Monday, June 16, 2008


I got the E-Tickets today so we are def. on our way! Please take time to sign your passport!!

Plan to meet me on Thursday, June 19th at Detroit Metro Airport at the McNamara Terminal 12 noon for check in. You will check in as you arrive but we will try to enter the travelers only section of the airport by 1:15pm.

The Terminal is set up like a mall so you will have a chance to window shop, eat and hang out for a couple hrs before boarding. Remember that airport stuff is sometimes 3 times more expensive than the things outside, though!

Please remember:
  • Wear comfortable shoes that can be removed and slipped on easily
  • Do not wear excess metal
  • Do not pack more than 2oz. liquids in you carry on luggage. Pack all liquids in see-through ziploc like bags
  • Wear comfortable clothing cause sometimes we need to sit on the floor and you will not change out of those same clothes until day 2 at night!!!
  • Take a couple of pm tablets the night before so you can sleep and not be kept awake by nerves. Also get your parents to take some as well....LOL!
  • My international phone number while on tour will be 011 517 448 5102

Tuesday, April 8, 2008



WHEN: APRIL 23 @ 7:00


Wednesday, February 6, 2008


You will need to schedule a physical exam and I will need to have a copy of it before you board the plane.

If you played or currently play sports at GLHS you can simply request a copy of your sports physical from the Athletic Office at school.

The reason you need to have a physical is because I need your doctor to tell me that you are not going to keel over on my shift and my watch!!
It is also very smart to always have your doctor give you a once over any time you travel overseas.

Make sure that you write a list of all medications to which you may be allergic. This will help me better communicate with a doctor on your behalf in the event you are not able to speak for yourself (say you take in too much sun and briefly pass out...)

If you have allergy medication or a medical condition that requires you to carry prescription medicines, you may want to ask your doctor for a prescription to bring on our trip. This way you can renew a lost prescription without the wait and expense of having to go to a Spanish doctor.

So as soon as you can manage it, please give me a copy of your physical.

Meet Kelsey

Meet Escape Artist Kelsey Shoemaker

Hi, my name is Kelsey Shoemaker. I am a junior this year. I am so excited to go to Spain. I have loved traveling ever since I was a little girl. My aunt is a travel agent and she always had these awesome stories about when she went to European countries, and now I finally get to have my own awesome stories and experiences. I know a few of the people that are coming on this trip, but I do not have any friends that are going on this trip but I love making new friends and I can not wait to meet all of you, and hopefully a few cool Spanish locals too. I have taken two years of Spanish so far, so I will moderately be able to communicate with the locals. I am looking forward to meeting everyone and I really want to go on the optional excursion to Morocco, that sounds like so much fun and it will be like nothing I have ever experienced, and also then, you can say that you went to Africa! I am in concert choir and Ledgendary Ladies( a singing group at GLHS). Singing is a big part of
my life and I sing a lot, I take private voice lessons too. I was in a couple of the schools musicals also(Camelot and Brigadoon). I love to have a good time and I am looking forward to June so we can start this exciting excursion.

Look Who is Going...

Ok, I am not getting many bios and pictures of the current travel group so I will post the list of people currently signed up. There are still a few people considering joining us. If you have friends that want to come, tell them that it is not too late:

Black, Ariel
Dipietro, Sarah
Govea, Jessica
Hernandez, Sara
Kappler, Mallory
Lennon, Kelly
Martin, Spike
Monroe, Chelsea
Mueller, Nicole
Petersen, Chloe
Romankewiz, Ariel
Ruddy, Leslie
Shoemaker, Kelsey
Trey Ragatz
Nile Ragatz

Please keep sending information about yourself and your photo so that people can get to know you....

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Meet Chloe Petersen

Meet Escaper Artist Chloe Petersen

Hi, I am Chloe Petersen
I am a Junior

I want to go to Spain to have an adventure and just have fun!

I hope to broaden my horizons and learn a lot about the Spanish culture

I will be traveling with my friends Ari and Mallory
I love to do ballet, I use to do the nutcracker

I was at GLHS last year but I moved to Colorado this year and I will be meeting all of you in Detroit in June!!

Meet Sara DiPietro

Meet Escape Artist Sara DiPietro

My name is Sara and I am a Senior!!

I want to go to Spain because it sounds like it will be an amazing trip, and I have taken Spanish throughout high school, so it will be a good cultural experience.

