May 072010
 
Um, So I Think I Just Saw the Holy Grail?

“Hey dude,” slurred my British dorm-mate as he climbed into his hostel bunk for the night, “Did you see the Holy Grail yet?”

“Wait, WHAT!” I exclaimed, “the Holy Grail is in Valencia, Spain? The magical cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper?!”

“That’s what they say,” the boy mumbled as his eyelids began to droop. “It’s in the little room to the right in the Valencia Cathedral. Don’t [...Read More!]

May 062010
 
Reason Two (of Many!) to Visit and Love Valencia, Spain

I am having a little addiction problem. At this time, according to the original plan, I was supposed to be merrily chugging through Seville and Cadiz, and perhaps even Toledo… but instead, I’m back where I was a week ago: in Valencia, Spain.

“Woman, why can’t you just move on?!” you exclaim. My answer: Because Valencia is great. And thus let us continue our Reasons I Love Valencia series.

Today’s [...Read More!]

May 052010
 
Why You Need a Mentor... or Fifteen!

I have wild admiration for students who graduate college when no one in their family has done so before.

“First Generation College Students,” we call such superstars.

Why is being the first one in your family to graduate from college such a feat? Because the entire U.S. college process– from navigating the miles-long applications, to knowing the smartest way to approach a caustic professor– is full of secrets.

If you have someone (aka, a [...Read More!]

May 042010
 
Lucy's Article 2: The Result of Running From School

Article #31 in the YCC Kids Club Ghana Student Life Stories Project The Result of Running Away From School By Lawani Lucy, Age 13

“Run fast, Lucy!” my friend shouted. “Pass over to the other side of the road so they won’t see us!”

On the fifth of March, 2010, my friend Bless and I decided to run away from school. We were hungry to a great extent, but at that [...Read More!]

May 032010
 
Three Lovely Moments from Benidorm, Spain, in Photos

As I pulled out my little blue camera to photograph the toddler playing by the fountain, a tornado of snow-white birds began to swirl.

One after another, the birds swooped around the child, around the red stroller, and finally right towards my face, fluttering my hair!

Gary was busy at the other end of the fountain, trying to photograph the single black bird amid the snowy hordes.

“If any of these photos come out [...Read More!]

May 022010
 
Silver Hair, Silver Tongues, Waves, and a Nice Retirement

We turned the corner onto Benidorm’s beachfront, when suddenly– “TRA LA!”– a wave of seventy singing voices crashed upon our ears!

“What the heck is that?” I asked our sweet Benidorm tour guide, Maria, as Gary and I gaped at the giant circle of silver-haired singers.

“It is so nice!” sighed Maria, her hand to her heart. “That man in the center, Juan Mari, his whole life he has loved to sing. [...Read More!]

May 012010
 
Reason One (of a Whole Lot!) to Visit Valencia, Spain

If you were to dangle an American out of a ten-story window and force her to choose a city in Spain to move to forever, I bet you ninety Euros that she would scream: “Barcelona!”

But the more I experience Spain, the more I realize that this pervasive American romanticization of Barcelona is just plain foolish.

If I, myself, were to pick a city in all of Spain to live, it would be… [...Read More!]

Apr 302010
 
Change Your Life! Or: From Gun Drills to Luxury With an Idol

“Safe Mode Drill for school shooting threat,” reads my Google Calendar for April 30, 2009: exactly one year ago today. “Do NOT allow students out of classroom. If they need bathroom during drill, do not allow them. Bomb-sniffing police dogs will be in halls and may attack.”

Under this note is a second one: “Grade all 64 Senior essays before Monday!”

Yes, that’s right: Exactly a year ago today, my [...Read More!]

Apr 292010
 
The Most Beautiful Building I’ve Seen in a Looong Time

Come, walk with me.

You have likely seen pictures of the world-famous Mezquita of Cordoba, Spain, have you not?

Are you already familiar with those arches upon arches of striped white and russet red?

Well, today is the day you will see it in the flesh, you lucky duck!

Step one: Identify that the entrance ticket to the the Mezquita is free if you show up before ten in the morning, but also identify that [...Read More!]

Apr 282010
 
The 300th Article in 9 Months, 2 Weeks Before Boston!

Today marks the THREE HUNDREDTH article on Around the World “L” in nine months!

We are also now at: 352 blog Followers (click “Follow” on the right sidebar if you haven’t already!), 1,258 Twitter Followers, 250 Facebook Fans, and a #93th-in-the-world ranking on TravelBlogSites.com… and rising. Huzzah!

Let us celebrate with an update of what the heck is going on, and where the heck this is all going. First and most [...Read More!]