I've been collecting my writings from years gone by as I find them. Each time I move - now 5 times in the last 3 years - I find more scraps, loose sheets, etc. with my thoughts from various times in my life. I've decided to copy as many of them as I can here to try and keep from losing them again, and to share with the world. Please feel free to comment as thoughts occur to you. Either send them to trekker9er@yahoo.com or use the comment links here. Thanks, and Enjoy!

Monday, February 28, 2005

 September 9, 2004 - Why?

Why does it take for something to happen before anything is done to prevent it?
    (thought for many years - written 9/9/04)

Why do we, as people, have the need to hurt others when we are hurting?
    (thought 9/8/04 - written 9/9/04)

 April 16-21, 1995 - Viaje A Espana (Part II)

    Part I
    I finally got my Mother on the phone. We only talked for fifteen minutes because it was getting expensive for my mother and I had to get ready for dinner. For dinner there was a buffet. It was good because they had a large variety to choose from. The four of us talked, mostly about memories.
    At 9:00 we left for the boat. Miriam came with us. All five of us had the entire bus to ourselves. That was nice. We met the rest of the group. They said they had fun or liked the Bull Fight. Uch. A few people told me about one Bull that kept getting up. The Bullfighter couldn't kill him! I tell Kim about that, she'll be happy.
    On the boat we saw more dances than just the Flamenco (not Flamingo). All the dances were great. The third dance I got a picture of is the Flamenco. It was preformed four times last night, the first three by a different woman each time and the fourth by a man. At the Flamenco we were each given one free drink. Since my mother didn't sign for me to have alcohol I order a Coca-Cola. I took a gulp of it and then realized THEY SPIKED IT! I still hate the taste of alcohol. In many of the dances the dancers used wooden clam shell type instruments for hands called Lucero Tena.
    After the dances the waiters and waitresses cleared the chairs off the floor to let people dance. GO Orty, Go Orty! (Mrs. Ortwein was dancing too.) Many oft he songs were in English or from the U.S. translated into Spanish. We learned the Spanish Electric Slide. I'll teach it to Amy, Kim, Kathy Q., and Sara when I get back home. At some point I lost my watch. I was very upset, but a waiter found it and I got it back when we were leaving the boat.

April 17, 1995
    We left Sevilla a 11:00 a.m. I got around seven hours of sleep last night. The bus ride to Granada was two and a half to three hours, maybe more. Granada was the last city to be taken by the Catholics in 1942, which ended the Spanish Inquisition. That was also the same year Columbus discovered the Americas. Granada is at the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
    We will see Alhambra, a fortress at Granada. The winter Olympic games of 1994 were supposed to be held at Granada and the Sierra Nevada mountains, but the weather was too warm for snow that they were moved one week before the Olympics were to begin.
    We stopped for lunch on the way to Granada.
    Generalife was the Summer home of the Sultans. Alhambra was the winter house. It was like a small city for the nobles. Generalife is higher up the mountain because of summer brezzes and summer hunting. (13th - 14th centuries) It is seperated into three parts; the garden, the hunting grounds, and the house. The Alhambra was seperated into three parts as well; Towers for soilders, Medina (or city) for the population, and the palaces for the nobles. Charles V, grandson of Ferdinan + Isabella, has a Catholic palace built inside of Alhambra. It was square outside and round inside, but never finished. (only 2 pictures then pictures of Alhambra palace.) The Gypsies lived in caves near the wall of Alhambra, which is now only part there.
    It was nice inside Generalife. I could smell the flowers while walking through the garden. We didn't see the hunting grounds and their isn't a house. The nobles would only visit for the day. They still slept in Alhambra in the summer. I don't know what the third part was.
    Not only did the Catholics build a palace but they added on to the Arab palace (No pictures) in Alhambra. I'm now on my sixth roll of film out of six. I hope I have enough for Toremallinos. We are on the bus for there now. It will take 2 hours to get there. We have to backtrack a little the way we came. Torremolinos is a suburb of Malaga, which is why people said we were going to Malaga and I had gotten a spoon for it. I found a spoon for Ganada at Alhambra and I bought it. Now my spoon collection is complete!
    After we got to the Hotel Bali we checked-in. We went to dinner at the hotel restaurant. There was a huge buffet, even bigger than at the other hotel. After dinner we all went down to the beach. We walked along what my room-mate Jessica calls "The Board walk". That is a strip of stores and food places along the beach. Then we went back to the hotel. Jessica and I stayed up a little talking and laughing. We don't need to get drunk to have fun! Oh, and we have a great view of the beach and the mountains.

