Saturday, June 4, 2011

Los Estados Unidos

Saturday, 10:24 a.m.

Please note the time...that's right now!

The rumors are true - I am back to the United States. Finally!

After far too many calculations, it was determined that by the time I was back in Eugene I had been up from 7:45 a.m. on Thursday morning to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday in Spain.

Math is not my strongest suit, but that is a lot of hours! I'd only been traveling from 3:00 a.m. on Friday to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday though, if that makes it any better.

Each leg of the journey brought Sara and I a little closer to being in a land where English is the primary language. We were thrilled to finally touch down on American soil in Philadelphia, and were ecstatic when we reached our "final" destination in Seattle.

These guys were waiting for me:

And then we started the long drive home. I gobbled the snacks my dad and Jonny brought for me - carrots and a PBJ sandwich - and marveled at the large vehicles, the presence of rest areas, and the novelty of listening to the radio.

We pulled up to good ol' 2270 at 4:00 a.m. I have never been more happy to see home.

After four hours of sleep, I decided to get up and start my day - I'm trying to avoid jet lag as much as I possibly can. Today I plan on returning to the mother ship (Target) and then lounging in the sun alternating between reading all the celebrity gossip magazines that have been bestowed on me and snoozing.

Even though I'm home now, keep an eye on this blog - I still have a few parts of my trip to write about, plus some final thoughts.

It's so good to be home.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

el día final

Thursday, 2:31 p.m

Today we took a final, had a goof-off class (we ate food our teacher brought us and watched YouTube videos). And we "graduated" from class today. Got "diplomas" and everything! On my way home I tossed my last two folders in the recycling bin - it was a beautiful feeling.

I returned home for my last lunch in Spain (after walking back from school the last time) and am now attempting to finish my packing.

My room is something of a disaster area right now. Actually, maybe not. Zach’s room at home? That’s a disaster area. I can still see my floor, and everything is organized as it should be. It only seems disastrous because I am in the process of packing.

It has been so much easier to pack to go home than it was to pack to come to Spain – I know that I have to bring everything with me, so there’s not a lot of decision-making.

I have one shower to go (I’m taking it while everyone else is taking their siesta), and then will be able to toss things like body wash and shaving cream. I’ll dry and straighten my hair (for what I think will be the third time I’ve done that here) and then will be able to pack my flatiron. I’ll put on make-up for tonight and then will stow the rest in my suitcase.

My room is slowly getting cleaned up. My closet now only holds the clothes I’m wearing tonight and tomorrow; my desk is now only home to my computer; my shelves only have my host mom’s trinkets on them.

My photos on the mirror are gone; my page-a-day calendar is stowed away in my carry-on; my books are settled in my backpack. My gadgets are all charged; my liquids are all in their quart-sized Ziploc bag; my passport is safely tucked in the holder I’ll be wearing around my neck tomorrow.

Now I have reached the point where I want to do nothing but finish packing and leave, but instead, I wait. Not for long now, considering I’ll be getting up in roughly 12 hours to start the long journey home.

This afternoon I’ll be hanging out with Kyla, wandering the streets of this lovely city we’ve called home for the past two months. We have our goodbye dinner tonight with our entire group, plus our advisor and professors. At 3:00 a.m., I’ll be leave 24 calle del sol for the last time, making my way to the bus station with Gigantor in tow.

Our bus for Bilbao leaves at 3:45 a.m. When we arrive there, Sara and I will take the city bus to the airport to catch our 8:00 a.m. flight to Madrid.

After a three-and-a-half hour layover, we leave Spain at 12:35 p.m. for the good ol’ United States. Eight hours and 40 minutes later, I’ll get to Philadelphia at 3:15 p.m. Wouldn’t it be nice if that was actually a three hour flight? Going backwards is going to confuse me like nobody’s business!

After a quick layover in Philadelphia, we leave at 5:55 p.m., arriving in Seattle at 8:56 p.m. That flight is six hours and one minute long, but I know it will seem like the longest because I will be beyond excited to get home.

My daddy and boyfriend are meeting me at the airport and then we’re driving all night to get to Eugene.

I’ve never been more excited for a trip in my life.