Maria goes to Europe

June-July 2013

Hello everyone, it is less than 24 hour until I get on the plane. I am already packed and ready to go. My backpack weighs 16 pounds and, I have to carry it but not all over. So, tomorrow I have to get up at four in the morning for a six o'clock fight. I get to spend the whole day in fabulous New York. After that I get ready for a eight o'clock flight. After a "peaceful" night on the airplane I land in Portugal and, get to go straight to a  fairytale castle. So I will talk to you next time!! Please leave a comment below. thank you!

June 25 New York

Hey guys and girl my day in New York was great! I got to ride the subway. Also I got to go to  Broadway what was not what I thought is was going to be and times squares was the same way. The fight was fine I slept a little because I woke up at 2:52 am.:(  Central Square was my favorite thing of the day.  I got to see Ground Zero, where they're building the new World Trade Center.  The last thing I did was to take a picture with New York's Finest, the NYPD.  Thanks for reading today's blog, sorry it's a day or two late.  Message me below!

June 26 Sintra, Portugal day 1

Hello my first day in Sintra was fantabulous. We did a lot today was jam-packed full with fun stuff. we got to go to Palacio National (National Palace) and Quinta da Regaleira (park) both were fun but my fav was Quinta da Regalerira. It had under ground tunnels, really high towers and great architecture. Also walked walked and walked I can move my leg muscles. Thanks for reading today's blog sorryit's a day or tow late. Message me below!

June 27 Sintra, Portugal day 2

June 28, Seville, Spain Day 1

June 29, Seville, Spain Day 2

How are you  today?  Today we went to the Seville's cathedral which is the third-largest church in Europe.  It was first a mosque then later taken over and a cathedral was built. The bell tower was first a call to prayer tower and was made large enough so that the call to prayer guy could ride a horse up the tower. The next thing we did was to go to the Alcazar which originally was a 10th century palace built for the governors of the local Moorish state.  In the cathedral we saw, a treasury room which had a lot of gold, silver and gems.  Christopher Columbus tomb is also in the cathedral. Unfortunately, there was major reconstruction taking place on the main alter so we couldn't see that. It also had a silver alter. At the Alcazar, they had 2 really big gardens, lots of stone work and a room where Christopher Columbus met Queen Isabel when he returned from his new world discoveries. Thank you for reading today sorry it was a tad late. thank you! Bye!

June 30, Granda, Spain Day 1

.Hello is in exciting day, so lets get started.Wedrove from Sevilla to Granada and I got to go to the beach. There were many funny stories on the way.

Getting out of Sevilla was an easy task.  And then started driving on the highway.  On the highway you have to go through a lot of tunnels.  When my dad was driving he wore his sunglasses.  We drive through a tunnel and he said, "I can't see anything!" because the darkness of the sunglasses plus the darkness of te tunnel = my dad can't see anything.

Later, when we were driving, my dad said to my mom, "Did you see those pretty flowers on the side of the road?"  And I said, "Isn't the driver supposed to have his eyes on the road and the passenger looks at the pretty flowers?"  And that happened when we were driving along the beach.

When we driving a little later, my dad stopped along the road to look at the ocean.  We looked down and found this very secluded beach with almost nobody on it.  We decided not to visit that beach because Rick Steves had suggested a different beach.  We continued driving and we found the path down to the beach.  When were driving down the swirvy, steep road, it was very scary because my dad had not driven a stick shift for many years.

When we got down to the beach, we saw a lot of nudists but we decided to stay.  My mom and I went to go change clothes.  When we came out I was standing next to the car and a nice gentleman said we had to park behind a Land Rover or we would get towed.  We decided to return to the other beach.

To get to the beach, we parked at the top of a hill and had to walk down.  We had a great time at the beach.  I climbed onto a rock and I got to see and touch some sealife, something like coral.  I got to see two crabs and many mussels.  

When we got to Granada, we found areas where people can't drive.  And what did my dad do?  He drove in them.  My mom couldn't read the street signs because they were hidden on buildings.  It was HARD to drive in Granada. We parked the car and my dad and I walked all the way to the hostal.  We met this nice police officer who gave us a map and directions.

When we finally got to the apartment, we looked outside and we could see the Alhambra.  We were about 1.5 miles from the Alhambra.

When the day ended, we looked back on all the things we did and laughed. Thank you so much for reading today. I am so very sorry that every thing has been late. I just do not get a lot of time every day or wi-fi. Thank you!

July 1, Granda, Spain Day 2

Hello I got to go to the Alhambra today. Sam was really excited about seeing the Alhambra.  Getting to the Alhambra was difficult because we had to walk all the way up a big hill, around the Alhambra.  We had to walk much farther than it looked from our apartment.

The Alhambra was a Moorish (North African Moslem) capital  that was taken back by the Spanish Catholic about 1492.

There were many towers so that guards could tell if the enemies were coming.  It seemed hard.  A lot of stuff was made of bricks or stone.  You could tell the difference between the Moorish rooms and the later made Spanish rooms.  The Moorish rooms had a lot of tile work and details and was all tiles.  The Spanish rooms was more painted and had big art on their walls.  The Moors had pools, and the Spanish had fountains.

The Generalife garden was considered heaven on earth.  It was planted more than 500 years ago.  It has been alive ever since.

July 2, Madrid, Spain Day 1

Today was a fun-ish filled day.  

We drove.

We checked out of our apartment and left through a car elevator.  My mom was in the passenger seat.  She was supposed to be navigating.  But she couldn't see the street signs.  So we had to get out of Granada without knowing how to get out of Granada.

My brother could read the street signs but he was in the back seat.  He kept telling my dad, "it's ok.  You're almost there.  Turn right."

