April 28, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Travels in Spain

While my mom was here, I was fortunate enough to return to one of my favorite places in Spain – Toledo. I traveled there for the first time when I first visited Spain. I had taken a day trip out there by myself and it truly was the highlight of that first trip. It’s a hilly compact city with a maze of charming miniature alleys and streets. A “must see” if you’re visiting Spain!

During our weekend itinerary we were also able to see an insanely amazing flamenco show at a restaurant in Madrid. I had only seen flamenco once before, and this time it just blew my socks off. I am trying to figure out how to upload the video my mom took to my site…so stay tuned. It’s virtually impossible to articulate how impressive it was!

We also took a trip up north to Segovia and La Granja, both places I’ve visited in the past. Segovia has an amazing Roman aqueduct that made me feel like I was right back in Rome. The city also has a gorgeous cathedral and an Alcazar (castle) that was an inspiration for the Disney castle. In La Granja we went to the palace and showed my mom the gardens famous for having over 100 fountains.

I certainly can’t complain about the opportunity to visit these places multiple times! Many thanks to Jacob for being the best tour guide and host ever – he gladly visits these places time and time again with the enthusiasm of someone seeing them for the first time!

Unfortunately, my mom has left now, so now it’s time to start getting settled….well, sort of. Next stop – Almeria, a city in southern Spain, later this week. It will be a nice beach vacation :-). I think I can get used to this!

April 25, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Travels in Europe

Gosh, it’s been a crazy couple of weeks! I arrived in Spain last Sunday and headed out for Rome early Tuesday morning. If I was looking for relaxation, I certainly wasn’t going to find it in Rome.

My mom and I arrived in Rome early Tuesday morning and quickly started to hit up the various tourist spots. On the first day we visited the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, the Spanish Steps and everywhere else in between. It was a little bit rainy so it definitely took some dedication. For dinner that night we went to a delicious restaurant, Nino’s (which came highly recommended by The Scribner Family), where we enjoyed our fair share of pasta and some delicious tiramisu.

The second day we headed to the south part of the city to visit Ancient Rome – the Imperial Forums, the Roman Forums, the Coliseum, Arch of Constantine, Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza del Campidoglio.

Finally, on our third and last day, we hopped on the metro to Vatican City and took a guided tour of the Vatican Museum (the Sistine Chapel) and St. Peter’s Basilica. On our way back to the hotel we saw Castel Sant’ Angelo, walked along a tree-lined street along the Tiber River and then visited Piazza del Popolo for a final glass of wine before heading to the airport.

Rome in three days is not for the lazy that’s for sure. I look forward to going back and spending a little bit more time at each place as it seems like we just barely skimmed the surface. The highlight was definitely the Imperial Forums – I have never seen anything so impressive and utterly mind blowing. It is hard to believe that the ruins have survived for 2,000+ plus years. Makes everything in the world today seem a little bit small and unimportant in the scheme of things!

Tomorrow we will be taking my mom to the charming town of Toledo, just south of Madrid. More to come….

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April 15, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Uncategorized

Well, if you are reading this, then you were probably there because I think pretty much everyone came to the party! It made me feel so special and grateful to have so many wonderful people there to wish me bon voyage – from my elementary school friends to those from high school and college, to my co-workers (who’ve truly been like family), my mother’s friends whom have watched me grow up, and especially my family who came from near and far. And the sweet little ones that came! My darling niece and nephew Marley and Donovan, as well as precious little Anna and Nigel! It was such an amazing time.

Mara and Ben went all out with the preparations, absolutely blowing me away with amazing food and a dessert bar that will not soon be forgotten (I think I might still be full from the several cupcakes).

My mom threw a fantastic party and it couldn’t have been a more perfect day to enjoy the weather with a glass of wine (ok, many glasses of wine). A big thank you to her and to everyone for coming and making me feel so special. It certainly isn’t easy to go, but I know I will see everyone very soon – if not in the Bay Area, then in Spain!

April 8, 2008 - Posted by Erin in Uncategorized

A week left in San Francisco. A week left of having my own Victorian apartment, painted by me, decorated by me, furnished by me, and wow, really loved by me. A week left of driving my own car, or driving at all for that matter. A week left of doing the job I’ve loved for the last four years. A week left of English. A week left of the Bay Area and all the things I love about it – the food, the people, the weather, the water, the list goes on. A week left of having my friends, family and puppy close by.

This isn’t excruciating at all, is it?

I have to remind myself that I’m about to begin the adventure of a lifetime. Actually, I suppose the adventure has already begun – meeting a random Spaniard in a Madrid bar while on a chance three-day trip to Spain, talking to him for only 15 minutes, barely remembering the guy, and then forming a relationship purely over email and just hoping that he wasn’t a total creep. That first trip to Spain three months after we met was a huge gamble, and surely my biggest adventure to date. And the best gamble that I ever made.

Now I’m taking another gamble, moving my life a continent away to give a shot at love. So cheesy, but I guess these things really do happen in reality.

A week until Madrid. A week until my world won’t revolve around a nine-hour time difference. A week until endless supplies of jamón and tortilla española are at my fingertips. A week until I cram my life into someone else’s small apartment. A week until I get to be with the guy that I love. A week until the real adventure begins!