Last night was a wonderful evening consisting of two sweet girlfriends and some Mosto under the fading night sky here in Zamora. Gosh, Im really gonna miss this place. As much as Im looking forward to a summer at home and my big (can I get bigger than Spain?) move to Nashville, I am truly going to miss this place. While I have complained and whined here and there, Ive been very happy with my little piece of life in Spain. I think it is easy to substitute reality with the unrealistic -- but really who is to say anything is 'unrealistic'? We often laugh that our life here is great and we dread going back to reality. If I died today, would the last year of my -unrealistic- life be void? No, it would definitely exist, and I hope every knows it has been a tremendous :)


'Truth be told' -- in my opinion is no longer a welcomed phrase. Truth be told, I am sick of all opinions.

If I have one more person in Spain give me their unwelcome, unsolicited, completely uncalled-for and ignorant opinion, I swear I will pack my lovely luggage up tight and fly my been-going-to-the-gym-all month tight ars home.

In the last weeks I have been called fat, I was told (twice) my face is orange, my shoes are ugly, I look better when I'm wearing sunglasses, my legs are "Blandita", my Spanish is getting worse, my Spanish isn't good at all, and my Kate Spade bag is too big and too pink.

I share a characteristic with an order of fried eggs (blandita =soft, squishy) and had a stare down with 2 people yesterday for showing my legs. Basically I'm a fatty oompa loompa with expensive, yet tacky, style and no talent for languages.

Almost finished, almost finished, almost finished .....


The month of March has been a busy one -- hence my lack of devotion to this blog. But really, Im never overly devoted to anything in life so this doesn't surprise me.
ANYWAYS, hope you all have been doing well and not holding your breath for this next post.

So, Here we are! Pictures from my surprise birthday party that my sweet friends and roomates planned and my long Carnaval weekend (and looong bus ride) down south to Cadiz. It was crazy because it snowed in Zamora on my birthday and then the next day in Cadiz, we were on the beach eating candy apples. Time is flying by and I am enjoying my time here MUCHO.

(and a brief explanation of Carnaval: I went with my roomates Misha who is from Atlanta area, and Estefi, who is from Granada in southern Spain. Stefi goes to carnaval in Cadiz every year, so it was incredibly special to spend our weekend with her here! She loves this holiday and place so passionately and we had a blast hanging out with her and her friends who we met up with! Carnaval basically is the week you do all of your sinning before Lent begins .. and so traditionally masks and costumes were worn so your identity was separated from your actions. I was a flower, Stefi was a clown and Misha was a pregnant choni. Oh, you dont know what a choni is? hahah -- Chonis in spain are a type of person who I would say is the equivalent of a valley girl from Jersey with a touch of ghetto in her. They always have tons of makeup, tight clothes, big earrings, a wad of gum and a bandana around their head. Misha added some irony and a pillow and was a pregnant choni. I wish you could see the concern in the peoples faces!! They really thought she was pregnant .. clown face, bottle of whiskey and all!)


Miles away

I am SO pissed. Everyone is going to see baby Miles before me. I am so nervous about the birth I can't sleep at night and sad that I'm going to miss this. I am sad that bub called me to talk about it and now I miss him too. I called mom today and she was grocery shopping. What did you buy? I figured a pork loin. Yesterday I told Misha how TJ is gone and then I thought about Daddy all day long. ALL DAY.

Terrible, horrible, good-for-nothing homesickness.

So please everyone, enjoy being together. Don't forget about me. And please please please say and prayer for Tony and Lacie and Miles. They are going to be a new and wonderful little family! They are an extension of us and a creation from God. So, enjoy seeing them and blessing them! And plllllllease kiss Miles for me a million times and send me tons of picture and videos.


I had a few new experiences lately and am dying to share them with you ...

1. I am growing up. My walk home from school no longer holds my attention so I was dreaming about buying sunglasses. The pair I want are pricey (think car note) and it occured to me HOW MUCH I can do with that money. It was (as I mentioned) a payment for my future Audi TT, and several cheap flights around Europe. Vale la pena? Is it worth it? No.