After we finally get out of Granada, we stopped at a rest stop/gas station to get a cup of coffee.  My parents and brother said it was the best cup of coffee they had ever had.  I had a donut.  Chocolate with nuts on top.  It was VERY good.

We got out of the gas station and got back onto the highway.  We stopped at a town for lunch and we went to the grocery store for food for lunch.  We decided to have lunch at a park.  There was a grocery store right next to the park.  When we were at the park I went to the restroom on the other side of the park.  When I was walking to the restroom, I saw this smallest little ducks and they were babies.  I also saw senior citizen play equipment.  It was really exercise equipment. I also saw baby geese and baby peacocks.  I got to the restroom and there was no seat, no toilet paper, no paper towels or air hand dryers and no soap.  I went anyway.

I walked back to where we were sitting and I saw sculptures of the planets.

We got back onto the road after lunch.  When we finally got to Madrid, we had the hardest time following the directions, finding the signs, and getting to the hostal.  My mom was reading the directions from the back seat and my brother was navigating in the front seat.  After a while my brother took the directions from my mom and was reading where we needed to go. He said, "we need to turn onto ATOCHA".  (Atocha is the name of the train station and the name of a street.)  My mom asked, "what is the name of the street?"  Sam answered, "Atocha."  Mom heard, "I told ya'," and thought "no, you didn't tell me".  She asked again, "what street" and Sam answered "Atocha" and she heard "I told ya'."  Finally she said "YOU DIDN'T TELL ME the name of the street."  WE explained that the name of the street is A-to-cha, not "I told ya'."  

We finally made it to the hostal in one piece.

After my dad and brother returned the rental car, we took along walk to the palace and a church.  We got to see the sunset from the church. It was very pretty.

July 3, Madrid, Spain Day 2

Today I Got to go to the Prado, an art museum with a lot of famous artists like Goya and Rubens. One of the astounding things at the Prado:  the paintings are so big.  And when I say big, I mean massive.  My family and Iwent our different ways and met at the cafe in the Prado.  I got a very good chocolate muffin. We spent 5 to 6 hours in the Prado. I had a very good time. My favorite art pieces was Las Meninas or Maids of Honor so I got a postcard of it.

So after the Prado we took a Paseo which is a walk to the Plaza de EspaƱa  and an Egyptian temple. Both places were at a park that look out over the whole city.  

July 4, Madrid, Spain Day 3

First thing we did today was go to the Reina Sofia, an art museum with really different art.  They had a special exhibit of works by Dali.  They had a whole floor devoted to Dali's art.  My mom started to play a game with Dali works:  find the hidden stuff.  We saw a sculpture that was a cow with the parts that we eat labelled.   On top of the cow was a pig with the parts we eat labbeled. On top of the pig was a sheep with the parts we eat labelled.  And all of the animals had a unicorn horn.  

One of the biggest Picasso paintings is called Guernica.  He painted it during Spain's Civil War.  The reason why Picasso did this painting is because Hitler and Franco were buddies and Hitler needed a place to practice his bombing. So Franco said,"here is a little village full of people I don't like.  You can go bomb it."  We got see this painting.  It had very few colors and the colors were black and gray.

My mom and I got to go shopping.  We didn't buy anything but I did try on a Flamenco dress.  This dress was very heavy but fun to spin in.

We got to go back to the Prado, an art museum, again for free because between 6 and 8 everyone gets in free. So, just in case we missed something, we returned. I went to the cafe and had a different chocolate muffin from yesterday's chocolate muffin. When I was done eating I went up the stairs and found a room with almost no one in it. I went in and it had statues of past Queens and Kings.

July 5, Madrid, Spain Day 4

July 6, Barcelona, Spain Day 1

Today was mostly boring.  We had to drive all the way to Barcelona which was 8 hours. But today was my mom's birthday.  Happy birthday, Mommy. For her birthday present I walked by myself from the hostal 8 blocks to Dunkin' Donuts to get breakfast for my mom.  

When I was walking I saw some drunk people.  It freaked me out because I had to walk near them.  When I made a wrong turn, I saw a group of Africans but I just kept walking.  One of them started walking towards me and then when we approached each other he swerved towards me and I walked quicker.  When I finally got onto the right track, this guy who might have been selling something approached me and I just said, "no, no".  

When I finally got to Dunkin' Donuts I had to think about what I was going to get everybody.  I just picked random donuts.

When I was walking back, the trip was a lot easier.  I saw the same group of Africans and they started pointing at me and saying something.  I felt apprehensive about them.

I got back to the hostal and I had to the donuts from my parents.  They unlocked the front door to the hostal so I had to hide the donuts behind a plant.

When I got to my room I talked with my brother about the trip to Dunkin' Donuts and my mom walked in unannounced.  So me and my brother had guilty, guilty looks on our faces.  We got into the car and I asked what was for breakfast.  Then I popped out the donuts and said, "Happy birthday, Mom!"

Me and Mom started to watch the movie, Date Night, with Tina Fey and Steve Carell.  It was hilarious.  And my dad and brother thought the movie was not going to be very funny.  I would recommend that movie to anybody that wants to laugh.

After we took a break, my mom started to drive.  She hasn't driven a stick shift in m-a-n-y years.  But she did a great job for not having practiced.

My brother wanted to watch the movie to see whether it was actually funny.  And then he started laughing so hard he started to cry.

We got to Barcelona.  My dad and brother went to drop off the car and my mom and I went for a walk in the park.  We saw a fountain which had dragons spitting water and multiple other pieces.

After my brother and dad got back, we went searching for dinner. We found a kebab place which had very good food.  Next to us were these funny old ladies that didn't want the sun in their faces.  They kept moving their chairs and moving the table.  And at the end, one of them approached us and started talking to my dad in French. The ladies were very nice.

July 7, Barcelona, Spain Day 2

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