On Monday afternoon, as I was floating down the Upper Iowa in an inner tube, I immediately thought: “I have to write about this.” That is the first thing that comes to mind whenever I do something especially wonderful; something I don’t want to forget. It’s those moments that you want to hold onto forever that you have to write down so that you can at least go back and reminisce on them later. I’m pretty sure this urge to write runs in the family by the way…My mom has a more serious case. She tends to jot things down on a pad (I kid you not) while prancing through the streets of Rome, Madrid, London (sounds dangerous, doesn’t it?)...and sometimes I think she’s missing out on the present of the trip, but she insists: “It would be such a shame to forget the name of that cathedral or that café we ate at, etc..” Crazy as she sounds…the woman has a point! So here I go – sharing with you, essentially a diary entry of my Monday afternoon floating down the upper Iowa. Funny how this whole thing started actually…my afternoon started out at the library (my genuine attempt to get some work done..haha, slim chance!) when my friend Jonathan called: “Hey, we’re about to go tubing, you wanna come?” I didn’t think twice before packing my things and heading to Ylvi to put on my bathingsuit. I rushed down to their room, excited as ever, only to find out that this was their second tubing trip for the day (yes, that’s how much fun this is). But I had no idea of the sheer joy that was about to come over me – the guys gave me no warning whatsoever! We carried our tubes down Ho-chi-min trail and onto the river behind the Regents Center. We all plopped down in our tubes and we were off! The water was high and the current really took us fast. It was like a relaxing ride at six flags or something, except…natural! And the sun kissed our faces as we flew gently and effortlessly down the current. It could not have been more perfect. “I feel like I’m on vacation right now!” I said. “I know! I was just thinking that! It’s crazy to think that we were sitting in class this morning!” Jonathan exclaimed. “I just can’t believe I get to go to school in this beautiful place,” I thought aloud. Some parts of were bumpier than others, and during those parts of the trip, we linked into what we called a “pod” (another goofy guy term). I kept being swept away from the guys and every time, they paddled hard to come and save me. We were a real team, and for the first time with this (rather exclusive) guy group, I felt fully assimilated. They helped me out of the muddy exit and we all cuddled for warmth when the sun went down as we were waiting for our ride back. I cannot believe I will have to leave this beautiful place and these wonderful friends in just a week. For the first time, I am honestly not looking forward to summer. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends at home. But the fact is that a lot of these friendships are just starting to blossom and it breaks my heart to stop them now! The even more frustrating part is that I am too far away to visit people over the summer! Thank goodness for phones and skype I suppose! Wish me luck with finals!