lucky number seven(teen)

Okay, so we all knew I wasn't going to blog everyday. thats just stupid. I've had a lot on my plate lately (drinking coffee, watching movies, working, cooking, etc.) So, lets catch up on the last few days:

nothing but dropping temps and trying on sunglasses (who can deny Tom Ford's talent and quirky style -- especially when they are MORE than half the U.S price? )

Back to reality --t onight I am taking the midnight bus with Rachel, Chelsey and Tom to Sevilla. We plan to spend three days there, head south to Granada to visit the infamous Alhambra (a gorgeous 14th century Moorish palace) and then to Cordoba to visit the one and only Mezquita. I am so excited for this mini vaca!! I am charging my cameras as we speak so expect photos sometime next week. (Insert quote from Dad here: "I'm a poet a didn't know it.")



(3 weeks)

First Snow

Madrid-Barça Game at La Pinta de Oro

Celebration in the streets


(welcome to authentic Espain)



There are far and few between who are reading this, but I owe it to someone (maybe just 1 someone) to explain myself. Internet just isn't as reliable here and blogging everyday will probably never work. However, I still love spain so lets get on with the countdown.

24 days.

thanksgiving has passed, Thank the Lord, and I no longer need to remind myself that this would be my first thanksgiving away from family, friends and that perfect Texas fall weather (haha). But actually, I had a really fun thanksgiving with the group of students here in Zamora. Everyone brought something unique to the table and to realize at 4am that I had spent the nearly the entire night in Castellano was a fabulous feeling. (lets work on saying it correctly: In Spain, they speak Castellano. Not spanish. There is a very nearly invisible line between the two, but its there.)

Anyways Mom, thank you so much for calling me from turkey day lunch! It meant so much to pass around the phone and talk to everyone. Thank yall for thinking about me!

Refent discovery: EuroGrill. Fries and mayo (dutch style), texas-sized burgers (rhode island sized patty) and its is located next door. literally i went in sweat pants and a pea coat.

Another thing, this weather is GREAT! blue skies and sunshine. Loving IT. LOVE LOVE LOVe.


29 & 28

So you know what is so great about Spain? Unsolicited help. Everyone here in Zamora is so nice! I always buy my produce at El Cid -- a little store front on Calle Amargura. They are usually pretty packed with old folks but if you can get there before the crowd hits, it is so lovely to just walked around in circles and read labels and oogle things you've never seen before. This week however, I walked in with a goal: I wanted to make a pot of beans. I asked where the beans were and voila I had a personal shopper and recipe book at hand. The lady (I've got to get her name!) explained every type of bean, their origin, and how they cook. We settled on Pintas and as I checked out, she began to tell me the best way to do it. Then, the two ladies in line behind me chimed in and within minutes, I knew what to do, what to avoid and a request for me to return with my results.

And to let you know, the beans turned out wonderfully. They are the perfect meal for the fall-turned-winter weather :) Here, friends and family, is some unsolicited help for you:

Soak beans overnight in water.

saute garlic, onion, red and green peppers, carrots in a large pot. cook them down until the carrots are almost tender. rinse and add beans. add WARM or HOT water (never cold says the El Cid lady) and add chicken broth until everything is covered. add cumin and bay leaf. bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours until everything is tender, and desired juice is left. Add salt only at the end to prevent the beans from breaking.

que aprobeche!



When in Spain, there is plenty of time to do nothing :)

I love spending Sundays catching up on the girls above Charlie, finding Vera Neumann scarves that I ADORE and laying in bed watching movies.
hint: I LOVE THE VERA FLORALS! :) (merry Christmas, anyone??) They can also be found at ETSY and Ebay!

Hope you are all doing great and getting ready for Thanksgiving!



The excitement of a new place is always just a bus ride away ....

My shopping day in Valladolid (an hour and a half north of Zamora) went fabulously.



loving the wind and rain tonight. cold weather and clear skies. the promise of hot coffee and good shopping tomorrow make me a happy giiirl :)

harry potter in Spanish also made me a happy girl tonight! I understood most of it with the help of a good bottle of wine. In spain, 'botellon' is when a group of friends get together in a public place (in the park, by the river, in the square etc.) and pass the bottle. We did our own little botellon in the theater :) I really think wine, dark chocolate and the theater are some of my favorite things ...


