Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm deciding to write a new post this morning because it is raining and I don't want to go outside to walk to the bank, so I am taking the time I allotted to write in here instead. Apologies for not uploading pictures, I'll try a picture post next time.

So, to recap everything I've been doing lately, go!
Work: is work. I greatly enjoy it about 90% of the time. The other 10% I am either trying to tolerate spectacularly annoying and pedantic students or one of the awkward professors. Oh, there is probably an extra 5% in there for me trying to understand what everyone is saying in the teacher's room. It makes my brain tired, much like me trying to figure out how to get 90+10+5= 100. Some of the perks about this job is that I am learning about Galician and Spanish politics, mostly I'm uninterested but since it is the topic du jour (du an) I'm picking things up through diffusion. Showing people funny things on the internet. Laughing to myself when the students are talking in Spanish because they think I don't understand it, although lately this has become more difficult because people are getting suspicious when I answer questions they ask each other, however subtly I do it, even after lying and denying I know Spanish afterward! Other perks are that there is usually food in the teacher's lounge all the time and students will treat me to lunch or a drink so they get some extra English time. This is all very lovely as I particularly favor eating. And there is beautiful scenery coming and going to work. The only downers are the stupid people and that Monforte is kind of uggo.

Life in Ourense: is bomb! I've gotten a lot of running in (1/2 marathon distance last week!) so am now exploring more of the outdoorsy nature side of the city (not the mountainside though, that would be ridiculous). Living with the roommates is totally awesome, definitely must remember that living with guys is better than living with all girls, even if the toilet seat is up all the time. I've also gotten a taste for the nightlife here; Thursday nights are mostly on the insane side. I leave my apartment at 2 am, go drink in a park or someone else's apartment until 4, then go to a bar with 1.50euro drinks, then we go dancing somewhere else. I usually get home around 6 or 7 in the morning. But since I don't work on Fridays I figure, why not? Also, because of my roommates, I have met tons of other people, have played squash and also get to play on the piano here, although I have no music and a horrendous memory, it's at least funny.

Additional classes: pretty good. I have a student in Ourense and one in Monforte, so I am raking in a little extra money to pay for random things, like train tickets, a pavillion card, lunches and 1.50euro drinks. The woman in Monforte speaks English remarkably well, while I was pretending not to understand Spanish, she repeated what she said in English and I was impressed!! It was exact! So she is a lot of fun to talk to and it is the easiest hour of work ever. The girl in Ourense is the daughter of one of the teachers in Monforte, it is a little more trying because she is like 8 or something, but at least she is really sweet and it is a fun/funny time.

I haven't been able to travel as much as I would have liked to yet, but once I come back in January I will put my travel agent pants on and get on it. I have, however, gone to a few random places in Galicia so far. Like Duade, which I'd never heard of, but is a wine village in Sober (not kidding, how amazing is that irony!!!) and they have delicious food. I've been to Pontevedra and Santiago and some concello ourside of Ourense. So I am definitely using these weekends to be all Galicia and will be more European once I come back.

Santiago: Every time I go back, it is like nostalgia-city. This weekend, after I hopped on a train at 7am Friday night (after botellón this meant I just didn't go to sleep) and recuperated a bit, I met with one of my teachers while I was studying there a few years ago. They are shutting down the KU program there. Sad day! I talked with her about it and what her plans are and she will rebound just fine, but still. It's like the end of an era, what will Santiago be like without all the Kansans!! Also, this weekend, yimbo and I went to see Luna Nueva (New Moon in the Twilight saga) and it. was. osom. ly. bad. I gave myself an invisible pat on the back for being able to understand it since there were no subtitles - except for a few minor characters, but because I read the book I got the gist of it - and so that was super fun! Team Jacob!!

