As we started to make our plans for Italy this year our friend in Barcelona emailed the Queen and asked her if she could come and chair a thesis defense in Barcelona for one of her students. The timing was perfect since the defense would be in early March and we could go a little early before the trip to Rome. Maria and Elias had also bought a second home in Tortosa, about 2 hours from Barcelona, and they wanted us to come a few days earlier to see the house and stay there.