33 33 33

Today as I was walking home from a private lesson, I decided to forego my usual route and chose a road I never take. I walked for a bit, enjoying the cool weather and fading sun, when I turned the corner and suddenly was "on the other side of town" (or so I thought my head.) I couldn't stop laughing at my mistaken shortcut! It was so great to feel completely part of the city. I linked together every section of Zamora in my mind and realized, "I really do live here."



I can officially out cuss anyone in 2 languages

(34 days)




Today I was serenaded by a group of guys as I stood and ate peas on the balcony. They were walking in the park and at first sight of me, broke into song. I smiled and enjoyed the attention until I realized 12 guys instantly new where I lived.

It was a fabulous moment where for just
that instant, I was the most adored
in Zamora.


36 more days

Ready to come home to Texas and See You!

Everyday for my last 36 days here, I will publish something spectacular about Spain. Even though I am ready to come home and see you, Im learning to live in the present :)

So, #36: I don't work until 7 p.m. on Mondays, so I have wonderful me time all day. Laundry, cleaning, painting my nails, you name it. Today I bought new grading pens and notecards (seriously it is so exciting to buy teacher stuff. I decided I am going to marry rich so I can have the best classroom at my school!!) Now, I am refreshed and ready to spend an hour with English learners! Tonights topic: describing people! we are working on details!

Current song Im listening to: Charmer by Kings of Leon (find it, listen to it)


Happy Halloween!

We threw a really great party with tons of food (chorizo-in-a-blanket, caramel apples, apple cake) and our BYOB request resulted in great local and Portuguese wines. I made friends
with a Portuguese guy named Sergio and he is just fascinating! His family has a farm on this side of the pond and he was telling me that wind energy is an emerging industry in Portugal. He said it is really popular for people to drive down the highway and stop and burn tree farms because they block the wind from the wind turbines. Interesting act of arson, isn't it? He also has fabulous lips that could be their own character on Housewives of Orange County. He might have actually been the muse for the original collagen infused lips!

Allie and her boyfriend (Wisconsin) came as Adam and the Garden. They were sinfully hilarious.

Misha (Atlanta) dressed as a crazy housewife (apron, flour head, coffee mug, the works.) I think she actually was crazy by the time the party began. She had slaved away all day cooking and decorating!

And Alyssa ... well I was a rabbit with light up ears (3 speeds) and naturally my new fur jacket and scarf. Both resale, both real rabbit fur. I was a bundle of furry fun!

I only wish I hadn't been quite so furry ... I later found out my costume wasn't THAT great, it was just that conejo (Spanish for rabbit) is another word for Vagina. I was basically a resale vagina this year. Halloween 2011? I'll be an upscale vagina ... that way when people laugh, I can remember I paid good money for their pleasure.

Oh and the apron that makes me look really hot? Yeah, that was just me post costume change. the apron and the rabbit made it out to the bars that night :)

Here is a pic of me and David my roomy. His nickname is Kyle.

In Spain, nicknames can have NOTHING to do with your real name. I've named his ticketmaster because he is always selling something. He is about to take nude photos with friends to make a calendar. He is selling them for 5 euro each. He also asked me to be the photographer.

I haven't turned him down yet.

(just being honest Mom ....)

learning learning learning!

Maybe it is this years new theme? One of my biggest fears after graduating from college was that I would somehow quit learning. What was I thinking?! I am a crazy person. Moving to Italy and then Spain has proven to keep me anything but idle. Every day presents me with a new challenge; sometimes I know how to answer that challenge and sometimes I run from it, but most of all, I learn from it.

I have loved living in a new apartment with three new people. It is always exciting to watch people and find what they are fickle about. And me ... well it is still weird to live with a boy I'm not related to. I mean, it takes a LOT for me to be conscious about not being naked, picking my nose .. you know. I don't have to name all of my flaws -- you get it. Thank goodness girls don't poop or things could get really uncomfortable in our pistachio green bathroom. (It is by the way, a charming little color and reminds me of summer gelato, salty and sticky and that perfect sweet-in-your-mouth treat.)

