La Chureca, Nicaragua

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Schools Out -- Massage in Portoroz, Slovenia

School is out!

tears were shed as I began to say goodbye to good friends, colleagues, and students. What a year... what a whirlwind of joy teaching as a first grade and music teacher!

After school was out, we had two work days cleaning up shop (That was a monday and a tuesday). On the wednesday after that I went to the beach Grignano where I successfully lost my italian cell phone (go me, after a whole year with it, I lose it at the very end! ughh eek!). And then THURSDAY headed out with Amanda to Portoroz, Slovenia for my first professional massage EVER!  oh my goodness was that quite an experience!

So Amanda and I get dropped off on a beautiful stretch of beach in Portoroz on the one side, and a five-star hotel/resort/spa thingy-mabob on the other facing us. We had an hour to spare so we went to a restaurant along the water beach side where the waiter asked us what we wanted (which wasn't on the menu), said he could do that, and then said we wanted two large beers and sat us down. We sat down before we realized that he basically told us what we wanted and then when I went to change the order, he had beat me with the beers and huge sandwiches! that was fun... and then we went back to the hotel for the massage!

 It was the "Shakti Ayurveda Centre" of the Lifeclass Hotels & Spa . Anyway we walk up, they point us to the right direction of  the spa center. We take an elevator, come out, turn---and BANG, I'm in India all of a sudden (or at least it felt like that). There were these two huge ornately decorated green/white doors with all the sorts of indian engravings and symbols that you can think of; and the door had a huge heavy  handle and it was quite an exertion of strength to open. When we walked in, the inner chamber was dark.  There was mood music going on and incense burning. I was thinking, What the heck did I just walk into?  it looked like this:
Anyhoo we come in and they immediately usher us to back rooms that have low lighting and look really comfortable and there is  this earthy, water-fally type music playing.  The guy massaging me hands me my change of clothes, which wasn't much, and instructed to me to lie down. Then it was time for a massage. It was 80 minute-full body- relaxation... we're talking the music, the lots of oil that smelled nice, and some powdery herby bags that they used at the end to get the oil off of you...we're also talking the sometimes awkward-ness on my part--but hey--it was my first professional massage! ...I also must say that I  tried really hard not to fall asleep, but I did at one point... ok maybe two...(shoot!)-- 

Then at the end of our massage they gave us the BEST tea ever... I should have asked for the name. But it was a perfect amount of sweetness and florally-ness :)

After the massage we were deliriously happy and relaxed... we barely noticed when an hour went by and our ride hadn't picked us up--well we noticed... but we were so calm that we really didn't care much... after an hour and a half of waiting we decided that we should probably be concerned and attempted figuring out our situation.

Long story short, our original ride didn't come (we found out later they were in an accident--but they are okay!),  and after attempting to walk the 100 Kms home to Trieste, we fortunately, got picked up and rescued by Amanda's husband Michael and our italian friend Dario! Ok we actually barely walked more than maybe 2 km---fine, 1 km... before we turned around and waited for our rescuers while enjoying the evening with nutella crepes :)

What a day :)  the night ended with a pizza in Opicina and sleep

the next day i rested...and Saturday I headed to Lugano, Switzerland to see Lizzy and Alex and the rest of his fam-

and I'm thinking now: Oh adventures before returning home :)... I have more to write about!.... Lugano's next... 

Review: The weekends of May... (at the end of June)

May was a great month--it just flew by way to quickly.

School just got out yesterday (As in June 17th--was when I started this post) and I decided I had/have some major recaps to do--not only for myself--but for the sake of the year and the experience here in Italy.

I like to call May my "yes man" month. There were a lot of little adventures happening that I said yes to go on--and I am so glad that I did because it was quite a month :)

1st Weekend of May (April 30-1st--and you may really call it last weekend of April):
I was traveling back from Malta--I have yet to really write about this adventure but--I think will open up a draft and begin to write about it.. it will come :)

2nd Weekend of May (May 7-8th): RUN A LOT!
I ran a 1/2 Marathon in Trieste with friends...2 hours 2 minutes of a seaside route. IT was a small race and most people were hard core runners who finished before me-but I still had loads of fun. Ever since I found out I was living abroad the dream to run had been birthed!

