Saturday, September 24, 2011

3 planes, 1 train, 1 bus, 3.5 taxis, 2 hotels, 8 luggages, and 5 cities...

So we are finally, finally in our tiny sweet pueblo off the coast of Southern Spain! It's gorgeous, the bus ride along the coast...ohhh my lord! All my roommate and I kept saying was, "we are soo lucky!" and "is this real, like really?"

Oh but this final destination was a bit of an adventure, and now that I think about it "a bit" is not the exact words to describe the past few days of traveling.

On Wednesday, I headed to the airport in Houston with my parents. Time to finally return to my beloved Spain! I flew out with the rooms at 1030am and we landed in Miami that afternnon..."bienvenidos a Miami" yeah its okay to sing it out loud to yourself! haha

This was our 1st lay over, and we decided to have a nice meal before leaving America. We walked off the plane and headed in the direction of our connection terminal. After hoping on and off the tram, we met our worst nightmare, a broken escalator. So we took the stairs, we can do anything after this you will read on. Ironically, right after we finished the stairs the maintenance man turned on the escalator!!! I mean he could have told us, right? Then, we ate at cute restuarant near our terminal...well in the next terminal since ours was like a ghostland literally!

We have a few hours to eat, relax, and get to know each other. It was really nice to have that relaxed moment, since we had no idea how long the next few days could get for us. Dont worry she got the stomach talk, geez louise!

After our layover, we got ready to board the plane to Madrid. So we took a few minutes to call the fam, and some last "see you later" before leaving the homeland.

This flight was the BIG one and it was "overnight"due to the time change. My roommate and I didnt sit together on the flight to Miami, but we decided to try for the long flight. It worked out and I moved to her row, which was a blessing because that is when we met the most chatty old man alive..Arturo!! Roll that "r"!!!! (dont worry, I cant stilllllll...its a goal before I leave)

Arturo basically talked to us the majority of the flight minus the sleeping times. This 77 year old man told us stories about his life. We learned all about his brothers and sisters from Spain to Italy, his children in North and South America, his Columbian wife, and his travels when he was our ages via boat to South America! They could all be stories, but it made our trip for sure. He was such a precious old man, who we came to adore by the end of the flight. He even taught us a bit of his first language, which was Italian! He pulled out an English-Italian pocket dictionary and it was wonderful! I definitely would love to learn it after I have mastered Spanish!

After we landed and said our goodbyes to Arturo, we went through the long line at customs. We talked with some Americans in line who decided Bobby Knight was the most important thing to talk about in line ahha. The older couple wished us luck on our time teaching and we trotted through the most confusing airport of our life! On the way to our connection terminal, we had to go through the most fast-pace security ever!!! They actually had to pat me down, because for the first time ever I beeped walking through. Everything was fine though!! We had a couple of hours until the flight to Sevilla so we freshened up in the bathroom and ate at the cafe. The cafe had gluten and dairy free muffins, so I grabbed them as quick as possible haha. YES! Also, I had my espresso that I have been dieing to drink since I left. So goooood!! The rooms and I had another good talk about family and other traveling adventures, as we played a game on her ipad. Time went by faster than ever, and before we knew it we were on the flight to Sevilla.

This third and finally flight was super quick. It was about an hour! Best hour nap of my life!!! Definitely woke up to find my mouth open, which is typical if you know me haha. After we landed, we hurried to baggage claim to see if all our luggage arrived as well. Praise Jesus, we received all 6 checked bags!!!! Then, we got our first taxi of many on our trip. They weren't happy about all our luggage. The taxi driver told us that he couldnt go all the way to the front door of the hotel, because the roads were too small so he was going to take us about 10 kilmeters away. Well it was wayyy more than 10 kilometers away!!!

We were suppose to go straight and make a left. So we made a plan to prepare for our Hike with 8 luggages!! Thankful all my bags connect so no biggie, but the rooms had 2 large luggages that didnt connect. So I connected all 3 of mine to pull with one arm, and pushed her baby luggage with the other. The rooms pushed the 2 large luggages forward, and yes we also had our backpacks on our backs. Try to picture us on baby streets in Europe will all this luggage, no one offers to help, cobble streets, etc. I have never sweat that much in my life!!! After walking an extremely long way, we made it to Hotel Abril. Then 2 seconds later, a taxi stopped right in front of me and asked if I needed a taxi. SHUT UP! So we had  a lazy driver before. I stopped and asked the rooms to check in and expressed that I thought I was dehydrated haha. We still are laughing at that moment, with my curls every which way and my face sweaty and was hilarious!!!

