Double Czech

They say everyone’s supposed to make one (or a few) really stupid mistakes while they’re abroad. Maybe that’s not actually a saying but let’s just go with it for the time being. Well it’s been a little over a month and I’ve already made mine!!! …Are you proud yet mom and dad?

So this past weekend I visited the Czech Republic to spend the weekend with Emily. Prague was absolutely magical and there was nothing better than getting lost in this beautiful city with my best friend for the entire weekend. The end to the weekend wasn’t exactly magical.

“deees says you fly on 15 of March”

File that under things that you don’t want to hear on the 15th of February 30 minutes before boarding.

“do you want stay?”

File that under follow up questions you don’t want to hear after finding out you accidentally booked your return flight a month later.

Right then and there I started crying and ran away (promptly returning to ask where the rebooking desk is) After going Usain Bolt on Terminal 2 and throwing my credit card at the ticketing woman saying please just let me go home. I had a flight to Rome (for reasons unknown that I didn’t even think to question at the time) and 20 minutes to make it to the gate.

As I was running to the gate it hit me that I was flying to Rome. Okay cool they’ve got great pizza and a tipping tower. Nice. This should be fun.

I hopped on the plane and hoped for the best. After what seemed like a million hours in the air we landed in Rome. Once again I raced through another airport almost as fast as my performance in the 5th grade track meet (this time I didn’t trip over any hurdles though)

When I made it to the dreaded booking counter I handed the man my passport and said a quick prayer.

“Window or aisle?”

File that under questions that you only dream of hearing after entertaining the idea of spending the rest of your semester in Rome.

After quite some time in the Rome airport (beautiful airport by the way) I was finally en route to my lovely city. I looked out from my well-earned window seat as we took off and found myself in awe at how things actually worked out. The universe has a funny way of working and sometimes it just takes a couple sprints through some terminals and a few flights to learn this.

So here’s what I learned: 1. Always double Czech (see what I did there) your flights. 2. Anyone can be a track star when it comes to making a flight. And finally, always trust that in the end things will work out and they will. And if they don’t, then you spend a month in Prague and things could still be much worse.

Until who knows when or my next stupid mistake,

Libs

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“hang on guys just quick changing my flight home so I can stay longer!!!”

The Cool Kids

Well it’s officially been one month since I’ve arrived in this stunning place. Even after four weeks here I’m still in awe every day that I actually live and (kinda) study here. I still have yet to figure out whether it’s spelled Seville or Sevilla but trust me I’ve learned far more important things throughout the past month.

In my first weeks here I found myself constantly wondering, “why do people in Spain do…” but lately I’ve had a switch in this mindset. I’ve started to ask myself “why do Americans do…” instead.

While walking around this morning I asked myself that very question when I saw 4 older men sitting around a table. They had a huge bucket of beers and even bigger smiles on their faces and were laughing (probably at the expense of the American girl staring and awkwardly smiling at them).

In that very moment I felt like the loser in the cafeteria and they were the cool kids (ps it was 11 am on a Tuesday –fully embodying the ever so popular song that states that the “Club’s going up on a Tuesday”)

And that’s not the first time I’ve had this thought since arriving.

Every day from about 2-5 pm the entire city pauses for a couple hours called “Siesta”. Everyone eats lunch and then follows it up with a nap. Why haven’t we adopted this yet?

And then we usually have another nap sometime between dinner and taking on the discotecas so once again… why not America?

Everyone’s always late. I’m all for punctuality but I’m really starting to like this 15 minute grace period when it comes to making my way to class every day.

People casually drink beer and/or wine at all hours of the day. Which begs the question why do we limit ourselves to one happy hour when we could have 24?

Every time you meet someone you must give him or her “dos besos” or a kiss on each cheek. Actually I’m cool with the whole handshake thing that we’ve got going on back home. Especially when you meet old man Ronaldo for the first time and turn the wrong cheek and end up making out with him.

It’s a wonderful thing when you start to see your bubble differently while in a different bubble. It takes time but once you learn to embrace wherever you are, you really start to appreciate it. Take some time to do as the Sevillanos do (which is sleep, drink and smile a lot) today.

Gonna go take a nap,

Until who knows when,

Libs

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Lost in translation

Since coming to Spain one of my latest hobbies (along with getting lost and embarrassing myself in another language) is scoping out graphic tees with poorly translated English phrases on them. I’ve compiled a collection of my favorites so far and I’m sure there will be more to come because these are too good and I don’t see an end to this new hobby in the near future. Enjoy.

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With Valentine’s day around the corner, this is sure to win over your significant other.