Currently I am reading (in the bedroom, not the bathroom) EAT PRAY LOVE (come reza ama) in Spanish. Slow and self-indulgent ... it is really exhausting. However, the narrator/author is currently living in Roma and I rejoice in knowing the few Italian words that I picked up this summer. I realized that no matter how challenging this summer was, I loved so many elements of that world -- including the language. Italian has to be my next goal. Part of me feels like I am so deeply connected with the language that I may hurt its feelings if I go on without it. So, I've decided that this year is Castellano. Sometime in the future is Italian. You know I don't make plans, so this time is strictly up to the good Lord.

Speaking of Him, God is good. Thats all I have to say. Sometimes I catch myself singing 'To God be the glory great things he hath done .." You know, its the song we sang during the benediction at church and we would all join hands. I think somehow the music in my head links me to Him, home and being in church on sunday and eating fried chicken soon after. So much comfort can be found there. So, to God be the Glory. He constantly challenges me, keeps me learning and growing, and always reminds me of how blessed I am.

What else ... my students are fabulous. They say the F word too much and are at the stage where everything requires physical touch and flirtation, but I'm having a blast. I like to shock them as much as the do me and it always creates a fun environment. Since I am mostly here to teach conversation and pronunciation, not much is off-topic (or off-color.) But hey, that doesn't surprise you, right? We always learn how to properly pronounce the tough sounds (like x .. as in sexual -- it's not seshual. it's sexxxxual.) We are all really learning a lot. I also learned not to wear my black DVF skirt mom. It was too short. Just too short .. even with tights and flats .. its just too seshual.

buenas noches shuckkkkkas


I also eat eggs now. They are good in Espain.
I have diarrhea.

Are you surprised??

Are you even reading ???


Today was my first full day of teaching at La Vaguada and guess what ....


It was so great! Apparently the teachers can chose what to do with you, so my biology and English teachers decided to split the class in half and I led each half by myself. It was so FUN! I was amazed at how well I kept their attention and respect. We (me and the mouse in my pocket at least) had a really good time.

My assignment for English was to have casual conversation and talk about Halloween. Apparently it's a trendy new holiday for the younger kids, but the 15-year-olds had no interest in dressing up and getting candy (how dumb!) However, conversation ranged from smoking pot to how the Lehmann Brothers ruined Spain's economy. What a topic! I was surprised at how socially and economically aware they are. I was so proud to see they were comfortable and confident enough with me to really converse. I also had to make my first threat: "If you say the F word one more time ..." You know how it goes Mom ...

I finished teaching at 2:50 and began my first tutoring lesson at 5:30. halelujahhhh he was a precious 11-year-old who gave me a run for my money. I can talk to a brick wall and he can get one to respond. We had a blast and I'm hooking him and Emily up when she gets here. Practice your Spanish and soccer babe cause you have a DATE! Scoot over tanner green ;)

What else ... yesterday was Misha and mine's first day at the English academy ... apparently his 8 euro/hour promise was for both of us together, not each. So I earned 4 euro but had a great time! I am here for the experience, not dinero. I saw one of my "students" (who are actually English teachers and are way older than me!) on the street this morning and we kissed and talked and it was like seeing a best friend. A great encounter! Zamora is just the right size.

Im a happy camper over here:) Just about to have a glass of wine with my roomies and watch the Real Madrid vs Milano match!



I bought new shampoo this week, which has caused mayhem on the streets on Zamora.

Today I was followed by a group of guys yelling RUBIA RUBIA; they hissed between their teeth and made one-sided conversation with by backside. They of course disappeared after I ignored them for a few blocks. Either that, or they realized I was on my way to the police station to turn in my foreign residence papers. Its never a good idea to stalk a girl on her way to the police station.

It happened again tonight while we were walking home from the bar. An older emborrachado man stumbled along side us mumbling and grumbling in his drunken Castellano lisp something about la rubia, que bella. Duh I ignored him and finally wondered off after he told us we were boring. Uh not boring. Rude.

