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a travel blog by Taryn Hawkins

I will spend about 4 months in Granada, Spain. I leave on August 28th and come back December 22nd.
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5 weeks...

Woodbury, United States

I just got the Yellow Fever vaccine today, the last of the shots I need for my trip! That's pretty much all I have done to get ready so far...I don't know where/how/when to start packing!!
Right now I am more SCARED than anything! I am looking forward to experiencing a new culture, but I have NO idea what to expect!

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on May 29, 2009 from Woodbury, United States
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panic mode!

Woodbury, United States

I leave in just over two weeks and I am FREAKING OUT! I have not done a thing to pack!
I am trying to make a list of things to do and places to visit before I have to leave Argentina so if anyone has suggestions, feel free to send them my way!
I did receive my home stay information and Liz and I will for sure be living together!! That is very comforting to know. We will be living with a single woman named Monica in the neighborhood Recoleta.
This time, in two weeks from Friday, I will probably be beginning my 12-ish hour flight from Dallas to Buenos Aires!!

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on June 17, 2009 from Woodbury, United States
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Woodbury, United States

So I am supposed to be on the plane to Buenos Aires right now...obviously I'm not. We got an email around 3pm yesterday saying that the University we are supposed to go to is shutting down until August due to the Swine flu. We got a call around 7 saying they canceled our flights and won't know anymore until Monday afternoon,other than the earliest they can get us there is the beginning of August... So here I am..all packed and mentally prepared to be gone, and yet I am still here. ha.
So as of now, I refuse to unpack, and I feel like this next month is going to go by soooooooo slow. I literally have nothing to do for a month.
Everyone in our group has so many questions..we don't know if our trip is just going to be cut short a month..which means we get 5 less credits than we are supposed to, not to mention a month less of the experience..or if they'll tack it onto the end..meaning we'll be missing thanksgiving.. or if we'll even get reimbursed for anything..
the big question right now is if we will even be able to go at all. It's just the beginning of their winter so the flu is expected to get much worse in the next couple of weeks. Also, it's looking like if we go we won't be able to get there until a few days after the semester actually starts. oh boy..but until Monday..I was told to "sit tight".
everything happens for a reason...

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on July 3, 2009 from Woodbury, United States
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I guess I need to change the name of my trip...

Woodbury, United States

They canceled our semester. They offered us to go to Granada, Spain, or Salamanca, Spain instead. They leave August 28th and come back in the middle of December. I am seriously considering going to Granada, it all sounds amazing except for the class choices :\ . It is all extremely overwhelming though. We have to let the program know by Friday at the latest. If I choose to go to Spain, I need a visa. So I currently have an appointment for Tuesday in Chicago...meaning I have to fly to Chicago to apply for the visa, and from what I understand, I have to fly back there to get it in 4-6 weeks. Which is cutting it pretty close.
so frustrating...

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on July 8, 2009 from Woodbury, United States
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Woodbury, United States

So I made the decision to go to Granada, Spain. I feel even less prepared for this trip than I did for going to Argentina. I leave tonight to go to Chicago (for the second time since I found out I was not going to Argentina) to pick up my passport and visa. I come back tomorrow night and have about a day to recover, a day to pack, then I'm off to London for the weekend. From London we'll head to Spain.

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on August 24, 2009 from Woodbury, United States
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Question of the day

London, United Kingdom

Hello all-
i made it to london safe! it has been a very long day in airports and on planes.
it was hard not to giggle at the flight attendant saying to me this morning..'cawfay oh tay for yau madaam' i have been the typical obnoxious american gawking at the new culture.
i ate fish and chips at a barlike place for lunch today. i have mostly been hanging out with the people from MN who were on our flight. most seem very friendly.
london is beautiful! all the buildings look so cool. they drive a lot faster here, we saw a man come about a half an inch from getting hit by a car that came around a corner going about 45 mph. yikes
it was weird seeing people driving on the 'wrong' side of the road, and car!
so my question is, are people supposed to walk on the same side of the sidewalk as the cars in that place drive in the street? it sure seems that way because i feel like i am bumping into everyone on the sidewalk!

tomorrow we have a tour and the rest of the day free, then up at 345 am to catch our flight to Spain.
remember, london is 6 hours ahead of mn right now, and Spain is 7.

