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Taryn Hawkins

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home dulce home

Minneapolis, United States

good to be home

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on December 20, 2009 from Minneapolis, United States
from the travel blog: Granada
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el tiempo vuela

Granada, Spain

sometimes erica and i feel like perry and mariolas children. last night they took us to see a movie kind of on the outskirts of granada, so mariola drove. this movie theater was crazy, so different. we got our tickets then went through and we were definitely standing in a candy store. just candy everywhere, and popcorn and bags of chips, everything you could ever want to eat in a movie theater. so mariola went around and came back with a giant thing of popcorn, two giant sodas, three bags of candy and a bag of chips. and so we tried to help her pay and she said no, in spain i pay for this, then you invite me for a beer afterwards. haha. so we go into the movie theater and its HUGE! at very least 600 seats in the theater and mariola said it was the smallest theater. what?! the normal theaters are three times the size of this one. could you imagine watching a movie with almost 2000 people?? and! we had assigned seating! even though not nearly every seat was filled, we had to sit in the seat that was on our ticket. so different. i bet when the spaniards go to the states they are so confused. also mariola told us that that its normal for the spaniards to go to movies once a week. hmmm
so afterwards we 'invited' them for a beer ha. we had a lot of fun, and both mariola and perry said several times throughout the night that they wish they could meet my parents! and i wish that everyone important in my life could meet them too, definitely two of my favorite people in the world. ive learned more from my intercambio with perry than i did in any of my classes here.
side note..its funny to hear the english phrases perry is picking up. i say 'so good' all the time and i never realized it until perry started saying it, everything in the world is 'so good' to perry. ha
mariola told me last night that my mother has nothing to worry about because she is taking good care of me
heres an everything happens for a reason story. when i went to portugal erica was supposed to come with. then last minutely she decided not to go because her credit card stopped working and it would have been a hassle not having her money basically. so that weekend was the weekend she met perry and mariola, if her card would have worked, she would have went to portugal, she wouldnt have met perry or mariola, and i would not have met perry or mariola. so thank you ericas bank for not letting her card work the day before we left for portugal :)

this morning we got up and our senora told us our host sister bought liz and i churros for breakfast because its our last sunday en casa. and then our senora started crying because she doesnt want us to leave. bleehhhhh this is the weirdest feeling in the world.

heres the eiffel tower

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on December 13, 2009 from Granada, Spain
from the travel blog: Granada
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morocco video

Granada, Spain

one of my program directors, inma, did a lot of video taping while we were in granada, then made one big video of it. take a look.


permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on December 13, 2009 from Granada, Spain
from the travel blog: Granada
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ten things

Granada, Spain

each week we get a newsletter updating us on whats going on in granada and within our program, this week was the last one and it had something fun i wanted share...because almost all is 100% true. so thats the ten things...
other than that it talks a lot about reverse culture shock and what to expect from friends and family and LIFE when i get back in the states. its all pretty overwhelming and very scary! but here's the fun stuff :)

10-you try to flush the toilet by pushing on the top and when that doesnt work you start looking for the string

9-your friends cant understand why you call them 'agua fiestas' when they're tired at 3am

8-you give each of your family members 2 kisses when you step off the plane

7-you actually think about what you are going to wear to class

6-you get extremely hungry at 3pm

5-you eat boring sandwhiches

4-you cant stop saying 'vale'

3-you go unto mcdonalds and demand a cerveza

2-you have to wear 'the patch' for 5 weeks so you dont go through withdrawls from second-hand smoke.

1-you realize you have had the most amazing 4 months of your life and that you see the world differently

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on December 11, 2009 from Granada, Spain
from the travel blog: Granada
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The city of [christmas] lights

Paris, France

my lasssst trip within europe (FOR NOW) was to paris. i went with my friends liz, catherine, sarah, sera, and kara, and we met liz's friend katrin there, who is studying in Gronoble, just outside of Paris.
we spent the first night of our trip in the airport, how fun. NOT. after that we swore we wouldnt ever do it again. we got into paris at about 930 and didnt actually get in and out of our hostel until about 430, almost a whole day wasted waiting for people to do their hair ha, ah well.
this was katrin's third time in paris so she was able to show us around. we went to the latin quarter (called that after the language, not culture) notre dame which was HUGE and so so beautiful with a wonderful christmas tree all lit up right in front. we also went to the panthium...? ha, wow im good at remember stuff.. :\ then we went to dinner and ate the mos delicious cheese ive ever eaten in my LIFE and also i had es cargo!! what! can you believe it?? i ate snails! and reallly enjoyed them :)
then we met up with my friend sam, who is studying in paris for the year, and went to the eiffel tower. its the 120th year anniversary so they had light shows all night so we watched one of them. so beautiful. i cant wait to show everyone pictures.

