Sunday, September 28, 2014

Perfect Endings to Amazing Beginings

Where do I begin,
How can I explain,
This endless love I have for Spain.

My bike takes me to the edge of the world and on the other side is another world, worth discovering.





I've changed my scale of awesome, the highest level possible: Spain. And this weekend has been very Spain. (Yes I did just repeat Spain in every sentence, the name alone brings me joy)

Soccer is Life! No Really.

I have many loves in my life. Reading books in cuddly p-jamjams, doing cartwheels in the rain, starting to dance when the moment just calls for a random dance party, but playing soccer is one of those loves that has never left. So my first question after receiving my host country was Where and how soon will I be able to play! Luckily I had the help of well connected parents and my first week here I tried out for a team in the second national division. For me it's all about the passion. You've got to want it or why play? There is no lack in the passion pool here. We start each practice with pure sweat. Sprints, push ups, crunches gahh I love it! (And this is the point where most people tell me to hush up with my hyperactive self but it's my blog so all you couch potatoes let me speak!)

The best part about being on a team, a whole new group of friends. These girls are beyond nice, they help me with the Spanish soccer terms and laugh at all my attempts to be funny. (Score!) On Friday's we practice from 8:30-10:30 pm I have to take a bus home so I usually don't arrive until 11 for dinner(Eating crazy late, but when in Spain do like the Spaniards and eat the baby octopi!) The girls had taken English and were trying to have conversations with me. It was nice not to be the only one stumbling over words. At the end of the night I received a round of hugs and see you later's! I was a part of yet another family that just keeps growing.
No this isn't my team, we have cooler uniforms (;
Oh and the game? Well being new and unofficially on the team I could only watch. The way it works here is 16 and up can play. So our team consisting of 16-18 year olds (some of which remain under 5 feet) are going up against fully grown fully muscled "women". Seriously I could not believe the size of these lady's! But we held our own after a nail-biting 90 minutes we managed the win 2-1! Next weekend it's off to Irun!

Now let's take a bus ride to Zuasti, the home of my other brother, Alberto.

Zuasti Festivities

If you it doesn't burn a little, you're
not doing it right.
Let's see how do I put this without overselling it... The entire day was perfection! I woke up and did some yoga, preparing for a long day/night starting with a sunny carnival/comida. Rows of tables, the young, the old and the awesomely teenager all enjoying a neighborhood picnic. The boys cook paella and the girls make desserts (Kind of adorable!). Sitting around the "camp fire" I listened to tales of drunken adventure, thinking in a year I'll have all these stories of my own, all these Spanish adventures and you're along for the ride!

After a few hours in wooden chairs I'll be honest my butt was numb. What better way to cure a numb butt? Why hop on a bull! We are in Pamplona for goodness sakes! Riding a mechanical bull was on my BucketList so trying not to look like a 5 year old, I rushed to the inflatable circle that surrounded the coolest of little kiddie carnival rides.  Feeling alive the next escapade was soon too come, my love, soccer.

I emerged in my brother Alberto's man-sized soccer clothes and tennis shoes fit for a 10 year old boy. I was the only girl so a lot of people were watching la Americana play. Boys will be boys, tricks to impress the ladies, but at this point I was no longer a "lady". The boys said I was good and told me I could play with them anytime, I felt like one of the guys! (maybe it's because I was dressed like one) When I said I had to go change and make myself look like a girl for the parties tonight I got back "Eres muy guapa" > You are very beautiful. I was blushing (or maybe I was red from all the chasing) Either way compliment well taken. I went back to the house to get ready for my first real Spanish fiesta!

Peaceful before the bull got his buck.

 Midnight in San Fermines (Chiquito)

There is time, on a clock, and then there is Spain-Time, whenever you feel like it. We began a long evening of mischief around 10pm in la bajera (last blog post give it a look) Here's the thing, I don't know the right Spanish music. Before arriving I compiled playlists with all kinds of salsa and Latin pop only to find I had all the wrong songs. So I simply smiled and pretended (like all good exchange students do) as the room filled with the sing/shouting of 30 or so wild teenagers.

Amidst a conversation with the 3rd Alejandro I'd met this week (how will I remember all these names) an American song began to play. All my new friends wanted to know what "American dancing" is (please anything other than Twerking!) Never do I question whether or not to dance, the answer is always YES. Up off the couch and out onto the dance floor flew the Latin-Irish-American girl shaking her culo like there was no tomorrow. Worked out for me, I was supposedly "a good dancer" (extra points)!

