Sunday, July 27, 2014

La Última Semana

Hello, hello!

So sorry for the delay! It's been one crazy week to say the least! First thing is first, I'm typing this post in the comfort of my own kitchen with my Dunkin' coffee to my right, and my dog Haylee in my lap. I arrived home late last saturday night. But let's wrap up my last week in Barcelona first...

My last week in Barcelona was definitely one of the best! I was busy each and every day which is just how I like it -if you haven't noticed, I don't do well sitting still.

On Monday night I said goodbye to one of my friends, Nathan, who was out in Barcelona doing research. We went to a delicious tapas restaurant and filled our tummies with as many patatas bravas as we could fit!

On Tuesday night, I fulfilled another one of my must-do's in Barcelona by visiting Dow Jones, the stock market bar. It's a popular bar that is modeled after the NY stock exchange. I've heard of it before, as its very popular among American tourists, but have never actually had the chance to check it out. The concept is so cool. Each drink is listed on a monitor, and the price rises and falls with consumer demand. Eventually, as more people keep buying drinks, the stock market "crashes"and everyone rushes to the bar to get their drinks at their lowest price. I think this concept for a bar is so cool, but the bar could take the idea a lot further!

On Wednesday we had a farewell lunch for my roommate Zach and I. We went to one of the delicious restaurants atop Las Arenas (the old bullfighting ring, turned shopping mall). It was delicious! I had actually dined there previously for my 21st birthday last time I was there! We had a great meal, and enjoyed each other's company; I can't tell you how wonderful these people are. Later that day, my co-worker Elena promised she'd take me for a ride on her moto. I've been wanting to ride one since I first stepped foot on European soil, so I'm so happy to have finally fulfilled my wish! It was so much fun, I felt so free, and not to mention European!

Clara, my supervisor and favorite person ever!

Later that night, my roommate Zach and I were planning on checking out the open-air cinema on top of Montjüic. It's basically like a drive-in movie, except its on top of Barcelona's famous hill and it takes place inside a castle. Its definitely a highlight of the summer here! I wanted to go that night because Grease was playing, and I'm a sucker for a good sing-along. Unfortunately, the movie sold out (which was the first time this has ever happened of course). As a result, I was super bummed that I wouldn't get to experience Sala Montjüic -but this just leaves me something to accomplish for next time ;) Instead, we headed over to one of our favorite bars to check off a different must-do: snag the giant beer mugs from L'Ovella Negra ;) Already armed with my backpack, our mission was a success.

That next day, I had taken my last personal day to start to say goodbye to the city. My roommate Gee and I went and got fish pedicures because I promised her I'd accompany her before we left. She was so cute laughing as the little fish bit our toes -it tickled just as much as last time!

That Thursday, my roommates and I all went to our good friend Mònica's going-away party. Mònica is a local Catalan/ co-worker who quickly became our close friend. She was hosting a farewell party as she and her roommates were all moving out of their apartment. It was extremely cool to go to a Catalan house party -we met so many cool people. The best part was, every guest brought some sort of food or drink! There was tons of delicious food, and more beverages than we knew what to do with! At one point, the Catalans all started teaching us Catalan dances and we Americans showed them dances like The Cupid Shuffle. I love how friendly and warm they were towards us, it was definitely a more welcoming dynamic than American house parties. They even dedicated a human-tower to the Bobs at one point as some castellers were at the party!!

Casteller tower dedicated to Los Bobs!
On Friday, I spent the day picking up last minute gifts and such around town and packing. We headed to the office in the morning to present a farwell gift to our co-workers. Us Bobs created a video depicting each of our co-workers in a very funny, satirical way. I can't tell if we had more fun watching the video or filming it! Everybody loved the video. They gave the boy Bobs FCB water bottles and Gee and I makeup bags from Desigual as thank you gifts.

That night, I was ecstatic to meet up with my friend Taylor who became one of my best friends during study abroad. Originally, we were going to just miss each other as she wasn't arriving until right after I left. Her trip got moved around a bit, and we were able to reunite! I was so happy to meet up with her and catch up. She's such a beautiful person inside and out.

Starting on Wednesday, I came to the quick realization that Barcelona was not ready to let me go. It all started when I was walking down the street and smacked my toe into a set of cement steps. My face instantly drained of blood, which is probably due to the fact that it was now all coming out of my toe. I ended up slicing the bottom of my toe pretty good, and limped around the city for the rest of the day! That night, I was frying some croquettes on the stovetop and decided to check if they were ready. They were indeed ready, but scalding hot, so the second I touched it I threw it right at myself. I gave myself a nasty burn on my chest. It doesn't end there though, on Thursday, I woke up with an itchy leg. I assumed I had a mosquito bite until I looked in the mirror and saw a million tiny red spots engulfing the back of my upper thighs. I figured they were hives. They progressively got itchier and redder, and I realized I must have had an allergic reaction to god only knows what from sitting on the metro. I almost don't want to know...

When I arrived back in the states, I went to the doctor to try to get a fast-acting prescription to get rid of the nasty allergic reaction as my sister was getting married that Friday. It was a bit unnerving as the doctor was not sure what they were right away and proceeded to call other doctors in the area to tell them about it. She put me on steroid pills and cream, but they were not gone for the wedding. Luckily my dress covered them! The makeup artist was also able to airbrush my burn ;)

So, I'm back in the US of A, trying to get back into a regular sleep pattern again. This past week has been insane since my sister got married on Friday in New Hampshire -hence the delay on blog posts! My flights home were fine, I even was able to fall asleep for a bit! Since the Nyquil didn't work on the way there, I decided to take a different route -wine. I threw back 2 complementary glasses of wine and knocked out for a bit. Customs was super annoying as always, and my back was just about ready to fall off since I had every heavy item I owned in my backpack.

It's great to be back home and reunited with my family, friends and pets. I miss my roommates, my co-workers and my city though. It wasn't as difficult to leave this time because I already know that I'll be back! I'm also anxious to start my life by finishing school and getting back out there in the world!

So what's next for me? I'm back in the states ready to finish school. I've got one semester left and then student teaching in the Spring. Then, I'll be looking into international teaching jobs to hopefully get me back out into the world of adventure. I'm leaning towards going somewhere new this time, I will always have a love affair with Barcelona, but its time for me to push my limits and see what else is out there. I'm so grateful for the experiences I've had and the doors Barcelona has opened for me. I will without a doubt, be back very soon -perhaps even next summer! I have no idea where I'll end up, and I find this notion just as exciting as it is beautiful!

And finally, I'd like to congratulate my sister and new brother-in-law on their marriage!! Heres to a lifetime of love and happiness!

Thank you all for following my journey, I will be back within no time! XO

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