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Minimally Minimal.

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Girls put this on your Tinder profile and you’ll be golden.

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Very deep and the fine print which reads, “and then: I realize adventures are the best way to learn” is even deeper.

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This is just the truth. Friday is so good too.

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Just lots of messages going on here.

Well that’s all I’ve got for now. Hope you found some inspiration or something in this or at least a laugh.

Not at all. Never again. Until next time. Until who knows when,

Libs

Café y Sal

Today marks two weeks spent in this beautiful place.

I’m writing this as I sit outside on the rooftop watching my laundry to make sure the wind doesn’t steal a pair or two of my socks. I don’t trust this whole hang your clothes outside and hope for the best thing. I also don’t trust this whole put your undergarments on display for the entire city thing.

Today also marks the discovery of yet another thing to connect the Sevillanos and I and that is the universal language of making fun of me.

Earlier this morning I sat down with a couple amigos to drink my coffee before heading off for the day. I took a seat at the table, added some sugar to my coffee and they just stared at me. Since being here I’ve grown accustomed to people staring at me (not because of my good looks or anything mostly because I don’t know what I’m doing 99% of the time). I asked them “que tal” and took a sip of my coffee.

Hilarity ensued. Similar to the “jam/jelly/pudding” incident I speak of in my previous post.

Turns out that was not sugar.

As I choked down my bitter coffee, they all lost it and proceeded to point and yell “sal!” (salt). Yes, that was salt and they did not let me forget it.

Well there went my chance of having these guys think I’m cool and my sodium intake is at an all time high but hey at least I supplied them with a good laugh.

So once again. Didn’t take much just a bitter cup of coffee, a little humility and the universal language of laughter.

Well looks like my dryer cycle is up so I’ve gotta go. That’s a joke, I’ll probably be here for a couple more hours.

But try to take some time today to laugh a little and when in doubt get a coffee with a dash of salt.

Until who knows when,

Libs

PS: Another lesson I learned today is that you aren’t supposed to eat the oranges off the trees, learned that one the hard way.

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reporting live from laundry day

Jam

Greetings from España.

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a week since I arrived in this beautiful city. Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been super busy getting lost everywhere I go, miscommunicating with everyone I interact with, accidentally ordering coffee for little people along the way (I’m at a café right now and somehow ended up with a shot glass of coffee) while simultaneously falling in love with this city. Sevilla is stunning and has this unique energy about it. I could go on and on about the city and people (and I most likely will in the future) but for now I’m short on time (and quite frankly still don’t even know where I am) so here’s a taste of what I’ve learned thus far…

I’ve started my journey living with a Señora named Angeles who does not speak a word of English. This has proven to be major adjustment and challenge for me. After my first week, I’ve learned that the best way to connect with Angeles (and most people in this city) is to find commonality in the uncommon and connect through our differences. You guys probably think my shot glass is filled with something other than coffee or that Europe is suddenly turning me into a philosopher. But it’s true and actually pretty simple when you think about it. After several awkward and quiet meals spent across the table from Angeles, I learned how to make her crack.

As we were sitting down for dinner, I was telling Angeles all about what I had seen that day, which is pretty limited given my Spanish speaking capabilities. I was asking her about all of the orange trees in the streets and what they do with the oranges. She responded and said they make “marmelada” (marmalade). I explained that in the States we call it “jam” or “jelly”. Hilarity ensued. Once she regained composure, I repeated the words and she lost it again. I have officially found my go-to party trick here. Forget about hola, I’m going straight to “jam” from now on. I also discovered last night that this works with the word pudding.

There have already been many differences and moments of miscommunication for Angeles and I. I’m pretty sure she thinks that I live in the arctic tundra on a houseboat (I also accidentally said inside the lake instead of on the lake so maybe even a submarine?) and that I walk with skis on (turns out, outside of MN, cross country skiing is not a thing) but I have learned that one thing that always connects us is our differences. I’ve learned and will continue to learn to find commonality in the uncommon and appreciate the many differences I stumble upon in this city and life in general.

Hasta que sabe cuándo (until who knows when),

Libs

PS: Jam

PPS: Jelly

PPS: Pudding

…are you laughing yet?

Resolutions + Revolutions in Zone 3

Greetings this is Libs reporting live from Gate E16.

Just checking in for my pathetic monthly attempt at a blog post. Actually one of my many new years resolutions for 2015 was to start using this thing more often so here I am. A couple other resolutions include finding out what exactly a resolution is, to stop wearing my Birkenstocks with socks (small steps) and maybe while I’m at it I’ll stop wearing my Minnesota wolf shirt in public.