Well, that's about it! I am on a new adventure of trying different cereals from the grocery store. Today I tried something translated to 'chocolate balls' and it is not very good. But maybe it is one of those things where you need more than 2 bowls to start liking it? I also am eating my dinosaur oatmeal and feel like this is something that needs to be imported to Spain, so I intend to write a letter to Quaker Oats when I get home. Anyway, that's all the news that's fit to print! I hope to get a picture post in soon-I also hope it will stop raining today, but let's be real- so everyone who was too lazy or skimmed this post can visualize it better :).

Until next time!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fotos of Ourense

This is a collection of photos taken on a short route where I run by the river. These are actually pretty good, so enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Fotos! Continuity is a rigid standard to which I will not conform.

  1. These photos might not make sense, but at least I put some up so you can see a little of Monforte!
These two are basically what I see as I walk through town. And the gray is not an effect but how bleak and dreary it really looks in the mornings, ick.

  1. This is art! Actually one is a set up lights in the "Florida" plaza, so I guess it is supposed to look like a bouquet of flowers? I'm not even sure the lights work. The next picture is graffiti pro-Galicia: auto-determiNACION.
Next is a photo of the castle that makes Monforte (semi)famous. Also, there is the language school! We are all in dislike with the scaffolding since it is for another building (allegedly).

The pictures with all the people (I have become incompetent at blogging everyone, my apologies!) are either the staff I'm working with or the view from the stairs where I was standing as they were giving their speeches.

Also, there are 4ish photos about all the signs and stuff the professors made protesting! It's in gallego so you have to use your imagination, and actually a pretty interesting argument, but photos are more fun to look at.

Finally, there is one photo of scenery somewhere in the mix. Isn't it pretty! Galicia has a really gorgeous countryside which I have seen from like eight different viewpoints: Santiago to Monforte (and back), Ourense to Monforte (and back, three days a week!), Ourense to Pontevedra (through Vigo) (and back). Ok, so maybe not 8, but 6, which is close enough to 8 - I round up.

Ok, that's it for now. Next time will be pictures of Ourense, mostly the route I run, and expect it to be similarly chaotic and in a general state of disorder.

Love and miss you all!

(ok I just saw a preview of this and it looks really bad. I will certainly not be getting any bloggie awards for this one, haha)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In Spain!

So I feel like I should inform people of what's been going on. I've been trying to make facebook status updates but those only go into so much detail. Because I have a limited amount of time tonight (and won't have the internet again until Thursday), I'm going to speedwrite so forgive any errors or non sequiturs.

To begin- I flew into Madrid and it was a looong day. Super mega long. I lugged my suitcases up to my room and then took a shower. Briefly spoke to my roommate (who was from Normandy, France) then we headed to dinner. I ate with some Brits who were osom and totally hilar. Then crashed. The next day was training re: things I already knew. So I learned about Galicia, learned about some activities for conversation in English, and learned about the Spanish education system (thanks to lessons from Manu, living in Santiago and working at KU). So at night I went to get a Spanish SIM card and hung out with Rafa. On Friday I had to get another SIM card because #1 didn't work. I lounged around Madrid and made friends with the concierge at the hotel and some random waiter from Ecuador. Then I caught the flight to Santiago.

In Santiago, me and Manu hung out while I adjusted to Spanish eating schedules and tried to fix the SIM card. SIM #2 was also sucky! I'm planning on getting SIM #3 in hopes of FINALLY having a flawlessly functional Spanish number. Over the weekend we did typical weekend things, hanging out in the park, meeting with friends, etc.

On Wednesday I rushed to Monforte de Lemos (to be known as mofo because me da gracia) to meet with the professors. They gave me a tour of the school and of the city (both about equal time haha) and then we all went out for some copas and tapas. I stayed at a local hotel which was sort of costly, but whatevs. Then the next day we hung out and had lunch and then I bussed to Ourense to then go to Santiago. I recuperated for a night then on Saturday I went back to Ourense to look for a piso. There were very few available since the school year had already started and things were filling up, so I was lucky to even look at any. I decided on an apartment that has a nicely sized room, WITH A WINDOW!!, although the view is not as picturesque as it could be, with a nice kitchen and an American sized shower (the other showers were like 2'x2'). There is no living room area - except the kitchen - and the internet hasn't gotten hooked up yet, but my roommates (three guys studying at the university in Ourense) are very friendly and talkative (and don't smoke in the kitchen like in the other pisos). So, it was definitely the best I could do with the options available (which were few [I'm a little parenthesis happy today haha]).

