First, let me thank everyone who came to my going away party yesterday. It was great to see so many friends and family before I left. For those who couldn't go, I missed seeing you and wish you could have been there, but that's life; we'll see each other again sometime!.
Today I had to say good-bye to Nate until Christmas; it was soooooo sad, but at least we are well-practiced in the use of Skype! He was kind enough to actually pose for a picture with me, so here's the framed photo I will be bring to Romania, without a doubt, even if--for lack of luggage space--I have to tuck it into my waistband like an enormous belt buckle. I also FINALLY got Nate the watch I've been promising him for a year and a half. I may have been a little late in the delivery, but I DID come through in the end! Merry Christmas 2009, Nate!
Also courtesy of Nate, I now have a travel buddy, Testudo, the University of Maryland mascot. I have considered renaming my particular terrapin, but no suitable name has come to me yet. And don't worry, when I do any hardcore travelling, I will make sure to acquire another travel buddy who is actually a living person and can watch my back in the way that an adorable stuffed animal cannot.
And now a look towards the future! I will be leaving for Romania in just 9 days! So far panic has not set in; maybe it will stay that way? I can only hope to stay excited for this adventure and un-stressed.
I know people have special requests of me and my travels to Romania, so if you would like a postcard, comment on this post. If I don't have your mailing address already...well either post it and then I'll delete after I get it or find some other sneaky way of sending it to me!