If you couldn't tell from the title, today I did a lot of walking! I slept in until 11:00 this morning, which was crazy. I haven't slept in that late in a looong time, but I needed it after my no-sleep night. I got up and had breakfast with coffee. I was a little nervous about the coffee, thinking it might be SUPER strong here, but I had it with milk and sugar and it was just perfect :) After that, Nuría and Marta were going to church for first communion of their niece/cousin. The church they went to is near the main part, or centro, of the city, and so while they were at church, I walked around the town center and the walls! It was so absolutely gorgeous and the weather was perfect. I took TONS of pictures and uploaded a few to Facebook. I have been extremely photo happy so far, but I am trying to spare you all by only uploading a few of my favorite pictures. The weather today was very warm and sunny. One thing that is interesting here though is that when the sun is really bright/hot, they don't put on short-sleeved shirts or tanktops. They wear longsleeves to block the sun! It's an interesting concept, but I will get way to hot! Last night when Kelli and I were walking around with t-shirts on, our families could not believe we weren't cold. But we haven't experienced anything warmer than about 70 so this "summer" here feel so amazing!
As I was walking around the city by myself, I came across Allison, a girl from EMU and her host dad! It was so weird. Her Dad recognized me from the family pick-ups yesterday and caught my attention. It was nice to walk around with them for a while and we took a few pictures together. She is the only student in our program who lives anywhere near me (that I know of), so it's nice that I met her today and will be able to walk to/from school with her. My walk to school is about 30 minutes, all the way across town. A few of the other students live like 3 minutes from the school. It's so unfair. Haha. But when it's nice out, the walk will be pleasant. Allison and Al were going to the church after my family was, so I met up with my family and we explored a bit more. While we were walking around, I was able to meet a couple of my profesoras, including my dance teacher and one of the high-level Spanish teachers. She told me my Spanish skills are very good because she was talking very quickly and I could understand her and respond, but we will see how my skills are on our tests tomorrow! We came back from the city and had lunch. Nuría made lasagna and it was super good. We ate out on the patio in the sunshine and it was sooo wonderful. Felt like summer :) After lunch Marta brought her turtles outside to clean their cage and we played with them for a while. She has two turtles, Lolo and Lola and they are so cute and fun. I never imagined playing with a turtle would be very entertaining, but it actually was! They are very little. One has a shell the diameter of a golf ball, and the other has a diameter of a baseball. They are super nice and I could hold them and pet their heads and they totally are chill about it. It was fun to play with her for a little bit because Marta has been pretty timid around me so far, but now she is more vocal and will talk to me and ask me things. She explained how to work the TV to me today, so that's nice to know. Then it was time for Marta to study. She has a social studies test tomorrow and needed to practice her English for her academia. In Spain, the students are required to study with their Dads, so Jesús was helping her and I was listening in. She was being quizzed on different Spanish leyendas (legends), and that was kind of interesting. It was really fun to help her with English. Haha. I feel like it makes me understand the language a bit better, and having to explain an English phrase in Spanish is quite the task.
A little later in the day, I decided I wanted to explore down a path that runs right past our house. We live on the very edge of Ávila and there's a neat path and on my map there's water near it. I walked down it for a ways and it was so wonderful! Nuría joined me for a little bit, but then had to go back home to watch Marta. She explained that that part of Ávila is the country, more rural area. And it totally was. I saw pastures of sheep (with the most ADORABLE baby lambs), cows, and horses. There were very few houses and as I got farther out, the path runs along a beautiful river. Many people were fishing or splashing along the edge. I walked for over an hour and it was really nice.
After that, we ate some sandwiches and then Nuría walked me to my school and back so that I sort of know where I'm going tomorrow. Ha. Then we came back, I watched a Spanish game-show on TV, ate dinner, and now I just showered and am going to head to bed. My first day of classes tomorrow! I forgot to mention this yesterday, but the towel I have for my shower is like a giant sham-wow. Haha. It is a really weird feeling, but it does wonders for drying my hair.
Here's one picture of the river. The quality pictures my camera has been taking is mind-blowing.