April 18, 1995
    After breakfast this morning, which was the best breakfast buffet yet, we all went to Torremolinos Center. Once we were there we were allowed to shop, in pairs, along a no-car street full of all kinds of stores. I got a shirt that says Costa Del Sol, España and has a neat design on it, Sea-shell Wind Chimes, a poster with my mother's name on it, a small bottle filled with different color sand that formed a picture, and another spoon (The España, or Spain, one). Jessica and I bought everything we wanted today so that we wouldn't have to go back. It cost 90 pesetas to take the bus one way!
    Jessica and I snacked for lunch instead of going and buying lunch. Afterwards we went to the pool for a few hours. I wrote my post cards, one to my Mother, and one to my best friend Amy. I would have written my Father but he recently moved and I haven't gotten his new address. I also wrote myself a letter so that I could have some Spanish stamps that were cancelled in Spain. The next step was to find stamps.
    After the pool Jessica and I went looking for stamps. We were told the post office was only open in the morning. Darn! But we were told that the tobacco store also has stamps. We eventually found the tobacco store. When we went in we could barely breath, everyone in there was smoking. There was even a lady at the door with boxes of cigarettes, she practically shoved them at us. It cost 89 pesetas to send one post card or letter to the United States. Wow. We mailed out postcards and letters when we got back to the hotel.
    Dinner again was a buffet, but there were different dishes. Piella was there. All right! It was just as good as before.
    Around 10:30 p.m. we all went to a club called Mango. It was fun and extremely loud. One of my roommates, Lauren, didn't go. One of the girls was brought back to the hotel by Mrs. Ortwein completely smashed. She was far beyond drunk. One the way back to the hotel Mrs. Ortwein stopped us and gave us a small lecture and layed out the rules for the rest of the trip. I'm glad Jessica and I don't drink. I'm also glad Lauren didn't go to the club. The smoke would have made her sicker than she already was. One thing I won't missed about Spain is the smoking. It's allowed almost anywhere at anytime. I'm pproud that the United States has cracked down on smoking. Compared to Spain, smoking is almost completely aradicated in the U.S. Another think I won't miss are the people. Spaniards can be so rude. Especally on the roads. If you are even trying to cross the street, make sure you have a walk sign and all cars and motorcycles have stopped moving before you cross. If there is a "subway", which takes you under the street, instead of a cross walk, use it.
    Right now I'm waiting for Mrs. Ortwein to come for the alcohol, which no one in my room has any of. She said she would be around to all the rooms but I'm not sure if she'll be coming here. She knows Jessica, Lauren, and I would never buy alcohol and bring it back to our room or even get drunk. Although, she thought no one else would either and was wrong. Jessica and Lauren are asleep. I will be too, soon. I just wanted to say that there are a lot of English, as in England, people here at the hotel and they are very nice and friendly.
    One more thing I think I should mention. The night before last I woke up in the middle of the night and my shoulder was hurting extremely. It took me a while to get back to sleep and I was close to tears. In the morning just below my shoulder was hurting. During the day yesterday it got better but my entire upper arm was hurting. It got worse again at night when Jessica and I stayed up. I couldn't prop up my head on my hand, supported by my elbow because mu upper arm had to support my upper body and it wouldn't or couldn't. It hurt so much. This morning when I reached across the bed to answer they phone I dropped it. My arm wouldn't let me pick up something even that light. It felt a lot better after breakfast any has hardly bothered me since. It doesn't hurt now. I don't know what caused it, what I did to my arm, or why it stopped but I'm glad it did. That's All.
    No Mrs. Ortwein and it's 1:40 a.m. I'm going to bed (to sleep).

April 19, 1995
    I woke up at 10:30 a.m. this morning. Jessica + Lauren were still asleep so I let them sleep until 11:00 a.m. when the maid came to clean the room. I told her to come back at twelve noon. We missed breakfast so I ate some of my snacks, including some cereal I brought, for breakfast/lunch/brunch (whichever you want to call it). Afterwards Jessica and I went to the stores along the beach. On our way we stopped at a store with a spoon for Costa Del Sol. AHHHHHH! How many spoons are there?!? I didn't get it. Then we look at all the shops on the Boardwalk. I wanted something I call Yertle the Turtle because it is five turtles (made out of shells), one standing on top of another, just like in the story Yertle the Turtle. I also realized I hadn't gotten anything for my Dad yet. Oh dear. I didn't know weather to get him windchimes made of shells or the little bottles with sand in them to form pictures. I couldn't decide so we went to the beach. I also wanted a nightshirt that had a pink elephant with a blue trunk on it. On the front the elephant's ears were made out of pink fabric. On the back his tail was a pink ribbon. It was so cute!
    On the beach Jessica and I found some shells we liked. We took them back to the hotel to clean + dry them off. We snacked a little while we were there then we decided to shop along the main street with all the cars that don't stop, even when the light is red.
    We found a store that had 3-D pictures. There was one I wanted with dolphins in it and a volcano (or mountain) in the background above the water. The lady didn't speak English. I asked her for it and she went in the back to find one but didn't have anymore. I asked if I could have the one on display but she said it was tacked up and was no good. So we left. We then found a store called Deborah's souviners and second hand books. Everything was so cheap there! We nicknamed it "El Cheapo" store and "The Frugal" store. We went back about two times between when we found it and night time. I found the spoon I needed for cheap and bought it. I also found the windchimes and sand bottles. I bought Dad a sand bottle. I'll give him some shells with it that I found on the beach. Then we went looking at more stores before we headed back to the hotel.
    On the way back I decided I wanted the poster. So I went back to the store and said I wanted to display poster. The lady said she needed to get a ladder. She couldn't so I said (or indicated) that I would get it down. I finally did and she gave me a 100 pesetas discount!
We had a buffet dinner again. It was good again too. Afterwards we all met in the lobby. Mrs. Ortwein told us we could go to the club/bar room in the hotel but we could not leave the hotel tonight and we had to be in our rooms by 12:30 a.m. We also had to fill out an evaluation form for EF Tours about how our trip went. We go back to Madrid tomorrow and we fly home on Friday. After Mrs. Ortwein was finished we gave her, Mrs. Bournstein, and Mrs. Fleming (our Chaperones) gifts bought by every kid giving 500 pesetas. Mrs. Ortwein got a Lladro figure because she loves Lladro (like my mother).
    Afterwards Jessica, Lauren, and I went to our room and packed all our stuff so we wouldn't have to do it tomorrow.

