[I tried to post this last night but the internet cut out so I'm posting it now.]
He llegado en España.
The last 30 something hours have been sooo disorienting! I started off at MCI, and left from there at 10:50am Central time. Thought I had everything, but turns out I forgot something painfully essential. More on that later. When the guy who was checking my suitcase saw that I was going all the way to Madrid (albeit through two separate airlines and totally separate bookings), he tagged the bag to go all the way through to Spain, so I wouldn't have to pick it up and recheck it. He seemed pretty sure that this would be foolproof, but I mentally marked the moment in case I needed to look back later and identify the moment when my trip first began to go horribly wrong.
Flew to Atlanta. Had to hustle through that airport to make my 2:45pm (Eastern) flight to JFK. I'm pretty sure I slept for like the first hour of that flight. Go me.
Cue five hour layover in New York. Almost the boringest layover of my life. Then, at 9:40pm Eastern time, we left the States for Ireland. It was only a six hour flight, but when you are sort of in a half-asleep, half-awake daze, time seems to last way longer than usual. Plus I had the world's WORST seatmate, an oldish guy who totally put his elbows in my space, so I had to curl up to sleep. I was like, "Surely I will awaken when they bring us our meal." Wrong. I definitely woke up about ten minutes later to the smell of food. Thanks a lot for waking me up, old seatmate. Then he watched The Wrestler and ate with gusto, and fell asleep. I decided that if anything important happened while he was out, I would not wake him up for it. I watched Twilight to pass the time. . . but it turns out it's as bad at 30,000 feet as it is on the ground. So disappointing.
Landed in Dublin at 9:00 am Dublin time (Greenwich Mean Time? I do believe so). That's 3 am home time. Spent an hour or so getting through customs, then I just walked from terminal to terminal (I honestly probably walked several miles during the course of the day) before my 4pm flight.
By the time we took off, I'd been travelling for nearly a day. I tried to sleep for the entire flight, but I was in a seat in the emergency exit row. That equals more leg room but no seat reclinability. So probably less than an hour of sleep.
But it did mean that I was able to watch as we came down through the clouds and crossed over the mountains. I saw the familiar rich oranges and clay greens of the Spanish landscape, and I felt better.
Customs and baggage claim were a breeze- yes, my bag arrived at the same time as me! I got my Metro pass, and after a brief subway adventure, I made it to my hostel and got in contact with my friends here. I even had time to partake in one of my all-time favorite pasttimes- wandering.
Turns out my hostel is on a street I'm pretty familiar with, near a place where I used to meet up with friends. It was so good to walk past restaurants and cafes where I'd spent so many fun times, and I'm astounded by how Madrid is so very the same as when I left. It's very reassuring. While cleaning up, however, I did discover that I neglected to pack my deodorant when I took everything out of my suitcase and repacked. I have mixed feelings about this- on the one hand, I might get gross, and people might notice. On the other hand, it’s Europe. I really don’t think anyone will notice I’m gross.
Okay. It's past one, I think I've lost my internet connection, and I'm exhausted. More later!