The rest of the weekend I spent getting used to the city little by little, went for a run twice, walks along the avenue and the bridges, and saw the Natural Springs. This week/end I plan to go for a run by the river which is supposed to be awesome and also learn more about the city center.

Today was my first day of classes: this morning was the intermediate level and I spent 45 minutes talking about me for class 1 and 45 minutes talking about me for class 2. My principal job is pretending I don't know Spanish. So I omit the truth about what I studied and where I studied. It's actually more difficult than I thought because when they ask the teacher something in Spanish to say in English I want to answer them but am supposed to be clueless. Oh well, a learning experience. This evening I was supposed to have 3 workshops, which are like small conversation groups depending on the level, but no one showed up since they weren't really advertised since it was the first day. So in conclusion, after catching a VERY early train (although not as early as I thought so I woke up super early kind of in vain) and having 'classes' until 9 where I've been catching up on websites... it's been a long day. Luckily I don't work Wednesdays(!!!!!!) so I can catch up on sleep/go to the police station to fill out my ID information/buy sheets. I know, very exciting.

Anyway, this weekend I'll be better at taking pictures so I can show everyone what my piso and the town is like, but until then I'm just taking it easy (fully adjusting to the Spanish way of life hahaha).

As for the language issues, when people talk to me slowly or NOT SUPER MEGA fast, we can have good conversations and some people are even impressed with my Spanish (!![this is why I like my standards low]), but when I met with the landlady she was like crazy machine-gun Spanish. So I'm mostly hoping nothing happens to my piso where I have to talk to her because she is not very understanding with my foreign-ness.. hm, another learning experience, I guess.

So, voila! That has been what has been happening for the last 2ish weeks. Will talk to you soon!

Monday, September 28, 2009

I sort of feel compelled to write one last entry from the USA for a few months. On the other hand, I sort of feel compelled to finish packing - and look how far that's gotten me! Well, actually, I'm doing ok on the packing, I think, just the stuff I need on a day-to-day basis is pretty much all I have left.

It's weird that it's a Monday and I'm not at work.

Welp, this is about all I can think of right now. I'm sort of frazzled by all the stuff I am supposed to be doing but am avoiding - classic psychology technique, what's up. But I'll make a better one soon!


Saturday, September 12, 2009

A change will do me good

So, in big AND exciting news, I quit my job! I've never quit a job in my life; well, officially, I mean. There was that one time at Arby's where I basically stopped showing up and then conveniently winter break was over, but please, that was Arby's. Every other time soccer season ended, or I graduated, or I went back to KU/OP. But this, this was different. I wrote a fancy resignation letter and everything. Possibly the best part? I submitted it before my performance review so I got to skip that. Bonus.

To sum up this job would be almost difficult, except I am really good at summarizing (thank you, AP English). I learned a lot, about good things and bad things, and how to deal with different types of people, in good ways and bad ways. I got some really valuable experience, showed I can hold down a job, have learned a buttload of Spanish (not all I want to, but I will eventually [by using the Force]), been revered for my grasp of technology (granted, only because I was the youngest person there and that naturally lends some advantage in this field) and efficiency, and did generally philanthropic things the whole time. There were some cons, but no need to bring negativity all up in here. There are a few people I will miss though, but if they were cool enough to be missed then they will be cool enough for me to see them again.

