After the excitement and adventure from Iguazú a couple weeks ago, unfortunately we were thrown back into reality with every college students' favorite: midterms.... Unfortunately for me, my midterms all got moved up earlier in the schedule than I was anticipating, but after some intensive studying and plenty of highlighter marks on my hands I finally finished and was able to "reward" myself with our next excursion to Colonia, Uruguay. Despite our early call time of 7:30am, it was a day that ended all to soon. We hopped on the ferry for an hour long journey across the Rio de la Pata where we disembarked into the quaint little colonial town (with another stamp in my passport may I add :) ). From there we met with our tour guide for a quick drive around town. Our tour guide was nice enough to let us make some unscheduled stops at the old bull fighting ring and the beach to stretch our legs, take some photos, and enjoy the clean fresh air. I didn't realize how much I actually missed the water and sand beneath my toes until we were standing there and the fresh, quiet air brought the sentiments of home rushing back. Afterwards we continued on with a walking tour of the old city square. Filled with little cafes and uneven cobblestone streets, Colonia was a much needed break from the big city. For lunch we all devoured the meal of choice there which is known as a "chivito" to the locals but should really be called a "heart attack waiting to happen." Complete with chicken, ham, bacon, cheese, fried egg, lettuce, tomato, peppers, olives, mayonnaise, and french fries it was soooo good. Fortunately the sun had come out in full force by the time we finished lunch so we just toured around the city some more enjoying the little alleyways and to walk off some of that lunch! During our solo excursion we found a pier filled with benches where people were taking their afternoons siestas; so we had no choice but to blend in with the locals and take one ourselves. Listening to the water lap onto shore and watching the boats come in to anchor I felt a little bit like I was at home which was perfect. Right before we headed back to the ferry we all slowly, and very carefully walked up a very narrow spiraling staircase to the top of a lighthouse to get the ultimate view of the city and the water. It was so peaceful and yet surreal at the same time to think we had just hopped over to another country for the day. But like I said, our day ended all to soon and we were suddenly back waiting in the customs line to head over to the city.