the next day we took a walking tour of versaille. that was pretty fun, a little rainy. we learned a ton about the 93874289 king louis'. that was actually very intereseting and we had a really great tour guide sooo the next day, we did a walking tour of paris with him.
but before that, we discovered a friend in our hostel room...a mouse, yep, and i asked the hostel guy for a mouse trap and he said. oh..you dont want to kill the hostel pet. funny, not. so we slept with a mouse for the rest of our time in paris.

okay, walking tour of paris, also very interesting. our tour guide is from new zealand and hes been in paris for 6 months and he is so so so intelligent. it was POURING rain so i got my one and only souveneir in paris, a paraagua...an umbrella. woo
k so we saw the fountain that the lady threw her phone into at the end of the movie
we saw the arch de triumph...totally going to butcher the spelling of every french word, we went to a museum that has monet's water lillys, which were spectacular and we also learned that king henry was cremated, but he was put in a box that was put in a box in a box in a box...for 7 times and he was put in this building, but in the ground in the building, so everyone who goes to see him still has to 'bow' to him. so hitler went to see him, but refused to bow to him, so he brought a mirror and looked at him through the mirror, but as he was leaving his thingabob fell out of his hair and instinctively he bent over to pick it up..accidentally bowing to king henry. ha
the last day in paris was liz's 21st birthday. her and i went to the louve, saw the mona lisa, which funnily is about 2 feet tall, and on the wall across from the biggest painting in all of the louvre, there are 35,000 pieces of art in that museum. it would take three weeks of being in the louvre from open to close, looking at each piece of artwork for 10 seconds, to see every piece of art in the museum. SO GIANT! but it was beautiful, i loved it. funny story. liz and i went expecting to pay the 11 euro to get in, and we walk in and are extremely confused when we cant find the place to buy tickets so we just walk in...and for about 20 minutes we were just kind of laughing and wondering how we just walked into the louvre..without paying..and no one stopping us. turns out they're on strike, which we knew, but the museums had been closed, but for some reason they opened it up and just decided not to charge people for the day, que suerte. how lucky.
then we went to the eiffel tower again, but during the day which was cool to see, or to not see...there were massive amounts of fog so we could only see about the bottom half of the tower. kinda funny actually. but this is where my favorite monito picture took place, (get excited sammy!)
then lastly we went to..uhh.. montmontra? its a little area just on the edge of paris. its completely different than paris, small and windy roads and a big hill with a beautiful view of all of paris. we sat and ate a crepe with nutella at the top of the hill at a really cute little cafe then made our way back down, in the midst of a gazillion christmas lights. so beautiful.
and well whatdya know, our flight was too early in the morning, earlier than any transportation was available, so we spent another night in the airport, the worst night ever. not fun. ha.
then liz and i spent the day in madrid on tuesday. we wanted to go to the reina sofia museum to see dali's stuff, but oh what luck, the museum was CLOSED! so we just walked around then headed back to granada.

one week til home. yikes!

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on December 10, 2009 from Paris, France
from the travel blog: Granada
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THE best weekend of my life..

Granada, Spain

yes, the best weekend of my life took place in granada. all the traveling ive done has been wonderful, but this was one of the very few weekends i was in granada and im thankful that i was.

the weekend started off on thursday, thanksgiving, although we did have class, weird.. we had an intercambio with perry, and we all know how much i love perry! so that was a good start.
then our program set up a reeeeallly nice dinner for us at a restaurant, one of the very very few in granada that serve traditional thanksgiving food on thanksgiving...some wine, turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, and...blueberries? ha, but it was delicious. then for dessert we got pumpkin flan! yummyyy
afterward just about everyone in our group who was at the dinner went out together. we were walking around looking for a place to go, a pack of about 30 americans, and a bartender outside of a bar offered to give us all one free drink if we went in, so the empty bar quickly became very full. sadly, this was one of the first times i hung out with several people in our group, how did that happen?? but we all had a lot of fun