We were approaching 1 in the morning and guess what, this was just the beginning. Dancing, singing, cheering I never felt happier to reintroduce myself a million and one different times to the million and one new faces. We marched through the streets of the old city a pack of friends, or a group of family, to me it felt like both.

From the roof of my house the city comes to life around me.

And this, dear readers is where I leave you because like all grand tales of adventure, a little mystery is what keeps the story alive.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pamplona, I Love You

So much has happened in one week (oh my gracious I can't believe it has already been a week)! Instead of going through all the exciting details some of which I can't even share (super secrets ;)) I'll make this a simple list of what I love so far (minus a few hundred other things that my fingers got too tired for).

1. Small City

Everyone keeps saying "oh Pamplona is a small city" but for me, everything is new and exciting and SPANISH! A smaller makes it an exchange students dream, big cities can be intimidating for a newbie. When I got lost (just that one time!) I managed to navigate my way back to my house, even though I couldn't open the gate once I arrived, the neighbors helped me out. Which brings me to #2.

I've been saving the peanut butter but now that it's open I splurge! Look at this little spread of heaven.

2.  Nice People

I've been told that since I'm pretty and a foreigner, that's why everyone is nice to me but I don't buy that. It's not just my family and the people in school that have been nice to me but literally EVERYONE. The soccer team, the neighbors, strangers in stores, strangers in the plaza, strangers at the bus stop, I've received more compliments in one week than I have in a month of living in the US! I'm sure the more Spanish I get the less plentiful the compliments will come but for right now I'm soaking up the lime light.
Here I would have placed a picture with some of the wonderful people I have met but my new Spanish mobile device has decided to not work with my American laptop. I apologize for such an unfortunate political conflict. 

3. Running Routes

Exercise junkie, right here. I worked for my crazy legs but inherited my workout obsession from my parents. My brain is full of Spanish, English, names and memory, exercise clears my mind. Mountain side, river side, park side, the paths here are green and gorgeous. Story time! When I went running the other morning I stopped at the perfect spot to do some my favorite HITT workouts (found on youtube "BodyRock" check it out!) and after I finished the first round I noticed a little old lady had been watching me and she said in Spanish. "Such strength. You are lucky. I wish I could do the same." We both laughed, I thanked her, and she continued walking. I felt once again, like a superstar!

4. Singing Brothers

I really hope he doesn't see this (and if you are a friend to me you will not share it with him) but my host brother sings and I adore it beyond belief! I hear his American music playing and it doesn't take much to hear his sing-a-long cover as well. With an endearing accent it makes me think of home and my own dad singing, off key but still wonderfully.

The other bother, Alberto about to take the shot. And yes, they won!


No that wasn't a sneeze you just experienced. In Pamplona "Thirsty Thursdays" take on a whole new meaning. At night around 22:00 (10pm) everyone heads out to the streets for "unos pinchos y unas cervezas". Pinchos are these amazing little servings of food and cervezas, well it's beer. For 2 (about $3) you can have both! The most amazingly Spanish food entertained my taste buds. Jamón, toasted baguette with tomato, thinly sliced ham and topped off by a bit of olive oil. Simple right? But absolute perfection. First the crunch of the bread let's you know "mhmm this is going to be good" then the sweetness of the tomato says "just wait it get's better" and finally the ham, so delicate it virtually melts on you're tongue "you are welcome". (Sorry to any of you on diets who just suffered through such an epic foodgasm). Were we done? Heck no it's Pamplona! My sister Marie was so great reassuring me "You don't have to drink. If you feel tired just tell me. Whatever you like." I felt so relieved to have her there. But drinking, I'm an exchange student, a representation of Rotary and my country, responsible, independent -ok the Rotarians aren't looking now right?- I kid I kid! With school and soccer I really didn't want to go crazy. So Marie gave me "un zumo de uva". At first I thought omg how lame I'm having grape juice! But after the first sip I didn't care how lame it sounded. The juice was like a grape bursting in my mouth so fresh I wanted a gallon to take home! And onward we ventured into the late night lively streets.

In Spain we eat Pinchos on the ground. Get at us!