So now I will be skating through the next two weeks at work, making lists of what to pack and some things I need to get done before I leave on the 29th - like getting my hair cut, as IF I will risk my hair to the estilistas there! - and random other miscellany like my social life, which is almost as important as packing - seriously, they have stores there so it isn't like a mega big deal if I eff it up. Also, I should probably relearn how to use punctuation.

In other news, I found a Lion King book while I was working on my Charlie Brown. My life has been re-changed. I've never been able to sing before, but these songs are so easy (I remember I learned them with my piano teacher Scott, which is pre-high school, but I can't remember how old I was) I'm hoping to develop a new talent in two weeks! Who KNOWS what you can accomplish in two weeks if you actually try? I mean, I hope I get the boxes finally organized and semi-packed and back to being able to go running, but once those are done, everyone will "feel the love tonight" and it will be amazing. It is said that you develop a habit in 21 days and I leave in 17, so if I get crackin' you might see me on Factor X! Hahaha, omg, ok, I just had a mental image and I am seriously laughing, I'm envisioning a need to fulfill the elementary Disney in English niche while in Spain. I don't know if that niche market is there, but at least I can try to fill it!

Lately I have reverted back to my Olathe band roots. On Friday night, the Poms were at the ON football game. Not because I like football, per se (note previous posts re: caring about sports), but because my brother is in the marching band. Yay! Keepin' it in the fam. Then this morning we went to Old Settlers'. Talk about nostalgia. I remember when I marched it all the way back in elementary school, and we thought we were so cool and I was lucky if I could squawk my clarinet while trotting along. And then in junior high when I envied the high school uniforms. And then in high school where I was like, honestly, people, left RIGHT left RIGHT. What is up with the incompetence in marching in step? It's basically just fancy parallel walking with people on your side. Throughout the many years that I marched in that parade, I never really participated in the actual festival aspect. I did go once, but I thought it was kind of lame so just stuck with watching the parade ever since. It's because deep down I am still a band nerd, don't judge me, so my priorities are slightly different. But it's kind of nice to know that no matter what decade it is, what I've been doing, or how much older/wiser I've become, that at least Old Settlers' will still be there.

So to resolve this slightly anachronistic, flashback-ish post, I will wrap up the nostalgia to get back to the present preparation for the future. "The future" sounds so serious, but really I bet it will be hilariously wonderful; I say bring it on! Also, with margs. Margs make the future sound really comforting and welcoming. So for now, peace out! I'll try to do another post right before I leave, but no promises. I don't want to pigeonhole myself to this while I am busy doing things and being social. Until next time, go fight win!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Chicago, the sequel

So in what feels like the strangest summer weather ever, my sister and I took a mini-trip up north. What do you know, it was even colder.

Going into secret agent mode, we (I) scheduled the day's activities as such:

Mission 1- breakfast. Must. Carb. Up.
Objective: achieved, but just barely. You would think there would be more cute cafes, but after walking I settled for Dunkin Donuts. Meh. But a smoothie! Hurray!

Mission 2- consulate.
Objective: achieved. Added bonus of showing up before the employee, even AFTER saying 'let's hang out a little so I don't seem overeager and there right exactly at 9'. So we daintily waited until 9.05, an appropriate window. Five minutes after that, the employee arrives. Bomb. I LOVE Spanish time! I am way better at Spanish time than I am at American time. In other exciting news, my visa has my PICTURE on it! I know! Totally showing up my visa from when I studied in Santiago.

Mission 3- The Field museum. Natural history museum + special 3d dinosaur movie + pirates.
Objective: BEYOND achieved. This was so osom. I think we spent a little over four hours here. There were so many exhibits, and as a fan of museums of the natural history variety, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Mi hermana y yo went here, and there, around the bend, on the third floor, to the basement, to the window, to the wall. Even to the lame kiddy ones.

