Fruit Salad ~ FLL Team 6159

Spain Trip Journal

In other words, a Spain journal through the eyes of 13 and 14 year olds.

Note: A full set of pictures from our trip are on OneDrive.

[06/01/2014] Day 6 - Museum, San Fermin route

(by Blackberry and Grape)

Quote of the Day: “Why use a water closet when you have a tree?” ~ Banana

Today we ate breakfast and got on a bus that was back to normal size. It was deserted.

First thing when we got to the city we went to the art museum. On the walk there, we encountered a large pair of blown-up legs sticking out of a hotel. We took a lot of pictures. The museum had four smallish floors and 110 stairs up to the top. There were a lot of paintings and carvings. As we were coming off the last few stairs at the bottom, we noticed that one of the teams we talked to from London was touring the museum. We called out a hello. Just outside the museum was a person in a bear costume.

Once we were out in the street, we saw a sign on a wall that showed a picture of the running of the bulls. Above it was an explanation of that part of the route. We followed the road that the running of the bulls takes through the city back to the bull fighting ring, which is where the run ends.

All of us were eager to buy souvenirs for family members, so we turned onto a touristy-looking street. There seemed to be some kind of celebration going on. A few bands were playing, people dressed in white and red were dancing, and the buildings had pink strands of ribbons tied between them. We ducked into several souvenir shops where we were faced with an assortment of San Fermin- and bull-themed items. There were wind-up bulls, stuffed bulls, bulls on t-shirts, and mugs shaped like bulls. Everywhere you looked there were postcards, or white clothing, or red scarves that said “San Fermin” on them.

Finally we got so hungry we left the pink-draped street and stopped into this café because part of the menu was in English. Most of us got mozzarella sticks or onion rings as a side and a burger or chicken fingers. Honeydew, however, ordered a salad sandwich. But when she opened it, it had tuna inside! She had to remove the meat, because, as she says: “Yo no como carne!” As we were eating, we glanced out the window and saw the Brits from London walking by! We waved frantically and these guys eating at an outside table thought we were waving at them.

The adults had decided to eat three-course meals and were still waiting for course #2 when we finished, so we headed outside to lie down on some grass. Papaya nearly fell asleep while the rest of us used her as a pillow.

When the adults finally finished (almost two hours after we arrived at the restaurant), we headed for the playground with the teeter-totter and the spider web that we went to the first day. On the way there we got ice cream. Most of us got a half scoop of cookie and a half scoop of brownie ice cream. But no; Banana got Oreo and Grape got dulce de leche. At the spider web, we climbed up and started talking. It was siesta time and there were a lot of parents there and little kids were playing on the teeter-totter. When they cleared out we went over and started bouncing. We also did the cha-cha slide while standing on the teeter-totter.

When we were done at the park, siesta was over so we headed back to the plaza to these rows of tents with books in them. The books were really cool because there were copies of Divergent and the Hunger Games, only en espanol. Divergent was called Divergente. When we were done with our book-looking, we headed to the big circle plaza and the side street with our bus stop.

And finally, because Honeydew and her mom shook on it, we got to tour the “Todo a 2 Euros” shop across the street! Of course, not everything was two Euros, but that didn’t matter. We browsed through shoes, key chains, hair stuff, underwear, bags, and really fake necklaces. It turns out Blackberry’s European shoe size is 42.

Suddenly, our coach called us back across the street and our bus arrived. We piled on for our last use of public services. The weird carpet in the hotel waylaid us again and we wandered to our hotel rooms. Now we are writing this endlessly while Watermelon composes rhymy songs: “Chapstick cherry, cherry chapstick, / This is a song, it sounds fantastic!

[05/31/2014] Day 5 - Competition Day 2 / Closing Ceremonies

(by Banana and Honeydew)

We got to wake up a bit later today, but only because the breakfast didn’t begin until 7:30. Then we caught the bus and arrived for our last day of FLL FOREVA.