6. There is Life

No matter what time of day (well minus siesta time) there are always people out and about milling through the streets, biking to they're next adventure or crowding cobble stone streets into the wee hours of the morning. Oh the night life of Spain! Perhaps it's that I've been trapped in the box of American teenage society but I could not get over how many people go out at night. You'd have to lock arms with friends when passing through a forest of the tall and tan... can you guess my next one?

Again, I am an exchange student, not a tourist. So of course I took a sneaky video to capture the crowd. This was at about 10pm. Later, it got more packed!

7. Boys Where!?

Well yes it is me we're talking about here. *Fair warning to the boys reading this you may want to skip on,  just saying, it gets girly!* Being foreign and knowing little of how to flirt in Spanish I've spent quite some time practicing the wink (; When I'm in a new place the Guy-dar is on. Something I've noticed, not as many "jacked" guys here. Having been surrounded by this type of abnormally buff male species, I'm liking the leaner look. But of course these are superficial observations and we are above that ladies. In Pamplona the guys I've met, like everyone I've met are soo nice! There isn't much shyness about them (well since our 1st greeting is a half-way-to-1st-base double kiss on the cheek) but really guys don't lose interest when I'm messing up words in fact they've been helpful in maneuvering my way through the language, with nice accents and rolling Rrrrr's  that just make me heart skip a beat! Ok enough girly talk, for now.

8. La Bajera

To any of you prospect Spain Exchange Students, listen up because this is a piece of teenage culture you have to know. Basically a group of friends pools together some money and they rent what is ultimately an above ground basement. Like all good surprises, looks can deceive. The outside seriously resembles a place for hobos but on the inside... well it still looks like a place for hobos but with semi clean couches a tv and plenty more teenage antics. But it is also quite secretive,  so sorry I couldn't capture the inside glory for you all. What I like the most about it is, unlike most teenager's I've come to know, who just take having "nothing to do" with a side of potato chips, the people here actually do something. They rent a cement block and fill it with memories. That my friends is teenhood.
La Bajera, a super secret meeting place of only the coolest kids in Pamplona. And perhaps a passing hobo.

All in all Spain has a lot to offer and I to it. So together like tow best friends on the swings we will continue this journey through the up down and the spectacularly Spanish!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Day in My Notebook

I'll make you all a deal. Transferring photos is very slow here and I really do not want to look like a tourist whipping out the camera 24/7 so for now this blog will contain minimal photos but at the end of big adventures I'll post as many as I can. If you bare with me I just may have a surprise for you at the end :D Sound good? Awesome, on with the journey!

Notes or Nah?

This is what I do in school. Take notes, some about what we are learning but mostly notes on what to say in blog (or doodles, lots of doodles). All translated from Spanish of course! Join me on a day in my notebook at Colegio San Cernin.
Not my notebook but my favorite book, translated in Spanish!


Everyone has been saying how great my Spanish. All pride aside, I feel like that's just making the expectations so much higher. After a few tidbits about diffusion (surprisingly they are learning easy stuff too!) I developed two sides to the argument of whether/why I don't need to work hard in school this year. (Thank you to my English teacher, Mr.Jarocki for molding my mind into a debate machine)
  1. I can understand what's going on but that doesn't mean I want to study and stress like it affects me. This is my year of fun!
  2. I know me. I'm competitive, driven, can not sit in a class for 7 hours, doing nothing, without going insane! (Plus I have the pride of a pageant mom in my school work)
The first is easy for anyone whose been an exchange student or even teenager (whatever that is) to understand. If you don't have to do it why do it, bare minimum is the level we're going for. I've battled with this idea since the day homework stopped being coloring pages and everyone else grew out of the "Yay School!" phase. Guess I'm still there because I love work. Now don't throw me off the teenage caravan please! But seriously guys doing things, not pointless things like memorizing my times tables (Sorry 3rd grade math teachers multiplication was not on my priority list) but working towards something is the only thing that makes me want it more. If I don't try, everything stops being important.

Ok story time. In middle school there is this running test called the "Pacer" and you have when a beep goes off you have to make it to the other side before the second beep sounds. You only need about 30 to get a good grade. Every time I would tell myself "Ok stop at 30. That's all you need." But once I got to 30 something kicked in that made me want to do more, more than the girls beside me and more than the girl inside me shouting "One more! Everyone's watching, show them what you can do! GO GO GO!" (I know she is crazy) But knowing that crazy drive is always in me I really don't know how I believed I could take it slow this year.