Mission 4- lunch. pizza!
Objective: only barely achieved. Seriously. How many Giordano's pizza places are there? And how did we not find any? So, after the museum we walked for a long time (legit, it was proof from my watchometer - my new favorite piece of technology, sorry iPod) and ended up in a somewhat sketch looking area. At this point, I changed into my thinking pants and we decided to pause and get some better directions. We talked to a guy who was mega nice and just switched up the left/right instructions once we got to the main street, and then, victory! Also, while we were waiting to go to the consulate/eating breakfast/walking through millennium park, there was a Giordano's pizza RIGHT NEXT TO WHERE WE WERE SITTING ACROSS FROM THE CONSULATE! I swear to buddha. I felt like such a numbnut, oh well, still ate pizza! And with canadian bacon! And another midori cocktail! Bonus!

Mission 5- The Sears tower.
Objective: failed. Apparently you have to go through security and then pay $15. And it's called the Willis tower now.

Mission 6- Navy Pier.
Objective: achieved. But why? Also, according to watchometer, it was about an 8 mile walk to get there from the Sears/Willis tower and back. Good thing my feet were acclimated!
Mission 7- Union Station.
Objective: achieved. Ugh. Zonked. Want. To. Sleep. I spramped some water on my face and started pumping iPod to stay up. After a ratito, we headed outside to wait for the bus. And guess what, it started to rain. Osom. And it was cold the whole day, lame!

Mission 8- Ride home.
Objective: achieved! Obv! And I slept basically the whole time. And we had some leftover pizza for breakfast. And I was very responsible and bladder-aware so I wouldn't have to go potty on the bus. V-i-c-t-o-r-y.

So there you have it! Now I am going to put some pictures up to hopefully describe some of this. Cross your fingers! OMG I DID IT! *victory dance*

All right, that's it for now. See you next time!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Best week evar!

This seriously has been the best seven days since the invention of the television (or introduction of cable, it's a toss-up). Enjoy this!

Tuesday: inaugurated vkt's piso with some hookah, lambic floats, p&l (although that part was actually kind of lame).

Wednesday: hookah with Luis and Liz, more lambic, more p&l (also a bust, though this time because it was too crowded rather than there being kind of nothing going on).

Friday: kickball, blasting "she-wolf"/"loba", team osom celebration, trivia - I won! I never win things! This just goes to show that osom transcends just kickball, it is a way of life and a manner of thinking. Hm, I do not glorify it at all... hahaha.

Saturday: aside from working in the morning, Josh and I went to see Chicago at Starlight. OMG! It was amazing. It was like the good parts of the movie (the songs) sexyfied! They hit all the right double entendres and backed it up with some insinuation. It was wonderful. Also, it was raining practically the whole night, so our ponchos came to be very handy. And attractive - albeit indistinguishable from the innumerable other ponchos. Anyway, the other people in the row all bailed so Josh and I were the row champions! After that we went to missie's, saw Doug, enjoyed some booze, then went home. I was zonked!

Sunday: FINALLY got to sleep in, although it was a little too much because I was running around my house frantically looking for random objects, pants, band-aids, etc. Anyway, after that I go to Luis' house to meet up with him, Sergio and VKT so we can go to the Wizards game! I'm sure I look like quite the KC sports fanatic, but it's about the venue, company and something new to do. Plus, I can't really complain about losing teams, haha!! After that I finished "World Without End", it was very enjoyable. I secretly love happy endings in books, and this one delivered but not in a cheesy "Twilight" way, but rather in a everything happened that you wanted to happen but this does not go to great lengths to achieve this or whomp you over the head with it. Victory.

Tuesday: Fiesta española! La bomba! I'm even more excited about peacing out to Spain, especially for the food and all the opportunities I will have to carb up! And I also enjoy drinking, so that will be perfectly accomodating! More hookah, yoga jokes, borderline blasphemy, new and classic tapas. A picture-perfect evening. It has introduced the idea that as amazing as it will be that I'm going off to Spain, I'll be missing my friends here. Oh well, that is what small breaks are for, right? Right!
Also today I made my cursor at work into a dinosaur. I feel that while this technically improves nothing, at least I have something new to look at while I'm busy zoning out.

