Day 20: May 31st

This morning we all packed our suitcases one final time and enjoyed our last breakfast in Almería.  My roommate and I were sad to say goodbye to our tempurpedic pillows, but more excited to meet our new home stay families in Alicante.  A lot of us spent the beginning of the bus ride quizzing each other on various aspects of the culture in preparation for our exam on Monday.  Others slept or listened to music.  We drove through the mountains and by the Mediterranean Sea, the perfect backdrop for a road trip.  We made great time and arrived in Alicante twenty minutes early.  It was raining so we all huddled together in our blatantly American rain jackets with our suitcases.  Our brightly colored jackets stuck out against the typical European blacks and browns.

The anticipation of meeting your homestay family is a feeling that is hard to describe.  You are both excited and nervous, hoping that you will make a good impression.  My roommate and I anxiously waited for our names to be called.  We really had nothing to worry about. Our new Madre greeted us with the traditional kiss on the cheek and immediately put us at ease.  Alicante is a lot smaller than Madrid so we were able to walk back to our apartment.  Once we got there we were given a tour of the apartment and had lunch with our family.  My roommate and I were lucky and were served paella for lunch—a traditional Spanish dish with rice and seafood.  We spoke a lot of English this past week so it was great to get back into speaking Spanish.

After a much-needed nap a group of us met up to explore the city.  We stopped at a little café with cupcakes and coffee for a quick break and then made our way to the beach.  Alicante is right on the Mediterranean Sea and surrounded by mountains.  Although it was cloudy, the beach was absolutely beautiful.  We even saw two couples taking their wedding pictures!  All in all it was a successful day of travel and exploration.  We are looking forward to spending our last week in beautiful Alicante!

Meredith Hamilton


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