Wednesday, July 8, 2009


On the way to seville we stopped at Cordoba, where the visited the mosque which is now a cathedral but still called the mosque in spanish. While in Seville we also visited the cathedral there. Then during siesta i would work on some of my photography work then chill at the pool. While there i got electricuted by the lamp in this hotel that was a 4 star hotel btw. After Seville we went to Cadiz. The day we were going there i just happened to become sick, my luck got even better.  So for the last days of the trip i was not feeling even close to 100%. Most of the time while in Cadiz we went to the beach and tanned and did nothing else besides working on the photo assignment and working on our book. Then we went to the airport to leave at 3:00 am to get to our 1st flight then when we got off of that flight we were rushing to get to our next flight since we were not given a lot of time. We get out of plane to have a person holding up a Houston sign. People that worked at the airport escorted us the entire way to get to our next flight to make sure we got there on time it was great. That is it i hope you enjoyed my  blog sorry that i was so vague about the last part of the trip. 

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sooooo, a couple of days ago we went to a bull/cow ranch/farm to watch them test some cows those are the females bc they are not trained to fight. So they treat them like bulls to test there natural aggression and anger towards them and out of the 5 tested on is chosen to be breed, the one that is the most aggressive, the rest are killed and sell there meat, and ect. It was  alot of fun tho, hanna got to go into the ring i was so jealous! One of the bull fighters there was this SUPER famous one who is 1 really hot and 2 the best bull fighter in SPAIN and we got to be there with him and had no idea till we left and the guy that owned the ranch told us. 
The next day we went to a horse ranch kinda thing but it was called an aquestrian club, so it is like our country club but with out a golf course it has horses and practice rings and stuff. I found this one horse who looked a little older since she had a lot of grey hairs but she was so beautiful and sweet i pet her for like 20 mins. Then i went to the back area to take pics of a class and i was kinda hanging onto the fence barley hanging on trying to get a good pic and the teacher let me go into the ring to get picture it was really fun. This little boy that was in the class found me later and wanted to see the pictures i took of him and so i showed it to him. Then his mother gave me her email so i could email the pictures to them, i felt professional. 
Today we went on a hike and let me tell you it was an adventure. So about 5 of us are normally at the front bc we walk faster then the rest and dont dittle dattle well we were trying to find the strating point we lost over half of our group and dont know how at all, we waited for like 20 mins for them wondering how the heck they got lost, then davan the ng leader that was with the 5 of us went off for 30 mins walking around this TINY mountain town to find them and came back and couldnt. So then we walked around the town for like an hour got all the way to the top to look over it and couldnt find them still so we just went off on our own to do our own hike. It was a lot of fun, i enjoyed doing it in a smaller group tho. We found this large stream and got to go swimming in it kinda it was super cold so we would just "submerge" - Davan our selves into the water or just stand in it since it was really cold. Going to the water it was a down hill hike then when we had to go back up OMG it was so steep it was so hard, my goal was to have legs like Stephany Roberts and that is going to happen bc of this trip. Then we came back i was so tired i slept for 3 hrs. We had lots of pasta, salad, cheese, fruits, and bread for dinner that our teacher cooked for us to eat at our hostal. It was really good then we went back over to the alumbra but not exactly to it, we went to this tiny square again to take picture at blue hour (not an hour long just like 15 mins long, which is the time period b4 the sky is too dark and if you adjust your iso, f-stop, and shutter speed just right then when you take the picture your sky looks a deep royal blue it is beautiful. The pics will not upload on my blog so i will just have to show yall when i get back. 
Then tomorrow we have a free day! just in the morning tho to rest and shop and what not, haha. O yeah i forgot to day yesterday the day we say the horses, that night we got to go to these arab baths and there was tea a sawna warm and cold baths and we all got massages it was WONDERFUL, i just thought i would throw that tid bit of info in there okay in going to bet it is 12 our time now. I will hopefully see yall soon,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Granada so far

