Tomorrow I am going to Europe with Don. We’re flying into Amsterdam, crashing with his brother for a pair of nights, then jetting off to Barcelona. I’ve wanted to go to Spain, no lie, since I was five. I pulled my Spanish teacher aside on the first day of eight grade to explain that she should take a hammer to any of my imperfections because someday I was going to go to Spain and by gum I wanted to fit in while there.

I’ve been brushing up on my Spanish, but really just learning that while I’m good at understanding stuff directed to gringos learning the language I still can’t understand but a 1/3 of what a native speaker says to another native speaker. And since the heyday of my near fluency nearly a decade ago my accent has gone to shit, along with my ability to keep things in the same gender and plurality. So, someday I will go to Spain and blend in, but not this trip.

I’m taking Ifrit, but really, that’s just a security blanket for the plane ride and dealing with airports. I managed to avoid Heathrow in both directions, but I’ve still got a low level terror that something will go wrong on the return trip and I’ll wind up going through Heathrow and O’Hare on the same trip. The local tiny airport occasionally gives me the creeps, so I do not need to go through two of the worst airports in the world in quick succession. Especially not when the British penchant for filming the public creeps me out while I’m watching other people talk about it on TV.

Excluding California and Canada, this is my first trip out of the country. Excepting the airport, I’m not really scared. Just…kinda in disbelief. The deal I’ve got for this is too good (even the family is being understanding when told, “Can’t come see you at Christmas, blew my vacation on Barcelona”), and I’ve been waiting for it for a looooooong time.

So yeah, yay!

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