We took some more pictures with teams that we hadn’t met before. In the end, we got pictures with 86 teams out of 96. Then we had to go back to our booth to talk with judges who were following up on our presentations. We talked to 2 core values judges, 1 robot judge, and we were going to talk to project judges but Papaya and Banana had a robot run.

At our third and final robot run, Banana and Papaya had an okay score of 227. We have many excuses for this. Plum didn’t agree with the conditions in Spain, had jetlag, and couldn’t focus, (like us writing this), and they said “FIRST LEGO LEAUGE” as a countdown instead of “3…2…1…” It was a recipe for disaster!

After all the teams had their 3 runs, the top 8 went to the finals. These teams did a robot run and the 4 highest scoring teams went on, and so on, until a winner emerged. Incredibots from Ohio made it to the semi-finals, and we and the Robo Warriors banded together to cheer them on.

The music there was really loud. It reached our resonant frequency, and we couldn’t hear each other whatsoever. (Shout out to Mr. Youel! We were thinking about waves all week! And Banana is kicking her imaginary pencil case in her head.)

Then we went to another carb-loaded lunch and talked to some British people. They explained to us that what we call English muffins are actually crumpets, said words for us in British accents, and they were shocked when they thought Papaya didn’t know what waffles were. (She couldn’t understand their accents.) We talked with two British teams, an older one and a younger one. One of the Brits has met Daniel AKA Harry Potter. (We loved it when they said Harry Potter for us.)

Then we went to the closing ceremony. There was a bunch of clapping to various songs and a partially failed Macarena. Then they got to the awards. There were 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places announced for each award. When they got to the Robot Programming Award we were shocked to hear our names called for 3rd! We were also really happy to hear that two of the teams we had been talking to a lot, WATTS 2 Clean and the Incredibots won 3rd and 2nd places overall!

We went straight to dinner after the closing ceremonies, but none of us really cared for the food. Banana’s sausage squirted on Honeydew!

Everyone seems to love to use Blackberry’s things! On Wednesday, Papaya used Blackberry’s toothbrush, insisting it was hers the whole time. Then today Honeydew drank out of Blackberry’s water bottle. The worst part of all of this is that Blackberry has a cold!

At the afterparty we played more volley ball with the Estonians, Incredibots, and a few people from other teams. We are really sad that the competition is over. We’ve met so many new friends from around the world and made tons of memories.

We nearly missed our bus, but we sprinted and just made it on. They actually had to exchange the bus for an extra chubby one because of all the extra people.

[05/30/2014] Day 4 - Competition DAY 1

(by Watermelon and Papaya) (late at night)

We ate breakfast again today. It was yummy, as usual.

First at the competition we took more pictures with teams. Then Honeydew and Grape ran the robot. It was a fail. The score total was 65…yay.

After brushing off the fail we went to our core values and project judging. The judges seemed really into it. We even got to sing fruit salad, which was kind of awkward. Our challenge was to make a square out of small triangles and other shapes. It was a little more challenging than it sounds.

By the way, another team found Grape’s phone…MORE YAY.

The project went well too, Watermelon skipped a line but we played it off, LIKE A BOSS.

For lunch they were serving mashed potatoes and chicken rice with a weird sauce and MORE HARDBOILED EGGS! Also, we had some chocolate milk which in Spain is called a chocolate milkshake.

Next Watermelon and Blackberry had their robot run. It went ok, our total was 246. It was better than the last, but there is always room for improvement.

After that we went and talked to the Netherlands people for a LONG time about selfies, ratchet and other weird American things.

Then we had our RDES, we stood in an upside down looking cave room that echoed a lot. We had 2 balloons in the area, one was named Bartholomew who was killed by a person on the Watts 2 Clean team, from the Netherlands. The other’s name was Clyde, he was left behind. May they both rest in peace.

Our RDES went really well but it was really loud and echoing in the room. We had no idea what they were saying half the time.

Dinner was pizza and chips. On top of those chips were ravioli things and fish squares. Also served with dinner was ice cream. If you didn’t know, Honeydew goes to a different line being a vegetarian and all.