But probably not –mostly because both of those items are already packed and ready for action.

We all know that the best time to start a resolution is 12 days into the year so here we go.

I don’t have much to report except for that I’m randomly going to Spain for the next four months. As some of you might know (but probably don’t because this was pretty much news to me about 48 hours ago when I realized I was actually going) I will be spending 4 months in Seville, Spain ‘studying’ abroad and embarrassing myself in a different language.

My travels are already looking promising as I received an awesome massage by TSA this morning. I have a man on my flight with a “Seaworld Kills” shirt on who I’m definitely going to make my friend and a woman wearing headphones larger than her head who has already established that she does not wish to chat with me. The Starbucks barista spelled my name right on my coffee. I’m wearing all black because I heard that’s what European people do and I have a super trendy fanny pack, which is also all black. So we’re off to a great start.

I’m really going to try to stick with this resolution thing and keep you guys posted on my adventures across the pond (no promises on the birk + wolf shirt resolutions though)

My plane is about to board; of course I’m in Zone 3 per usual (but I’ve got a window seat so holla) plus in elementary school it was always cool to be in the back of the bus so maybe I’ll start a revolution or something. I’ll probably blow this whole revolution thing when I inflate the neck pillow I just bought in the airport store or when I voraciously read the sky mall magazine. Wish me luck.

Adios amigos.

Until who knows when,

Libs

(Row 22, Seat F, Zone 3)

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THX

It all starts with…

“Let’s go around the table and say what we’re thankful for”

The classic mom move (this is a lot like her standard let’s go around the table and say your favorite thing about me on her birthday). Family for 200, home for 300, food for 400, the fact that no one is unacceptably intoxicated at the dinner table for 500. All of the classics are the first to go.

I decided to go with the timeless “I’m thankful for all of you and that Bruce surpassed all expectations and made it through another holiday” (taking bets on whether or not he makes it to Christmas, hit me up if you want in)

An easy out plus points with the relatives for Libs. And maybe Bruce will like me more now. Probably not.

But as I sit by the fire tonight reflecting, (I’m only doing this because I couldn’t decide on a Netflix show to watch) I realize that there’s a lot more to be thankful for beyond the big stuff. We tend to try to cover all the bases with these broad things but when you start being grateful for even the smallest of things this day becomes just that much better.

To name a few…

I’m thankful that I never won the Star Tribune’s “Oh you Turkey” coloring contest because I never wanted to anyways. I’m thankful for the bowl cut my mom made me have when I was little –they always say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Or maybe it’s more like being mistaken for a boy as a child makes you stronger. I don’t know. I’m thankful for the phrase “the greatest thing since sliced bread” because since I’m gluten free this makes a lot of things the greatest. I’m thankful that its 0 degrees out here because well I really don’t know. I’m thankful that I got to hold down the fort at the kid’s table for yet another year while still drinking wine. The definition of the best of both worlds.

All in all, we have a lot to be grateful for this year whether it’s big or small. So happy thanksgiving friends, I’m thankful for you guys reading this and pretending you think I have important things to say or whatever.

Until who knows when,

Libs

PS maybe I am still a little bitter about never winning that contest. For all you kids going to bed tonight thinking you nailed it… sorry but you’ll probably never win, but one day you’ll be thankful for it, I swear (Star Trib if you’re reading this look back to the 2003 entries, mine was the harry potter themed one, I’ll still accept a cash prize)

Minnesota Nice

Hey people it’s me again. I’m back on this thing so we’ll see how long this lasts. As some of you know, I go to school in Indiana, it’s like super random and like in the middle of nowhere. Most of my friends at school are from this wonderful state, usually from a suburb of Indianapolis that ends in a “ville” or “burg”. I always try to convince these Indianans (I think that’s what they prefer to go by) to come visit me in my lovely state but no one really finds Southern Canada to be that appealing no matter how nice we are or how many big ponds we have.

Finally my friend Lexi from the land of Indiana ventured to Minnesota last week. Success at last. I finally got one of them to come out to my mysterious homeland (don’t tell anyone that it was only because she had a layover and delayed flight and only stayed for 12 hours it still counts okay?)

I picked up Lexi from the airport and gave her the classic tour de ‘sota. Showed her all of our huge ponds, world’s largest shopping mall (didn’t make it to the world’s largest ball of twine… sorry Lex, next time), pretended to know the difference between St. Paul and Minneapolis, and revealed where the moccasins are at. Side note: Yes I live in Minnetonka, like the moccasins.