The fourth time happened in front of Zara on a beautifully lit pedestrian shopping area. The group of us girls walked passed a young guy talking to an older man when it happened again. Something like a whistle and EH RUBIA! echoed off the stone walls. But when I didnt respond, this guy didnt take it so well. He tossed a small rock at me, hitting me in the ankle of my leather Tory Burch boots. Oh no. Not Okay senor. I dont take shit from a Spanish man half my size. I turned around and glared at him and continued on to my flat.

I have been persecuted for being too blonde. Stoned. Punished. Followed by teens and a drunk. Hissed at, stared at, winked at and smiled at. a millisecond of flattery switches to embarrassment and frustration. leave me in peace while my hair sparkles under the street lamp. Let my locks blow where they will. Yes, its natural. No, Im not Britney Spears. And No, You Can Not Touch It.


Its been a strange night and I lay here in my ice-cold room not sure how to respond; or even what I'm responding to. I just read Abbey and Amber's email from Costa Rica and they aren't even the same girls they used to be. Abbey is hanging out with strangers and cross-generational lovers (our dear evasive Abbey ... the one who doesn't have the gumption to answer a phone call) and Amber is a slut. Really, just a manicure-giving, car-washing slut. Really? I thought we were above using our bodies as a moneymaker. This news has me as tense as I've been in days. Who do we become when we travel? How much of ourselves do we let go and how much of us resists the temptation to flee? Ironically, I just watched Fight Club for the first time tonight and was so confused by the end. When did the lonely business man become his imaginary alter-ego? How did it happen, and what triggered it? When we travel, what part of us allows imagination to take over and distort who we are? Maybe, our imaginations and desires are as much a part of us as our obvious parts are. I wonder how much of us stays at home, and how much boards the plane in our carry-on. Sometimes it's easy for me to adapt to the scenario I'm in and allow myself to change a little. No, not even change, just adjust. a little tiny bit. Is it dangerous? Is it real? At home I'm so sure of who I am that people have told me its something really special. But the travel Alyssa gets a chance to try out new perspectives ... ones that would have never entered her mind as a confident solid creature. It's a little scary to be put in a place that doesn't hold you accountable, but I guess that's where God comes in. I've needed Him a lot in these few weeks as I've been surrounded by people I have absolutely nothing in common with. For the first time in 22 years, I've had to defend my faith, my state and clothes. Weird, I know, but I'm not in Texas anymore. I'm in Spain where the government doesn't turn on the heat until November.

And as for you, Abbey and Amber, I have no doubt that your character is solid. I honestly think I'm in awe of how yall have adapted to your environment. I am proud of you Abs for letting courage infiltrate your flightiness; Amber, I know this newfound hygiene (aka no manure under your nails) will change your life. Don't worry, society will always view yall (us) as freaks, so stay strong, stay courageous, and stay clean. Love you.


I finally became an official American in the eyes of the rest of the world. I have finally been to New York City. And while it fell flat in many ways (it lacked the history Rome and the beauty of Madrid), it was a great experience. The city didn't grab me; there was no emotional sensation except for when I went Ground Zero and Kate Spade. Both were very different and very special.

I remember I cried the first time I visited Spain. Hot tears of excitement and joy to finally be in a country I had studied and desired to know for more than a decade. I have never considered the Big Apple to be American. Not really. How does a New Yorker relate to anyone else in America? How can I relate to them? It has always been hard to find that common ground in our nationality and cultural roots. However, I think I found it. Almost everyone there is a foreigner. It is by far the most international city I've been to and I felt just as foreign as my Pakistani cab driver looked. Except he cursed more than I did (WOW) and insisted Mondays don't have rush hour traffic. Even Lufkin Mondays have rush hour traffic.

Anyway. Seeing Lauren and Ashley and going out with them was fun. I LOVED seeing them! They are such wonderful friends and I am so glad we are staying in touch :) Sky is a monster but I guess thats no surprise -- she has the WOLF gene! way to dominate the dogpark girlfriend! And way to avoid being humped! Life really is hard for her ... avoiding unwanted riding in a public place can be hard but she handled it with grace.