Then we went downstairs and danced, kind of. After that some of us tracked down the people from the UK. We went outside and met a group of locals. They wanted to follow us on Instagram,Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat.

After all of that we went back outside to play with the Incredibots and a bunch of other random people. We played a game of keep up. Some people failed miserably. It was funny. Then we tried to play tips, and failed even more. That was even funnier. After everyone realized that this game was going nowhere we juggled, soccer style. Before we could really get into the game we had to leave. We waited 20 minutes to board a cramped bus that made lots of people uncomfortable.

Now we are sitting at the table eating candy and Papaya is complaining about my grammar.

[5/29/2014] Day 3 - FLL OEC

(written by Grape and Blackberry)

Thinking of math class right now! (And LA for Grape, who’s battling Watermelon over something on her iPod.)

Today started with an earlyish wakeup at 7:15 and a short wait for our “continental breakfast.” We ate a lot of bread and drank tons of pineapple juice.

As we walked out the door of our hotel, we noticed the bus had just pulled into the bus stop. “You won’t make it,” our coach told us. We ran. We made the bus with a big “Told you so!” There were a ton of other FLL teams on the bus, too. Some of them were even from our hotel.

When we got off the bus, we followed the other teams to the building where we set up some stuff on our table. Then we got our bags of buttons (100 each), cameras, and bags of Starbursts to share with every team in the building. Starting with a team from Brazil in the far corner, we looped through every one of the 95 teams, dropping off Starbursts and swapping buttons. Some teams gave us hats, candy, and other cool things like embroidered handkerchiefs. One team from Spain even gave us olive oil! We managed to take pictures with some sixty teams that were at their tables.

Suddenly, there was some drama. Several official-looking people kept coming to our table area, telling us to go to our robot run. Everyone was off in different places, and we got so confused trying to find everyone. Then, Grape realized that her phone was missing. We searched everywhere, and are hoping we’ll find it tomorrow.

For lunch we a choice of Spain pizza or pasta salad. There were also some bright pink chicken sausages that looked strange. When we got back to our pit, we received some awesome water bottles to use throughout the competition.

Everyone got organized with costumes, flags, buttons, and anything else you could think of for a spirit parade. It was almost like the Olympics because the teams lined up by country and the U.S. was dead last. We played telephone with the other U.S. teams while we waited. We filed into the auditorium and witnessed some awesome dancing and glow-in-the-dark robots in between presenters for the Opening Ceremony.

At the end, the DJ played Gangnam Style and everyone danced on the stage with the announcer guy. He was really getting into it!

At dinner we were served chicken burgers and hard-boiled egg sandwiches. In Spain there sure are a lot of hard-boiled eggs! There was also ice cream. Then we went downstairs and danced a lot to American songs turned up way too loud. (We all have permanent ear damage now, by the way.)

We also exchanged our contact information with other teams. We caught a very crowded bus back and now here we are, distractedly writing this. Chao!

[5/28/2014] Day 2 - Cathedral/Tournament Setup

(written by Honeydew and Banana)

Quote of the Day: “You know you’re a tourist when you risk your life to take a video of something stupid.” ~Blackberry

Let’s start with the most important part, food. More specifically, our delicious continental breakfast. There’s a vast array of pastries, fruit, eggs, potatoes, meat, and tons of other stuff. We really enjoyed a orange/pineapple juice combination.

We caught a bus to get into the city wearing a rainbow of ponchos. We had some time before our tour of the cathedral, so we explored the shops in the backstreets of Pamplona. We (Honeydew) especially enjoyed the 2 € store, Spain’s equivalent of a dollar store. Honeydew’s best find was a bit… bedazzled. That’s right, she found a sparkling baseball hat that said “COOL.” In jewels. You know, all the rage in Spain. Banana bought what she thought was perfectly nice souvenir t shirt-until she looked on the back.  It implied that Banana had been out drinking all night...well, we DO have a lot of fun here. We’ll just say it was pineapple juice.

