Getting Across the Ocean


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Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid
March 20th 2019
Published: March 21st 2019
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Before our trip could begin, unfortunately I had too much to do at work so it meant both Alex and I rising early for a ride to work for me and errands for him. Of course I had very little time to get what I wanted to done, including printing off prepaid tickets for some of the trip activities and getting our seats changed for the second and longest flight so we could sit together. Alex was supposed to be at the office at 10:30/10:45 to pick me up. Due to Wells Fargo not carrying any foreign currency, he arrived early at 10:20 instead. Kick off a flustered Bobbi who was in the middle of printing off the tickets on a very slow system and hadn't gotten to change seats yet. In a rush, I shut down and packed up my computer and took off towards the ticketing counter at work. There the less than friendly ticketing agent managed to get Alex and I seats next to each other.

I run out to join Alex who heads over to the parking spot. Half way there I realize that I have forgotten the tickets on the printer at work. Giving up since we have come too far, we park. As I exit the car I am confirming Alex has his passport. In true Alex fashion, he pretends he forgot it which fluster so me more. Then as I open the door I bump the car next to me. By now the bus has pulled up and is waiting. Quickly Alex helps me grab my suitcase from the trunk as I am shoving things in to my backpack. We load onto the bus and are off to the airport when I realized that I didn't have my work badge. Again we're too far to return and press on... all be it, glumly.

Alex gets to go through TSA Pre Check with me since he finally completed his Global Entry interview. We breeze through with ease. Finally something going my way. With time to spare, we snag tasty burgers from Twisted Root at the DFW airport. Then we get to the gate, which for some reason smells like a nursing home or a septic leak. Thankfully it was only a matter of minutes before boarding began.

On Alex and I boarding one of American Airlines oldest aircraft, a 767-300 that is probably 25 - 30 years old. The overhead bins didn't fit most current standard size roller bags. The walls had an 80s style transitioning paint job. There were ash trays ( though they had been modified with no smoking symbols) in the armrests. There were a few assorted the screens thought-out the cabin and the sound plug for it in the arm rest had a clicking turn dial to change volume or channel. While the plane had WiFi, it didn't offer any of the free entertainment most of AA planes now do through the AA app. Also no charging capabilities for main cabin. It meant Alex napped then watched a movie downloaded to his tablet and I read the short (3 he) flight from DFW to New York. On the ride over, I checked the status of our next flight sending us to Madrid and realized we would be getting off and then back onto this exact flight!

Disappointed, we disembarked at JFK with a mission to charge our electronics before having to deal with an 8 hour flight with no power. Once we grabbed some pizza for Alex, it took us 3 power strip stations before we found one that worked. Then the WiFi was so sporadic and slow we were unable to download any additional movie to our devices before boarding and barely charging our devices. Our group was forgotten and they started boarding the next group before realizing there mistake and going back to us. We did our best to get on quickly knowing the storage situation from the first flight.

With almost dead devices, we are our microwaved main cabin airplane meals watching the group movie of Ralph Wrecks the Internet. Luckily it was cute enough to watch 2 weeks in a row. ( I had the pleasure of streaming it on my last business trip). Afterwards Alex and I did our best to get comfortable in the tiny seats to sleep since this flight had us arriving in Spain at 7:00 am. While I caught a couple of hours of sleep, the lack of air vents had Alex so overheated and close seats so squished that he wasn't as lucky. He had even purchased a bottle of Vodka in New York that he half finished on the flight to try and help. The gold star to the trip was the fact that we departed and landed on time for each flight.

No rest for the wicked, our day doesn't really end....



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