Another chapter in my life has come to an end. Time to return to my own country - for now.
If home is where my heart is, then my heart must be growing because there are pieces of my heart all over the world.
This is quite possibly my favorite photo of the entire year. My very last view of Santa Cruz do Sul was of my best friends, who came to the bus station to say goodbye. This made me feel so loved. What a precious gift. I am so lucky to know them. We were all crying at the end - see the red noses?
I was glad the bus was dark inside because I think I cried most of the way to Porto Alegre.
I cried some more when the plane took off from Porto Alegre, and after that I had to accept the inevitable. The TV in the seat helped to distract me from feeling sorry for myself, and I watched a couple of excellent movies. My favorite of these was "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel".
The Panama airport has the fewest toilet facilities of any international airport I have visited. Each restroom had only two or three stalls, and twenty women waiting in line to use them. Tip - go upstairs to the food court, the restroom there was the only one without a line.
The trip from Panama to LA was pretty routine. Here I am waiting for the shuttle bus to go from LA to Santa Barbara. I was surprised how cool the weather was when I arrived, must have been around 75 F / 27 C.