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I had a busy week filled with lots of Paella, Flamenco, and friends. The week was especially busy and exciting considering my best friend, Emily, was visiting. Of course, I had to show her all of my favorite places in Seville.First we went to Las Setas where we enjoyed coffee and churros along with the gorgeous views of the city from the top of the structure. The next day, I showed her the beautiful MariaLuisa Park and Plaza de España. I left her there to explore on her own while I went to Spanish class just down the street. The next day I had to take her to the Alcázar – if visiting Seville you can not leave without seeing this amazing architectural masterpiece. Even though it was my second time thereI enjoyed the visit just as much as the first.  I was Emily’s personal tour guide since I had learned a lot about the palace from my first visit. We had fun exploring and taking photos even though it decided to rain on us a little — quite the rarity in Seville. Emily also just so happened to come to Seville on the week when I had Flamenco dance and Paella cooking class. At first I was a little upset because I thought it might put a dent in our time together.  However, ICS was very accommodating  of her and we ended up having a lot of fun! Emily got to watch my dance group struggle through the first Flamenco lesson — a very challenging feat. She definitely enjoyed watching me make a complete fool of myself. After working up a sweat dancing, we enjoyed some pizza and drinks at one of my favorite restaurants here in Seville called Taberna La Auténtica.  The next day was Paella cooking class.  I had attended the Tortilla cooking class previously so I kind of knew what to expect, but Paella was a completely different ballgame for its complexity!  Paella is a Spanish rice dish which we were very excited to try.  So we both went to the cooking class and enjoyed homemade Sangría while we watched the cook prepare the Paella. After a brief introduction, he showed us how to prepare the dish. We learned there are lots of different steps, tips, tricks, and ingredients involved in making a good Paella. I also learned how to make a lemon flower which we decorated the finished Paella with. Our personal chef completed this dish flawlessly and the final product was delicious. After a whole month in Spain I had finally learned what all the rage of Paella was about!

After our fun-filled week, I had to say goodbye to Emily far too soon as I had to leave for our ICS trip to Granada on Friday morning. However, I am so very thankful for the time that we spent together and all the memories we made. Thanks to ICS I will never forget my week filled with Paella, Flamenco, and very special friends.