Slovenia, A Land In Which I Thoroughly Explored Both Jaw-Dropping National Parks and Psychiatric Hospitals.

While we were in Venice, our plans were a little thrown askew. A friend of mine from Boulder contacted me regarding a list of "life goals" I posted on the internet that some of you may have seen. Skye messaged me and told me that he was having some ideas that he said would save the world. He invited Mickey and I up to Copenhagen to do some brainstorming with him. This was such a big offer, that of course we didn't answer right away. Before we could even talk about it, however, Skye decided that he couldn't possibly wait, and informed me that he was coming to Italy to meet us, and the next day, he was on a plane to Italy. Skye had some good ideas, but we could tell that something was a little off. Without going into too many details, Skye spent a night with us in Venice, and the next day we all made our way in Skye's rental car to visit out friends in Slovenia. Although a little over-talkative and obsessive about his ideas, Skye was acting mostly normal. Our first day in Slovenia, however, while Mickey and I were three hours away at a Croatian National Park with our two Slovenian friends, Skye experienced a manic episode and had to be transported to a psychiatric hospital in Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. It was quite an experience getting ahold of his family, and definitely three or four days of extremely unexpected events, but now Skye is safe with his mom and getting the help he needs.

Speaking of being three hours away at a Croatian National Park, the place that we went to is one of the most beautiful places in the world in my opinion. It's called Plitvicka Jezera, or Plitvice Lakes, and it's a series of cascading, shallow lakes accompanied by tall, expansive waterfalls. The water there is shallow, emerald green, and you can see straight to the bottom. You walk through the waterfalls on a series of boardwalks directly over the water because the entire area is flooded. We went at the perfect time too, autumn, when all the leaves were red and orange and yellow and purple, and the waterfalls and rivers were full and flooded, and you couldn't even see the bark on the trees because they were too caked with fluorescent green moss. When I was a freshman in college, in all my time of intense studying, I saw a picture of Plitvicka Jezera and promised myself that I would go there. I wasn't really sure if it would happen this trip (or ever at all, really), but when we met our Slovenian friends in Malta, they told me that they were just a daytrip away, and the whole thing started to materialize. At the first waterfall, and the breathless realization that I was actually there, I almost started to cry, it was so perfect.