"Down here at Cape Spartel is the celebrated cave of Hercules, where the hero took refuge when he was vanquished and driven out of the Tangier country. It is full of inscriptions in the dead languages, which fact makes me think Hercules could not have traveled much, else he would not have kept a journal."

-"The Innocents Abroad," Mark Twain

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Oh, the places you'll go...

This past week was the finally-it's-the-end-of-the-first-semester break. I went to Vienna to visit my friend (another exchange student). You know how it is...

However, before I left on Thursday, I did other things! Amazing! I went walking out on the lake some more and I tried cross-country skiing for the first time. (I'm having a hard time deciding which one I prefer.) We went swimming. Outside. While it was snowing. Yes, it was amazing. Yes, we ran in the snow before jumping back in the water. No, the pool was not unheated.  You had to read that again, didn't you? Yes, don't worry, I was swimming in warm water :)

I also received lots of mail from home - always wonderful - and Valentine's Day wishes! Thank you to everyone! Valentine's Day is know here, but there's not really any celebrating done. Still, I made brownies (in the form of a cake) the day before for some more chocolate. (I was pleased with how they turned out; it was a new recipe, if you want to try it yourself: http://annies-eats.com/2009/08/05/chewy-fudgy-triple-chocolate-brownies/)

I was in Vienna/around Vienna from Thursday until Monday morning; here is a sample of what we did:

Found amazingly huge sunglasses that engulf my face.

Found/made/ate food (particularly chocolate).

Found the cat. (Or at least I did.)

Found the job of being full-time tourists to be enjoyable but rather tiring.

Sadly, several parts of the trip are left out due to their lack of physical representation. However, you should know that we watched 6 films (although I've probably left one or two out - we watched too many for me to remember them all), and taught English to first graders! (Which is our level of kindergarten.)

Today was Carnival, as it is the day before Ash Wednesday. People (not all, though) dress up and kids are allowed to wear costumes to school :) I went with my host mom & grandmother to a celebration in another town, where we enjoyed seeing all of the beautiful/crazy costumes and festivities!

Don't worry - these are masks!

You see the man standing behind me? He let me try on his hat!

I'm a little dressed up, too :) 
And with that, Lent begins tomorrow! Talk to you again soon!
love from,
mary beth


  1. Fun! Is the scarf one you made? Whose cat? And after what Joshua has been through twice this school year, I cringed when I saw you wearing someone else's hat (although that man's head doesn't look like he has enough hair to conceal anything)... ;) thanks for letting us see.

  2. No, I didn't make the scarf - it's borrowed. And the cat belongs to my friend's host family. Glad you liked it!

  3. Not sure if I've pushed the right buttons to respond...I'll try anyway. I LOVE your blogs. Makes me feel like you are just around the corner (almost). Keep having fun and exploring this vast world. How is violin/viola going? Do you have enough warm clothes?

  4. It looks like you did! Viola/violin is fine, and yes, more than enough warm clothes :) anything I need (like for skiing), I am able to borrow.