I hope to learn about Spainish culture first-handand have fun. Some of my friends that are going are Nicole Mueller & Kelly Lennon

I play basketball & track, I am right and left handed...activity-wise I like to shop, fish, snowboard, & watch chick flicks (favorites are PS I Love You and a Walk To Remember)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Make Sure You Get A Passport

If you have not done so yet, make sure you work on getting your passport this month. Click here to get your passport application. Simply follow the application instructions carefully and go to the main Lansing Post office (4800 Collins Rd, Lansing, 48924 - (517) 337-8711). You can also click here to find facility closer to you.

Your passport usually arrives between 2-6 weeks from the day you apply. Don't wait till the March to apply for a passport. The closer it gets to tourism season, the longer the process.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Meet Kelly Lennon

Meet Escape Artist Kelly Lennon:

I am a freshman at Lansing Community College. I want to experience a culture very different than my own. I hope to get an understanding of the world beyond my culture.

I have a couple of friends traveling with me, Sara Dipietro & Chelsea Monroe. I like music that I can relate to, it doesn't matter what style it is. I also like to make my own jewelry and dance. I look forward to learning how to flamenco dance in Spain!

I've wanted to go to Spain ever since I took my first Spanish class in 6th grade.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Meet Mallory Kappler

Escape Artist Mallory Kappler

Hii, my name is Mallory Lappler. I'm a junoir at grand ledge, and I am SO excited to go to Spain to soak up the culture to use my small spanish vocab, and to expierence what life is like over there.
My friends that are coming with me on this trip are Ariel Black and Chloe Peterson.
I am on the debate team and I like to hang out with friends :)
I am super excited to go on this trip!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Optional Side Trips

It is time to begin thinking about the optional side trips that you can take while in Spain. The excursions are optional because they do cost more money. You can sign up for as many as you want. Below, I have listed and described all the options. I realize that it is a difficult choice and it is up to you to decide which optional(s) will give you more bang for your buck!! Please email me if you have any questions

Monserrat (Optional Trip #1)

Montserrat -- $50
(click on the link above picture for more info)

In this side trip, we will travel through the picturesque landscapes of Spain to Montserrat on a half-day guided excursion (guided means that we will have a bilingual tour guide).

The jagged mountain towers high above the Llobregat Valley with its almost lifelike monoliths inspired the composer Richard Wagner as he wrote Parsifal. The rugged mountain setting provides a dramatic backdrop for the 9th-century monastery of Montserrat, whose basilica houses the hallowed Black Virgin. The wood of this statue has darkened over the last eight centuries, so the statue has come to be known as "Moreneta," sometimes translated as "the brown one." Every year, thousands of followers make the pilgrimage to pay homage to the statue and to see the monastery, home of honest to God real Benedictine monks who maintain the shrine.

Included in the price is transportation from Barcelona to Monserrat, entrance to the monastery. You can sign up for any or all the optional tours online or email me. ($50 advance purchace and $60 if purchased during tour)

Morocco (Optional Trip #2)


I recommend this trip to the intrepid adventurer within you...Heck, you will be traveling to Africa for Pete's sake!!. You will feel very far away from Grand Ledge on this side trip because it will be unlike anything you have ever seen, felt or smelled....

We will get up early in the morning with the rest of the working Spaniards, enjoy a simple Spanish breakfast and take a Ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to enter a world of mosques, camels, snake charmers and bustling markets. Our destination is the trading city of Tetuan, a serene North African town whose culture and architecture reflect the area's Moorish past. You will really get to experience the Andalusian and Islamic-influenced architecture as a local guide leads you through the Medina.

You'll also have time to visit the ubiquitous Moroccan market , listen to the call to prayer of the moazin (Morocco is %90 Muslim although it is a secular-non religious country), take in the exotic smells of the local spice shops, watch belly dancers and musician perform ancient dances, shop for poofs, carpets, ceramics and all the Arabian nights delights you can handle.

Picture: Streets of El Medina in Tetouan

Included in the price is transportation to port of Algerciras, round trip ferry ticket Spain-Africa, guided tour of the Medina, a beautiful Moroccan meal with dance show and guided tour through the market place. You can sign up for any or all the optional tours online or email me. ($120 advance purchase and $130 if purchased during tour)

PS: I lived in this city for 3 years!!

The Palace of El Escorial (Optional Side Trip #3)

El Escorial, The Valley of the Fallen, and Segovia -- $95

I highly recommend this trip if you are interested in romantic castles, dramatic structures and soul searching history. This is the stuff fairy tales were made of. It is simply mind boggling to see that people did live in fantastic palaces in dreamy valleys, or in cold scary soviet style regimes. This is a must see!

