Hello world!

So this is my first blog and I thought that I would tell a story about my last summer.  well here goes.  Oh and just to note… this was an essay I wrote for my application to Emory University! * hope I get in!*

The last year of my life has been full of magnificent opportunities and experiences.  The first of these mind blowing opportunities was offered to me during my junior year. One day during the announcements I learned that the French teacher at my school was going to take students to Italy, France, and Spain.  I was so thrilled by this idea that I immediately asked my mother the second she returned home from work that day.  I come from a low-income single mother household, so my mother’s first thought was “Where are we going to get the money from?” .  Then we sat down and worked out a plan to raise the three thousand dollars that the trip required.  We decided that I would take more shifts at my local restaurant job, that we would have a few yard sales, and that my mom would help out with money from her bonus.  With all of this financial planning, we were able to save enough money for me to go on this amazing trip.

              In Italy we stayed in a hostel in Ostia which is right next to Rome.  I learned that staying in hostels is a fun way to meet new and interesting people.  The night before my group left for France I was in the lower area of the hostel with two of my friends doing our laundry.  While we were down there, we met two guys from England.  We played ping pong with them and got to ask them about their life in England, while they asked us about our lives in the United States.  I also met a girl who was from California and had decided to spend her summer at school in Italy.  The best attraction in Italy was Ancient Rome.  I visited the Coliseum, a mound where Caesar is supposedly buried, the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain.  I must say that all of these sites were brilliant.

            In Paris, France I got to see attractions that I have always dreamed about seeing.    The most magical site in Paris was the Eiffel Tower.  I arrived at the Eiffel Tower late one night with my group. At the exact moment we got there the tower was lit up with blinking lights.  It was beautiful!  I rode the elevator up to the second floor with a friend and stood looking over the railing at the radiant city below.  In that moment I felt as if I were in a dream; I could not believe that I was actually on top of the famous Eiffel Tower! Another very memorable experience I had in France was a rather funny episode.  My group had traveled to Versailles and three of us along with one of the girl’s mothers had decided that we wanted to see Marie Antoinette’s Estates.  We did not realize that her estates were extremely out of the way.  We ended up walking all the way down to her estates in the rain.  When we decided to head back we got lost.  Somehow we ended up in a little village right next to Versailles and I had to ask a French woman for a ride back to the main palace.  She agreed and the four of us climbed into her little car and thanked her for her help.  We then had to run from Versailles to the train station, as our group was already there. 

            In Spain we stayed in Barcelona.  It was beautiful although we did not visit many sites because the teachers traveling with us had never been to Spain.  We did however get to see the Sagrada Familia, which is a very large, unfinished, gothic style church.  It was an amazing site to see.  Spain was also somewhat of a relief to me because I have studied the Spanish language in high school and I was finally in a country where I could understand most of what they were saying, unless of course it was in Catalan. Also, I felt rather important within my group while we were in Spain, because only I and one of my friends could speak and understand Spanish, so everyone looked to us whenever the language was a necessity.

            My trip to Europe was in total a very wonderful experience that opened my eyes to other cultures and ways of life. After this trip I can honestly say that I have a new way of looking at other countries and a much deeper respect for them.