Bordeaux: Port of the Moon

Longest shopping strip in Europe, France’s oldest museums with World War II displays, highest number of preserved historical buildings outside of Paris, and the world’s major wine industry… I must be talking about Bordeaux!

We boarded the train from San Sebastián for our three hour journey into France. Easily navigable, we stopped for a quick and delicious coffee, before checking in at our latest and greatest Air B&B in Old Town. We received the ever most important food recommendations, before heading out for a quick orientation of the town and some yummy eats. Strolling through the streets, every block looked different, yet equally as stunning in architecture. Cobblestone streets, limited vehicles, and lively squares surround each block. 

After aimless wandering, we stopped for oysters and a glass of local white wine, both of which exceeded any prior expectations we may have had. We continued on for some ice cream, more street wandering, and then a lovely dinner.  Dinner was concluded with THE BEST creme brûlée I think I’ve ever. I anticipate that this will reappear in my dreams! 

One thing that continues to arise in my mind is the quality of the food here: both in Spain and France. It’s been four years since I’ve eaten any form of refined sugar, dairy, or wheat, primarily due to the digestion issues that I had with it. However, since being here I’ve eaten (literally) everything and anything I’ve wanted and there have been no issues. What’s wrong with our Canadian food? Perhaps that’s a whole other topic for discussion. 

Tomorrow brings a site-seeing filled day and more delicious eats! I can’t wait!

Me Encanta San Sebastián 

A full day in San Sebastián meant that we would explore all that this beautiful city had to offer. After a much needed sleep in, we started our morning off with a coffee, sandwich, and treat, and then began our walk along the boardwalk of La Concha. The sun was shining, and was the perfect weather for strolling along the beach. 

Once we arrived at the end, we checked out some wind combs and relaxed along the rocks before beginning our ascend to Monte Igueldo. Here, is the most spectacular view of La Concha and town of San Sebastián. 

After spending some time taking in the view and enjoying a coffee, we headed back into town to visit the cathedral del buen pastor. This is a stunning church with beautiful stain glasses windows! 

We continued back into Old Town, strolling through the main cities park, to visit the infamous statue of Jesus. It was a decent hike on bumpy cobblestone, and also offered a beautiful view of San Sebastián. 

In the evening, and after a built up appetite, we checked out Bar Nestor for dinner. We ordered their tomatoes, peppers, and steak! The server brings two steak choices out to you, where you select your cut, and then wait in much anticipation for it to be cooked. It was the perfect way to end our stay! Tomorrow we venture to France! 

Adios Barcelona

After a much needed and rewarding sleep, we woke up to a beautiful breakfast provided by our air B&B host: pastries, bananas, and coffee. Once we ate, we said our goodbyes and headed off to explore a little more of Barcelona before going to the airport. We had a tasty coffee on route, went to a few plazas, and the Arc de Triomfe. 

Around 2pm, we took the bus back to the airport to get ready for the next leg of our trip, San Sebastián.  Within an hour, we could see the water, lush green hills, and the sun shining brightly. We took the bus into town, checked into our pension, with the beautiful view, and went to get ourselves acquainted with our new setting. 

We strolled the endless cobble stone streets of old town, watched the sun set along the water, had the most amazing gelato (I of course got the limon!), and then headed off to find some tasty and highly recommended pintxos.   

We walked by several places until deciding upon Atari. The bar was lined with gorgeous, artesian sandwiches. You choose the ones you want to try, share away, and then pay by an honour system. Our six pintxos and two delicious glasses of rioja cost €17! Well worth every penny!

We explored a few more pintxos places throughout the night before heading home. 

Viva España

Eagerly, we arrived to the Calgary airport, bags packed and ready for our much anticipated European getaway. We booked this trip spring 2016, because of the amazing flight sale, so needless to say, the anticipation  was long and coming.

After a long 8 hour flight, we landed in Amsterdam. Exhausted and barely functioning, we had plans to explore the town, but on no sleep and midnight our time, we decided to rent a room instead. Yotel in the aiport, transformed us in time to almost Star Trekesque pods. It was a bizarre but much needed experience. Four hours and €70 later, we awoke ready for our next flight to Barcelona!

Although I wouldn’t recommend Transavia Air, the flight was relatively pleasant. Upon arrival, we hopped on the Eurobus which cost €5.90 and dropped us right at the start of Las Ramblas. We wheeled our way through, checked into our incredible Air B&B, and set out to explore the town. Fantastic sights, friendly people, and of course amazing food and wine! We’re off to a good start!


All About Me: Spanish Style

At the beginning of January, my students wrote an All About Me Book, only this book was in Spanish. They discussed their name, described themselves, and talked about some of their favourite things. As a way to make this activity more interactive, we decided to create an electronic, bilingual book. The students used the app book creator to select a picture, write the words in English, and then speak the words in Spanish. It was a fun activity, that they were all excited about, but the best part was when they showed their parents. Their parents were able to hear them speak another language, that they couldn’t, but could also understand what they were saying through the English words.

Here’s an example of one of their finalized projects:

About Me

I am currently a grade four teacher at the north east campus of Foundations for the Future Charter Academy in Calgary, Alberta.  I teach the core subject areas, as well as first year Spanish to our grade four students.  I also have my masters in Design Based Learning, focusing on incorporating the learning sciences into the classroom to provide a successful platform for all students to learn.  I am a member of our literacy committee, and the head of the technology committee.  I act as a liaison of technology information from our central office, to administrators and teachers, believing that communication is key to this role and pride myself on building strong relationships.  I am passionate about creating socially aware students who make a positive contribution to society and believe that they have an impact in the world.

Personally, I am an avid traveler and love to expand my knowledge of cultures and other languages.  To date I have visited four different countries in Africa, three in central America, four in Europe, China, and have traveled to places in Canada and the United States.  I am interested in environmental conservation and love the great outdoors.  Snowboarding, hiking, and enjoying nature with my dog are my greatest past-times.

I am a major foodie, and try as often as possible to recreate amazing dishes that I’ve discovered through my explorations: whether it be a local cuisine, or a faraway delicacy.  I consider cooking a form of art and expression, and love to experiment with new recipes, or try to create something from whatever is in the fridge!

Living in Calgary for over half of my life, has allowed me to see this beautiful city change but remain true to it’s “western hospitality.”  There are so many unique places, shops, and markets, where Calgarians can support their community.  This is often where you’ll find me!

I enjoy volunteering and try to as much as I can.  I am currently a member of the Educators Council for the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, and the webmaster for the Calgary Reading Council.

As an educator I strive to be the best I can; to continuously learn, challenge myself, and provide my students with a safe and caring classroom environment. I hope to instill the same mentality in my students.

Adventures in Spain and Ireland

Teaching grade 4 at FFCA, I’m lucky enough to also teach beginner Spanish to the grade 4 students. In July, 2013, I was granted the Language Bursary Award from the Government of Alberta to study Spanish abroad. Through this bursary program, I was able to pick any Spanish-speaking country, and participate in daily language lessons, as a way to improve my own skills, as well as enhance the learning of my students.

From Spain, I also did a few traveling side trips to Morocco and Gibraltar.

Being that my boyfriend, Daniel, is from Ireland, we took it as an opportunity to also visit his family while in Europe. If you’re interested in reading more about both experiences, please read:
Adventures in Spain and Ireland

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