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Growing up my birthday always fell over spring break. My parents would take my brother and I to California, where we could see family from both sides – my mom’s sister and brother-in-law, my dad’s siblings and parents – and then there’d be a few days for just the four of us at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium or a funny little motel in Seattle, the city where my parents met and where I was born. As we made our way up the coast, each stop with relatives would mean a few presents and a different cake.

When I was 14, though, my school offered the opportunity to go to Rome for just over a week. I’d been dreaming of going “abroad” for longer than I could remember. There was no way I could say no.

When we stepped off the last plane, the air was different. There were palm trees and mopeds, arches and pillars, fountains and ruins.

I was addicted – I had a passport, and my life would never be the same.

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Good morning…

A few quick notes before I head out. As of June 1, passports are now required for border crossing.

The currency rate as of late yesterday, calculated at Yahoo Currency Converter, lists 1 USD as 13.221 MXN (the Mexican Peso).

The weather forecast predicts a high around 80, nice and comfy, and…wind?

I’ve got my id, my notebook, my camera, and comfortable shoes…

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