Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Year in Review

So 2011 just ended, which is crazy because I feel like it just started. More than that, it's crazy to realize that 11 years have passed since the Y2K scare and that there is only 1 more year left until we finally put an end to all this 2012 Apocalypse crap worrying. (I don't put any stock in this but it can still be a little troublesome to hear that the world as you know it possibly might not exist before you turn 24.)

2011 was a crazy year, lots of traveling, saying goodbye, meeting new friends, and realizing that it really is possible to make a home for yourself almost anywhere. Let's take a look back through the year:

January and February was mostly spent lounging in my Packers jersey, while watching them beat out team after team to become the Super Bowl champs.

In March I went on a road trip to Las Vegas, with this boy ^, and 2 friends. We saw the mountains in Colorado, more of Utah than I'd ever like to see again, and almost ran out of gas in the middle of a 100 mile stretch in between gas stations in Nevada.

Bellagio fountain show.
In April, I was a bridesmaid in a friends' wedding. The majority of the bridesmaids and groomsmen had been friends since we were little, and we wound up having such a great night :)

In May I saw Jason DeRulo in concert, graduated, moved out of the apartment I had called home for the last 2 years, gave my cat a pat on the head since my roommate was taking her home with her, and saw a tornado rip through La Crosse, just four blocks from my new apartment.

Not the best concert I've ever seen, but definitely glad I went.

The family :)

Bella was abandoned on the beach and left to fend for herself when she 8 weeks old. My roommate and I  took her home and spent the next year saying 'HIDE THE CAT!!!!' every time the doorbell rang. (Our landlady had specifically told us that no cats were allowed.)

The tornado missed my house by a couple blocks, but my roommate and I did go in the basement when the lights started flickering and the wind picked up. I'd never seen destruction from a tornado before this.

In July I taught my Mom how to be gangster.

Then in September I said peace-out to Wisconsin in the best way I know how - going to a Brewer's game and a Packer's game. (The Brewer's lost...first Ryan Braun tripped and face-planted as he rounded 3rd base, and then the pitcher pitched a Grand Slam to the opposing team's pitcher. 

The Packers won though :)

Then I moved to Spain, found an apartment, and started a new life.

In October I started working as an auxiliar de conversación (language and culture assistant). I also visited Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera, and made a trip back to Granada (where I had previously studied abroad) for Halloween.

Cadiz, Spain

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Granada, Spain

When November hit I waited for the cold to come, but it didn't. Algeciras stayed at a balmy 70 degrees all month :) I had my first full month of work, but also took time to explore Tarifa, and return to Jerez de la Frontera to get a city tour from a local resident, one of my coworkers.

In Plaza Alta, the main square in town. And the prettiest.

Hard at work :)

Teaching my students things like who a 'scuba diver' is. Awesome drawing, right?

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, with my coworker...and co-auxiliar Eli, (not pictured)

We toured the Tío Pepe Bodega, home of the world famous Tío Pepe Sherry. I tried it, and although it might be world famous, I thought it was disgusting.

December started off fantastically, when 2 of the bilingual classes went on a field trip to a Honey Museum, and Eli and I got to tag along. That next week was a puente, so I headed to Munich, Germany for the first weekend and then Madrid, Spain for the second. 

All dressed up and ready to be pretend beekeepers!

The town hall in Munich, Germany

We visited Dachau Concentration Camp in Dachau, Germany.

During my weekend in Madrid we took day trips to Segovia and Álcala de Henares, and also went to see Cirque du Soleil Zarkana :)

The aquaducts in Segovia, Spain

Visiting Cervantes birthplace, Álcala de Henares, Spain.

After that exhausting week it was back to work for 2 weeks, a christmas lunch with all the coworkers and a christmas party with friends. All that led up to when Matt arrived! 
Which was followed by a Christmas at home with him and a friend, and a whirlwind week of traveling. 

Matt and I brought on the New Year in front of the Eiffel Tower watching the worst fireworks show I have ever seen, but I suppose I can't be too upset since i was in front of the Eiffel Tower... :)

Continue reading here and here to find out what kind of gift I got from a stranger in the metro and why I need to go back to London ASAP, as well as many more adventures from our week-long travels!

Happy New Year everyone!

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