2. After my mature "Just say no to shades" moment, I decided to wax my eyebrows. I typically burn a path home (why DO I do that??) but stopped dead on the sidewalk and said, "No Alyssa. Do it now, or you'll never do it." I hadn't even prepared my eyebrow-waxing vocab. Cejas.. eyebrows. good. Not Too Thin ... shoot. Ancho is wide ... I'll just say the opposite of ancho ... and so the planning went. Long story short, there was no need to be afraid. When a problem comes into the hands of the Spanish, they will take care of it. Ask for directions and you'll get a personal tour guide. Ask for the time, they'll show you to the nearest watch store. Walk into a peluqueria and say Cejas ... they know what to do. So off we buzzed through the mirrored salon. Not too thin! she declares. (okay good .. we are on the same track.) Do you want me to tint them? They are so light! (hm, not today thanks). ARENT YOUR FEET COLD? (no, the weather's quite nice.) And so it went. I wouldn't say smoothly, but the woman, Conchi, took good care of me. And despite the fact that my eyebrows 'aren't exactly the same length', everything turned out beautifully.

3. The women's locker room. Gym experience #1.
Today, Estefi (one of my roomates who is from Granada - down south where they down pronounce 's' among many other syllables) and I went to the gym for Spinning (or 'epinning' -- add and 'e' and drop the 's'). We ended up doing a weight lifting class focused on the thighs, but and arms. It was good .. pretty normal. There was the typical gym women there: the old one, the fat one, the normal ones, and the hot one. The hot one (front and center, probably named Maite or Conchi) had her hair down and curled, great makeup, outstanding cleavage and a butt to kill for. I'm not gonna lie and tell you I didn't stare at it for an hour straight. After a good work out one always goes to the locker room. This is where the women (ALL women) have no modesty issues, there is no theft, and though it smells like a jock strap, its really like a nude hair salon. I openly laughed and hoped to remember this moment forever.

4. I just watched an hour program in my towel with David and Estefi. It was about Spaniards living in Houston and they took us around the Houston Rodeo, Kemah boardwalk, Minute Maid, NASA, a longhorn ranch, an upper-class neighborhood, RICE and Baylor School of Medicine. My roomates were awed by the homes, unimpressed by the city and how "old" it is, and confused by the ranch. I had to answer a lot of questions. However, I was SO excited and proud to see Texas represented here in a positive way. The city and state were reflected beautifully and fairly and it made me miss home so much!


Today I spent a STUPENDOUS day at Lake Sanabria with my American friends Travis and Misha and my Portuguese friend Sergio. We left (he has a car whaaaat) around 10 and spent the day in the shadow of the mountains and the reflection of the glorious lake. Lake Sanabria is the pride of Zamora: it originated as a glacier and is now is a magnificently large, clear lake. Really, ask anyone about Zamora, and they'll recommend Lake Sanabria.

So there we were disfrutando (enjoying) the perfect weather; bright snow, huge sunshines and tons of locals with a fabulously different accent.
We nearly ran into some cows in the street so that of course resulted in some
street-photo fun. I am not as brave as th
e picture makes me look -- it was all zoom! :)

I ate trout for lunch, had diarrhea, took a cafe and ended the night with a beautiful and spontaneous trip through Brancanca, Portugal. My first tiiime!! It was wonderful. We stopped in a small bar (the only one open on Sunday evening) and had a beer, some fried squid and really great fried chicken. The bartender
e Portuguese with Sergio, French with Travis and just smiled at me and Misha. After he figured out I wasn't French (I was wearing the all-too-misleading black beret) he asked if I was from Texas. I am leading the strangest life ever.

So, here I am, finally home at 11 pm, a little sunburned, a little windburned and enjoying a nice hot tea. My flannel shirt (yes, with the beret) did me good today and I am sooo happy for a gorgeous and relaxing day in nature. The views were awesome and rejuvenating. I am ready to take on the week :)


leche (milk)

I just spent the last several hours discussing the Spanish phrase "I shit in your milk". If you really wanna make your point, "I shit in your whore mother's milk".

I took it too far and mentioned whore mother's breast milk ...

.... I know it made me uncomfortable too.