I hope all this makes sense ... Im having major jet lag! It is so gorgeous in Madrid today but I haven't left the hostel yet (I just got here half an hour ago). Im trying to muster up the energy to get on my feet. LOVE the word muster.

There's a girl in the kitchen right now ... muster nosed be pierced??? ew. ;)

Oh, and a shout out to Susan. If you're reading this, you should feel super special that the whale has allowed you to penetrate the group. welcome! Ashley found some interesting whale penis facts in Cosmopolitan --truly a go-to sex and fashion magazine for all mammals ...

Okay, mom just texted me and motivated me to go out. I always need her to motivate me! Thanks Mommy Dearest for helping me make my dreams come true!

Where to...? Retiro park ... the Museo del Prado ... a cafe for a cafe? :) Life is good!


To Mother

Dear Mommy Dearest,

The soap bar is in my mouth. I won't say a ______ word that can't be said in front of Bro. Charles or Nannie. I regret the sailor who sails in the high seas of my breath and subjugates me to his _____ way of language. My mouth is foaming, ___ bubbles running down my chin and neck, soaking my mexican moo moo (from Abbey) as we speak. Excuse me, as I speak. The sailor has left the room and the mouse in my pocket scabbered away to a more vile and accepting pocket of life. I will miss my friends -- the ones who so creatively created self-expressing lingo; the ones who took words of no value and defaced them and perverted them in a way that made juveniles laugh and brittle-minded suburbanites cringe. But they were, and are and are to come and I'll be ____ if I ever forget them. I'll pass them on my siblings and children, singing cursed words in foreign and domestic languages in a sugary-sweet-rocking-chair-voice. These words have been imbedded in my mind like a parasite, and unlike another parasite Ive had, this one probably wont leave from my ____. Like blink-182, the lyrics of perversion will linger in my mind and present themselves at the most inopportune moment. For now, however, I think ive done well. What do you think, mom? Arent I an angel? :) ___ yeah I am!

I love you (seriously) with my whole heart.

Santa Alyssa


10 things that tell me im in the Right place:

1. Good food. duh .. I eat A LOT and really like all of it. even the little octopusses the other day were cooked in beans and wine. you know i like beans! I have at least 3 espresso a day and then usually coffee ice cream with candied beans. omg i love the beans. Tomatoes are eaten like candy here and the pizza is like something youve never had (unless youve been to Italy.) Also, fatty meats and breads with rich cheeses is like really popular with me here. Its like Rays ... but italian.

2. The Hedwig pillow case. Some of you may be remembering how I made an A in Brit Lit by writing an A-R account of The Lighthouse. H stood for harry potter. I do believe I was called out in class for writing a brilliant essay, especially the insightful approach i took by including modern film in my interpretation of a British classic. text me if you would like an emailed copy of the essay (roughly 10 pages.)

3. The language is brilliant. so brilliant, not even words can describe it. Sometimes we'll all be talking with our hands and between 8 people, a story told, a point will be made and reactions expressed, all by gesture. One womans leaned forward with one arm in a right angle and her other hand cupped in the corner (think Friends); some one else has their eyes rolled back, forearms up and shaking their wrists,limp, fingers joined at the thumb; fingers, in a gun at hip; the middle finger (translates everywhere i guess); one hand extended, palm up, the other hand backhanding it. Oh dio, I could talk with my hands forever. The verbal part of the language is beautful too and im finally catching on. Some of my favorite words (i cant actually spell in italian so pretend with me): Forbici (FOR BEE CHEE) is scissors, piccolo (PEE COH LOH) is small, faggani (FA JAH NEE) is pheasant, mama mia is like oh my gosh, and there are a few others that i dont know yet but are SO funny. like una booba. one boob. really could it mean one boob? maybe so.

4. I nap everyday.

5. the weather is amazing. outstanding. beautiful and bright and breezy; like california without all the blonde bitches (only me).

