One month. We’re leaving Spain in one month. No more dithering; no more idle half-planning. We’ve booked our tickets back to the US, and we’ll be there in exactly one month.
The exact “where” is still uncertain. We’ll make our US debut in Pennsylvania, for a friend’s wedding, a family reunion (the Littells will meet the whole Orlando clan), and a whirlwind week of dress-shopping and other wedding planning. And after that—who knows? Either (very) north or (very) west. If we go north, we have a house to live in; if we go west, an apartment search will have to begin. In just a few weeks we’ll be true nomads, our few belongings slung in bags over our shoulders, booking last-minute plane tickets to wherever it is we need to be. We consider it an accomplishment (of sorts) simply to know a date when our feet will hit US soil.
The accomplishment is bittersweet. We stared at the “purchase” button on Orbitz as we booked our tickets, unable to click it for several long moments. And at the beach this weekend, snoozing happily in the sun, we suddenly heard English with an unmistakable Californian accent. “Would you guys be pumped if I turned the music up?” asked a conspicuous Californian, his hair swept up into a kind of knit cap that was completely inappropriate for the beach. Andrew and I shuddered. Are we going to start saying things like that? we asked each other, horrified. We vowed that the second it happens, if it happens, we’ll drop everything—just leave it, leave the apartment, leave our bags—and head instantly to the airport to come back East.
To anyone from California who’s reading this blog—apologies. Obviously, that’s a silly stereotype; we know there are wonderful things about the West Coast, and that we’ll undoubtedly find a lot of things to love if we wind up there. The point is this: it won’t be Barcelona. No place will. It's going to be a very sad departure.