So Cass and I have arrived safe and sound in Barcelona. Our luggage arrived in time and in one piece, and we are now settled in comfortably in Petra’s apartment, which as she describes is located in the neighborhood to the right of Eixample. Our journey was from Omaha to Chicago to Madrid to Barcelona. Once we landed in Barcelona (or BCN for short), we collected our luggage, hopped on the Aeropuerto bus, got off at Plaza España, took the metro to the Sagrada Familia stop, and then lugged all of our belongings the several blocks to Petra’s apartment building. Stupidly, Cass and I had thought that Petra lived on the second floor since her address ends with: 2º 2ª. However, as fate would have it, Spanish flooring does not work like that. Here, the ground level apartments are on the “entre suelo” floor, then what we would consider to be the second floor is called “principal,” then the actual third floor level is called “primero” and the fourth floor is actually called “segundo.” Hence, we were not prepared to carry our luggage up many flights of stairs at the end of our journey, but it was well worth all the effort and sweat to be finally unpacked, settled in, and enjoying our new home!

Petra is awesome and quite accommodating. She only speaks Spanish with us so that is ideal; speaking is actually coming back to me with much more ease than I had imagined it would. Yesterday evening, Petra invited Cass and I to accompany her to an opera show at the performing arts school. The intimate concert was held at an upstairs room in the Liceu theatre off of Las Ramblas; it was my first live opera experience of any sort and I quite enjoyed it, despite being dog-tired. After that we came home, had dinner (pasta, bread, and a zucchini & shrimp revuelta), and then Cass and I headed out to meet Bri at George Payne’s. It was so fun to be back at one of our old haunts and the place was just as I remember it from a few summers ago. 

So far, the downfall of the trip, for me, is easily the fact that I somehow managed to forget to pack a single swimsuit. !!! So needless to say, that is super inconvenient. This morning I opened one of the cards in my card pack that was assembled by Hayley and Beth (and their parents); the first one atop the large pile was from Hayley and it had one of my favorite quotes written inside: “Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the earth: ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” To me this quote has always represented the unconditional love that is shared between my best friends and I, as well as between my mom and I. The support that my friends and family have shown over the last week in particular has been so reaffirming and comforting to my soul. I was having a hard time shaking the sadness of leaving my friends and family after a very teary parting at Eppley, but as I have told myself several times already: Be strong and brave for everyone who loves you that cannot be here right now. So many people would love to be in your shoes and cannot make it happen for various reasons, so enjoy it and be strong. After all you’re carry their hearts in your heart, and vice versa. 

 

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