Might I begin with, I have never taken a Philosophy class but here's something different, at the start of each class the students stand until the teacher allows them to sit (like in the movies). Then the teacher calls up each student and praises (rarely) or criticizes (likely) their entire homework. Harshh. I have too much pride for that kind of critiquing. But aside from the material, it's pretty different. Rows of students listen, write, listen, answer, listen. No discussion, no opinion.

It's not like anyone likes it that way. Really, teachers and parents here have both told me the system is outdated. But if everyone thinks that way they why is no one doing anything about it? I know it's not my place, I'm the foreigner here. If I got up and shouted "Viva la revolución de educación!" >Long live the Educational Revolution, everyone would dub me as Crazy American. (Not being surrounded by crazy Americans makes me realize how crazy American I truly am). But I'm Tanika Santos, the girl who loves to think, loves to challenge and is learning to love change. Change is life. I may not be starting a revolution just yet but it's good to know there's a bit of my mom's fight in me.


It's so confusing what to wear, chilly mornings, stuffy buildings and then that perfect Looks-like-fall-feels-like-spring weather! The window is open and I'm loving that fresh air but I can hear all the younger kids outside having recess. I want to play too! So much sitting! Sitting in class, sitting on bikes, I don't know if I'll feel my butt by tomorrow! (On a really funny side note I initially wrote "culo">ass and my English teacher read it and started laughing). At this point we started talking about the relationships between teachers and students. I was interested so I listened in for a bit. The question was who is more important or are they equal?

Being a student you know my answer, but it's not just that. Not to sound like a total flower child, but aren't we all students? I mean no matter how old you get there's always something new to learn. Then I go into a rather long but I would say insightful description of life, very proudly in Spanish. Coming to the conclusion that if we're all students in life the best of us start with teachers to give us that love of learning. In the end it's a cycle of human knowledge and with so many different ideas how could we not improve? I'm weird to have so much fascination in this conversation let us return to teenage rambling.

Ingles y Frances

I'll put these to together because I did the least in them. English I know almost everything, French I know almost nothing so it was the perfect time to take a midday break of thought. Until suddenly I heard "Vamos a preguntar la Americana" > Let's ask the American. Uhhhhh que? My goodness the first time I truly zone out today and I get the spotlight. But it was good they wanted me to have the honor of pulling out names for a project which of course I did not have to do. Whew fly through that one. Still with a French host dad and the beautiful country being so close it would be nice to learn more than "oui" "croissant" and "français" ( love that "c" with a tail)!

Quimica y Fisica

The two more difficult last classes of the day and I was pretty burnt out. Chemistry, I didn't like it in the US, I doubt I'll like it here. Truthfully I spent most of that class doodling. But the first physics class in my life I wanted to know how that would go. Little did I know physics translates into math on crazy pills, not to mention it was all in Spanish! Luckly this was the first class where I didn't feel like I was the only one out of the loop. Most of the class had the Wait WHAT? look that has become my Every-Math-Class face. I change my mind, today was my first and last day of physics!

Might I also take this time say that EVERYONE has been so nice here. It may be that I am a foreigner but wow I've talked to so many people that just want to know me! Thank you Pamplona!
A creeper picture of my first cute Spanish boy sighting! I told you there would be a surprise!

Well there has also been a fancy dinner, a soccer try out and my first taste of Pamplona nightlife. All is soon to unfold. Until next time!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Followers, Welcome to Your New Home

Pamplona. Pamplona. Once more, PAMPLONA!! I'll back-track from my extreme excitement to explain how I got to this built up joy. Feeling like a move star, I stepped off the plane, onto the tarmac and was taken away. My backdrop was beautiful green mountains and a fresh breeze blowing my hair back, again like a movie star. How can you explain when the air tastes fresher and the sun feels brighter, you can not. It simply is!

 I've Arrived! Wait.... I've arrived?

My one selfie. Excitement dialed down
because I didn't want to freak anyone
out with my happiness.
Suddenly I was feeling nervous. After hardly feeling anything on the way in I was surprised to suddenly feel a little nervous. Beyond that sliding a door a new family waited and with it a new beginning, figuratively. Rapidly finger-combing my hair and awkwardly maneuvering 2 nearly 50 pound suitcases and one nearly bursting carry-on I passed through the door, literally.

