Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Concise Ramblings!

Alright.  Not sure where to start.

Dreams have been coming true.  I lived/ worked/ played in Seattle all summer.  I visited New York City for the sole purpose of attending concerts.  I wear high-waisted shorts on a regular basis.

C'mon - what more could I expect from myself?

Looking forward to:

Christmas with family
New Years with friends
Birthday in WA
Going back to NYC***
Last semester of school
Whatever comes next

And now some photos.  So years down the line I can look back and think, 'damn I had cool hair.'

[*** indicates high levels of excitement]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Radio Liaison!

Oh! And I was just offered the new position of 'Radio Liaison' at and the Whitworthian (student newspaper).  This means I'll be making a podcast of sorts!  It's a paid position that will be genuinely fun... YIPPEE!!! :)

Life is good.

Back in Spokane.

From Easter Break, that is.

Yes, I live in the U.S.A. now.  Which is weird, but not really... you know what I mean.  Anyways, there's so much great stuff going on that I can't help but (over)share!  Here goes:

I'm moving up to Seattle for the summer - starting 3 weeks from now til August
I have a summer internship, in Seattle no less (!!!)
It's almost summer, aka SUN will be reintroduced into my life
Bloomsday is in a week
I'm eating cookies right now

So there's the recap.  I hope everybody is great and happy (and ready for nice weather).


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Tomorrow = USA!

I'm quite excited.  Family, friends and loved ones: I can't wait to see you all!!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Felices Reyes Magos?

Less than a month until I come home! January 28th couldn't come any sooner.

Best wishes to everybody in this fabulous new year! And yeah, apparently there was a holiday Spain celebrates on the 6th of January, which commemorates the three wise men.  I found out the hard way by walking to multiple grocery stores--which were all closed!  It just so happens I was very hungry, so we'll leave this by saying the McClelland part of me got grumpy real quick.

I'd like to send a quick note out before everything with finals gets too crazy.  Life is great!  Sad to leave, but overjoyed to go home.  Home!  No more calling Spain my home (for now).  I'll make sure to post photos and stories soon from the Christmas adventures with my aunt Kerri (I kept a journal from the trip so I wouldn't forget anything).  If I'm not mistaken, you can check out my album of the trip here, regardless of whether or not you've got a Facebook page.  Check it out!

Finals start this Saturday (really?? tests on Saturday??) and continue til the 20th, aka my 21st birthday!  So excited!  I'll officially be old! (and with that comment I gladly dodge multiple swats from family members)

Mother dearest and Obie arrive in Barcelona on my birthday.  I'll go up to meet them, and over the next week we'll come back down to Murcia, grab all my stuff and head to Madrid.  Showing them around is going to be so great!  I'm already planning all the places I want to take them...  can't wait.

Love you all!  Before we know it I'll be home in Richland/Spokane/Seattle.  All three places at once would be nice, but that's just how it goes.

Besos, Lauren

ps: if somebody could make the snow stop in Washington, that'd be great.  I'm not ready for cold weather! It was 62 degrees here today, and I walked about town in jeans and a t-shirt.  Awwww man.... luckily I was prepped by the central Europe weather!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let's get down to business

So that's kinda been my motto these days, getting down to business.  Except, it's reeeeeeeaally hard to sit down and do homework in Spain.  It's like a disease.  Basically the only reason I'm blogging instead of worrying about essays is because I'm halfway done with my 8 page paper and I finished a 4 pager last night. WHOMP IT!

Wowza, the last thing I updated ya'll on was Valencia.  Round two for getting down to business... it's time to catch you guys up on everything!

First things first: Manchester!  Brent and I went to jolly old England town and we had ourselves some good fun.  We visited my friend Matt (he used to live in the Tri-Cities) and he showed us around Warrington as well as Manchester.  Also, he taught us many British slang terms.  I'll cram as many of those bad boys in here as possible.

We embarked on our journey on Thanksgiving (Happy late Thanksgiving everyone), and to our delight we ate fish and chips for dinner! Let me specify: we ate authentic fish and chips, gravy, and mushy peas from a "chippy" that Matt's grandfather has been going to since it opened when he was a kiddo.  Then we went out to the London Bridge, a pub near Matt's.  It was so cozy and great!  I was ecstatic.