6. Discretion is rarely used so the kids curse like sailors and announce when they have to take a shit (usually in the middle of dinner or done on the neighbors lawn. Did I tell you about the day i kept smelling poop? Mom you and I both know our noses. we know when we smell something and we are usually right. And ill sniff around and hunt it down like a dog until I find gold. So one day i kept smelling caca. really, like everywhere i went i thought ugh when did i step in dog poo? well its not me im barefoot. two hours later, outside, still smelling it. long story (many many hours) short, I STRUCK GOLD. Lorenzo had been on medication that gives him diahrhea and he had pooped his pants a little. so he took his mutande off and changed them. Well, his foot had contact with the soiled spot and THE CACA HAD DRIED ON HIS FEET. I found it later as we were playing legos (lego my eggo) outside. There was absolutely no embarrasment or discretion. we ran around yelling PIEDI DI CACA! all day. That translates to shit feet.) So, yes, i enjoy the freedom, but rarely take advantage of it myself. although i was tempted to tinkle in the pool the other day ...

7. Seven minutes heaven. No, really i cant think of anything else because im craving coffee ice cream and my mind will not release information until its been satisfied. This is why i made Bs in college. and Cs. but only 1 F!



I cant believe i forgot to announce it. Aunt Alyssa. Here, they call me Santa Alyssa, so could we just get used to that and keep in going when I get home?

Anway, i am so excited! Tony and fertile Myrtle, I AM SO PROUD AND EXCITED!
ciao ciao miss me? Ive been super busy these last few weeks running from town to town, from puppet shows to church to festivals to the bathroom etc. I have even had time to read a few good books which is something that makes me happy too.

a few weekends ago we went to Gubbia, a gorgeous little medieval town in the mountains to visit Luca's family. The people and food were amazinggggg. think everything homemade and simple; spinach ravioli, amaaazing tagliateli(?) which is pasta and chicken and duck (why dont we really eat duck?) and two deserts and wine and this type of pound cake that is traditionally dipped in wine. WHY DONT WE DIP CAKE IN WINE? seriosuly it was amazing. i dont think i ate for 2 days after.

I think what is so special about this place is the conjunction of food and people, a community that is built around the church and kitchen table. We have a weekly dinner with a few other families and those nights are always the best. the kids play and the adults wine and dine for hours. we never get in bed before midnight! I respect how time is taken out for evenings like this. sure, the next day sucks (for those who cant nap hehe) but this importance of food and friends is a lesson i know ill take home. its like the knut that actually happens! (knut was our weekly dinner plans in college that turned into nightly dinner plans which was so amazing and one of the best memories I have!)

Last weekend I went to Vicenza to meet David (elizabeths boyfriends boyfriend) and we trained to Venice for the festa del redentore which celebrates a church built in honor of when God saved Venice from the plague. There was a SPECTACULO (show) featuring about 45 minutes of fireworks and lots of drinks. it was a great time!! (i think ....) It was so hot and crowded -- just like i would expect Venice to be on a summer night. On the train ride back there was a hail storm and tons of rain .... So obviously i just laughed at how Davids new car (bought the day before) was uncovered.

What else ... other than being severly intoxicated for two days, my 2 hour train ride turned into 6 after someone leapt in front of the train in front of us. So the trains were backed up for hours. When I finally got to my stop, a man tried to take me home. you know, like he thought i was a prostitute. me, in my sweet little jcrew outfit, my silk scarf and cake platter. yea, I was carrying a cake platter. a 50s housewife prostitute. thats me! So, obviously it was a phenomenal weekend. :)

Did you know lindsey lohans in jail? yeah, shes going to die. rip parent trap.

Also, the neighbors kids (the ones that look like you mal!) keep pooping. The baby made her first caca in the potty with me ... the day before she pooped on the patio while we were eating dinner. Then a few days later she peed on our patio. Then last week her sister pooped in the neighbors yard. Did i mention they are always naked too? Imagine .. girls gone wild, always naked, always pooping. I peed my pants in the kitchen, but a dare is different! right?


Today my inbox was full of interesting shit. A picture of mom in her new convertible -sex- an email that made me cry a little from miranda and a letter from the school in Zamora, Spain. So much to say, so much I cant say. First off, mom you looked good. Not as good as I looked on my bike on the way to church this morning, but you looked good. Did I mention it is hard to ride a bike in a short dress? I asked Mary to forgive me (just kidding mommy) for my over exposure.