So from Madrid we took a train to Granada, which was about 4.5 hours. We had to wake up so early because this one group of girls would be so late down every day. But it was okay i didn't sleep on the train ride and just read my second book most of the time and looked at the beautiful landscapes out the window. Out hotel is soooo NICE compared to our last hotel. I mean our last hotel wasn't bad it just wasn't what i was expected from national geographic, but they got it i think more bc of its location in like the middle of the city of madrid then the niceness of it. Any ways this one in Granada is so cute. I am in one of the largest and nicest rooms with 3 other girls; Lierin, Merritt, and Eve. SOOO sorry if i spelt your names wrong i have dyslexia (a super hard word to say and spell give to people that cant do both, that makes since).
Any ways Granada is so beautiful, i love it. We have been a lot more relaxed while we have been here then Madrid, but it is because that is also the atmosphere of the city as well. When we got to Granada we went to go eat lunch and had MEXICAN FOOD, it wasn't tex mex but it was still good and smelt like home haha. Then we just relaxed the rest of the day since we were tired from just going going going all the time. We later met Tino our National Geographic Photography teacher, who is super cool and works really well with us, he doesn't speak english super well so it can be funny and cute when he says something wrong or doesn't know how to say something. 
The next day in the morning split into photography groups to work in a smaller group to get around better and learn more about specific subjects. The groups were people, abstract, and architecture- which i was in. It was a lot of fun and i got some good pics. we only did thins for 30 mins. Then we met back up together and walked around the city for a long time going up this really tall hill. When we reached the top there was this really small church and really small kinda plaza deck thing that looked out to Alcupacabra and almost the entire city of Granada, it was beautiful. Then Tino was tired and he and megan had to go to a meeting a 1:00 and had like 2 mins to be there, so we took the bus down. It was so much fun a bunch of us were just squished in the back standing/handicapped wheel chair people are suppose to be and had a good time. We came back to the hotel go to go off into small groups and eat what ever we wanted within a budget of coarse haha and it was really good i had this chicken dish with potatoes and a salad. Then had a siesta - love those!!! Then we went back up to the hill to take the picture but later in the day to see the changes in the lighting. While coming down we found this middle easter reastraunt that we eat at, i had home made hummus (YUMMM IT WAS SO GOOD) and chicken telkfjaks i cant remember the name only that it started with a T but it was good food. Then we got to the hotel late and had to have a lesson with Tino on photography. We didnt get ot bed until like 2 30 because of shower email blog excetra..... 
Then the yesterday we got to go to this kind of science museum kinda sorta. It was really cool, i got really excited since im like a science nerd but we didn't get to do a lot of the things i wanted to. But we got some cool pics while we were there. First we got to go to the outside park they had with a bunch of cool things and mind testing games, i dominated at the one i played i must say. Then we watched this video in like this dome thing so it looks all 3-d kinda and cool about this history of the moon, too bad the entire thing was in spanish and besides our leader, not our teachers, only like 3 people in our group can speak spanish well. So most of us fell asleep, it was just so soothing with the stary space soft kinda jazzy music and the guys very mellow calm voice, it okay tho bc even our leader fell asleep for a little while it was really funny. after that we went to go watch this birds of prey thing, still all in spanish, i had no idea what they were saying but they had all of these birds and would show us how they flew  and it was cool and got a couple good pics. My camera over heated during it and stopped working for like 15 mins. After that tho we got to go pick an exhibit to go to out of three. I went to the human body one, i got some TIGHT pics in there too, Tino went in that one and so did megan, leader and avery also. I did accidently go around this corner and say part of a child birth, it was grows, im so adopting kids mom i am not letting that happen to my body, and you are not changing my mind haha. Then we eat lunch because it was like 230 and we were STARVING and had one more long exhibit to see on the history of the muslim rule over spain and the science they used and developed. The food was so good, i would have never expected a museum to have such good food for such o low price. I have to say that they have really good deals here in spain we had bread a drink an appitizer meal and desert for lunch for i think 9 euros each i could be wrong. But it was AMAZING!!!! i had this pasta that was a mix between spagetti and lasania, i know Lucas can probably spell better then me i dont care that is why they have spell check on Word, i am super tired and this is my siesta so i really want to sleep so i am not going to sorry. That is my normal laziness kicken' in. Anyways we had an ealy night last night since we had a hard day. We didnt get back till almost 5 so we had siesta till 8 and had dinner on our own like we did for lunch the day before and then came back at 930 and had another lesson with Tino. 
Today so far we had a lesson with tino for like 5 hours in the morning talking to use about photography and him looking at our pictures and telling us how to make them better. Then we had lunch at this nice restraunt it was GREAT i had a salad with some fried fish and FLAN! omg it was soooooo gooooooood i wanted to lick the plate, but i decided not to since we are already labeled are messy americans or whatever, and to not make a fool out of myself in front of everyone. then later tonight we are going to take tripod pics and then watch the first half of the soccer game then go to Alchupacopra, idk how to spell it. I will put pics up when i get back my friend told me the secret on making the pics the right size so they dont take long to upload on the blog, like mine. 
Talk to yall soon

