When you celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain you do not have turkey, you have paella. You go to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Museum and ooh and aah at a Cartier exhibit, scratch your head at a Picasso painting, and get lost in Chagall’s weird dreamy world, and eat lunch by Neptune’s Fountain before you enjoy your Thanksgiving feast.
You go hiking in the mountains instead of hunting for deals on Black Friday.
You drink wine every day for lunch and dinner.
You touch the 2,000-year-old stones of an aqueduct in Segovia, and then kiss your boyfriend in front of said aqueduct for good measure.
You eat pastries.
You smell the roses in Retiro Park.
You buy a new coat. You walk the streets of Madrid til your legs are sore.
You are reminded that you are, in fact, old as you shake your fist at those dang kids in the hostel who are being loud late at night. You hold your boyfriend’s hand, the hand you didn’t hold for three long months, and you laugh and fight and make up with him, because you haven’t done that in person in three months.
These are what are called vacation highs. These are the reasons why Madrid for Thanksgiving was perfect.
Why can’t vacations just be that? All highs, all perfection. Coming home means snuggles with a certain dog and cat, seeing my friends and family, and yes, even coming back to work (cause I have a pretty rad job). Coming home also means being lonely in my own house. It means the feeling of missing this guy is raw and fresh all over again.
I’m just going to squeeze my eyes shut and remember what it felt like to hold hands in Spain. Those vacations highs are going to be just enough to December 20!