A Travellerspoint blog

Cheers to Dublin, Ireland

Ada and I enjoyed Meredith's company this last week... We endulged in fine dining and celebrating Meredith's 21st birthday! San Sebastian is known for its delicious (but pricy) cuisine, and we finally experienced the fancy stuff last week. Steak, smoked salmon, and crab stuffed peppers in a red sauce. YUM. We took Meredith out on the town on Tuesday, and I left Thursday night to celebrate St. Patrick's day in DUBLIN!
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First stop: Guinness Factory. It felt like Disneyland for beer... Interesting and cool! Plus you get a free pint... Best Guinness I'd ever had!
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On St. Patty's, we got up early to check out the parade! The streets were swarming with people decked out in their green gear. I almost felt like I was in Time's Square for New Year's Eve (minus Lady Gaga). And who doesn't love a parade? It was neat, more artsy than what I've seen in the US.
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The celebration begins in Temple Bar!
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Felix was kind enough to let Lauren and I take over his living room for a couple days... and he even showed us around the city!
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If you wanna go all out for St. Patty's, Dublin is definitely the place to be. All in all, a successful trip!

And of course... song of the moment.
Even though I wasn't in Galway, it was close enough. Love this song

And just a side note... I'm gonna have to pretty much just start giving credit to Lauren for all my photos haha, at least half the ones on this post are hers! Thank goodness for her fancy camera and photo taking skills!!

Posted by SierraRose 11:09 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Everything is perfect

With the sun shining and the weather warming up a bit, we have spent a lot of time just relaxing on the beach.. and as Ada and I always say, "It's the perfect day, with the perfect weather, on the perfect beach, with the perfect food, and the perfect people..." and it goes on and on! Really, everything is so perfect. I love it here.
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For three weekends in a row now we've had visitors. My friend Kristine, who is teaching English just 2 hours away in Santander, came to visit with her friend Katie. We celebrated Katie's birthday at the sidreria and just had a grand ol time. It was cool for Katie and Kristine, because 5 years ago, they were exactly where I'm at now. They studied in San Sebastian together in the same apartment as I'm in now and everything! Crazy...
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Last weekend, Ada's friend Maggie stayed with us and we did some pintxo hopping, and finally hiked up Jesus! To explain a little further.. pintxo is the basque word for tapa. San Sebastian is known for its pintxos, and when you go pintxo hopping, you go from bar to bar and get a teeny tiny plate of authentic Spanish food and a beer for a few euros.
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Jesus is a statue on a mountain called Mount Urgull and there's a few different paths that lead up to it. It's a beautiful, easy hike. Jesus stands over an old military fort which was used when Napolean invaded Spain.
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Now, we have our friend Meredith staying with us! She just got here today and will be here all week :) We already did a little walk to the Wind Combs (Peine del Viento... see my older posts!) and I finally got to take some pictures there! It was my first time being there and not being on a run. It's such a neat spot.
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What we've been up to:

-COOKING! We like to think of ourselves as amateur chefs..
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-With cooking comes eating, of course. We are becoming regulars at a near by kebab place. The kebab places are like the Subways of Spain.. but SO much better. At these places they have Turkish food, and our favorite is the kebab, which is sort of like a gyro.. so good. We've also been enjoying crepes and gelato.. yum! And I have finally become a sushi lover :)
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-Hittin the beach. If the sun's out, we're there.
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-Cutting hair.. styling hair... (new bangs!)
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-Celebrating birthdays and throwing mustache themed parties
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-Teaching English! Both Ada and I have internships at a high school where we teach English. We have 3 different classes, each 1 hour long with students 15-18. We go every Wednesday morning for 3 hours.
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And now for the music... since everything's been so great, and with all our talk about "the perfect day" these three songs are PERFECT for the moment :)

Hoku
U2
Travis Tritt
Louis Armstrong

Posted by SierraRose 14:57 Comments (2)

Am I dreaming?

When I woke up at 2 in the afternoon today, I headed straight for the kitchen. Food and water. Ada was sitting at the table and I said,
"Ada.. I feel like had so many crazy dreams last night, but I can't remember any of it."
"Those weren't dreams," she responded, "that was our real life."

Carnavales is like Mardi Gras, the celebration before lent. For a weekend, you forget about the real world and submerse yourself into pure fun and enjoyment. "Carna" is the root for the Spanish word "carne," meaning meat... FEAST. But also meaning meat, like your body, flesh... And "vale" is the root for the Spanish word "baile," meaning dance. So basically, eat, drink and be merry!