While I was showing her all of these things and trying to prove that Minnesota is more than just some state way up there, she managed to notice one of the greatest things about this state without the help of tour guide Libs. While headed to the lake, we sat at a four way stop for a solid 2 minutes. Each car flagging the other one to go ahead, refusing to go until the other does. I didn’t even think twice about this little gesture but once we finally made moves from the four-way halt, Lexi brought to my attention that waiting this long at a four way stop isn’t a thing in most places. Interesting. Maybe my commute to work would be a little quicker if I didn’t freaking do the Macarena flagging people across every day. Or maybe my run would go a little faster if I didn’t have a full on conversation with everyone I pass on the trail.

Although we may not have some crazy landmarks or an all star sports team, I realized I should really to give this state of ours a little more credit. It’s not everywhere that you can meet 10+ new BFFs on a walk or have a stranger who feels bad for you on your first day working downtown and pays for you when you get on the wrong bus home (that’s another story PS I work now) So moral of the story is, we really have it good here and it’s time for us to appreciate those extra couple minutes we spend every day frantically waving complete strangers across the road.

Keep being nice my friends.

Until who knows when,

Libs

PS for those of you who want to visit now, mi casa es su casa.

ImageSporting my favorite shirt for my favorite state.

Disco Ball Dreams

So today I was catapulted back into the nanny world with a trip to every nanny’s dream slash worst nightmare all rolled into one: The Big Thrill Factory aka Chuck E Cheeses’ on steroids. I entered the lion’s den, experiencing complete sensory overload. Automatically feeling myself contracting a nice cold or possible flu virus. So many sounds, lights, overly excited staff members, germs. Although this was a sudden and rude welcoming back into the nanny world, I definitely learned a couple things from creepily watching and observing the kids there today:

  1. When it comes to the ball pit, even the best of friends can become your worst enemy. It’s every man or woman for themselves in the pit.
  2. As long as you say “…but no offense” after whatever you do or say, it doesn’t count. This is 100% foolproof. I witnessed a girl tell another girl that she was mean and sucked at the game, but had a stellar “no offense” follow-up and the friendship continued as if nothing was ever said. ***I plan to carry this strategy into my upcoming semester i.e.: “you’re a terrible teacher and I don’t agree with anything you say, no offense.”
  3. Every ride is the best ride ever for approximately 2 minutes until you move on and find the next best ride.
  4. The amount of lemonade consumed is directly proportional to the amount of success one experiences in the mole-pounding game. ***Also applies to the Dance Dance Revolution game.
  5. Only the most determined of Thrill Factory goers will ever make it to the 500 prize level disco ball. It takes a lot of blood, sweat and tears to surpass the many tattoos and candy options in order to save up for the big leagues.

Aside from all of these new things I learned today, more importantly, I learned that kids really know how to play and us ‘adults’, or whatever we call ourselves these days, could learn a thing or two from them.  It doesn’t matter what exactly they were doing, whom they were with, the viruses they’re contracting, what exactly is in that lemonade etc. they simply just played. With that being said, I think we should all take some time to just play and learn a little something from kids, they’ve got a lot to teach us.

Until who knows when,

Libs

PS: I will do everything in my power to avoid arcades of any sort for a while now … no offense or anything

PPS: Unless I can get that disco ball

Do Re Mi

Sorry I’ve been out of this blog thing for a while, I know you all have missed me dearly but hey I’m back so you all can calm down okay?

As most of you probably know, my mom, one of the only people I ever write about (you guys all must think I have a lot of friends), is trying out for a church production of the Sound of Music. I would be surprised if you didn’t know this since she has been talking about it for the past 6 months. Yes, all summer she wandered the house singing “doe a deer a female deeeeer” for all to enjoy. After months of nerves and long hours of preparation for her moment to shine, the auditions finally took place tonight. After a phone call with her in which she serenaded me and made a big strategy change from “Edelweiss” to “Doe-Re-Mi” to better display her true talent and potential to be more than a Nun, she was ready. With high hopes to get a Von Trapp or maybe even Maria, Annie went into the tryouts with more determination than I had in first grade when I went for the part of Gretel in the class production of Hansel and Gretel (don’t wanna talk about it). Whether she gets Mrs. Von Trapp or a Nun, my mom has proven to me that it’s never too late to pursue your passions, and that there’s also still hope for my acting career even if I was always a chorus person or weather girl #3 (one of my better roles). So go out and do what you love regardless of whether you’re Nun material or what, you will never know until you try.

Until who knows when,

Libs

PS: Mrs. O’Leary if you’re reading this, I still haven’t gotten over the whole Gretel thing but don’t consider this chorus girl down for the count just yet