Speaking of overexposure, I went to hakuna matata with the camp a few days ago and some kid poked me and said Bianca. That means White. And he walked away.

I made cinnamon toast for dinner last night and again this morning. haha its been a hit.

Miranda, you asked if I get lonely and yes, I do. I have become an observer instead of an interactor. Because I am with the family everyday, I hang out alot with older folks (like your age darl) and i cant speak well yet so i always feel like im eavesdropping. I sit by myslef alot when I get tired of just smiling and pretending to know whats going on. But, lucy and luca are so great in translating, including me, etc. They couldnt be better hosts! Whats been amazing is that I see all of yall in everything. There is a man who looks exactly like big nig Randy and he installs swimming pools by day and when the moon comes out, he turns into the piano man. Yep, mr. george italia plays and sings at weddings, bars, parties etc. and he is hilarious! Lets see ... my shower curtain is penguins frolicking in the antarctic (amber) my neighbor and her baby sister are precious and look like mallory, Walter is andy reincarnated, as i grow more comfortable with the people i know, i get weirder and weirder and say anything that reminds me of abbey, Lucy asked if AK is japanese (??????????????????????????????????) and whats else ..... theres more Ill have to think of later.

This weekend and monday and tuesday are some kind of holiday so everytihng is closed and they are having festivals at night. They close down the square and people wine and dine; there is a stage set up for singers, pinocchio the play and a wedding dress fashion show.

Switching to past tense now because its thursday .. pinocchio was fantastically funny, the music was great and I knew half the actors and singers. There was also the wedding dress show which was local girls modeling their moms dresses and it was terrible. terrible. terrible. mostly funny terrible, but there were a few girls who thought this might be the show that makes their modeling career. I am sad to report they are still in town working at bar/gelateria Snoopy.

Wednesday I went to Mirabilandia ("Like disney world but smaller!") and they really meant smaller. There were two bigs rides and a dungeon drop called Space Shuttle Columbia. I didnt ride it because it exploded over Lufkin one time and it felt like bad Karma. But in all the trip was super fun, i got to see the man i love and had mickey ds fries.

And omg Dolly Parton is on Letterman. O M G Ak. I am so happy. She is in pink satin. head to toe. God Bless Dolly and her World. Splash country and a grist mill??? UGHHHH my first child will be named dolly.

Lorenzo colored the grout with a black marker today (I should have just ridden Columbia.)

The sexual tension between me and my crush in dynamic. When he gets his drivers liscence (Dolly just referred to the titanic) hes taking me out. If its okay with his girlfriend.

I made cinamon toast again today.

AND I MADE SIMPLE SAUCE its so good shlee:

boil tomatoes until they are soft and the juices are boiling
put them in the de-pulper thing(basically remove the skins and press them through a fine pulper)
heat ev olive oil and fine chopped garlic for a sec
add tomatoe juice and the goodness that sticks to the mesh thing
add fresh basil, oild and salt.
simmer until its thickened a bit

Thats all and its amazing. For better flavor, use smaller varieties like grape or cherry.

Also, thank you letterman for acting as my main American news source.

