Part 1

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Ah, the sun, the heat, the spicy dark scent of roasting street meats. Ivette spun, her purple dress catching the light and throwing it like diamonds. She leaned on the whitewashed stone wall and took it all in. Barcelona stretched before her like a comfortable cat and Ivette smiled as she took another deep breath.

This city sang with its people, laughed and danced with their joy. Ivette hopped up on the wall and balanced her arms out to either side. The edge dropped away with balconies and window boxes bursting with flowers. She laughed and stepped back onto the street. A vendor offered her a steaming free sample. She took it, savoring the tangy taste.

Yes, this place deserved its own Disney introduction song. Something that panned in from above, following a pidgin to the square. Ivette framed a soaring bird with her fingers and tracked it down as it came to rest on a ridge of bright tiles. Then tracking back, pan up and a splash of light as the Sagrada Familia's four Gaudi-touched towers glittered in the sun. Ivette twisted, her framed hands zooming forward. Fast cut to three men at the cafe in a heated debate over football, their excitement rising as the home team approached--GOAAAAAAAAAAAAL!

Ivette turned away, her fingers breaking their frame. A good Disney movie had a villain but she was too filled with Barcelona's light to find one. Even the Gothic Quarter, riddled with pointed towers and bastille framed corners, had a delightful, cool contrast. She flagged down a bicycle taxi and let him take her through downtown where the wind whipped her hair up and caught the edge of her dress. She laughed. A hat was in order.

She hopped off the taxi where the boardwalk spread vendor after vendor of tourist trinkets. She selected a wide straw hat with a bright sash around the top and settled it on her head. She immediately received a compliment and grinned. Ivette stopped at the edge of the boardwalk where the wood met sand and held her fingers together behind her. The sun refracted on the water like glass.

Ivette smiled. There was no place like home.

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