“I’m gonna call it home.”

Hola mis amores! :)

Well, we have a lot to catch up on!! Yesterday was one of the most incredible days of my life! It started off early at the NH Hotel in Madrid with – guess what – ANOTHER power outage thanks to Yours Truly. Awesomme….but yeah! After scrounging around to get dressed and packed in the dark, Kelsey and I headed to yet another amazing hotel breakfast and then we all hopped on our buses and headed towards Toledo.

There is no possible way for me to put into words the beauty of Toledo. It’s just…amazing. Incredible. Breath-taking. I declared several times yesterday that I’m going to have my honeymoon there when I get married. So…..marriage will be put on hold due to saving money. Haha. We went on a walking tour through the city. We went into Queen Isabella’s Iglesia, then we went into the oldest synagogue in Spain! Both which are incredibly beautiful. We also went to the burial place of el Greco. There was a building for his grave-site and a huge amazing mural hung over it.

Then, it was lunch time! We tried a couple of local places, but they were either too full or they weren’t serving lunch. We ended up finding this sweet little cafe where there was only one guy working there (and maybe a cook in the back) and I’m pretty sure he was freaking out at all the Americans showing up out of nowhere. He looked quite flustered, but he did a great job. :) OH MY GOODNESS, I had the Spanish omelet – HEAVEN IN A DISH!! It was amazing! And I’m hooked. Haha.

Later, we all went to Hotel Beatriz, where we would be staying for the night. Confession: we all sat in the room on our computers and watched 80s music videos on TV. D: Hahaha we are not woorrthhyyyyy!!! We had our reasons, though! Haha. Anyway, so then we had a two hour orientation…I dozed off, as usual. Haha.

Afterwards, Kelsey, Kaitlin, Linzi and I all took a cab (my first cab ride ever!) to the city where we toured earlier to find some tapas. We practiced our Spanish with the cab drivers who were really cool! The first guy’s name was Enrique and we taught him how to say, “My name is Enrique,” and also “neighborhood.” Good stuff. We went to this restaurant that our tour guide from earlier (also named Mario) had recommended to us. We split an order of bombas and also of…another tapa that I can’t remember what it was called, but it was a sandwhich with meat and seaweed. Haha. Afterwards, we strolled the narrow Toledo streets in search of dessert. We found it at a fancy looking restaurant. We all tried marzipan for the first time! It was pretty interesting. Haha. We also practiced our Spanish with the waiter there. He was quite the gentleman, and he really cared about our experience in Spain. After eating, we all went to see the amazing cathedral in all its splendor at nighttime. Incredible!

Today was super exciting! It started with a super long trip to Sevilla – in which we entertained ourselves with song, naturally. And it turns out Mauri loves musicals!! Wicked is his favorite. Lovely. Haha. We also stopped at what is probably the equivalent of a truck stop in America, only it was cafeteria-style. When we finally got to Sevilla, everyone was freaking out!! We were so nervous about meeting our families! Everyone kept looking around saying, “I don’t want to be the first one off the bus!” “Well, I’m not going to be the first!!” Haha. When I got past all my squealing and got my bags together, there they were. Aurora and Antonio – our Spanish padres! They are amazing! They’re so sweet and kind! We got to our home and had our minds blown! It is beauuuttiful! The neighborhood is gorgeous! The streets are lined with gorgeous orange trees, and beautiful architecture! Kelsey and I have our own apartment upstairs. We have our room, a sala, a small kitchen, a sweet bathroom, and a coat room. It’s awesome! We were lucky enough that the girls who have stayed with our family in the past left lots of goodies behind – including a European straightener! No more power outages! Haha. We were introduced to Felix and Dante – the house cats! They are so cute and funny! Haha. They really do act differently than cats in America, and their eyes look different. They look a lot like Puss in Boots from Shrek.

After settling in, we headed down to the actual house sala to hang out with Aurora. We watched a bit of a couple of movies and talked about school and how times have changed in Spain. Really cool stuff. Then, we had dinner. It was sooo good! We head little chicken pieces with melted cheese on them and huevos with atun y tomate. Aurora said, “Mis huevos son famosos!” And then laughed and said, “No son famosos, pero…” Haha. I also tried goat cheese…I’m not a fan. Haha. Anyway, it was really cute to see how she and Antonio interacted with each other. They are so in love. :) And they’re really funny together. Haha. We met our youngest brother, Marco, but he didn’t stick around for long. He’s not very social it seems….Haha. The older brother, Antonio, was out and about since tonight there is a futbol game in Sevilla (it’s a pretty big deal) so we haven’t met him yet.

After dinner, Aurora and Antonio took Kelsey and I out for a walk to see how to get to the metro since we’ll be using it to get to school. They kept saying how the city was like a ghost town because everyone was either at home or in a bar watching the game…or actually at the game. So, it was probably a good night to figure our way out anyway.

It’s been a great experience so far. I feel like I’m finally at home and in a good place now that we’re here! I’ve been lucky enough to have internet each place we’ve gone so far, so I’ve had the chance to keep in touch with everyone. Kelsey and I were hoping we wouldn’t have wifi here because we don’t want to always be on the computer, but yet again, we’ve been blessed. Haha. So! We’re setting personal goals! Kelsey’s goal tomorrow is to not get on the computer at all, and mine is to only get on for my Skype-date with Matt in the morning and to work on grown-up stuff like insurance. Blehh….get out of my face, Geico!! Haha.

Speaking of my Skype date, I better get to sleep! :)

Love you all!