on friday a group of my close girlfriends here went to the arabic baths. they had 7 baths, basically 6 hot tops, but pool size-ish, and one cold pool. they also had a tea room. so we hung out and relaxed for a while, then got a massage. that was so much fun and a great change of pace. its nice to be in a relaxing setting where we can just sit and hang out together. that night we went to my friend sarah's apartment. her home stay is set up a little differently. her and her roommate have their own apartment, and their senora lives in the apartment next door. so cool. so for dinner we made grilled cheese sandwhiches, YUM! and we watched baby mama (THANK YOU MOM AND DAD!!!) while eating popcorn and m&ms. it felt like home.

saturday we went to the Sierra Nevada. unfortunately, yes, unfortunately, there was NO SNOW! sad day. i was looking forward to making a tiny snowman in the mountains, oh well. but we had the whole day to ourselves with nothing planned. and since there is no snow, none of the skiing stuff was open, so me and a few friends hiked to the 'top' aka about as far as we could make it in the amount of time we had, then came back down. it was so beautiful. we all had a good time. when we got to the bottom we had the best hot chocolate i have ever tasted. tasted like a hershy bar melted and put in my cup. yum
saturday night was the best night of my life, no joke. although i think its one of those things where i can describe it as much as i can, but no one will ever understand it unless they were there. perry told erica and i to meet him and plaza nueva because him and mariola had a suprise for us. they took us up near the alhambra for tapas and a flamenco show. (just a side note, mariola used to be much, much better at spanish than perry, now perry is much, much better than mariola, and he gives full credit to erica and i, how cool!) once we sat down at flamenco mariola leans over and says 'this is not suprise yet'
four people came out, two on drums, one on guitar, and one singer. behind them was this giant wall about the size of a movie screen. right as they began to play, a big..blind? shade? type thing started coming up revealing the 'wall' behind them. turns out to be a window. once i realized it, i was like wow..this is going to be a great view of granada. no. i was wrong...BAM right there was the alhambra all lit up. SO beautiful. never in my life have i seen something so beautiful. and never in my life have i cried over something that i thought was beautiful. it was one of the many moments ive had here that i just have to think about the life im living right now. do you understand why we love perry so much???

sunday we were going to alquilar motos, but it was raining so i bummed around and did some tarea instead. pardon the spanglish.
but sunday night was the big futbol match! we basically spent our whole weekend with perry. him and mariola invited us to go to a bar with them and mariolas padre to watch the game. so we went to this little completely spanish bar to watch it with them. so typical spain. so much fun. afterward they invited us to their piso. mariola told us that 'when' we come back, we only have to pay for our plan ticket and that we can stay with them. they are so sweet. its making me wonder how on earth i let time go by so fast here, and also how i need to make up for lost time. while at their piso they showed us tons of pictures of the festivals that take place in the spring in granada, including semana santa. every time we bring it up perry says to me 'you! dont cry!' because he knows how sad i am about missing it. GREAT night.

so there it is. the best weekend of my life. filled with great people, food, and fun. of course, it was nothing like i was able to describe, but i did the best i could. i will most definitely be coming back to granada some day.
i still really want to travel more around the world, especially south america, but i know im biased now. if i have the time and money to travel, i know im going to want to come back here...

on another note, im headed to paris for the weekend to celebrate my best friends 21st birthday. who does that...que vida tengo

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on November 30, 2009 from Granada, Spain
from the travel blog: Granada
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the world is like a...kleenex??

Granada, Spain

first of all, i did not go to fezna morocco? i went to fez, but aparently that doesnt exist in the blogabond world.

so some more cultural things im learning from my sweet intercambios. they dont really celebrate christmas here. they do, but its not as big as our christmas, which i thought it was bigger. all they do is have dinner with the family on christmas eve. the 5th of january (wow, january 5th is really what i meant to say, just thinking in spanish...ha) is three kings day. and thats their equivelant to christmas. 20 years ago, papa noel, aka santa clause, didnt exist in spain. he does now thanks to coca cola! but on three kings day, the kids go to this one spot in the city to 'see' the three kings, and while they are there someone puts their presents under their bed. and when they come back, the three kings left them their gifts. very interesting..

today we taught perry the phrase 'holy cow' and he taught us the phrase 'el mundo es como un pañuelo' the world is like a kleenex. this is their equivelant to 'small world' like when you see someone you know in a random place, or someone you know knows someone else you know and you didnt know it. haha im sure you all understand.