My new sister and father welcomed me with hugs and kisses. The first joke translated in English: "I told her an American girl with only one suitcase would be impossible!" At first I thought "Oh no I look so American!" but soon realized how sarcastic and jokey (word?) my family is, works for me! They both kept down-playing the city, "small", "old" but I absolutely loved it and from the first car window views it only got better, onto the bikes!

You can bike anywhere! The entire city functions around biking lanes and get this, cars actually stop for bikers, no angry honking here! I was hooked. It seemed the whole city came out to welcome me. We ran into at least 5 people that Elisa (host mom) knew. All were so excited to finally meet me and all of them said the same things. "Welcome! You speak good Spanish! You are so pretty!" I continued to feel like a movie star. Until the unglamorous task of getting me a cell phone.

Bikes. We have a love/hate relationship, you give me nice calves, yet also butt pains.

Go Go Go STOP!!

Like the roads, life in Spain is a very stop and go pace. We're  going going doing this, that, here, there and then *stop light*. Just about anywhere that offers a service here you must take a number and wait. By "wait"I don't mean 15 minutes in and out, I mean 1 maybe 2 hours. Being my mothers daughter the impatience gene can catch up with me. If it weren't for my real father's laid back voice in my head and my new friend talking in my ear I just might have thrown a fit.

Walking path along the mountain side. City-Park-Mountains. This place is everything!
My new friend was a music man from Sicilly. There's a hiking trail "El Camino Santiago" that draws hundreds of people from all over the world. The people who take the trail from coast to coast of Spain are called "Peregrinos" Pilgrims. This was the first time I could hear about it from someone actually on the path. Giovanni flew to France and from León he began his 800+ km journey. He had lot's of stories to tell me, heck we were both waiting two hours for cell phones. He said at the top of a mountain an eagle circled over him and the two had a conversation. Call him crazy and you can call me crazy too because I was on board and totally believe in it. Only days later did he find a feather of an eagle, the eagle who spoke to him. It sounded to me a lot like the Alchemist (One of my absolute favorite books if you have not read it, do). The store was soon closing and we were the last of the few waiting. On his way out he gave me his music studio card, "You are smart girl. You will do a lot. Good luck!" And with that he left like the King in the Alchemist, leaving behind an eagle feather in the form of his name. (No I did not take a creepy picture of him, Sorry ladies)

Sharing the beauty and this family makes me think of my own an ocean away.

After a long wait I was feeling tired, not in the jet lag way but in the "Wow I've ridden bike all over the city and now my butt bones are sore" way. My dinner was salad (with tomatoes the size of mini pumpkins), bread (a crunch you can't believe), sausage (which my dad would have loved) and gazpacho (which my mom had prepared me to fear). Without fear I cut into that meaty cylinder, spooned full that chilly soup and was surprised by how delicious it all was. "Me voy a probar" I will try, is my new best friend in Spanish phrases.

I'm Going Bananas!

These bananas, like these bananas <3
This may seem out there but can I just take a moment to appreciate the wonders of Spanish produce!? Nothing here is sold a day passed fresh (Besides the meat and wine). There are no GMO's so these little unaltered bananners were magically delicious (No Lucky Charms here either, but I'll take the Err-my-gawd amazing pan)

"Oh no they got Wilbur!" haha one of my many moments
So much more has happened and I but just like last time my fingers are slowing and I have a really big day ahead of me, first day of school! The luck has been on my side so far, another day, another adventure.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Flight of My Life

Today was the big goodbye. Since my mom is the definition overly emotional and I her daughter there was no one to hand us tissues, pat our backs or play a sad violin as we went separate ways, apart for a year. She has given me everything since the day I was born a wild child. From making breakfasts (not just on the weekends but EVERY DAY) to more vacations than I can count my mom has been superwoman. I have so much more to say about her but just writing this is bringing on a whole new waterfall. This will not be a pity party. I may be a sentimental hormone driven teenage girl but I am also a young person on a life changing journey. Now inflate your neck pillows, we're going to Spain!
Last family trip in California, Pismo.

