Did I tell you we flew over to Spain to see our Gap Year Girl?
Oh the joy of seeing such transformation in this newly confident, emerging young woman!
Of course our travels were full of many Magical Moments, and here are a few in particular that I wanted to share with you…
1. We got on the plane for an 11:00 pm flight out of Boston. As we were heading to our seats, a woman in the row behind ours stood up and said, Kasey? It was my first cousin Marnie who lives in Maine! She and her family were on their way to Barcelona too! What are the chances?!! Same flight? Maybe? But the row right behind us? Come on!!!!!
2. Due to the time change, we arrived in Spain the afternoon after we departed. After finding and getting settled in our rented apartment by the sea (so much cheaper than the hotels – ask me more if you’re traveling any time soon) we headed for a meal on the beach. (btw, Barcelona is a very Gluten Free friendly city!) That meal brought us back to the apartment in the early evening, so I rallied the troops to “make the most of our first night” and we took a cab into the center of the city.
As we arrived on La Rambla, my eyes lit up and I was ready to explore. But Tuck took hold of my arm and pulled me aside. “Mom,” he said gently squeezing my arm, “I know you’re excited, but this is Andie’s city to show us now. Let’s let her lead us around.”
“Thank you, Tuck,” I said, to which he began to apologize, thinking he’d offended me.
“No, truly, thank you,” I said again. To which he smiled and from that night through the rest, we took up our positions following our girl through “her” city.
3. Barcelona Protests and City Wide Strike?
We all started getting texts from family asking if we were ok in light of the protests taking place in Barcelona.
We were. The only impact being Andie’s difficulty getting back and forth to her language school because the protesting was in that area.
But as the week progressed, the protests were less peaceful and leaders were calling for a city-wide strike at the end of the week.
The end of the week, Friday, to be exact, the day we were due to fly home.
Long story short, we had a decision to make. Hope for the best and wait for our scheduled flight, or get out when we could.
We decided to get out early.
Which meant suddenly our time with our girl and vacation was cut short by a day and a half.
It was so interesting to watch the immediate change in our behavior.
Suddenly everything became out “last” and a new urgency emerged that hadn’t been there throughout the rest of the trip.
We raced to rent paddle boards to earn the bragging rights that we’d paddle boarded on the Mediterranean Sea. We took more photos, visited a few of the “touristy” places we weren’t sure we’d wanted to before, and then gathered for what would be our final meal together in Spain.
Back at the apartment, after packing for our early morning flight, I suggested another bike ride.
“But it’s dark out,” hubby said. When I simply smiled, he threw me my bike key and off we went.
And it turns out the city by bike at night is a feast for all the senses. Lights and noises, elaborate sand castles with mini-torches, dogs off-leash running along side their owners, cruise ships and tankers lit up in the sea.How had we missed this while we were here?I wondered.Why weren’t we out every night biking and taking this all in?
And that’s when I understood.
It’s kind of how we go through life. Living, but not really LIVING.
And until our time is limited, until it suddenly becomes precious and stamped with an end date, do we really start to appreciate all the moments available to us each and every day.
As we parked our bikes and leaned over the rail of the long boardwalk, I made a promise to myself. To live each day as if our time is limited, because really, in so many ways it is.
So today, I choose to live life to the fullest.
How about you?
In the words of the poet, Mary Oliver,What will you choose to do with your one wild and precious life?
I had planned to send this post out last Thursday, when suddenly and unexpectedly, my dear mother in law took a fall and died that day.
We are a very tight-knit family, spending our summers living together on a lake here in New Hampshire.
This is a devastating loss for us all.
Yet Gram truly lived her life to the fullest and did so much to inspire us all withher one wild and precious life.