The next night we headed over to Manchester to check out the Christmas markets.  It was the debut of my new winter jacket I bought earlier that day.  What an ace purchase, goodness that thing is lovely/great.  Then I bought gingerbread!  Which was excellent because I'd eat a few bites, put it back in my purse, and rediscover it a few hours later.  Mmmmmmm.  We also went out with a load of Matt's friends, all of whom were sweethearts.  Pub crawling at it's finest!

the big ol' clock in Manchester.

What a cute pub! It was so crowded and jolly inside.

Here's a shot of the wheel and some markets.  It's things like this that remind me it's Christmastime!

My entourage for the weekend.  You're jealous! (and mulled wine)

Documentation of freezing-ness and yummy-ness.

The next day we went to Chester, which has a pretty awesome Roman wall that goes throughout the city.  It was slippery.  We scooted around there like a couple of champs for a while, then went back to Matt's and ate Indian food.  Ohhhhh we'd been looking forward to that.  Also, early that day we ate meat and potato pies.  I was very satisfied with our British food circuit.

Chester!  I like this one.

We had such a great time!  I can't thank Matt enough for showing us around.  It was a sound trip, for sure.  OH!! And then before our flight on Sunday we caught the matinĂ©e showing of Harry Potter!  Really, realllly good movie.  I cried.  Twice.

The next day Brent had to go home.  It's hard to be sad because we had such so many incredible adventures, but I was maybe a teeny bummed to see him go.  I would justify the situation by saying I've only got a month and a half til I go home--but we don't discuss these things yet!  I'm not ready to leave Spain!!

Next adventure... let's see.  Aix en Provence!  My first solo trip in Europe, and boy was I excited.  I think I nearly peed when I bought the tickets.  And how did it turn out?  Great!  Which just adds to my collection of "I'm capable of anything!" revelations.  That's pretty exciting.  Woohoo!!

Oh yeah, so Aix was cool!  It's a lot like Murcia; small town, lots of students, walking distance from just about everything.  I went to visit my friend Ben Jones, a fellow comm major, and he's studying there for the year.  My first request in France?  Crepes!  Man, those things are legit.  I met his friends, luckily most all of them spoke English, and they took me to a Christmas party put on by their institute.  Before hand, Ben and I made 24 eggs worth of eggnog. IT WAS SO YUMMY!  Exactly what I needed at the time, because believe it or not Christmastime doesn't feel so Christmas-y when you aren't with your family.  So, the eggnog and the festivities really hit the spot :)  Ben informed me that he and 2 of his friends were going to be performing a few Christmas carols in English and French at the party, and so I was obliged to join.  It was pretty silly, given that A) I don't attend that school and B) I don't know French at all.  But the other students clapped and it was all just a really fun time.

Other than that we just hung out all weekend, and I soaked up the opportunity to explore a new culture.  Let's just say I uttered the words "Merci, au revoir" a gazillion times!

Yes, I ate there twice.

Angela, Vlad and some part of Corbin's face.

An excellent photo of Mr. Ben Jones wearing my new scarf-like thing.
Thanks Ben for having me over and showing me France :)

I suppose you're all up to date now.  The only thing left to mention is Christmas.  I miss home!  I miss my family, my friends and all the traditions we have.  I miss getting out the Christmas tree ornament box and digging around for my favorite ones.  I miss sitting on the ground to wrap presents and having kitty come lay down on the wrapping paper.  I miss making spritz cookies, and decorating sugar cookies, then eating nearly half of them within 5 hours after baking them.  I miss having to tell Jack and Sydney (& Bo) to not eat the wrapping paper, and tying ribbons around their necks.  I miss Kayte and I having the hardest time brainstorming gift ideas for my dad.  I miss my mom putting on the Froggy Christmas cd for the first time, and laughing our butts off about it.  I miss singing the entire Frank Sinatra Christmas album while decorating the house, and being so excited when I hear Tyler singing along.

The truth is, Christmas is hardly Christmas without family.  Which makes me happy that I'll be touring Europe with my aunt Kerri in a week's time!!  But truly, for a good chunk of time there I'd cry every time I heard "I'll be Home for Christmas," (which was often because I've been playing Christmas music a ton these days).  Just know I miss you all and I wish so so badly I could be there to celebrate and be merry with you all.