Dallas to New York

I am in the worst seat on this entire plane. Last row and window, the literal corner of the cabin. The window doesn't help on this absurdly cloudy day. The sky is blank like I'm in a half finished drawing and the artist stopped before starting the sky (maybe he had a plane to catch too) Either way it looks empty outside the same way it's kind of empty in me. I haven't hit any of the wild emotions I should be feeling. Not the sadness and not the excitement yet either. Hopefully it hits me before I become heartless!

On my way!

New York looking as impressive as always.

Yes TIFOS in Spanish!!
Rushing to catch the AirTrain zipping through terminals, what pride I felt as I stood in front of my gate, an hour early. YES! I had time to kill and a long flight to prepare for. So like any sane person I plugged in my charger, stowed away my passport and began, Tandasana. That's right people I was doing yoga in the middle of an airport with plenty of staring travelers. Two Frenchmen halted their animated conversation to join me. They began laughing as their tight European clothes barred them from bending any further. In thick accents they both said. "Very good, but we fall!

New York to Madrid

I never like to take naps on planes, but this time I'm flying across more time zones than ever before so sleep is a must. When I doze off I have an unfortunate habit of dropping my jaw. My gaping mouth must evoke some looks and laughs. In the end it's ok because my embarrassing sleeping presence must have brought someone, the cranky toddler, the overworked businessman, anyone whose fed up with the flying a little smile. Even when I'm unaware I hope I'm making people happy.

I'm sorry but I can't go for I am far too tired. Not in the jet lag way but in the I've been up all day visiting tobacco shops, bike riding and testing mystery foods. You'll just have to wait and see what I've been up to on this glorious first day!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Growing Wings

It's finally finally here! After months of waiting and frustration the universe is done playing games with me (I mean "teaching me lessons", at least for the moment). Wednesday morning a midst a self taught yoga session I got a call. "Your visa has been approved-" YEESSSSSS!!! It felt like the first time I found out I was going to Spain or when I heard from my host family. The same scream/dance/running around like a crazy person, soon followed.

Instead of a visa pic (personal info sharing is a no-no) Here's a snap of some Tanika originals, painted for Spain.

 I was trying to stay positive but in all honesty, it stopped feeling real. Every time I mentioned "Spain" my voice got quieter, more like "Spaainn....?" But now I can shout it, full volume, on the tops of buildings or just in my house as I dance to my ever-growing "Vamos A España" playlist.

The view from the parking garage where I was shouting "I'm going to Spain!!"

 90% Chance of A Packing Storm

I have been packing.. somewhat. It's been a strategic 3,2,1 process. Pack 3 things, take 2 out, waste 1 hour on Pinterest. Repeat. My flight ticket was booked before I even had half a suitcase full. For anyone who doesn't know me I am quite the unorganized and messy living person. Needless to say the past few days have been a frenzy of flying clothes and list on lists. But the terrifying task of packing an entire life into two, under fifty pound suitcases is slowly zipping up, cased closed (pun always intended!)

Before and After the storm, completely wiped out. Never again will it be this clean.

I Got Spain on the Brain!

Like I said, lately Spain has felt very far away, was I ever going? So my usual Flamenco dancing, Spanish book reading had slowed. After holding that visa, it's amped up to 500 watts of Sonríe(Smile)!! I'm breezing through "Bajo la Misma Estrea" (Spanish translation of the Fault in Our Stars) and keep my little homemade Diccionario for words that trip me up. I now have 101.1 LA MEGA MEXCLA and 104.9 TU MUSICA blasting at all times. I kid you not, my sing-a-long attempts are to die for. I would post a video but never at the wheel (safety first kids!)

Some kids made pillows, others brought tshirts. I made name tags with some character!

Never Goodbyes

Now I'm driving with mom to Dallas, on my way to catch wings into a new life. My sister was surprisingly sentimental with the most amazing goodbye movie with our memories. I was tearing up, just like my crazy emotional mother. It was my Dad that gave me the hardest goodbye with a hug so squeezable, the kind that used to make me squirm, but this time I wanted to stay in that hug forever.
Saying goodbye to my new favorite supermarket!

Tomorrow will be the last day in the States for a year and the most daunting of all goodbyes. My mom's. We're both big mush balls so I've packed plenty of tissues and a pair of sunglasses. I'll try to post tomorrow during my layover. Assuming my words are blurred by salty tears. It's all a part of the journey, letting go to grab hold of something new. Somewhere in between I'll learn to grow wings!