Once we were settled into the sweet cute Hotel Abril, we rested and skyped home. We started the search for a hotel in our town for the next night, and wrote down all the numbers for hotels and "pisos" (apartments) we wanted to go see. Then I confirmed plans with a sweet friend that was studying abroad in Sevilla at the Tech Campus there. The rooms and I went to the cafe that I worked at while studying abroad, and spent some time with my old boss and a few other Tech students. After some sangria and "chupitos" (shots), we were super happy and hungry. So we said our goodbyes and went to eat "la cena" (dinner). We stopped at a cute restuarant in front of the Universidad de Sevilla in El Centro. We enjoyed some yummy paella and a pitcher of sangria for our first Spanish dinner!!! Then I showed the rooms the Cathredral and the palace. After walking around town and seeing precious stores, we decided to head back to the hotel.

Sadly, I had a hard time sleeping.  We got in around 10ish. After, we had a pitcher of sangria with dinner along with a "chupito" with my old boss at his add that to traveling equals done!! I woke up in panic mood and asked the rooms what time it was and it was 1am...i was ready to start my day after 3 hrs! I never really rested well at all the rest of the night, but my body will get adjusted soon enough.

The next day we woke up a few hours later that we planned. We wanted to run some errands before our 1250 direct bus to our town, but we ran behind. We ended up taking a taxi to the train station instead. The next train was in 20 mins when we arrived, but we bought the one an hour later. We were starving and needed time to do some hotel searching. We looked the afternoon before, but some were too pricey and most didn't have online booking. In this case, we were smart and wrote down the names and numbers of each to call.

One of our errands was to get a phone but it was a bit more complicated to get it in Sevilla. The phone company I used when I studied abroad couldn't use my phone that I had, and they aren't even located in my new town. So my roommate put money on her skype and we planned to call the list of hotels in the train station. Sadly, we learned the station did not have WIFI (pronounced "wee-fee" in Spain). So we needed a new plan, and I looked up and saw a pay phone!! So you better believe I called 2 different hotels on a PAY PHONE before we found one in our price range! I almost booked the 1st choice, because I just wanted something at that point. But my roommate stopped me, because we need to think about multiple nights as we search for "pisos" (apartments). After 3 euros, and maybe a disconnection or 2 I booked it, yes in espanol!

Then we ate some meat and tapa type foods, but before we knew it we were on the train...which is where we met "corazón de oro" (heart of gold). Yes he was a spainard, yes he was the first one to help us on our trip with ALL 8 of our he is now knew as "corazón de oro":) This all happened, while the train tendant joked about us being "americanos." The looks we got were funny, and we joked with them along the way! "hay muchas maletas...claro claro" haha.

Finally, we arrived in Cadiz! Just 1 more form of transportation, yes you guessed it....BUS! After loading the taxi up with all our bags...we discovered that the bus station was literally in the SAME parking lot as the train station! Just to be even more literal, it did not LOOK like a bus station AT ALL! The ticket place looked like a trailer! So we unloaded and walked to the "bus station." I felt horrible that the taxi driver loaded and unloaded all our 8 luggages, so I tipped him.

We rode the bus for about an hour and a half until we made it to our PUEBLO! We were blessed with the sweetest taxi driver, Fernando!!! We chatted it up in Spanish all the way to our hostel! We saw his "amigo bueno" in the "calle", who is in "la policia"....basically, Fernando gave me his card for anything! Perfecto!! Such a sweetie!

After checking in, 3 people helped us take alllllll 8 luggages up 2 flights of stairs to our room! Then we talked with them a bit, and they are going to possible show us a "piso" tomorrow "a la una en la tarde" and perhaps eat lunch with them afterwards. Hopefully we got that right, we are meeting them in the cafe tomorrow. The cafe and the hostel are together.

So after resting and skyping home, we finally ate after a long day of traveling! We had tortilla de camarones, which was soo soo good! There may or may not have been a precious spainard tending to us, and he ran out in the "calle" because we cant count money after all the traveling! You could say, we will be back to that bar!

So the "piso" search is underway, through the past few weeks we have been in contact with a few possiblilities. So hopefully we can see a good variety and make a wise decision. We want something practical, well kept, good "barrio" (neighborhood), in our price range, has to have at least 3 bedrooms, good tub and plumbing, etc. Bonuses would be wifi already,  and a "terraza" (outside patio). Seems like a lot of things, but its definitely possible...we have a good amount we are seeing soon!

Thanks so much for caring about me as I embark on this adventure, I'm so happy my life can make you smile or laugh which ever works haha. I will try my best to continue to keep you updated on everything España, but until then chao!


  1. wow, quite the adventure!!!!! Espero que encuentres un piso agradable y que sigas gozando!!! Te quiero mucho y te mando besitos....tu madrina

  2. OMG you are such a writer! Please keep me posted on your adventure in Espana. Would the "Americanos" ever get to find the "piso" of their dreams? Would more taxis, buses, or train rides ever take them to new exotic places where the "chupitos" and "Paella" are a delight? Should we all move to Espana and live happy ever after? love your cousin Hector