perry gave erica and i a gift last time we met. its a small button that says 'habla bien, habla andaluz' which means, speak well, speak andaluz...which is the province? granada is in, andalucia. aka, the lisp, and the dropping of the s and the d in words. basically hes saying that we are picking up not only the spanish accent (which is not like the mexican accent we are taught in the states) but the andalucian accent too.

im starting to realize very quickly how much im going to miss my friends here. not only will i miss the people in my program who ive gotten really close to, but even more so the spanish friends ive made. chances are slim, but better, that ill see my american friends again, but realistically i probably wont ever see perry again after these next three weeks. its a very weird feeling to have, seeing as i see him three or more times a week while im here, which is really more than i see most friends at home. weird..

anyway, big weekend ahead. turkey dinner tonight! happy thanksgiving by the way! and some people are putting together an american football game tomorrow, woohoo! and arabic baths, renting motos. and most importantly...the barcelona v madrid soccer game. perry invited erica and i to go with him and his finace to a bar to watch the game. someone compared this game to the superbowl, and someone else said every time barcelona and madrid play eachother, its called 'el partido del siglo' the game of the century. im rootin for barca!

i hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving, ive realized more this year than ever how thankful i am for everything/everyone/every situation that ive ever been in. love you and miss you!! hasta pronto! see you soon!

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on November 26, 2009 from Granada, Spain
from the travel blog: Granada
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tourist day

Tanger, Morocco

This was the most touristy day/city we were in. bright and early we got to ride camels! So so so so fun and so so so cool, but it was on the side of the road for less than 30 seconds and it walked in a circle. Ha.

Also we got henna tattoos which were super fun! It should last about 3 or 4 weeks, so I might be able to show it off when I get back :)

Here we also did a lot of shopping. We had to haggle, oh boy im not good at that! I didn’t buy too much because im just so afraid of talking to people haha but I did buy something for 150 durham which is equivalent to 15 euro, when he asked for 600 durham. But that’s about it. Very interesting process though, they are all very secretive about selling and haggling…

and we went to a leather tannery this day..and this is a picture of them dying the leather..very interesting and very stinky. they gave us mint leaves to put under our noses so we wouldnt get sick..

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on November 23, 2009 from Tanger, Morocco
from the travel blog: Granada
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cluck cluck

Meknes, Morocco

The second day we were in Meknes. This was our first taste of Moroccan culture. It was so crazy, so different, nothing that I ever could have imagined or prepared myself for. We walked through markets with kids 6 years old trying to sell us keychains and other things. They followed us and followed us and followed us. We would say no over and over again and they continued to follow us. Very eye opening…
we would also walk through the markets and see full cows skinned and gutted hanging from the outside of the shop that was selling the meat, I heard several chickens getting their heads chopped off and feathers plucked. Our tour guide(AMAZING tour guide) brought us to a store that sold traditional Moroccan dresses. All very beautiful, the women there wore the most colorful clothes I have ever seen. I loved it!
For lunch this day after we were all finished we were told we ate lamb… :\ I just cant stress enough how I will not be eating meat when I get back in the US. I can do it to experience the culture here, but once I step foot on US soil, no mas carne…
for dinner we went to a traditional moraccan dinner. People who bought the dresses wore the dresses. During dinner there was a band playing some awesome drums and there were belly dancers. So cool and so much fun!

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on November 22, 2009 from Meknes, Morocco
from the travel blog: Granada
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sally the camel

Fezna, Morocco

This day was another intense day of culture shock. Instead of cows hanging in the markets, there were camels..full on camel heads.

So intense.
Our tour guide brought us to several shops where we could buy rugs, steel, and spices. Very cool, very cheap for what it was, but still really expensive.
There were also quite a few girls in our group that got..proposed to? Ha, for example… ‘working husband for you, you spend my money’ haha and my favorite ‘I will give you 1000 camels and a House if you be my wife’
We were told that people trade women for Houses and camels…so bizarre.. that was also very eye opening…the way women are treated there. Just so different, they basically have no rights to anything. Even just observing while on the bus, all the cafes had ONLY men sitting outside, there were very few women seen on the streets.

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on November 22, 2009 from Fezna, Morocco
from the travel blog: Granada
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