Thursday: coming up! Another trip to Chicago. This time to pick UP my visa. I really want to go to the natural history museum and Navy pier- but of course I will let you all know what went down and how it was!

Okie dokie, off to bed! This has been such a busily fun last few days that I feel like I need to catch up on some sleep! Keep it real, REAL OSOM! And I will catch you on the flipside, hopefully to spill a little more info about Chicago!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

No guilt in pleasure

One of my semi-secret semi-guilty completely amazing pleasures is trashy tv. But not just any trashy tv show, no no, I have standards. These standards are low, I admit, but they do exist. I may scrape the bottom of the barrel, but my barrel is still above scraping the bottom of the well.

As such, I confess that now, while in the midst of the summer/fall transition, I am almost too excited to think. However, I am more than capable to reflect and reveal this vice, and then when everyone realizes how RIGHT and how exciting this is, we can get together to talk about it. Much like a book club minus all the pretentiousness.

VH1 and MTV are amazing. Like manna from heaven. Like an extra peanut in the shell. Like or gofugyourself. The possibilities are endless! The less than classy dating shows, especially the spawn of spurned suitors and pissed off paramours, offer a variety of entertainment options:

1) the spectacle. Give the people what they want, and the people (me) want to see conflict, smacktalk and ESPECIALLY scandal. This could be because this is all thankfully lacking from my life, so it is a legitimate escape to see what I don't have and to live vicariously through more interesting, although less desireable, scenarios.

2) the superiority/at least that's not me. Granted, this is related to the spectacle, but on a more individualized level. It is easily understood that I am more than pleased to not be making a fool of myself on national tv (viewer number unknown) or looking uggo. So, while I may not be gorgeous or brilliant, at least I am doing better than these fools! Plus, no one but the people around me can fall victim to my short-of gorgeous or genius moments. Furthermore, this is FUNNY. Where else could I hear such gems as "this is Daisy of love not Daisy of kill" or "your credit has been declined" or "will you continue to rock my world?". Classy.

3) predictability/lack thereof. This is a tricky category. On the one hand, everyone knows that the producers play a certain role in the selection/elimination process: if they are stirring up drama, they are staying. But if they stir up too much drama and are instigating violence, they leave. (Look how much they appreciate my anti-violence/pacificism! Violence does not fly, even trashy reality shows are hip to that! An actual point for legitimacy, but that's all they need, we aren't expecting the next Friends or anything.) Being sexy is a plus, being slutty or manwhore-y is treading dangerous ground. You can't become too friendly with your competitors, but if you isolate yourself you have no allies. This genre makes dating strategic. It's brilliant if you can get past the superficiality of the whole thing. Unfortunately, the final episodes are always NOT what I would do. I feel like this is because I usually judge people well, and theses people do not. This goes back to the superiority thing and how I feel like I should be a consultant. Not only would the world be better off, but their summer relationships might make it to the fall!

So there you have it. After I have graduated, these have been the most intellectual paragraphs I have written (not counting editing essays), and I have made it an homage to trashy reality dating shows. Oh well, at least my degree(s) grant(s) me a little credibility.

Next up, summer adventures: continued!
Keep it osom, classy, and off-camera.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Tonight I will take my yoga final. When I first found out about it, I was determined to fail it on principle. And mostly by my lack of attendance. However, I then was told that it was planned to be at the end of a normal yoga class.

So as a change of plans, I will still go take a test I find useless, but at least enjoy an hour and a half of yoga. This is kind of bittersweet: I have ALWAYS wanted to fail a class. I know this seems like a bizarre goal, but I've only failed tests and homework, never an entire class. It would be kind of like an accomplishment. PLUS it would be a good, take THAT, academia! after all the years I have abided by the rules of the system. This further ties into my secret goal of being a farmer who gets paid to grow nothing. How osom is that! You just hang out and are paid to make sure you do nothing! I see no downsides.

