Wednesday night I couldn't sleep to save my life. I had to be up at 3:30 anyways. I maybe got 2 hours of shut eye the entire night. I tried. I tried sleeping meds. I tried counting backwards from 100, twice. I tried watching boring movies in languages I don't know. I tried a lot of things. I gave up and got out of bed. I wasn't happy about it, but it was shortly before my alarm.
I went to breakfast with some lovely people. It was great to laugh and spend sweet time with wonderful friends.
The Jonesboro airport was locked when I arrived. I had a mini freak out session before realizing I was 5 minutes early (the airport opened at my check in time). All went well after that. Dad and I got checked in and my family took pictures/gave hugs/etc... There was plenty of time. Check in was at 5:30. We didn't leave until 6:45. No security. It was, well, strange. Granted, the grand total of passengers was 6. Yes, six. We had two seats to spare.
That ride was probably my favorite. I got to fly over my hometown at sunrise. I got a birds eye view of my high school and college alma maters. I then saw the city fade into fields. The fields changed to hills. Slowly, towns returned. An hour or so later, we were in St Louis.
What's up St Louis, what's up?
Not much really happened at St Louis. We just waited to board our flight to Philadelphia. Check in was smooth. My bags were within their weight limit. The TSA officers were still in a good mood. I always try to smile at them or make a witty remark of some sort. I like making normally difficult people smile. Security was flawless except that they had to run my backpack through the scanner twice. My heart dropped as I thought of everything I had packed. I triple checked everything before leaving. It was fine after the second scan. I never asked why they ran it twice.
The flight from St Louis to Philadelphia wasn't too bad. I think I dozed off for a few minutes. Music and playing iPad games with dad for 2 hours or so.
Landing in Philadelphia is when we decided to be adventurous. We had a five hour layover, and who wants to sit in an airport for five whole hours when in a new-to-you city?
With the help of the info desk and some very kind random strangers, we managed to visit Citizens Bank Park, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. I Boy Meets World fangirling hardcore.
"Philadelphia, home of the Phillies"
Dad and I went to the park store where he got his usual mini baseball bat. We asked the cashier if it would be possible to look inside. She escorted us out into the lower level seats to take pictures in the ballpark!
We were super excited to get to go in! We then asked for a nearby suggestion for a Philly cheese steak. It didn't disappoint! Yum!!
We also made it to the Liberty Bell. When we got off the train, we had a hard time finding it. It was about 50 steps from the train exit.
Philadelphia was a blast. If you ever need to kill five hours on a weekday in Philadelphia, PA, this is the way to do it.
We made it back to the airport in time to get back through security and get to the gate. Which had been switched. We only knew it because I caught the end of the announcement in Spanish and asked an employee where our gate was.
The plane boarded quickly. We had a small delay in takeoff due to a traffic jam of sorts waiting to takeoff. I made friends with the lady next to me. She was really nice, and we talked on and off for a lot of the flight. The dinner was pretty good. I was impressed with airline pasta.
You know what just sucks? Trying to sleep on an overnight flight. Remember, I was running on two hours of sleep and a few minutes of dozing on the previous flight. I slept for a grand total of 45 minutes during that flight.
The plane doesn't move faster even if you try pushing the little airplane along on the GPS screen.
So, yeah... that flight was horrible. I couldn't sleep, but I was tired and cramped into a tiny seat with people on either side of me (nice people... one of which I call "Dad," but people way too close) for what seemed like forever.
When we landed, we got our bags and met my au pair family at the door. We went back to their piso for coffee (the US has some serious thinking to do about their coffee... café was amazing!!). After chatting about the trip, it was check in time at the hotel. We gleefully went to nap for a few hours.
A nap and a shower will do wonders for a person.
We had lunch around 3:30 this afternoon. We tried some traditional Spanish food. One was shrimp with some sort of stringy noodle like fish. It looked gross, but it was great! Gazpacho on the other hand... Never. Again. It took every ounce of willpower not to spit that out as soon as it hit my taste buds (luckily, they don't like it either, and told us that before we tried it). We then had some tasty lasagna. After that, we were served the most amazing homemade arroz con leche ever.
We toured Madrid all afternoon and evening.
This is the origin of the roads in Spain. Side note: I think Chacos mark me as foreign, but they're so comfy and cute that I don't care a bit.
We ended our night out with sangrias, cervezas, y tapas at a cafe somewhere in the town center away from tourist crowds.
Dinner was tortilla española (a Spanish potato omelet, super amazing!), Spanish ham and different cuts of pork, some sort of fish with peppers (I didn't expect to like it, but again, yum!!), different types of olives, and ice cream.
Now I'm at the hotel. Dad's out like a light in his bed. I needed to share my adventure. It's 1 o'clock in the morning over here. Forgive me if none of this made sense. I'm pretty sure it's in English. Be thankful for that ;)
It's all written out now. Good night from Madrid.