April 20, 1995
    I'm not sure how many hours of sleep I got. I went to bed at 11:30 but I didn't fall asleep until after 12 midnight. Then I woke up a 1:30 when Lauren got back from wherever she was. Then the alarm clock went off at 7:10 a.m. because we three decided we would get up early and go to the beach before the tide came in. I went back to sleep because the alarm was so Jessica could get into the shower early. Jessica woke me up at 7:45 to say that the tide was already high and we desided not to go to the beach. The the phone rang for morning wake-up call. I was woken up again for breakfast.
    After breakfast Jessica and I went back to the Frugal store one last time. I got a windchime for my father. Then we went to the beach to look for shells again. I pulled up my pant legs and went barefeet into the water a little ways. It wasn't too cold. Near the rock formation we could see from our balcony in our hotel the beach jutted out to form an extremely small triangle penisula. The waves coming from the left would crash with the waves from the right before hitting the beach. It was fun to watch. A little ways from that we hit the jackpot. Millions of shells were clustered together just above the water, left there when the tide went out (receeded). We spent twenty minutes looking through all the shells. We found some really cool ones. Then we went back to the hotel and waited until 5:00 when we left for the airport. That was very boring, but I finally started reading one of my books.
    At 5:00 we all got together and took group pictures. Then we gave Miriam her present(s). A tee-shirt that said Arlington, Massachusetts. A tee-shirt that said Boston, Massachusetts, a card, and all the tip money. Then we went to the airport. We said good-bye to Miriam there. She gave me an EF pen that hangs around my neck.
    The plane we flew on was from Iberian Airlines. All the seats were big like Business Class and there was a lot of leg room too. It was very nice. Too bad we are not flying Iberian back to the U.S. There were also little movie screens above every other row of seats, instead of one large screen in the front of the airplane that no one can really see.
    After the flight we went to the hotel and had 15 minutes to check in before dinner. We also got a new tour guide named Christina. She'll take us to the airport in the morning.
    The hotel was very nice. There were four in my room so we got the big room. It was actually two rooms. A small livingroom where two beds were put and the bigger bedroom with two beds. Everyone got a real bed instead of someone being stuck on a cot like in the other hotels. We were waited on during dinner in the hotel restaurant instead of a buffet. I would rather have had the buffet but I'm sure most everyone else loved the roast beef dinner with flan for desert.
    One of my roommates, Tracey, was extremely annoying after dinner. I opened the window and there were some Spanish guys across the street in another hotel, or apartment. Tracey was going to sleep in the other room but she and Jessica kept waving + talking to the guys, who were drinking. Eventually I was able to get Tracey away from the window, close it and the curtain, and go to sleep.
    Of course there was a club in the basement of the hotel which played music so loud I could feel it two floors up. I was woken up at four in the morning and the music was still being played! People are trying to sleep you know!

April 21, 1995
    We were woken up at 7:00 a.m. Breakfast was at 7:30. Finally, a real danish! Breakfast was pretty good actually. Afterwards we packed and went to the airport.
    It was easier leaving the U.S. then leaving Spain, which was actually the U.S.'s fault. I suppose I should be glad to know that the U.S. makes everyone legally coming into the country go through a customs-type thing before getting on the plane. But what a hassle.
    We eventually got through all the checkpoints and to the correct gate to be that last people to get on board. First we got on a shuttle which took us out to our airplane which was out in the middle of no where. That's where most all the planes at the Madrid airport are put when they land and drop off or pick up passengers. When we had got odd the planes from the U.S. and Costa del Sol we were pick up by a shuttle at the planes and brought to the airport to get our luggage. The one yesterday from Costa del Sol is the first time I've gotten off a plane through the tail exit. Neat!
    Right now we are on the planes to Newark in New Jersey, U.S.A. Then we will have a few hours layover before getting on a plane for Boston. Now, Mrs. Ortwein asked EF not to go through New York airport on the way back, so they sent us to Newark insteaed. Newark?!?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?