Sunday, August 14, 2011

Semana Grande in San Sebastian!

If I'm going to jump back into this, I might as well go BIG, right?

Just as well, since yesterday marked the beginning of Semana Grande(Spanish)/Aste Nagusia(Basque) (Literally: "Big Week") in San Sebastian. Semana Grande is a massive 7-day festival full of non-stop concerts, fairs, markets, parades, parties, activities, and spectacles. The city literally erupts with people, and there is something to do and see on every corner. Complete madness. Absolutely incredible.

Semana Grande - Day 1

Semana Grande - Day 1

Semana Grande - Day 1

Semana Grande - Day 1

Uniformed gunmen paraded through the streets while goofy bobble-headed Basque characters danced around and chased kids spanking them on the bum with blown up sheep stomachs. I don't exactly know the meaning behind it... but it was hilarious watching the kids run in terror.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Coming Up for Air

3 months of silence. I've gone off the grid. 

I thought my life was one hell of a roller coaster ride, but these past few months have really thrown me for a loop. For a while I wasn't sure if I could continue writing.

Just three days after returning from an unforgettable 5-week trip to the Philippines, Taiwan, and China, I got the one phone call that everyone wishes they would never have to experience. My cousin, and best friend, Chris, had unexpectedly passed away. In a single moment, my entire world came to a screeching halt. Two days later, completely floored and broken, I packed my bags with tear-filled eyes and made my first trip back to the States since I'd left last July.

The 8-hour flight from Paris to Philadelphia was filled with fighting back tears, sporadic moments of heart-wrenching pain, looking out the window into the clouds and praying for the strength to make it through this. It was, and still is the most excruciatingly painful thing I've ever had to deal with in my entire life. There are days when I can smile and remember all the great memories we shared, all the things he taught me... but those days where I can't breathe and tears uncontrollably fall always seem to sneak up on me. I'm taking it one day at a time.