I did, however, purposefully not look at the page where all the answers are as my very minute protest against having a final. In the summer. For a yoga class. At JCCC. I know, tell me you wouldn't do the same.

Okie dokie, off to a lovely yoga class with a completely pointless final exam. Wish me luck! Haha!

EDIT: While some people had NOTECARDS to study before the exam, I think I only missed one question. As if I didn't value this exam enough, I don't even care to figure out how to check my grade.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Chicago, Chicago, that toddlin' town

OK! So here is the much anticipated post about Chicago. Forgive the formatting.
In pictures, this is going to be a better story than even I, Ms. Hyperbole, could develop to explain our adventures in the Windy City.

So, VKT and I are heading off to Chicago so I can submit the paperwork to get a Visa for Spain. Two thumbs up for traveling to other countries with the correct documentation. Anyway, since we are po' folk, we opt to go to Chicago via bus rather than fly or pay for the gas to drive 8 hours. This is such a brill setup! We go to the bus stop at 8:00 pm, roll out around 9:00 pm and the next morning at 7:00 am we are all of a sudden in Chicago!

To clarify, 'all of a sudden' would be so nice. However, this voyage went a little more like this: start off excited and antsy! Try to sleep for the few hours before the first stop. Freeze to death. Wake up in Columbia for a potty break. Get yelled at for going up the wrong stairs in the bus. Stop in St. Louis to pick up more passengers (thank goodness, the 8 of us didn't take up much space on the bus, but luckily I got to stretch out a bit [however useless it was]). Have some jerks sit RIGHT BEHIND US despite THE ENTIRE BUS BEING PRACTICALLY EMPTY and them kneeing my seats. Freeze to death a little more. Wake up in Illinois!

Mk, so, after waking up in Chicago we prioritize our needs, find a baño and then a little cafe for breakfast. Using Val's totally bomb GPS, we manage to not find any of the restaurants that showed up on the map.

But we do have a bite to eat before going to a fancypants hotel to change clothes for my meeting with the Consulate.

In a grand total of two minutes, I had submitted all my paperwork and been told how to proceed to pick up the actual Visa. You read that right, after a ten hour bus ride, a few hours looking for a place to eat and change our clothes, the purpose of the entire trip was over in two minutes. Epic.

So, after that, the second most important part of the trip: The Shedd Aquarium! Because we were there so ridiculously early (showing up early for the meeting and not taking as long as planned definitely helped), we basically zoomed right through. And among the displays, we caught up on what was needed most:

Being protective of imaginary young.
And general goofing off with a photo safari.
And look at these losers who had to wait OUTSIDE while we were busy watching dolphins, sharks, motivating children to participate in the activities (if we don't start wearing penguin suits, who will?) and pretending to read the displays! Ha!
After the aquarium, we went to Millennium Park to look at the interesting structures, like the bean, the faces, the amphitheater, etc.

And after hearing some distant music, Val and I venture beyond the lawn to find... The Taste of Chicago! This is huge! What are the odds that the less than 24 hours we were to be in Chicago we would be able to go to this festival!
After that, we wandered around a little bit, ate some ice cream, Chicago style pizza, a midori marg, walking around the 'miracle/magnificent mile' and general picture taking.
A piece of John Brown's cabin from good ol' KS.

The L.
Well, that was about it! We fit about three days of activities into one! And we ate and drank lots, too! We hit up a tapas restaurant before peacing out and enjoyed some white wine sangria, croquetas, potatas bravas and more white wine sangria. We are osom. All that was left to do was be at the bus station before 11:55 pm to drive another few hours before arriving back in KC. Victory!

So that was pretty much the haps for Chicago. Very exciting! And a new experience for me, can't complain there! Okie dokie, good reading, see you next time! Keep it osom!