So we flew out of Barcelona to California almost 2 weeks ago and you know, it’s kind of a pain to pack everything you have and abide by certain weight limits. I spent hours weighing and re-weighing my suitcase, transferring my stuff among my bags or into other someone else’s bag and then lying prostrate on the ground for lengthy stretches of time. I’m so glad that’s all behind me!! Anyways, the above photo was taken at 2am the day before we left, well I should say the day we left. My sister was all packed and ready to go a few days prior but I hadn’t even started because it meant admitting to myself that we were leaving!
Somehow we pulled it all together and were out the door, at our designated “departure time” with 15 bags in a range of sizes all in tow. It was depressing to see our pre-furnished apartment void of any sign that we had actually lived there.
When we first arrived in Spain, my dad and I picked this door off the street (people do that often, okay? It’s not weird.) and we chalkboard painted it. It was sentimental. But in the end we had to return it to the street in hopes that someone would come across this beauty and treasure it like I had. Taking it down 8 flights of stairs (it doesn’t fit in the elevator) and leaving it on the street was like my official Adios and Thank you to Barcelona for being such a wonderful home!
We got to the airport on time buuuut it took us close to an hour at the check-in counter because they weighed all of our carry-ons as well as our check-ins and there were some weight limit troubles (GAH!). Nevertheless, we did NOT miss our flight! We got there just as they were loading the last passengers! Hurrah!! I’ll have to tell you about when we DID miss our connecting flight on our way to Budapest, Hungary.
Side note, I swear there’s a technique to dressing for the airport. Some people look insanely comfortable and adorable at the same time. How do they do it!? My modo is if I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing it to bed, I’m not going to wear it to the airport. Anyways, our first flight was only 2 hours from Barcelona to Berlin but as we took off, it started to rain; Barcelona was bidding us farewell! We and our beautiful city were sad to part ways.
We had a 13 hour layover in Germany; to be more specific, it was an overnight layover!! The Berlin airport was a small one and when we found out that the only terminal open overnight had about 5 benches, all of which were metal, we weren’t particularly overjoyed. To pass time, my dad, brother, and I left the airport and took ourselves on a little 2am walk around Berlin. The airport was on the outskirts of Berlin so it was more like a nature walk, but still beautiful.
Before the airport closed, and the last few flights were still coming in, we met the nicest man EVER. He was holding a bouquet of roses (which we later found at were for his mother!) but he set them down and played soccer with a bouncy ball with my brother for 45 mins. When his mother arrived and we began talking to him and he found out our situation, he was ernest that we come and stay at his apartment! We actually thought about it but his car was small and his mother was against the plan so in the end we all ended up sleeping on those metal benches even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable. Nevertheless, that guy was the nicest person; he gave my dad his email and asked us to email him when we got home and were safe!
The terminal was also open to the public all night so there were some hobos camped out in the corners, one even had a cot all set up for himself! He had it down. On our benches, we were miserable and we grumbled about how our 9am flight felt like a lifetime away but these photos crack us up now!!
Finally, FINALLY, we boarded the plane and it was a looooooong flight.
And we’re back in California now!! We’ve spent the past week soaking in the heat of a familiar sun and squishing our toes in the California sand that reminds me of my childhood. I could sit with closed eyes and listen to the tide roll in and out for hours. And for now, I will.
I love California and I love Barcelona and I love that they’re so different. It’s definitely been a cultural shock; and I still want to start speaking in Spanish all the time!! Hah. It’s been exciting to be home in California and be with friends and family but it’s hard to be away from Barcelona which had become home. But home is relative. Home is where you’re with family. And I thank Barcelona for bringing me closer to my family. We’re actually moving to Utah now because that’s what my family does, move around and find adventures in many different places:) I’m excited to see what adventures Utah will bring and what people we’ll meet. Then I’m off to BYU Idaho in September and it’ll be the beginning of the adventures I’ll have on my own. In short, this is a big transition period, but change is always welcome; change brings growth and insight and I’m always open to that!
