1sweatshirt, and a pair of underwear :/ not so pleasant lol…but the book store did let me in today even though they weren’t open yet so I now have clothes to wear and I have toiletries from probably ½ the girls on the ship to wear and am know as “aww you’re the girl who lost your luggage” lol.

But on a brighter note, the trip so far has been great! I have met tons of new people and are making many new friends! Classes start tomorrow; Biology, Poetry, andGlobal Studies, and I am hoping to join a couple groups here on the ship (such as helping with arts and craft with the kids!, babysitting, and a community service group!) A couple friends and I have also started planning out what we are doing when we arrive in Spain and it is crazy to think that we are going tobe traveling around the world to so many different countries with so many countless opportunities presented to us!

Well, that’s about it for now I’m not super tired but I’m 3 hours ahead of my normal time right now so I should probably force myself to sleep so I can get to class in the morning! Can’t wait to hear from everyone back home! 

Hello Canada!

June 14, 2010
Sooo...after a solid 3 hours of sleep my mom, Jared, David and I piled into the van at 4am headed for Fort Wayne for my 6am flight...I know I know way to early but what can I do! lol. So I get there and check in only to realize  my flight had been delayed! Only by 46 minutes but just enough to make sure I would be late for all my other flights and have a 6 hour layover in Detroit by myself! :/ After hugging goodbye and getting my bag checked through security they came over the PA system and announced that my flight was moved back to normal time....leaving in 15 minutes....first sprint of the day!

Landed in Cincinnati and got off the plane around 7:15....with a flight to catch at 7:30...picked up all 50 pounds of my carry on and sprinted (sprint #2 of the day!) from gate 32 to gate 2...of course they have to be at opposite ends :) . After arriving at my gate and catching my breath long enough to talk to the lady I boarded my flight to New York where once landing I found out the girl I was to meet had also been delayed! (oh reliable airlines!) After a quick bite and a few last calls home I found a group of people also going to SAS and we boarded our 50 person puddle jumper headed to Halifax!

After arriving in Halifax I found that although I was able to be redirected to my original flight my bag was not quite as fortunate. So, now I'm in Halifax bagless hoping in comes in before I leave tomorrow. After getting into Halifax I met up with several girls that I am rooming with for the night. After going to a quick grocery run and a trip out on the lake on the paddle boats we are now waiting for one last girl and my luggage to come in before we crash for the night and board the boat in the morning!

Can't believe this time has actually come...I'll be on the boat tomorrow!!! :)

It's Time!

June 12, 2010

I can't believe it's almost time for me to I am typing this now I have less than 2 days left here in the States and I'm not sure that it has quite hit me completely yet that I will soon be on a boat headed for Europe and traveling around the world. It seems like it was just yesterday that I applied and got my acceptance letter in the mail and here I am months later actually ready to set sail.

So now, I'm just hoping that my to-do list can some how begin to magically shrink on its own!...but I'm doubtful that that will happen :(

- find my passport and we thought I lost it it...check!
- pack for Ashland for when I get back home..check!
- make sure all my paper work is in place....check!
- hang out with all my friends before I leave...check!
- Actally pack for Semester at Sea.....umm oops I should probably get on that :/

Well that's about it for now so I'm thinking next time I write I will be on a boat...someplace warm!