We will spend the day with our local tour guide in the sunny Castilian countryside. Our first stop is the enormous and lavish palace of El Escorial (click on title link above to get a small glimpse), built by a thankful Philip II after defeating the French in 1557. Here we will take a look at the tombs of 23 of Spain's monarchs, as well as the final resting place of the pimp of all mac-daddy pimps, Don Juan.

We will then journey to the Valley of the Fallen, a spectacular monument to those who died in the Spanish Civil War (I really recommend you watch the film Pan's Labyrinth . Although the film is a fairy tale, it will give you an idea of the condition of Spain during this time period). Here, with the dramatic Guadarrama Mountains serving as a backdrop, Franco lies buried (the Spanish fascist dictator mentioned in Pan's Labyrinth). It is very "Soviet" in its architecture and you will have a clear understanding of how architecture plays an impressive role in subduing perfectly intelligent people, like yourself, in a terrible dictatorship.

It's then on to the beautiful medieval city of Segovia, where Isabella was declared queen in 1474. Tour the 14th-century Alcázar fortress (a real Medieval castle...forget the Renaissances Fair in Michigan), where Christopher Columbus made out his will....holy dang!!

Walt Disney took architectural elements of this fortress and that of Neueschwanstein castle in Austria to create the Cinderella castle.

We will also see the town's golden cathedral and the 2000 year old..yes 2000 year old Roman aqueduct; dating from the first century, it was used until 1983.

This is a lithograph of the Medieval fortress of Segovia...yes, it looks just like this!

Included in the price is transportation from Madrid to the 3 different towns where each tour will take place, entrance tickets to all structures mentioned above, a guided walking tour of each city and lunch. You can sign up for any or all the optional tours online or email me. ($95 advance purchace and $105 if purchased during tour)

FLAMENCO NIGHT (Optional Side Trip # 4)

Flamenco Evening -- $45
(click on link above for flamenco demo)

This activity will take place while we are in Seville. After a late dinner one night, we will stroll the ancient streets of the city Seville on foot to go at the flamenco venue. It is located at the foot of the meandering Guadalquivir river, keeper of the Spanish gold pilfered from the Americas.

I highly recommend this show if you are into dance, theater and music.

Flamenco is unique Spanish/Arabic art form combining guitar playing, singing, chanting, dancing and hand-clapping. Flamenco evokes all the emotions and traditions of Spain. It is a very dramatic and beautiful experience layered in whirling costumes, soulful singing, graceful men and women breath taking foot stomping and amazing guitar skills display.

All Spanish schools teach regional dances as a physical education component. Flamenco is the most famous Spanish regional dance and it is most popular in the south of Spain where everyone who has been through Spanish schools can dance flamenco.

Included in the price is the show and one drink. You can sign up for any or all the optional tours online or email me. ($45 advance purchace and $55 if purchased during tour)

Click here for more information about this fantastic art.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Meet Chelsea

This is Escape Artist Chelsea Moore.

She is a Grand Ledge HS grad '07 and now freshman in college.

"I want to go to Spain to see the culture and just to see a new place and to learn that our world is not that small" She also wants to get out of this trip is to see a lot of a different culture and learn a lot from it. Her and Pilar Hernandez (another Spain 2008 escapee) met in Zeebah Belly Dancing club and she hopes to make many more friends on this trip .

Her hobbies include belly dancing, figure skating, listening to awesome Indie rock, and acoustic music-like Keaton Simons, Curtis Peoples. She loves Elvis, Elvis music and her Elvis Friends!! She also likes traveling, collecting autographs from celebrities, computer graphics-photoshop and photography.

For Much more about Chelsea check out her My Space and more My Space

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The Spanish Attitude


Most of us are already familiar with a bit of Spain even without even traveling there. Hollywood has graced us with many examples of how Latin people have put away the stereotypical old Hollywood roles. Now Latin actors are not sought only for ethnically non-specific characters and Hispanic roles. They are seen in Hollywood as actors, not Latin or Spanish actors, just actors capable of performing any role. Latin actresses are no longer the mistresses or prostitutes in the movies, as they once may have been type-casted. The Latinos of today get to land starring roles as the main characters in the movies and stay there longer than “5 minutes as extras”.

These 3 artists (Penelope, Enrique and Antonio) are a great example of how Spanish culture influences upward mobility and beauty. When you go to Spain, you will realize that Spaniards are a very confident, glamorous and easy going people. Their love for leisure, fresh food, loud laughter, lazy afternoons, great company and spicy hot outdoor nights are the ingredients that foments this sexy attitude.

And guess what? this is totally contagious!! In Spain, beauty is NOT in the eye of the is all in one's attitude. When you feel good, you look good..!