Classes Begin!

Trip Start Jan 21, 2010
Trip End Apr 20, 2010

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Where I stayed
Kasteel Well

Flag of Netherlands  , Limburg,
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Yesterday between classes, I took a walk around the grounds. (It beat the hell of out Frankie Carter Park, I can certainly tell you that.) A few inches of snow had fallen the night before, wrapping the castle in a thick fluffy white. I walked alone along the castle's perimeter, and heard little wings flapping in the trees, and watched the snow shake from branches and tumble to the ground. So many tiny sounds. I think I’ll miss that when I leave.

           Classes started yesterday at 12:30 for me, but it’s impossible to sleep in around here. Every step you take makes the floors groan, and the walls are so thin, I can hear people’s alarm clocks buzzing four rooms down. I don’t mind it, strangely. It’s kind of impossible to destroy the peacefulness of this place. I haven’t watched TV since I left, as the only one here is in another building and really not worth it anyway. Instead we keep ourselves entertained with the instruments in the Lounge, singing songs, reading, walking, learning Dutch, and of course, the ye old pub. I’ve actually only been there once, unlike a few others...but apparently Wednesdays are "American Night", and I’m American, so...

            I go to the same classroom for every class, and I have mostly the same people in each one. This may seem mundane, but it’s something I’ve never EVER experienced, growing up in Pearland with a 5A high school. Small communities allow people to grow closer so much faster. The classes seem great, but it’s hard to tell how they’ll pan out. One of my American teachers describes herself as “an angry feminist”. I kept a tally of how many references she made to feminism as we were discussing The Odyssey. Sixteen! And none of them related to the book.

I’m already overloaded with homework and reading, so, looks like I’ll be catching up with homework on the train!

            Speaking of trains, my roommates and I just finished booking our first weekend trip, to take place the weekend after our required Amsterdam trip. We’ll be hitting three cities in three days– Bruges, Brussels, then Antwerp. Booking these trains was an absolute nightmare, and certainly an experience I’d caution all to avoid. If you’re ever doing what I’m doing– one city per weekend, I implore you. Ticket booking sights are very temperamental and each of us took our turn having a heart attack when our payments wouldn’t go through. We ended up staying awake until 2AM booking hostels and train tickets.

::EDIT:: I should add that I'm TOTALLY excited about this!!!

            Yesterday we also booked our tickets to Venice for the weekend of Valentines Day. This means we’ll be in Venice for Carnival! Casanova was in Venice for Carnival. Though I think he had a different agenda.

            Expect another entry after Amsterdam.
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Mom on

This is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. I can feel the peace flow through the photos. wow how awesome.

Prina and Ruby on

It looks like a winter wonderland movie set to me. Ruby says it looks "frio" (cold, for those that don't speak Spanglish.) When you are in Belgium, (as the global debate rages on where the best chocolate in the world comes from) Belgium/Switzerland/blah blah, you can get totally into Sedaris mode and ask like a loud American, "where is the MF candy!!" or not. Not would be better. I think I'm just still giggled-up by the Sedaris reference in your bio. Too funny. You are more facinating to follow by the day! How many people get to spend Valentine's Day in Venice? OMGoodness, just dying over here in MX with excitement for you. Please don't get busted in Amsterdam and get sent home because that would really mess up my entire..."my cousin is living in a castle and zipping around Europe by rail, isn't that a delightful way to spend a semester?.." conversation starter. The pics are lovely, writing is engaging, will be excited to find out all about your next stop. Pretend you are a rock star, ( you sort of are one to all of us) and get out there ON TOUR!!
Prina and Ruby

Chelsea Williams on

Missing you! Love reading your posts. I'm glad you're having a great time. =)

Sandy and Joe on

Wow! Thank you so much for starting this blog and taking pictures. We love to see and hear about it all. We love you. Joe says hello.

Matt on

Baby, youre so lucky! Next weekend is going to be so busy! I cant wait to see the photos from amsterdam. Well looks so cold, everything is white! I hope you have alot of fun in Venice! I miss you so much babe! After this trip, pearland is going to be so boring for you babe? Im guessing you havent seen any walmarts up there, which is definitely a good thing. Gah, and you get to go skydiving too huh? I love you so much babe, kissesandhugs!

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