Costumes in the window of every Asian Bazarr, bumble bees, ducks, Indians, choir people, pigs, cops, 80's workout people, clowns, cowboys, you name it. Madness. Music and cheering blaring through the streets. A never ending parade of floats, boats, castles, dancers, performers of every age, dancing to Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Mexican Hat dance, 80's rock. Streets packed with people, amusement, bliss, confusion, glee... Young and old, families, friends, couples.

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Carnavales in Tolosa, Spain was all this and more.. The streets lined with vendors, selling bracelets, candy, dried fruit, silver, leather, baked goods. Colorful apartments, balconys decorated with scarves, strings, baloons. Crowds everywhere, more parades, wild costumes... HUGE celebration.

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We started off Carnavales in San Sebastian where we enjoyed the majority of the parades and the night life. We watched a dance performance in the square where they invited the crowd up on the stage to dance after the performance.. we were lovin it! We went to Tolosa on Monday, a city in Spain known for Carnavales, it's their biggest celebration. Tolosa is about a 50 minute bus ride, 30 minute train ride from San Sebastian. The festivities there were insane, it was a huge festival, and the city was jam packed with people. We stayed out all night and took the train home at 6 am.

What a weekend... Definitely an incredible celebration. Sometimes I still can't believe I am in Europe, it feels like dream.. and I never want to wake up!

Some other things we've been up to...

All of us USAC girls celebrated Valentines Day together with a little potluck at our friends Kalley, Cat, and Lauren's apartment. I made some chocolate chip banana bread, which disappeared pretty quickly... It's kind of healthy so it's ok!
-3 brown bananas
-1/4 c apple sauce
-1/4 c canola oil
-1/4 or 1/2 c sugar
-1 tbsp honey
-1 c wheat flour
-3/4 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp salt
-3/4 c dark choc chips (or maybe more than 3/4 c... haha)
Bake at 350 F for 40 minutes more or less
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Here's some more yummy food we've been making!
Steak marinated in red wine, olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Cilantro garlic baked fries. Recipe. Cilantro lime asparagus. Recipe. I guess it was all about the cilantro and garlic that night...
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Also, I posted a lot of pictures of my apartment, but here's one of my desk! It's clean, which is a rare occurence.. Same goes for the rest of our room haha
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And there's my little Valentine's surprise in the corner, made my day extra special.. Shoutout to Nik and Ada.. haha :)

Songs of the moment:
Unfortunately, no Spanish songs, but still good ones!
1. Taylor Swift, "Safe and Sound"
Amazing song.. the video gives me the chills.. HUNGER GAMESSSS <3
2.4 Non Blondes, "What's up?"
Heard a cover of this song while shopping the other day and remembered what a good song it is.

Posted by SierraRose 07:41 Comments (0)

Hace un mes que he estado en Espana...

(One month in!)

It's been a month since I've been in Spain, and I can't believe it! But I don't wanna talk about it.. time seems to be going by too quickly.. So fast that I don't even have time to blog! So let's catch up a little bit...

Two weekends ago, the Sunday after the sidreria, Ada and I made our first REAL meal. Spinach pesto penne with chicken!
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I think it turned out pretty well!
Recipe found here! (we added the chicken on our own).

We have been taking turns with our roommates choosing and cooking meals on Sunday where we all sit down and eat together. This Sunday, it's mine and Ada's turn again. We will be attempting lemon garlic shrimp with veggies. We have been turning to Pinterest for recipe ideas.
The shrimp recipe we saw on Pinterest, and it led us to this blog

Last weekend we were in Barcelona for the Barcelona vs Real Sociedad (San Sebastian) game! Well, we didn't go to the game..but we "watched" it at a bar called Oveja Negra. We met up with a few girls we know from University of Idaho who are studying in Barcelona, so it was cool to see them and have them show us around the city :)
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While in Barcelona, we ate some good food...
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drank some sangria, experienced a hostal for the first time...
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First hostal experience was great. The owner was a crack up, but he was awesome. He thought he was Tupac and we could hear his mediocre rapping skills outside our door as he sang along to a variety of old cliche rap songs, including 50 cent's "This is how we do." He also left friendly reminders above the toilet paper...
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^^got called Charlie's Angels with these two, had a little taste of home at Starbucks (guilty), became very acquainted with the metro (on our last ride we hurdled over the gate to get in...such rebels!), but my favorite part had to be seeing Antoni Gaudi's work. Between his work and the metro shooting out of dark tunnels, our trip had a little Disneyland feel to it... Gaudi's work is so magical and just plain cool. Here is some of his stuff we got to visit:

