I’ve been extremely fortunate in my 23 (almost 24, gasp!) years of life to travel all over the world. With 2012 at an end, it’s time again to reflect on this past year and all the fabulous opportunities I’ve had.
I kicked off the year at home in California, where I spent a wonderful two weeks reconnecting with friends and family, eating mountains of American food, and visiting all my favorite Los Angeles spots. But soon, I headed back to my beloved Spain to finish my year of teaching in Villarrasa and rediscover beautiful Sevilla.
The aftermath of my favorite New Year’s Eve tradition: driving down the Rose Parade route and getting silly stringed, marshmallowed, and shaving creamed by those camping out for the parade.
I ventured to nearby Cádiz to celebrate Carnaval, basically an absurd, giant
In March, I was joined by my wonderful mom and sister, who spent a week getting to know my lovely Sevilla and exploring other parts of Spain. Despite their lack of sleep after a long flight from the U.S., they spent their first day in Sevilla touring some of the best sights, from Plaza de España to the delicious tapas restaurant Levies to the cathedral and Giralda tower to my neighborhood in La Alameda to my favorite kebab shop. The weather was perfect for exploring the beautiful city, and I was especially excited to get a 360° view of Sevilla from atop the Giralda, a view I hadn’t seen since my first visit to the city in 2006.
My sister and me in Sevilla's stunning Plaza de España
I haven’t been as faithful to this blog recently as I would like to be, distracted by that thing called real life. I know, who chooses real life over the internet? But things are continuing to go splendidly, and more detailed posts about recent trips and adventures are in the works, but here’s some updates about my vida española:
Right before Thanksgiving, I was thrilled to have my dad pay me a visit in Spain. Though he only had three days here (days that I had work), we managed to squeeze in quite the tour of the southeastern Iberian Peninsula, and it was fantastic.
Monday afternoon, I hurried home from work to greet him at his hotel, just a minute away from my house. After running to the oficina de extranjeros to pick up my foreigners’ card before the office closed (because, surprise surprise, my bank had decided to cause more trouble), it was time to show off Sevilla! The tour began with a meal at a kebab restaurant, as eating a kebab is a quintessential Alameda experience, I’d say. From there, we strolled from La Alameda through the center, passing by the nativity scene vendors, and eventually arriving in the tourist district, where I showed him the exteriors of the Catedral and Alcázar and we wandered through the old Barrio Santa Cruz before wowing him with the majestic Plaza de España. We crossed over the bridge and into Triana, where I took him to one of my favorite spots in Sevilla, Paseo Nuestra Señora de La O along the river. I may have seen these places dozens of times by now, but they never fail to amaze me.
Spain loves its nativity scenes.
On day two,
All right, so maybe it’s a little passé to do a 2011 in review post when we’re almost two weeks into 2012, but who said I was hip anyway? 2011 was a fantastic year, perhaps my best year yet (though I kind of say that every year, don’t I?), and it was full of lots of wonderful trips. Therefore, I present you with a review of my trips of 2011!
January and February
No trips outside Southern California in these months, but that’s not to say they weren’t utterly fantastic in lots of other ways!
In late March, my friends Julian, Sélim, and I embarked on a spring break road trip from L.A. to Vancouver and back, with nights spent in Santa Cruz, Seattle, and Folsom, not to mention luxurious nights sleeping in the car in Redding, California and Bellingham, Washington. Everything that could have gone wrong seemed to go wrong on this trip (Car stuck in the snow? Check. Not being able to pass through the Canadian border because of forgotten residency papers? Check. Dead car battery? Check. Arrests? No comment.), and that’s what made it so completely amazing. I was surrounded by great company, got to see my beloved 8th grade Spanish teacher, Doña Kim, and two of her daughters in Seattle, and made more friends along the way. I don’t think I could have dreamed of a better road trip.
Trying to fit in with the Canadians in Vancouver