Then, we visited the Cathedral Pamplona. We climbed up a lot of stairs, and we counted them on the way down. (149, if you were curious.) The view was amazing, and we got to stand next to the largest working bell in Spain. It was over 400 years old! After the tower, we got a tour of the museum and the church. It was breath-taking, especially for Blackberry, (probably because she had a cold.) Parts of the church were built back in the 13th century, and recently while excavating, they found a coin dating back to 150 BC and a baby skeleton.

After that, we went to lunch at Café Iruna. This was really fun, because we got to practice our Spanish while ordering. Honeydew told the waiter, “Yo no como la carne,” meaning “I don’t eat meat.” We got to choose our appetizer, entrée and dessert. We all enjoyed the food and were stuffed afterward.

We wandered around in the rain and came across a horse shop, but it was sadly closed because everyone was on siesta. We continued on to the tournament venue to set up some of our stuff. All the teams had AWESOME displays! We were one of the only teams that didn’t bring a boatload of balloons.-Thinking about math class right now. We’re supposed to be there. Ha,ha.- It was so much fun meeting with teams from different countries. We talked to people from Brazil, The Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Australia, Greece, France, and England. The Brits’ accents were amazing and they gave us “British sweets.”

Then we had to wait for our bus, which took ages! Honeydew could have run across to the 2 euro store 20 times.

Now we’re back at the hotel, learning to say hello in every language and feasting on chocolate and applesauce.

Life is good.

[5/27/2014] Day 1 / First Plane Ride

By Watermelon and Papaya

For the trip to O’Hare we rode in a limo. It was cool and smelled weird. Once we were there we had to go through security and customs. We had to take off our shoes, which was gross, even with socks on, thinking about how many feet have been on that floor. Papaya forgot to dump her water bottle and had to go through security twice. The back of her head had to be patted down. To pass time we played Uno while waiting to board the plane and we are pretty sure we broke a record for longest game of Uno ever. No one won after an hour and a half of playing. Finally we were allowed on the plane.

On the plane there were these tablets embedded in the headrest in front of you, and there were games, movies, music and TV shows. We watched The Lego Movie and Harry Potter and played Bejeweled. Towards the end of the flight Papaya and Watermelon figured out how to play chess against each other, but then the tablets turned off. WE WILL HAVE A REMATCH!!! We also attempted to sleep but utterly failed.

On the airplane we had a dinner and breakfast. The food was ok but Watermelon loved it. There was pineapple juice.

Then we ran through the Madrid terminal which was gigantic, cool looking and deserted in order to catch our next flight which we barely made. We had to go through security again but with shoes on. The security people only spoke Spanish and Watermelon was extremely confused when they were trying to get her to go through security again with the fruit cutouts because they didn’t fit through the normal scanner. We made it to our next flight just as they started boarding. This airplane was tiny and didn’t have the cool tablets. It was very claustrophobic. We didn’t get to sit close to each other either. That was a boring but short flight. On the flight they said over the intercom “And a special welcome to robotics team Fruit Salad from Chicago” and that was cool. Once the plane landed we had a chauffeur that was holding our team logo and took us to our hotel.

Once at the hotel we really wanted to go to sleep because it was 1 or 2 in the morning Illinois time and we hadn’t slept on the plane much but had to stay awake to avoid jet lag. Then we left for a long walk… a REALLY long walk.

We took a bus to Pamplona while half asleep. Then we decided to walk around the old section of Pamplona, which was VERY FAR. We saw a lot of old walls that were part of a castle and walked in the castles moat. While walking we learned that Spain has the best playgrounds ever. We found 3, the first was pretty cool but small and we didn’t stay long. The second had this awesome jungle gym and a multiple person sea saw. The sea saw had a bench on either side. The benches were fun to stand on when sea sawing, but Banana was against the idea. We had a race to see who could climb the jungle gym the fastest; Blackberry won while Papaya miserably failed. Then later we found another jungle gym that was similar to the first one but much taller.

It was really difficult to order food from this random little restaurant we found while walking (nobody spoke English) and from McDonalds.