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Sagrada Familia

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La Casa Batllo

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La Casa Mila

Pretty awesome weekend. We returned home on Sunday, with another week of school in store. I had my first test, which turned out pretty well! On Friday, we took a bus with the USAC group about an hour outside of San Sebastian to visit a traditional Basque farmhouse, a church, and the coast of Zumaia.

The farmhouse was called Igartubeiti. In spanish, the farmhouse is a caserio, and in Basque, a baserria.
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I got the impression that caserios were mainly focused on making cider (like the cider we drank at the sidreria! Basque country seems to be known for their sidrerias). Anyway, the caserio is built around the structure that makes the cider.
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So they would smash apples like so....
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And then the smashed apples would be put in a pile, and they'd place all this wood on top to squeeze out the juices (at least that's what I got out of it..)
So the caserio is built around this structure, but it's where the families lived and did all their other work. I've always wanted to live on a farm, but when I saw this, my vision became a little more specific.. I could see myself in a caserio :)

We then visited Aranzazu where we had lunch and visited the basilica (church).
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The last stop of the day was in Zumaia- what a neat place! We took a boat ride and we met with a geologist who told us a little about the importance of Zumaia. We stood on the cliffs above the ocean where we could see layers of time in the earth's crust. The cliffs were "striped" and we could see one set of one million years in one layer next to another set of one million years, etc. We were also told that a layer of iridium was found here, which indicated a meteorite hit 65 million years ago.. Explanation of dinosaur extinction? All in all, the coast of Zumaia was interesting and beautiful.. and FREEZING! but that didn't stop us from enjoying the visit :)
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New songs and some more catching up:

"When I came to Spain and I saw people partying.. I was like what the f***?"
That's a line from Sak Noel's "Loca People" hahah it's kind of a stupid song, but it's catchy and pretty hilarious. And it has some truth to it! People here party "all day, all night" Well, mainly just all night. 1am until 7am is normal on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday here. "La gente esta muy loca!"
Here's the youtube video

Well, this song isn't new, but it will forever be a favorite party song. Ada and I freak out whenever it comes on! Shout out to you Mom.. I know you love this song! haha :)
LMFAO's Sexy and I know it
These guys are coming to Madrid during the weekend of St Patty's... almost gave in and bought concert tickets.. but decided on Dublin, Ireland for that weekend instead :) So excited!

A carrousel in San Sebastian early in the morning
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Photo cred: Lauren Kato

Ugh we had snowfall twice in San Sebastian :/ But I guess seeing snow on the beach was pretty neat...
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Photo cred: Lauren Kato

Mine and Ada's beds
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Closet..
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And the bide...I don't know why but I think this thing is so weird...
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Well that's all I've got for now! Thanks for checking out the blog :)

Posted by SierraRose 04:37 Comments (1)

Vamos a la cider!

Last night we went to the sidreria- what an experience! Not too mention GREAT idea.
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After the 20 minute bus ride to the edge of town, we hiked along the road to this giant house which was the sidreria. A sidreria is just a reeeeally big restaurant filled with HUGE barrels of cider. You get a 5 course meal and unlimited cider :) There were a couple different buildings/houses that made up the sidreria. We were in one room with a bunch of long tables and barrels of cider against the wall. In the main building, there was more seating, and there's one room just filled with barrels where you can go in and try different types of cider.
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The food consisted of sausage, fish, eggs, green peppers, steak, and lots of pan (bread)! After dinner, they served dessert- cookies, cheese, and walnuts. There is a spout on the barrels where the cider shoots out and you fill your glass. All in all, it was a good night, and I'd definitely go back!
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Two new favorite songs discovered in Spain:

1. Catchy Portuguese pop song by Michel Telo "Ai Se Eu Te Pego"

2. Song I may or may not have heard in the U.S., but I hear it all the time here and love dancing and singing along!
"Vamos a la Playa" by Loona

Posted by SierraRose 08:23 Comments (3)

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