We made a pit-stop in Phoenix last year on our way from The Grand Canyon to San Francisco (which is not at all between “The Grand Canyon and San Francisco”, for those of you familiar with geography, but it was one of the places that had an airport relatively nearby – and also because, during the planning process, I said, “Ooh! We should go to Phoenix! It’s so cool! I was there a few years ago with some friends, we loved it.”)
We LOVED IT. In hindsight, I’m trying to remember why we loved it – maybe it had something to do with the fact that it was -2 degrees back home and in Phoenix we got to wear bikinis and drink margaritas all day. That might have had something to do with it.
But I managed to forget about all of that when I said “We should to go to Phoenix!”, “It’s going to be so fun!”, “They have cactuses there!”…. so we went to Phoenix. They have cactuses there.
I signed up to study abroad during my junior year of college. An entire semester in Spain designed to immerse students into the culture, learn about the history, and live with a host family who spoke zero English.
Literally, zero. No habla. Just a Madre and a padre who discussed current affairs every night at the dinner table (I’m guessing, I actually had very little idea what they were talking about. Like I said, everything was in Spanish, and they talked so fast!), and a host brother who was super into Shakira. My roommate and I heard the song Rabiosa through the thin walls of our piso AT LEAST once a day.
Spending a semester in Spain sounded like a great opportunity. I mean, yea, my Spanish skills sucked – even after two semesters of the basics, my ability to string a sentence together usually went like this: “Hola. Como estas? Chaqueta, biblioteca, gracias, tienes un pluma?” Which Google Translate will tell you means: “Hi. How are you? Jacket, library, thank you, do you have a pen?” Clearly, I was ready to navigate a foreign country.
We went hiking on one of our first dates. I say “one of” because neither of us can remember which “one” it was. I think it was the sixth or seventh, and Kyle thinks it was, “Maybe the fourth? Fifth? I don’t know.”
Here’s what I can tell you – it was late enough in the game that we were comfortable spending an hour and twenty minutes in the car together, yet it must have been in the EARLY stages, because I remember waking up at 6 AM to shower and “get ready”.
Get ready. For hiking.
A day in the woods. Weaving through trees. Climbing over rocks. Walking through spiderwebs. Doing that thing people do where they take really big, wide steps over puddles and act all, “What? Like it’s hard?”