Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sometimes it's about Getting There...

If you read my last post, a couple of weeks ago, you might recall that I was taking a trip to Spain to walk the last part of the Camino de Santiago de Compostella. Well, I did. Now, I'm back...I'm going to share some parts of my journey with you over the next few posts. I hope you enjoy reading about it as much as I enjoyed living it.

Emerson wrote: "Life is a journey, not a destination." I've always loved that line. Although Emerson had no idea how prophetic his words were as they pertain to modern modes of travel, I find them completely relevant. You see, we began our journey in the air. Specifically, we flew from Austin, to Dallas, to Miami, then to Madrid. Sounds simple enough right? Well, when we purchased our tickets in January, we chose to fly straight through from Austin to Miami then change planes for a flight to Madrid. Unfortunately, we didn't know that the airline we chose changes its schedule every three months and the flight we had chosen no longer existed. Oh well, no worries, we were eager and excited to get to Madrid and the "round-about" way the airlines had us going was still going to arrive at the same time so, what did it matter?

Well, as it turns did matter some. You see, when we arrived at our gate at DFW, we were told that the flight was delayed due to 5 seats on the plane needing repair...WHAT? What the heck? Had some horrific turbulence, combined with an over-exuberant seat-back-kicking toddler loosened a few screws? Too much dried gum in the seat-back pouch? Were Cletus and Bubba somewhere in the bowels of the maintenance department trying to find the nut that fit the 11/16 bolt,only to find 13/16 and 8mm instead? How the heck did 5 seats get broken? The short answer idea. The initial indication was that the delay would be about an hour and a half and since we were to have a four hour lay over in Miami, we thought it really didn't matter when we spent our time...AND it gave me a chance to have a Salt Lick Bar-B-Que sandwich for breakfast...WINNER!

Without all of the details, we finally got on the plane and were Miami bound. The problem was that after burning up our 4 hour delay in Dallas rather than in Miami, we were justifiably concerned about whether we'd make our connection to Madrid. We shared our concern with our flight attendant, who indicated that she felt confident that they could get us on the flight. Our luggage, however...well...uh......

 As we deplaned in Miami, we found a man at the top of the jet-way, holding a card with our names on it. After we identified ourselves, he told us to get on his cart, so we picture this: four seater golf cart with no roof, mid-Eastern driver, me in the front passenger seat and my long-time friends, Dick and Laura on the back two seats, (did I tell you that those seats face back?). Now imagine hearing an announcer declare: "and...they're off!" We LAUNCHED and headed through the droves of fellow travelers. We zipped around families sailed though breaks in lines of people and took a couple of corners on, what felt like, two wheels. At one point, we nearly lost Dick and Laura. However, when we skidded to a stop and realized they were still with us, we were off again. By the time we reached the correct gate, the three of us were laughing so hard, you would have thought we had just finished an "E-ticket" ride at Disneyland!

Thankfully, we made our flight to Madrid. Unfortunately, our bags didn't. The good news was that we all had one pair of walking shoes, all of our meds, a change of clothes and great senses of humor.

With a promise from the airline that they'd deliver our bags when they came in the next day, we were off to check into the flat that we'd rented for our two days in Madrid. The flat was in a great location, so we decided to go explore our new neighborhood. Below are some of the sights we found on that first day, enjoy...

Church across the street from our flat                                                               Street Seen...great little neighborhoods

Gotta go for this evening...still trying to figure out the time zone thing...pillow is calling.



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