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on August 29, 2009 from London, United Kingdom
from the travel blog: Granada
tagged London

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end of london, beginning of spain

Granada, Spain

so the rest of london was amazing. liz and i decided to take our own tour (aka we slept in and missed the planned one) we went to westminster and Covent Garden. both places were spectacular. we saw big ben and parliment which were super cool. we also saw london bridge (is falling down :p) and tower bridge which was beautiful!

the night before we went to picadilly circus for dinner (thanks becky!!) it was a very cool neighborhood. i decided i wish the cities had the tube. SO EASY SO FAST. i loved it.

we got to granada yesterday. we were up at 3am to catch the flight and didnt go to bed til midnight. its been a long couple of days. granada is beautiful. most of the sidewalks are made of marble. i do live with liz, thank god! we share a decent sized room with two twin beds and a giant armour thing. we have to make our beds every morning. haha not my thing, but its alright.

the food so far as been pretty good. i havent been very hungry probably because on top of being in a very different place and culture, i´m sick! yuck. but our host mom refuses to stop feeding us. its just liz and i at the table, she doesnt sit down and eat with us. for every meal so far she has cut up a whole loaf of bread. lets be realistic here. and that is just one of our about five sides. she gave us like a half a pack of deli ham and cheese and this weird apple stuff to put on top of it. and the main course was a potato egg pancake looking thing. here it´s called a tortilla, its kind of like an omelette. it was good, but i cant eat so much. we say we cant eat anymore but she keeps bringing food. i guess its considered rude to spaniards if the host doesnt continue offering food until we get up from the table.

i miss everyone SO much more than i thought i would, and i knew i would a lot. :(

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on September 1, 2009 from Granada, Spain
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first days of class

Granada, Spain

This was our first week of class that started yesterday. I go to class from 9-1 and half way through we switch professors. Both of my professors are really funny. There are 17 kids in my class. Everyone in my class is from the United States except for one girl is from Japan. We have been doing a lot of get to know you kinds of things and very little actually learning, but I'm sure that will change soon.
Today was the first ever day that I realized how much I appreciate knowing a second language..kinda. Ha I'll explain.
The prof gave us partners to do a get to know you game, I was paired with the girl from Japan. She know zero English. It was SO COOL to be communicating with someone who doesn't know English, and obviously I know zero Japanese. Very interesting. It kind of made me realize the importance of communication...I don't know if that makes sense, but it provoked thought :p

We plan to go to the beach (the Mediteranean coast!) on Sunday. Tomorrow we are hiking up to see the Ahlambra.

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on September 4, 2009 from Granada, Spain
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Siestas and Fiestas

Granada, Spain

I’ve heard a lot about the siesta in spain, but never really thought too much about it. Siestas are real and are taken very very seriously here. From about 2-5 pm everything in Granada is closed. The few big stores that are kind of like macy’s and walmart are the only things open during this time. Everyone goes home to take a siesta. Sure enough, if liz and I come back to the apt between that time, our host sister is back from work and sleeping and our host mom is sleeping as well. After siesta our host sister gets ready for work again and is off to another job. Our resident director, paula, told us that the only people on the streets during siesta are the weirdys and the Americans. The siesta is something I can definitely get used to and once we get settled in I for sure will take advantage of it.
On our first Friday night in Granada about 15 girls from the group (I think I have only met about 3 guys from AIFS, they are way outnumbered here) went out for tapas. This is something I also read about before coming here, but couldn’t fully understand it till I tried it. When we told our host mom we were going out for tapas, she was thrilled because they, along with the siesta, are such a huge part of the Spanish culture. With every drink you order, you get one free tapa, which is kind of like an appetizer. For 15 people ordering one drink we got four plates of tapas. We were told that the more drinks you order, the better the tapas get. Good for me, a diet coke counts as a drink  our first tapa was potato salad and four pieces of bread with a very thinly sliced piece of beef? Maybe? On top of the bread, per plate. The second one was pieces of meat, again, not quite sure what kind, and slices of this egg/potato/onion bake thing. Lastly, the group got these baby fried salmon…which pretty much still had eyeballs, and this salsa salad. The salad was probably the best thing I’ve eaten since I’ve been here. It was a very comfortable atmosphere to be in. We were sitting outside for three hours at the tapa bar. After dark is a nice break from the extreme heat of 100 plus degrees that we have been having.

permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on September 5, 2009 from Granada, Spain
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maiillll tiiiiime!

Granada, Spain

helllloooo hellloooo

so even though I have my best friend here, I still get lonely. Actually, we both do. For the past few nights we have been pushing out beds together to make one big bed so there isn't two and a half feet between our beds. So! If anyone wants to send me mail, and it's a decent price to send mail from the U.S. to Spain ( i have no idea how much it would cost) then here is the address you can mail it to :)

Taryn Hawkins
Plaza del Campillo, 2
Edificio Maciá, 3^E
18009 Granada-Spain

  • **replace the ^ with a little circle degrees sign :) (that's the 'rd' here)

  • other than that we went to the Alhambra which was beautiful, I'll try to put some pictures up, and tomorrow we are going to an Arabic tea ceremony.
    Also! If anyone wants to visit...cough uncles danny and mike and maybe ronny cough.....or anyone else. I would love visitors..... :)
    just let me know asap so i can make sure i don't plan individual travel during that time. I have Fridays off of class too :D
    hasta luego (in granada, hathta luego)

    permalink written by  Taryn Hawkins on September 7, 2009 from Granada, Spain
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