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15 November 2009

Espana - Day One

I should really call this "Espana - Day Half" because I spent most of today either in a plane or catching up on lost sleep. :)

The trip was fairly easy. I left yesterday (Saturday) afternoon around 5pm after having to take things out of my suitcase that was already overweight by 5 pounds! I only had three books and clothes in the suitcase?!?!?! How can it weigh 55 pounds?!?!?! The Boy hadn't left the airport yet, so I was able to offload some of my overweight items without too much stress. After I finally was able to check in and get through security, things went a bit better. The flight from RDU to Philly went well, but the flight from Philly to Madrid was PACKED. There were absolutely no open seats, and it was rather tight in there!

I had originally planned to sleep the entire flight from Philly to Madrid, but the cabin lights weren't dimmed for over three hours!!!! We got an amazing meal of lukewarm tortellini, salad (loosely defined as such), a cold roll, and some chocolate cake. I had brought along my own cocktail fixings, so that helped, but it was extremely difficult to sleep when the cabin was a bright as midday. I ended up watching Julie and Julia, and, when the lights finally went out, I got a few hours of restless sleep. Of course, as soon as I got a teensy bit of shut eye, it was dawn. I guess that is what happens when you are flying into a time zone 6 hours ahead. But the rest I got was enough to recharge me until I got to my new "home" in Madrid.

Passing through immigration was neat, and I was expecting to be stopped at Customs. But, nope. I just walked right out of the airport, and my bag was never even checked nor was I asked any questions about my visit. I love that. I'm sure when I return home, I'll be questioned and harassed by the good old US Customs people.

Getting from the airport to the hotel was extremely easy, especially sine the metro opens right up into the airport, very much like Logan and other US airports. A few stops and one transfer later, I emerged into Plaza de las Castillas. I found my way the four or five blocks to my hotel and checked in with ease. After unpacking my stuff, I napped. And napped. It was only a few hours, but it was very much needed!

After my nap, I ventured out in search of food. Sadly, everything was closed. It's Sunday night, and I'm staying in a Catholic country so that makes sense. Since school pays 50 Euros a day for food, I figured I'd just get room service and chill out, preparing for my presentation in the morning. The room service was surprisingly yummy, especially coupled with the half bottle of wine that I ordered. The desert I ordered (a brownie with vanilla ice cream) was super good!

I look forward to tomorrow when I get my conference stuff over with and can venture out into the city to see the museums and the city. And, let's be serious, I'm excited about eating and drinking! You know me!!
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