It's the evening of February 6th, 2011. I'm watching TV on the couch, where I've spent most of the day due to a lingering hangover from the bachelors' party the night before. Suddenly, the doorbell rings. I'm too dazed to notice that David has been washing the few dishes we'd used for dinner for a suspicious amount of time, so when he asks me to answer it, I hesitantly comply.
I look and feel disgusting and I'm not at all in the mood to tell the crazy, old lady who lives one building over that this is not, in fact, her apartment. I look through the peep hole, totally intending to ignore the situation if it is her. That's strange. All I see is... nothing. Someone is blocking the peephole. Naturally, my first reaction is "HOLY SHIT BALLS THEY WANT TO ROB US!". David is already coming around the corner, telling me to open the door. Finally, I do, but placing myself behind the door and David in plain sight of the potential axe murderer. Seconds pass, and neither him or the mystery guest say anything. David gestures for me to look, so I do. This is where my brain fries.
There are three figures standing in the doorway. My cousin Shelly is standing closest to me in the middle, but my mind can't process that at first, so it focuses on Sonia and Manuel, our cousins, standing behind her. My eyes bounce back to Shelly... and then back to Sonia and Manuel. As my brain fails to react to the situation, my body steps up. Apparently (and as you can see in the video below) my jaw drops as soon as I see Shelly. I'm talking and hugging as the pieces start frantically trying to force themselves together, but it seems like they're all from different puzzles.
The thing is, I was in 100% pure shock. Later, everyone told me that they were expecting and hoping that I would cry. But the thing is, how can you cry when you're not really there? I couldn't even make sense of the situation. With all of that shock and confusion, there's no room for emotion! Your brain just doesn't have the capacity!
It was hours before what had happened finally started to sink in in steady waves. I liked it that way. Imagine getting one of the best surprises of your life. Now imagine instead of having that surprise served to you at one fell swoop, having it dished out little by little over the course of several hours. Each time, it's heaven.
The excitement, along with the celebratory champagne... and then wine... gave us enough energy to stay up pretty late. I didn't want to go to bed, for fear of waking up and having it all been a dream. Plus I was just so damn excited to be sitting on my couch in Barcelona with one of my best friends in the world!
Have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up from an incredibly realistic dream in which something amazing had happened only to be severely disappointed when reality sets in? Well the morning after was the opposite of one of those mornings. Shelly was staying in my home in Barcelona, and I had only had hours to process the idea! I was tired but excited to take her out into my world.
We checked out Las Ramblas and La Boquería market. Then we couldn't resist heading to the beach.
We settled on a nice little restaurant I like in Barceloneta. There we caught up while sipping sangría and enjoying some tapas. I'm so glad Shelly decided to go back to eating Seafood for the duration of the trip. Not doing so would be a travesty here in Barcelona where the seafood is so fresh and the tapas are to die for!
"Shelly, you're in Spain!" became the catchphrase of the day. There's something so special about having your friends experience Europe for the first time in your own city. There is something even more special about having someone you love make such a trek to be part of your wedding!
We spent a good amount of time over the next couple days wandering through the city, especially in the shopping district. Shelly was looking for a new dress to wear to the wedding. We made time to go on a run by the river Besós, which passes near my apartment. Shelly was concerned about halting her marathon training, so I humored her. I didn't manage the distance she's used to, but I think I did alright! Unfortunately my legs killed me for the next two days.
As the wedding week quickly came to its end, Shelly did an exceptional job of calming both David's and my nerves. I don't know what I would have done without her!
Come Thursday, I was smacked with a whole new surprise. A surprise, that is, for another post! Let's hope it doesn't take me three months to write that one!