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Toledo - one day trip

Toledo is the original capital of Spain and we went there yesterday for the day, which we rode a bus too. The city is TINY, it is so petite with so much personality and sponk with it. I LOVED it and it is a very religious city also with very mixed religious history and arcitecture which made it even more interesting since my theme for my portfolio is spirtuality. After we visited a couple of places in the town we were allowed to go off in small groups and do what ever we wanted which was fun. Clark, Brandon, Avery and I got some ice cream and sat for a little bit becasue the story ppl wouldnt let us in. Anyways then we went and looked at the knifes, swords, and guns they had made bc they are known for there metal work there. This is the city that made all of the swords and metal stuff for lord of the rings and many other movies by the way.  The store ppl were kinda rude to us also, but i bought a cute little bangle bracelet at this one store for 4 euros which was a good deal. But before all of that we got to look at the HUGE cathedral but it was closed so we couldnt go inside so we went to a smaller one that had a famous painting in it by some painter i can't remember his name at the moment but it was really beautiful. Then we visited an old sinagog idk how to spell to save my life its like a jewish temple, that was also cool. We went to this AMAZING place for lunch it was sooo good. The way they eat here is very different they one stay up late and dont get going until like 9 or 10 in the morning which makes since, but have like no breakfast a HUGE lunch at like 2 then a small dinner at like 9 to 10. Then the smaller cities like are deserted during siesta time i took a long one today. We got back to our hotel around 9 30 and called it a day becasue we came to Granada today. We took a train that was about 4 hours i think i read again bc i couldnt sleep but no one really did besides avery who can sleep on any type of transportation vehicle. But it is a really cue city and they have MEXICAN FOOD, it wasn't like tex mex tho it was different but it was still good. then we came back and had a siesta a really good one i think i slept for 3 hrs. then we had pizza here at the hotel and showed tino (the national geo photographer) who came in today and we showed him are pictures and he asked us about them and some other stuff he is really sweet and has a really great personality to be with kids our age. well it is super late here and i need to wake up so i will try and put some pics up today this is my first day to have internet on my computer please forgive me for not being able to inform yall sooner about the trip. tell you more later.

Friday, June 19, 2009


So we flew here and the plane ride so was so SCARY! at first we had so much turbulance my stomach was bouncing up and down, so i took an anxiety pill and fell asleep in like 15 minutes and told ellen to wake me up when it was dinner. They started walking by with dinners 30 mins later so she woke me up but it took them like an hour to get us our food bc we were sitting in the VERY BACK of the plane! any ways i couldnt go back to sleep the entire plane ride and neither could ellen bc we had so much turbulance the entire time, i even took another pill even tho it was probably not good for me bc it was so bad and still couldn´t sleep. BTW im really sry this blog is so late we dont have enternet at our hotel here in Madrid. Anyways i read like the entire plane ride finishing my book. Then we arrived in Paris, and got to see the Ifel( or how ever you spell it) Tower form the plane which was cool. I got to speak French to the ppl at the airport to order food for my friends which was fun i had a little conversation with one of the guys. Then we all passed out form complete exhustion on our second flight to madrid. Then we got our stuff met Megan and Davan our National Geographic leaders (not photographers) and took a bus to our hotel. One problem, there was so much construction our bus couldnt take us all the way the hotel. It was not that far down tho so we rolled carried our luggage to the hotel , which is okay, def not what i was expecting at all but its okay we stay in like a 4 star hotel at one point. So then we rested for a little while then when out to take pics and look at the city for half a day. Madrid is a really interesting city but on our first day we lost connor, well more like he lost us, and took us an hour to find him. He went to a store to use the bathroom with out telling anyone.

Then we went to a square and had a drink and took pics it was really cool day. I got to have really cool dinner Real Sanish food, they are obsessed with hap btw but it is like really lean like no fat it is really good. Then we went back to the hotel and crashed i think i cant remember exactly. The days are merging.

Yesterday we got to have a real spainsh breakfast which is like coffee and maybe a roll. Not much but im not a breakfast person so i like it, i have hot milk with chocolate and a roll it is really good. then we went to a park to have orrientration to get to know the National Geo leaders better which was a lot of fun. And took pics while we were there. Then for lunch i had Indian food which was really good, all the food i have had its great. Any ways after lunch we went to a museum which was realy cool they had a bunch of picasso and a new photography exhibit. or was that the day before i cant remember. o yeah it was

Then after that we learned how to take panning pictures which was fun i got some good ones. we didnt get to have dinner till 11 which was annoying but we got pizza whicxh was really good.

Today we went to a more traditional art museum which was really good. then we broke up into groups and went to lunch we had pealla. Then went to visit the roayl palace and now i am here GTG love yal inform you more when in Grananda!

p.s. sorry if this doesn't make much since the computer here is really bad and the key board is falling apart and the backspace key would erase like half of what i would write. so sorry if you dont understand something and it didn;t post so i am just now posting it a day later bc of the stupid internet cafe was terrible ugh well i am in granada now and it is WONDERFUL!!! il write more in another post. 
Love you all 

Monday, June 15, 2009


June 16: Fly from Houston Intercontinental Airport, on Air France #33 to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris. Connecting to Air France flight #1400 to Madrid. 

