I spent most of my really long layover in Chicago reading The Hunger Games. Is there anything more satisfying than getting sucked into a book. About an hour before boarding I grabbed a glass of wine at a bar and thought it was so civilized that they let you take your wine with you to the gate.

On the flight between Chicago and Madrid I drank two more glasses of wine, which gave me a nostalgic buzz. Thousand of miles up in the sky I thought of all the trips I had taken with my mom and my dad-separately. I thought I get my sense of magic from my dad and my sense of delight from my mom. I thought of all the unique experiences both my parents had brought into my life. Then something made me think of Leo, which made the same  thought roll over and over in my head, which was basically the feeling of what I lost and what I gained.

Between nostalgia, the book, and sleep we landed in Madrid. The wine made me  so thirsty and once I switched terminals I went in search of one of my favorite things to drink in Spain- Coca light! I never drink diet coke but for some reason it tastes so good abroad. The same is true of a bunch of other junk food. Doritos, kit kats they taste different, like they used to when you were a kid. My sister Ellie was the one who turned me on to European junk food.

While I waited for my mom at the airport I remembered something Leo had said last summer when I just simply said goodbye to him, my dad and one of my sisters as they boarded a plane. They were all flying back an hour before me on a different plane. “That is the difference between your family and mine,” he said. And what he meant was not entirely clear but I could figure it out because his was the kind of family that took forever to say goodbye, that could not stand to be apart from each other and my family was not like that.

And then three hours later we where in Rome.