and this is...


Thursday, September 20, 2012

First Impressions: PART ONE

An Italian, a Black, a Jew, a German, some Spaniards, and a Texan walk into a bar…

Yeah. I know that sounds like the beginning of a very complicated, racist, and beyond corny bathroom humor joke. It is in fact a pretty simplified explanation of my nights out on the town thus far here in Logroño.

But we will get back to that. Let’s start at the beginning of my journey across the sea. 

Starting on Monday, September 17, I woke up at about 5am (Keep in mind that my flight was not leaving until 11:15). I was so anxious that I couldn’t even feign sleep anymore like I had been all night.  My three massive suitcases were waiting patiently by the door and I was all too ready to get them rolling.

The Infamous Luggage: I should have known...

We loaded the car and headed out around 8am toward Miami International Airport. My sister and I did our hug/love thing at the curb and I (unaided and looking ridiculous) proceeded in to check myself in for my flight…

Thanks Brandi!!!

Hiccup #1: Of course my damn luggage broke every airline regulation known to man! My largest suitcase weighed in at a whopping 74 lbs!!! No biggie! Only 20 lbs to get rid of as a line of some 20 other irate patient passengers waited to be assisted.  So I tried to shove as much as I could into my carry-on bag and even swallowed my pride and chose a few items that I would toss all together if needed, creating a pile of crap at the ticket counter and looking like a crazy homeless woman in the process. Of course this made my carry-on too wide to qualify and I was promptly informed that it would need to be checked and would require a small fee of $450. So I did what any mature responsible adult would do in this situation…. I immediately began to cry and pray out loud for God to deliver me. LOL. Well, apparently God was on the hotline that morning and took pity on my pathetic self because the lady said nothing and walked to the back room and left me there. She came back with a luggage tag and a BeBe bag. She put the tag onto my carry-on and told me to put my discarded items into the BeBe bag and count it as my carry-on. She them looked me square in the eye, without smiling, and told me to just walk away. So, thank-you, Mr. Jesus for looking out for a sistah…a third checked bag for FREE!!! Lovely!

The flight to DC (in a baby jet- ugh!) went without incident and I even managed to get a nap in.

Once I got to DC, I ran into a few other assistants waiting for the same flight as me to Madrid so we passed the time together eating food, chatting about the year to come, and generally judging getting to know each other.

Our flight to Madrid boarded and left on time, thus allowing us to avoid the notorious United Airlines delays.

Hiccup #2: So I was completely nervous about the idea of flying over open water, as it is not something that I have ever done before. So I came prepared with Unisom with the intention of putting myself into a drug-induced coma until we arrived. Well about an hour or so into the flight it still hadn’t kicked in and I was still nervous so I decided to give it a little nudge… hello, Chardonnay!! Horrible, horrible idea. Yes, I did fall asleep. But then I randomly woke up… and everything fell swiftly down hill from that point. I blacked out. Not fell asleep. But actually had a fainting blackout. From which I awoke drenched in sweat and dizzy/nauseous out of my mind. The lady next to me, who was a bit larger than is comfortable to sit next to for an 8 hr flight, was passed out cold and no matter how much I prodded her, would not wake. And I knew if I didn’t get to the restroom soon this flight was about to suck for everybody. So a decision had to be made. I literally threw myself over her and into the aisle and ran/crawled my way to the closet bathroom. Luckily, I did not throw up but I did sadly sleep for another hour in the bathroom as the meds kicked in again and put me back to sleep unexpectedly. So lesson learned: Unisom and wine are not friends and should never coexist together in your system.

After that debacle, I arrived in Madrid feeling surprisingly rested and ready to get to Logroño. M and I were both heading that way so we joined forces to get our bags through customs and head toward the bus station. We got our phones turned on in the airport and proceeded to the Alsa ticket office.

Hiccup #3: Now, my father came to Madrid with me. However, he was on a separate flight and apparently adverse to following instructions after a “miserable” flight in first-class with bottomless champagne and filet mignon (WTH?! Really? HE gets the free upgrade) ~Love you, Daddy~ Anyhow, we discussed meeting in Terminal 4 at the Alsa bus station BEFORE leaving America. I sent follow up instructions in various emails upon arrival. I couldn’t text him because Sprint decided that it no longer wanted to be of assistance to me abroad. Well, my dad just knew that I would communicate with him via text or calls and never checked his email. He also presumed that I must have had a grand change of plans so never went to our designated meeting place. Cut to: Me waiting with M and B (who was on the same flight as him) for about 3 hours and them leaving on the bus to Logroño without me with my father still nowhere in sight. It took us talking through my sister as a third-party VIA EMAIL for us to connect and for him to finally find me in Terminal 4 at the Alsa station. The next bus didn’t leave for another 5 hours so we buckled in for a nice long wait in the airport lobby and tried to sleep while not getting robbed.

Finally we made it to the city around 7pm after a very picturesque 4 hr bus ride. My roommate, A, met us at the station and we lugged my body bags on to our apartment. Phew!!! What a damn day!!! We rested, showered and hit the streets for the first of some amazing nights!

This story seems a bit endless already so I get to more on all of that in PART TWO. Stay tuned!!

Have you ever embarrassed yourself that many times in one trip? Please share so I don’t feel to insane!

Hasta Pronto!


  1. Aaaa this is so exciting! Looking forward to reading more!

  2. I LOVE reading your stories, mama! And you are not alone. When I returned to the US after living in Paris for a spell, I too had overpacked. In an attempt to lighten my load, I took out the heaviest things from my suitcases -- winter coats and sweaters. I ended up wearing THREE sweaters, TWO big coats, carrying another big wool coat. Ridiculous, I tell you.

    But I KNOW you can pray so that is a gorgeous miracle! Looking forward to reading more. Big love to ya!!! <3<3<3

  3. Wow, those were exorbitant fees. I didn't think the fees were that high...I'm kind of worried now.