June 17-21:  Hostal Nuria, Madrid      C/ Fuencarral, 52      29004 Madrid, Spain

We will be visiting the city's lively neighborhoods and examine museums [Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofia, and Casa Sorolla]. We will have a picnic lunch in the Parque del Buen Retiro, and take a row boat ride on the lake for the views of the grand monuments and parklands. 

June 21-1: Hostal Costa Azul, Granada      C/ Rosarie, 5      18001 Granada, Spain

We will take a 5 hour train ride to Ganada. In Granada we will explore the Andalusian city and the countryside surrounding it. We will visit the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in the renaissance cathedral. We will take back roads to Alhambra and visit the Generalife gardens, also visiting Cordoba, Ubeda, Sierra Nevada and hamlets of Alpujarra. [this is when National Geographic expert Tino Soriano will join us].

June 1-4: Hotel Fernando III, Sevilla     C/ San Jose, 21     41004 Sevilla

Here we will visit the old Jewish quarter of Barrio de Santa Cruz, historical sites like the cathedral, Giralda tower, and Alcazar.  We will also visit the Parque da Maria Luisa and the ancient Roman city of Italica

July 4- 6: Hotel Monte Puertatierra, Cadiz     Avda, de Andalucia, 34     E-11008 Cadiz, Spain

Here we will get to rest and relax on the beach. Also exploring the maritime history of the city. 

July 6: Fly Malaga to Paris to Houston in Air France flight #2631 and connecting to flight #36. Arrive back in Houston my 1:55 p.m. 

What I will be doing

The Expedition:

From Madrid to Sevilla, Spain is graced with elaborate cathedrals, palaces, and hilltop fortresses—grand monuments from a captivating past. Spain also pulses with youthful passion and spirit, evident in lively flamenco halls and bustling city plazas. Powerful empires have left their mark here, including the ancient Romans and the Moors of North Africa. Experience the artistry of the Moors, the music of the Gypsy culture, the historical legacy of the Spanish Empire, and the flavors of the Mediterranean as you explore Spain through an On Assignment project of your choice—Photography, People & Cultures, or Filmmaking.

5 days. With its spacious parks, grand architecture, and vibrant street life, Madrid is one of Europe's great cities. During a comprehensive orientation, get acquainted as a group and begin to work together in your On Assignment teams. Set out to discover some of Madrid's lively neighborhoods, from the hip and elegant Lavapiés to the open-air cafés of the Plaza Mayor and the jazz clubs of Plaza de Santa Ana. Examine the works of the masters at museums such as the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, Reina Sofía, and Casa Sorolla. Stroll through the ornate halls of the Palacio Real, still used by King Juan Carlos I for ceremonial events. Meet for a picnic in the Parque del Buen Retiro, and a take a rowboat out on the lake past beautiful rolling parklands.

10 days. Travel by rail to Granada. The city was the seat of Islamic Spain until the Moors were expelled by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1492. Traces of the Moors' long presence can be found in the meandering alleyways of the Albaicín neighborhood, the lacy arcades of the Alhambra's courtyards, and the city's Arab baths and tea nooks. With its underlying Gypsy, orgitano, culture; its flamenco caves; and its free-tapas establishments, Granada is one of the liveliest of the Andalusian cities.

Spend ten days exploring Granada and the surrounding countryside with your team—film, shoot photos, or practice Spanish with locals. In the ornate Renaissance cathedral, see the tombs of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Take the back road up to the Alhambra, and visit the gravity-powered fountains of the Generalife gardens. Catch a train to Córdoba, and venture into a maze of striped archways at the Mezquita—a mosque so vast that an entire Christian cathedral is nestled within it. Visit the lesser known town of Úbeda, whose miraculously preserved Renaissance mansions have earned it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Ascend into the snowcapped Sierra Nevada, Spain's highest mountain range, and hike to the whitewashed hamlets of Las Alpujarras. Tucked into orchard-covered hillsides, these villages remain largely unchanged since they were established by Moors fleeing the Spanish reconquest in the late 15th century.

6 days. Travel through western Andalusia to Sevilla, an important military center in Roman times. Sevilla served as the entrepôt for much of the silver and gold pillaged from the Americas at the height of the Spanish Empire. Wander the lively streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz (the old Jewish quarter), and discover hidden plazas. With your On Assignment groups, explore the cathedral, the Giralda tower, and the Alcázar—impressive monuments to God and royalty that were funded by spoils from the New World. Hike among the striking rock formations in the rugged mountains of Andalusia, and travel to remote hilltop towns such as Ronda and Arcos de la Frontera. Our program ends on the historic Costa de la Luz. Discover the vibrant seaside city of Cádiz, stroll along the beach, and bathe in the refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. We'll cap off our Spanish adventure with presentations of our On Assignment projects before traveling to Málaga for the flight home.