Before I launch into the next entry about the vacation I just finished which, I can tell you right now, is going to be a whopper, I need to take a few paragraphs to tell about a wonderful weekend spent in Valencia before I left. When I went to Paris, I visited Melanie who is a friend from Douglass and as we were preparing to leave France Mel said that she had a vacation in April and might be interested in coming to Valencia. After Ryanair provided her with a flight that cost practically nothing, Melanie sent me a message saying that she was definitely going to come, so I got to return the favor that she did me in providing an excuse to see a different part of Europe.
I tried to plan it so that Mel saw a bunch of the sights of Valencia without it being too stressful. We saw the historical center, ate paella on the beach, rented bikes and rode around, saw La ciudad de las artes y las ciencias, ate lunch in the river bed, danced salsa and merengue until dawn, and drank agua de Valencia at our favorite bar. After the weekend playing tour guide was over I was nicely tuckered out, but also extremely happy. I highly enjoyed showing Melanie around my city…and it truly has become my city. I know how to get around it walking and on the metro. Amytza is the master of the bus system and saved our butts and wallets a couple of times with the transportation genius. Although I’m not sure what kind of ties I am developing to Spain itself–I’m not sure I’ll realize exactly how I feel about Spain until I leave–I definitely think of Valencia as home. It’s a good feeling and it was fun bringing Mel, who is very much a part of my life back at Rutgers, into my new home. The mixing of the two different worlds is something that can go disastrously wrong, but in this case I’m grateful she came because she gave me an excuse to be a tourist in my own city again and see things that I wouldn’t think of seeing otherwise. So thanks Mel, if you’re reading. I had a blast, you’re a pleasure to host, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.