Where are all the Pumpkins?

Today marks the thirteenth of October, meaning prime pumpkin carving time! Well, unless I want to carve a small plastic pumpkin from the chino store, I am in no luck. Pumpkin patches and corn mazes and candy caramel apples don’t exist in Bilbao. At the flower market on Sunday, I managed to find some tiny (palm sized kind of small) pumpkins and gourds that cost more than a ten-pound pumpkin would have cost back home. Needless to say, those were out of my scant teaching budget. I did find my new flower pet though! Meet Rillo (pronounced Ree-Yo), short for amarillo. My goal is not to drown him in the next month like I accidentally did with my last little cactus.

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Despite the bare selection of Halloween related items here, October has still started out wonderfully. For those of you that don’t know, fall is my favorite season. What’s not to love about the change of colors, the taste of pumpkin spice, and the breeze of crisp air? On Saturday, the Meddeas gang and I, along with a few other friends, stuffed our bellies with a delicious brunch and then hiked Mt. Pagasarri. The brunch turned out to be a success, barely a morsel of food left behind, and the hike turned out to be a beautiful reward at the top, after the two-hour trek upwards of course. Along our way, we encountered some topsy turvey horned cows who were wandering around the trail, their collared bells echoing on the side of the mountain. It was interesting viewing the more rural areas of Bilbao; the houses differ greatly than the flats I pass everyday in the city. It’s very similar to something out of an old timey storybook.

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Brunch time! ☀️☕️
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Hiking with the Meddeas group plus some! 👞⛰

I am going hiking again on Sunday to a mountain farther away from Bilbao called Mt. Erlo with a local hiking group. Very excited to practice my Spanish while getting to explore more of the Basque country!

Speaking of practicing the language, my conversation exchange was a success! I have done two so far, and I have learned so much about the history of Bilbao and the Basque country. I have also learned helpful phrases and new vocabulary, although verb tenses will take me a long time to conquer. It’s becoming easier to order at a restaurant or café; the servers aren’t looking at me with confusion as much, which is always a confidence boost hahah. This weekend there are a few country bands playing in Bilbao, so I learned the phrase “me gusto mucho la musica country” in honor of my attendance at this concert. I am looking forward to seeing their country and bluegrass styles and determining if these bands can compete with Nashville, Tennessee.

I hope the start of your October has been full of sweets and even sweeter times! 🙂 Cheers!

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Love laffy taffy jokes, traveling, hot cocoa, reading, adventures, teaching, and hugs :)

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