What a trip! My head’s still spinning from all the places we’ve been, but I’m not sure if that’s because of the altitude and wine or the fact that I haven’t slept in 27 hours. I was so lucky that Donna had packed most of my stuff before I got back since Ian and I got stuck in traffic on the way to our hotel and I only had about 20 minutes before the cab came to take us to the airport.

Now that I’m on the plane, I can’t believe all that’s happened. It’s not just Ian either. Exploring world attractions and being with my friends has changed me. I’ll never forget Donna’s generosity and everything I’ve gotten to experience. That lady’s got some good karma coming her way for sure. I’m going to surprise her with her very own jar of dulce de leche when we get back. I’ve hidden it deep in my bag this whole trip and I know it’s her favorite.

It’s going to take some time to process everything, especially the Ian part. I can tell all of the others are just dying to ask questions. And I can’t blame them since the last thing they heard Ian say before we kissed goodbye was, “See you in July,” which is like in six weeks. He had already planned to meet his family in Chicago for his cousin’s wedding before he met me. The change is that then HE’S COMING TO SEE ME!  I’m trying not to get too excited since I’ve been so disappointed before but OMG he is soooo incredible.

Recalling Places and Things

Once they were at their cruising altitude and each of them had a plastic glass with wine, Kelly, Carla and Lisa presented Donna with a beautiful 18K gold necklace with the Chinese character for friendship. Then they each raised a glass to their favorite places to visit and things to do. Kelly toasted the Taj Mahal, Hagia Sophia, and French bread. Carla toasted Evita’s grave, St. Germain, and The Summer Palace. Donna toasted dulce de leche, the Champs-Elyseesand the Grand Bazaar. Lisa toasted The Lotus Temple, flamenco dancing and, of course, Ian.

They couldn’t believe that it was coming to an end, but each was eager to get home too. It had all been so exciting that they worried they wouldn’t be able to sleep and would arrive exhausted but Lisa gave then one last melatonin and everyone, including Carla, slept.