My flatmate Annalisa decided we should decorate, so we did.  We're so lucky; our apartment came with a Christmas tree!  Here's a few photos from that evening.

Merry Christmas to everyone!  I'll be thinking of you all so much during my trip.  Love you!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

That time we accidentally ate lobster in Treviso

It's been awhile since I blogged! Yikes! "'ve been too busy LIVIN'"

This is true. The last post was about Granada, which was so long ago I hardly consider it to have occurred within the last year. I'll try to recap now! But here's a group photo that is pretty tight. I'm in the front-middle, sticking my tongue out.

Now I'll try to touch over the things that were awesome about this past month. Here goes--

La Universidad de Murcia is really into celebrating.  So, during our second "welcome back to school" week, the university put on a huge party that lasted all afternoon.  More or less, students brought drinks and food to this fair-groundsy type area and hung out all day!  Maria and I went together, and found a bunch of our friends right as we walked in.  Sweet!  Here's a photo of the lovely Maria (whom I've officially declared the most beautiful girl in Spain), as well as a shot of a small portion of the people at this fiesta.  Pretty nuts.

Then Erin and I went to Madrid for the MICHAEL BUBLE CONCERT!  It was sooooooooo cooooooooool. I mean, Michael Buble. For reals. In concert. Hearing him sing.  Pretty incredible.
We also did some sight seeing, revisited the Belgium bar and did our fair share of freezing our buns off.  That's what I get for wearing a dress and tights!
side note: we had Starbucks and I freaked out!

Not too long after that, Brent arrived to Murcia!!! Happy, happy day!! 

I'm so over-the-moon excited he's here!  First trip: Venice/Treviso! We trekked to Venice the first night we were there to check the sitch, and I finally get the hype I've been hearing about that place.  Although it's a very touristy spot, Venice still seems to maintain it's quaint Italian wonder.  My favorite part was the winding streets, peppered with teeny bridges and adorable views of the canals.  So precious! It makes me say, "is this real life?!"

My favorite!

Having been previously advised to dine in Treviso, we took the train back and started moseying around in search of some grub.  We were thinking aloud, "shouldn't there be a ma and pa restaurant on every corner, that serves pasta and lasagna and those tasty things?"  Yeah, turns out it wasn't that easy.  Somehow we managed to stumble across a place, so we pounced on the opportunity to eat and rushed in.  After being ignored for what seemed like a long time, this old man employee told us to go sit down.  We liked him after that.  Then the waitress comes by, and she tells us they only serve fish here.  Whaaaaat??  Fish? I get enough of that in Murcia. Oh well. So she brings us a mix of what they've got goin on, as seen in the photo below.  Octopus, baby squids (did not eat that one), cod, some unknown tasty critter, and shrimp.  Quite delectable.  For dinner, we ended up pointing to the only item on our menus that we understood: spaghetti.  Then our waitress sets down our plates, and Brent and I look at each other and go, "uhhhh."  Lobster and spaghetti.  Fortunately we decided to forget about how much it may cost and chow down, quickly realizing that it was really great.  When it came time to pay, the nice old man/presumably owner of the place gave us a significant discount.  
What an excellent night!  The time we accidentally ate lobster in Treviso.

The next day we set out for a daytime Venice experience, and spent a lot of time being lost and trying to find cool sites to see.  Before we caught the train that day, we bought salami, mozerella and a loaf of bread for lunch.  DELICIOUS!

We've had some nights out, enjoying tapas and other Spain delicacies, but cooking at home has been the most fun.  I'll admit it: Brent is a much better cook than I am.  So far my new favorite meal is Masala chicken curry and naan, which he made the first week he was here. I'm drooling just thinking about it.  This photo is of his Thai peanut sauce with chicken. DAAAAAAANG GOOD.  

Now yesterday we took a 3 hour bus ride to Valencia. Aquarium here we come!!  We saw so many colorful fish, turtles, sea lions, sharks, manta rays, jellyfish, beluga whales, giant crabs, dolphins, and best of all, penguins!

Yay! Longest blog post of all time! We're off to Liverpool/Manchester this Thursday.  Until then, love you all!