This is summer. Eyes closed and arms stretched, reaching for the rays of the sun that bathe your face, lighting your features. The heat you feel on your skin causes a smile to stretch across your lips as the sun stretches across the sky.
Summer is dancing in the waves that lap at your ankles. It’s the wet sand that oozes between your toes. It’s the the hem of your dress, wet from the spray of the salty ocean waves.Summer is the joy you can’t contain. So you jump! You jump because this world’s beautiful and you love it! You love the sound of the crashing waves and watching as the tide comes in and goes out and you imagine that as the waves rise, break, and come crashing before your feet that it’s bowing to you, saying hello. You jump because you love the heat of the sun washing over you wrapping you in its blanket of warmth!
Summer is the the accumulation of moments spent with the people you love in a world that you love. It’s picking up the shells on your away back up the beach, lingering as long as you can, hoping the sun will linger in the sky just a little longer with you. You watch as the moment you enjoyed sets with the sun. You breathe in the beauty one last time because time doesn’t last forever, although sometimes you wish it would. And as you hop in the car, you bring the ocean with you on the hem of your dress and the sand that’s still stuck between your toes. But you plan to return tomorrow because you know that the sun, the sea, and the sand will all still be there,waiting for you at the height of its illustrious summer beauty.
Besitos, Tessa Lynn
(photo-cred to my dad for these amazing pictures)
Just thought you’d like to know the routine. The weekly, daily, hourly routine. It’s all fun and games when this kid is jumpin’ around in front of the camera, but when I’m going through the photos and every few pictures, BOOM! there’s Silas or when a spectacular photo comes along and there he is, floatin’ in the air, his tongue sticking out and all… my head explodes! However, each time I see that adorable face of his with his chin up like Pinocchio’s, all of a sudden he could do nothing wrong in my eyes.
But to convince you (and myself for that matter) that my work (i.e. posing) ain’t completely fruitless and that this adorable/mischievous child’s photobombing skills are only utilized part-time, I’ve included some of our only good photos my favorite photos from our day in Salamanca, Spain.
In short, I think I can say that this post most accurately describes my life more than any other post i’ve written. Therefore, since this has been a peak into what this life of mine really looks like, I guess you can call this a true and honest introduction. This kid, both these kids, make my life so enjoyable, I wouldn’t have them any other way:)
Sometimes after you do a little posin’ you just have to take your dad’s pro camera and show him how it’s really done. Just kidding dad;) I learned from the best!!! As a blogger, I spend a lot of time behind the camera. My dad has a passion for photography and well, you know… obviously it works out really well for me!!;) We make good partners, my dad and I; he doesn’t even have to ask me to go stand somewhere because I’m already striking a pose and directing him to snap a shot. I joke with him that this blog is just as much his as it is mine but I also joke that if I ever start making a profit, he won’t get a penny for his services becauuuuse the less I have, the more help I’ll need paying for college tuition!! Hehe. I’m a sneaky one. However, as much as I love playing the role of a model, it is equally as fun to be the one taking the pictures and directing the shots. While we were driving through Andorra, on our way to France, I loved capturing my siblings running around and being goofy. I swear their lives were made to be documented. They’re so easy going and fine with me bossing them around for a shot. I know I blog about my siblings a lot. But they’re cool kids. And well… my life isn’t the same social life from my years at a public high school in California. No, I’m living a family life. But I’m really liking this life. It’s different but it’s good life. Plus, don’t you just want to tickle that attractive little munchkin (hey mom, we got to keep an eye on that boy when he’s in his teen years).
Well friends, rather than snowballs in your face (because that’s really fun), I wish you sunshine and clear skys!
Oh the green of the rolling hills,
Oh the wind that plays with your hair,
Oh the sky that mirrors my eyes,
Oh the the road to France!
You’re a beauty at first glance.
Yes, I did just write that in 2 seconds and yes, I am an aspiring poet. And yes, of course you can have my autograph if you really want it!
