Have way more fucking fun! Plus stay together longer.
I met up with my Chocolates (Rose and Rosaura) as well the AitorsX2 ALL from Global Aztec Alliance at SDSU. And well work, I met the Chocolates working together at the Study Abroad Office at SDSU then I dragged them to GAA (It’s all a long story).
Day 82: I arrived in Bilbao about 15 minutes late and apparently Rose thought she lost me. Out of everyone I have/ will meet up with those in Bilbao are definitely the one’s I’m closest to. Rose is studying in Bilbao for the semester while her bf Aitor #2 lives there (So does Aitor #1 but #2 is the bf, again long story). But there she was waiting for me when I got off the bus and we made our way back to her apartment.
It was also Aitor #2’s Birthday so Rosaura and I were coming in a day early to add an extra surprise to his surprise birthday that night. Rose and I went to the store so I could make dinner for Rosaura and I before going out that evening because Rose was taking Aitor out for his Birthday dinner to give everyone time to arrive to her apartment.
I already knew one of Roses’s Roommates, Raleigh, we had met back in San Diego before they left for Spain. I soon met Sebastian, their other roommate and another exchange student but from Germany. Raleigh had gone to pick up Rosaura from the train station (she was coming in from Vigo) so I showered and started dinner for the evening (Pasta as always).
The evening went by pretty quick. Raleigh returned with Rosaura, lots of hugging, we ate dinner, we got dressed, other friends started to arrive, Aitor #1 arrived! (he studied abroad at SDSU Spring 2015 and was part of GAA) then we turned off all the lights from Rose’s warning text that they were downstairs. Their Spanish friends were horrible at staying quiet and kept giggling to each other so as soon as Rose opened the door Aitor goes “It’s a party isn’t it?” But we still yelled surprise anyways when he took off the blind fold and the party commenced.
We played ‘rage cage’ and drank the famous Basque drink, Kalimotxo, which is just wine and coca cola mixed together ha. Spaniards are on a completely different party time… so we didn’t leave the apartment until about 1:30am, at which point I only remember snippets from the night until it was time to come home at 6am once the metro started working again.
Day 83: We slept in till 2pm. I can’t remember the last time I slept that late. I also can’t remember the last time I was out until 7am. Aitor #2 went to the store to get some pancake mix and we all slowly started to get up. Aitor #2 ended up making the omelets, Rose making the pancakes, Aitor #1 cleaning up the living room while Rosaura and I slowly got ready. We didn’t end up leaving the house until 4pm.
It was a gorgeous day out! We walked from the apartment along the river to the Guggenheim and saw the famous Flower Puppy as well as giant spider.
We kept wandering along the river and eventually headed into more of the city center. We saw all the christmas lights, extended Rosaura’s bus ticket (she had originally booked to leave the next morning but Rose and I said no way). Then we set off to find dinner. But it was too early for most restaurants to be open (7:30) as most didn’t open until 8:30 because Spaniards eat dinner between 9:30-10:30. We finally found a place that was open and I had a delicious hamburger. Burgers can be a major hit and miss sometimes and I hadn’t had one in at least a month.
We said goodbye to Aitor #1 and the rest of us headed back to Roses.
Day 84: Rose, Rosaura and I headed off to San Sebastian for a girls day. The first bus we planned to catch was full so we headed to a cafe where we grabbed some tea and delicious pinchos. It was once again a gorgeous and sunny day, completely out of the ordinary for northern Spain being early December. We hopped off the bus and wandered down the canal to the ocean.
There was a pier that everyone was taking pictures on as the waves came crashing down on the rocks then would run away trying to avoid getting wet. One woman wasn’t paying attention as we all ran away she got absolutely soaked, we all laughed and hoped she at least got a good picture!
Next we headed off to find lunch and I had a delicious stake with red peppers and croquetas. And of course some red wine. After lunch we decided we needed ice cream so stopped in a gelato shop. The ice cream/gelato in Italy was definitely way better. The sun was starting to go down so we made our way to the main hill in San Sebastian that had a giant Jesus monument on top.
The sunset was once again gorgeous and we spent way too long trying to get good pictures. By the time we made it to the top we realized our bus was about to leave for Bilbao and the next one wouldn’t be for another 3.5 hours so we hustled back across San Sebastian.
The restaurant we had tried to go to the night before was open by the time we got back to headed over. There was also a futbol(soccer) game going on, it was crazy to see the streets packed with people! And when I say packed I mean PAKCED. The food was delicious! I got chicken with sweet pineapple chunks (just thinking of it makes me miss it).
Day 85: Rosaura left early that morning, she woke me up to say goodbye by laying on top of me. But I didn’t care cause Rose and I needed to get up anyways to go meet Aitor to head to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. It’s basically a church high up on a cliff formation right off the water. (Rose has the photos) It was a little of a hike down to the shore from the car park then up to the top of the church and it was REALLY windy. Especially once we reached the top we couldn’t see cause our hair was just swirling all around us haha
Aitor had to get back for class so on our way back to Rose’s apartment we stopped for some shopping. I really wanted a new big warm scarf and was running low on conditioner and some make up. I also just wanted to buy everything in all the stores because it had been SO long since I went shopping!
When we got back we had a girls night, two bottles of wine, comfy pj’s, and good chick flick. Although we only ended up getting about 30 minutes into the movie before we paused it so we could talk, then never finished it haha
Day 86: Rose and I decided to have a lazy day. She needed to study and I needed to catch up on my blog. However, neither of us got much done ha. We also needed to head into the city center to get groceries because it was a bank holiday so majority of the surrounding markets were closed.
We decided to make California Burritos for dinner! But by the time we got back it was lunch time so we made lunch, frozen pizza and fresh fruit salad, we even had whipped cream! That’s what I’ve missed most about backpacking I think is my lack of cooking options. I can’t eat everything I might buy for more unique dishes in the short time I have.
The burritos were some of the best food I’ve had since I started traveling, it tasted especially good since we also made guacamole!
We had also purchased face masks to do for girls night the previous night but never got around to it. Rose had to wake up early for class so I asked Aitor to do it with me, which he gladly agreed to. Then we convinced Raleigh to do it so at that point Rose had to join in.
Day 87: Rose was suppose to leave for class early that morning, but decided it would be better if she could get some more sleep then study in the afternoon. She went back to sleep and I said goodbye to the boys one by one as they each headed off to class. I was suppose to leave at 12 for my bus but decided to catch the later one. That way I was able to finish packing, make lunch, and finish checking off the last of my few items on my todo list.
It felt so routine to head out the door and down the street with my stuff but it was also different this time since I was leaving friends. One perk of traveling is you get to see more friends than if you stayed in one city (especially when you have friends from all corners of the globe) but it also means saying a lot of goodbyes and see you laters.