It is Hasta Luego not Adios Forever

Taking on the farewell dinner blog post is a big task, and one that I have stressed about doing. How can one describe such emotions adequately in writing? After three weeks of knowing one another, we have made lifelong connections, some of which I do not think would have happened without being placed in the same session. Constantly throughout the weeks, we have repeatedly said “Isn’t it crazy, we did not know each other before this, but now we can’t imagine life without one another.” These feelings were exhibited and could be seen from across the room last night at Petritegi. At the cider house, we recalled some of our favorite memories, like scootering around Paris and enjoying each other’s company, whether we were biking to class, eating gelato, or eating dinner at the dining hall. 

Pictures at Petritegi as a group

As for the food, we were told we would not leave hungry, and that statement could not have been any more true. There were several courses including options for everything’s food preferences. For example, two girls got the vegetarian option, whilst the rest of us got the main menu. With the meal came cider, apple juice, and water. As soon as we sat down we were met with starters: chorizo and bread. The chorizo was delicious. I may even go on to say that it was my favorite food that I have eaten on this trip. After enjoying the start of the meal, we explored the facility a bit, looking at the barrels of cider, along with the outside, taking our final photo of all 11 of us. It was somewhat emotional, thinking that our time together would come to an end, but I would not have wanted to spend these past three weeks any other way. 

Hanging out, chatting, while eating our starters and trying the apple cider

Going back inside the girls who got the veggie option were met with a salad. The salad was just lettuce, tomatoes, onions, oil and vinegar. Both said that it was good, and we learned that Bailey likes tomatoes! This was a big accomplishment because over the course of the trip, we had all tried foods we would never try at home: some of us having meat again for the first time in years, some of us trying different foods like pigs ear and squid ink, and others enjoying all the different variations of seafood that are created here in San Sebastián. Studying abroad has tested all of us to branch out of our comfort zone, and experiencing it with one another made a world of a difference. I don’t think I would have tried as many things as I did if it were not for these newfound friends to push me to be the most adventurous self I could be. While they were having the salad, the rest of us were served a fish omelette. Personally, I was not a fan, but others said it was fairly good. I’m not a big egg or fish fan, but for those who do like the ingredients, they said it was very good. Once this was taken we were served with other fried fish, with both peppers and onions. I did enjoy this, even though, again, I’m not a fan of white fish usually. While we were having this, the girls with the vegetarian meal were served with their own omelette, which contained peppers and onions. It smelled delicious. 

The fried fish, peppers and onions
Bailee likes tomatoes now!

After all of these courses, we were still left with the main course which for those with the veggie meal, they got a veggie burger with peas, green beans, and other vegetables. For those who got the main menu choice, got a piece of steak. It was tasty. I typically like my steak done medium, and this was more on the rare side, but I decided to bask in the culture and try to eat it the way I saw those around us eating it. The people next to our table were singing and enjoying themselves while eating their meal, indicating how the environment provides comfort and an opportunity for celebration, which is how I felt at each restaurant I walked into throughout the weeks here in San Sebastián. We continued to eat and take pictures during our meal, and when the night came to a close, the emotions were high. 

Veggie burger and vegetables for the Vegetarian eaters
Steak for the main course
The desert is served!

Leaving the restaurant we needed a taxi to get back. This was the last we would see the Professor during the trip, and for some of us, the last time seeing him at all. Packing into our taxis alone, we got to use all the skills we had learned over our stay. When we first arrived in San Sebastián, I could never follow a conversation in Spanish, but during this taxi ride, I was able to contribute to parts of it. It has been interesting to see people’s viewpoints on America, and how everyone had their thoughts. Our taxi driver, who told us lived in Zarautz, has some family who had moved to Idaho in order to herd, just like what they were doing in Spain. During the drive we were saying how we didn’t want to leave, and he told us that we had 2 hours to meet someone and get married in order to get a visa! It was strongly considered. 

How could one want to leave a place that was so relaxing. At home, everyone is always in a rush to get somewhere, whereas here in San Sebastián, people are relishing in each other’s company rather than worrying about what comes next. This aspect of the trip is one of the many that I truly hope to carry home with me on my flight back. The lack of worry and angst has aided me a lot on this trip. At home I am constantly thinking about the future but surrounding myself with the locals who are living in the present has given me the opportunity to change. We’ve all noticed this change in ourselves, walking down the road, and instead of breaking apart and passing people as we walked, we adjusted our pace and enjoyed life. It’s my hope that someday we can come back together and do it again, because these three weeks have been among the best that I can remember, and I hope I speak of all of us on the trip and our time together was truly unforgettable. 

The cider barrels, they were huge!
The beautiful view from outside of the restaurant