Anyways, enough about me!! Let’s talk about road trips. Once upon a time, they were the last thing you ever wanted to do as a child. It meant sharing a seat with someone that was breathing your air. It meant a dispute over where the middle of the car bench was and how someones toe was crossing it. It meant car sick children, which I will inform you is contagious, almost as contagious as chicken pox. There were rare occasions when great memories were formed on road trips; like the time when three letter animal names suddenly became the funniest thing on the planet and just saying them would cause new outbursts of laughter or when there was a whole season of The Simpsons, hours of pure entertainment. However, it wasn’t until we moved to Europe that I learned that road trips can be wonderful things, not because it doesn’t matter where the middle of the bench is anymore but because looking out the window is like flipping through a National Geographic Magazine. On our road trip to France, it didn’t matter how many hours it would take to get to our destination, it was honestly about the journey. The snow capped mountains, the water falls, the small towns with a population of 17, the lush green valleys were beyond beautiful. After driving through the desert just north of Las Vegas or coming through the putrid turkey farms outside of the grapevine in California so many times, I had the belief that road trips were just something to be endured. But woah. I was wrong. So wrong. So I bless you France, for changing my perception and showing me that this world is a beautiful place and a drive can be a marvelous thing.
We were in Valencia for las fallas and man, we weren’t the only ones! The city was jam-packed! There were some tourists, like us, but a majority of the people were Spaniards from all over the country that came to Valencia for the five day celebration. The celebration has two components, a religious one and a satirical one. Fallas refers to an organization or a neighborhood and each falla has their own costumes that are often passed down through generations. For the religious aspect, the women, men, and children marched through the streets in their costumes and presented flowers to La Virgin de los Desamparados (Virgin of the Forsaken), which was a giant Tableau depicting the Virgin Mary. There were While fallas means an organization, it also refers to the tableaux (large figures constructed for artistic or satirical purposes). These tableauxs are satires of the government, economy, and/or national issues. During the day, everyone walks around the city to look at each falla and watch the firework shows on the street (you can’t see the fireworks, obviously, but they sound like they’re going off inside your ear.. so really everyones just listening to fireworks and subjecting themselves to exciting torture). At midnight, they begin burning the fallas in effigy and it’s incredible!The fires were amazing! They were in the middle of the street intersection so there were some people that sat and watched from their balconies. Now, imagine the biggest bonfire you’ve ever seen them times that by 10… or 20! There were firefighters along the side keeping the trees wet and ensuring the safety of the buildings. THe greatest paart was in how it heated up in 10 seconds and the hundreds of people crowded around, jumped back a few steps. The ashes from the fire rained on our heads and as the fire grew, so did the cheering and applauding. Five days off from work, fireworks, and towering bonfires all over the city… best holiday ever.
So I know Siblings Day last week and we actually went to Valencia about 3 weeks ago but… I guess late is just my standard time. That needs fixing.
Anyways, two things. One, I’ am so grateful for my siblings! Since living in Europe we’ve grown much closer… maybe because we’re all doing homeschooling, maybe because we now live in a European flat (much smaller than American houses), maybe because our social lives aren’t quite as extensive, but maybe just because I’ve realized they’re really cool. You know? I am definitely going to have the most and the best memories of them form this year.
And two, if you’re ever in Spain, you should go to Valencia, especially during the Fallas (post coming up). When I travel, it’s the small things that make me realize that I have so much to be grateful for. It’s little moments that may only last for a few seconds or minutes that leave me smiling for the rest of the day; moments I wish I could stretch till the end of time and wrap myself in forever. In Valencia, my small moment happened while I was drowning my churro in rich, dark chocolate and admiring the Spanish architecture, particularly how each building has its own personality. When two men began shredding and serenading me (obviously) on their acoustic guitars, my little moment became so beautiful, it brought me close to tears. It isn’t very often that a moment is perfect in so many ways; when I can enjoy what I see, hear, and eat all at the same time. It was like life on steroids! In short, life is beautiful.