I have so much to tell you! more coming xxx


So, im not very motivated to write ... ever. unless its when i finally sit down late at night in my room. You see, I dont have much personal time. I wake up around 7:20 and get the kids ready for estate regazzi (two week day camp), we bike Lorenzo to school (today's fit was one of the more epic ones) and then to the church next door (the bar connects the two.) Estate regazzi lasts until noon, then home, lunch, laundry and nap. Back to camp until four, pick up Lorenzo, bike home, snack, keep the tv off, keep the kids out of the candy and plum cakes (twinkies without the cream) and play outside. Around 4:30, the neighbor Greta will come by with her two girls Rebecca and Raquele (who look exactly like mallory gibbs without teeth --- gooooogeous) and we play and play and play until dinner. Then we eat ... clean ... argue ... clean ... and lately going on bike rides, watching soccer etc. Last night, we watched italy v Paraguay, ate watermelon and beer (from the church bar) came out around midnight and bathed and put away the babies. Then i crawled into bed and died. Did I mention the church has a bar? It is run by old people who volunteer their free time, which is probably like all day long. Anyway, I had a really good dark beer from Denmark last night called ... ceras? maybe? Do your research ak (b double e double r-u-n). haha. So, life is a little crazy. And Im really tired a lot. Did you know espresso is drank here about eh 6 times a day? yeah. with brown sugar, sometimes milk, always biscotti (cookies. What is this biscuit booshit? If you cant put gravy on it, its not a biscuit.) soo as you see, my full time job is busy. Oh, did i mention estate regazzi? If you dont understand, go to a country where you dont speak the language or know anyone, go to the local VBS at church and hop in there. And let them touch your hair. They like it. Make sure they know its 'naturale' and they really want to become your friend. The guy in charge of the microphone learned my name the first day and always adresses me in front of everyone (hallo Aleeeesa. How are YOU!) and then makes me dance this stupid lunch dance. But i secretly really enjoy it. :) I have a crush on a boy who is 14 and emo, my friends all have braces and pimples, annnnd lets see Walter pantsed me and I wasnt wearing any trendy boys ... highlight on my week. Italy, meet my ass, ass meet Italy.

So, two my wonderful 8 followers, life is gooooood. I do miss the bachelorette and hearty breakfasts but im learning so much. Culturally, linguistically and personally, Im growing in so many ways that just cant happen at home, and that is what I had hoped for.


I was sitting on the back patio with the kids and the little neighbor kids and thought teaching them heads and shoulders knees and toes would be fun. So im singing by myself like an idiot and they are just staring at me when Rebecca spits out from between her two missing front teeth: "Papparazzi???" Thank you Gaga for being so trendy boy international.
Trendy Boy: (N) A boy who is known to be well-dressed and wearing the latest fashion. In Italy a trendy boy probably has Pumas and a fitted Armani tee.
Trendy Boy: (N) Tiny whitey-tighties that come in a variety of colors with a black waistband bearing TRENDY BOY in white. May be confused with all other undies in the house; look for skidmarks to determine if they are Mom's or baby's.


Italy is great, the mosquitos are great, the food is great, the dunlap disease is great (my belly dunlapped over my jeans) and communicating in multiple languages is great. Really. I love it here! The funniest things happen and I just smile as this whole new little world goes on around me. I woke and and Antonio (the oldest, sweet little boy) put milk on the stove for me. Oh good. Do I like warm milk? absolutely not. But then, he put brown sugar in a cup and made me an espresso shot ("George Clooney's Espresso Machine" he said) and then added the warm milk and just smiled at me. The family is so attentive and sweet in so many ways.

This morning I took Lorenzo (almost four; he is the baby and talks to me ALOT in fast Italian and loves superman) to school. I have a bike with a baby seat and a bunch of kids who dont look like me! It is great.

More dunlap to come. Ciao xx


Let the countdown begin!

Welcome friends and family to my blog appropriately named "Whale Outta Water."

This nickname came along one day as a few of us were enjoying the beach in Barcelona. Me, AK, Lauren and Ashley were the only ones in swim suits, but we were determined to take advantage of the first ray of sunshine we'd seen since arriving to Europe. We were eating to-go from Organic is Orgasmic, a restaurant at the market in Las Ramblas and enjoying being with the locals and pigeons, hanging out, catching some rays and raising some eyebrows. Somehow that day, white and carb-loaded, I became Whale, and it stuck.

So as always, the Maastricht crew is joining me as I begin my first au pair experience in Italy. I will be living north of Bologna in a small town (even smaller than Lufkin!) called Castello d'Argile. Lucy and Luca and their three boys Antonio, Walter and Lorenzo Maria have been grateful enough to take me in as their eldest daughter-babysitter-moocher-teacher-townwhore. Just kidding about being the town whore -- but they did tell me they have some nice Italian church boys waiting for me. HAllELUjAH!

I land in Bologna Monday morning so until then I will be reading my pocket-sized 'get-rich-quick' language guide and thinking about more borderline-inappropriate comments to make that may make you blush. And like they say on Sex and the City 2: Forbidden experience ahead. I'll do my best to keep it g-rated.

Aren't you gonna miss me :)

Ciao Bellas xxx