3rd Weekend of May (May 14-th):  Pick your ADVENTURE round 1
We rented a car last minute on a friday to go camping in Plitvicke national lakes in Croatia.
It was a hard time navigating to the place even with the GPS because--well just because... and we camped in Bungalows that had beds that are sweeter than my bed in Trieste--so I really felt like we were "roughing" it!
I think the Plitvicke lakes might be one of my favorite places in ALL of Croatia (besides the Premantura Peninsula)... It was simply magical--My eyes have never seen quite so many of the most perfect blues in the world and we hiked all day which is what I like to do when I travel--BE OUTSIDE :)

Then we had the pleasure of crossing the border into Bosnia and going to a little town called "Bihac" for a coffee and walk around.
Pictures don't really do it justice!

4th Weekend of May (May 21-22nd):  Pick Your ADVENTURE round 2
The adventures continue as we go to Krk Island, Croatia. We had a two car caravan. Traveled with ease because of the wonderful road signs to this Croatian island AND my frisbee finally made it out to play! There were huge platforms out in the water that you swim to and dive off of and we certainly enjoyed tossing and attempting to catch the frisbee.  Krk was peaceful and small. Apparently we went just in time--in a few weeks there will be no beach space because that's were tons and tons of people go in the peak summer months to catch rays. The car ride was fun too--the little Fiat we rented was comfortable and we listened to Glee for part of the way (coming off the season finale high) and some other dance tunes.  Best part of Croatia this weekend was by far the sunset. I have it as my desktop backdrop currently.

5th Weekend of May (May 28th-29th): Relax a little
Hang out and Show prep!!  I had a great day in Trieste--I checked a ton off of a piling to-do list for my last music show prep and I had dinner with some church friends. There was a plan to go out to the Castle of San Giusto because we had tried the weekend before and gone too early... but we just kind of all crashed from the long weekend and long times we had been having.

May seemed to be coming to an end and June was rolling in with a Music show, friends leaving, bridesmaids duties in the states, lots of wrap ups and tears... looking at May I can tell already how it was a set up for June to be such a whirlwind.  June started with a bang (my last show)... but I think I will begin a new post for that one!

Monday, June 13, 2011

63 hours in the USA for Mal and Michael's wedding

This weekend I had the pleasure of going home to the USofA for the first time in about 10 1/2 months. I just calculated-and I was in the states for 63 hours and I traveled for 45-not too shabby! But for real, the reason for the trip: Mal and Michael's wedding! To give a little background, ever since I decided to move to Italy, the plan was not to leave unless there was an emergency or a certain friend (ahem, Mal) was getting married :) 

Michael proposed, I booked my flight, and a TON happened in between--and then finally this weekend it was time for their union and I got to spend time with friends and family for such a joyous event.

Not only did I get to spend time with best friends, but my amazing family was there for me to pick me (Mom, Irisita, and Kenny) up from the airport (though I was 4.5 hours late), drive me back, and have some of my dad's best puerto rican meals in the few hours I was with them--and  they had welcome home signs!

The weekend was amazing-it was quite a whirlwind, but it was also a testament of God's goodness, faithfulness, and love--seeing a man a woman become one in marriage with the purpose to glorify their maker--and a community of friends and family who are willing to pray, support, and also testify to how they have seen the relationship grow and blossom under God's grace...oh--how it was beautiful :)

And my fam--I'll just say I am so pumped to spend more time with them in a month--and the few hours with them were not enough!

and.... I just got home and thought... well I've been terrible at blogging, but how about I do some now until I majorly crash from all the jetlag (spelling?)
Happy! great weekend:)

AND--school is out in four days :) woooweeee

I am so glad to be friends with you as you journey in marriage

Mal was stunning

Connie ready for the show

The wedding was hands on effort :) Molly sprinkling sparkles (what are those called?-sprinkles? on Madd's cupcakes)

Ohana-we are missing our dear Beth--

Madd's mad baking skills
Some of Madd's cupcakes

So happy with them

Luca and Scott drove me down and back! Nikki too... what amazing family!

Mr and Mrs Michael Taylor Joyce :)

me, Irisita, and Nikki--Irisita just arrived from Panama we coordinated seeing each other 

Me with Luca--I love this kid! Can't wait to spend loads of time with him in the US :)

Oh what a weekend--I'm going to cherish it forever!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

In the Budapest!

A long weekend is upon us! With no plans officially made...Liz and I just decided to go to Budapest :)

Just got was 12 hour night train through four countries! Fun! Some new
Passport stamps and getting ready to go out to
Look around :)

Oh random