Airline drama...bread...time travel through Paris & Spain...airline drama
29.06.2013 - 30.06.2013
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Now that we've packed, let's take you on this journey from the start so you feel like you're on this trip as well, by starting @ everyone's favorite place-----the airport!
Leaving Charleston was interesting due to a delay in Atlanta, which cut our layover down to 20 mins. Anyone who's been to Atlanta, knows 45 mins is already cutting it close...So after an hour long failed attempt @ being re-routed (thanks for trying Colleen) & watching some of the flight group act like children-- we took the risky connection flight to Paris which will get us to Malaga, Spain.
As we land in Atlanta, its announced that there are quite a few people w/ TIGHT connection flights & if your destination was Atlanta or had time to spare, to let them/us get off the plane first. to let them/us go first, Most of the plane acted like there wasn't an announcement made but BIG thanks to the bunch who did wait for us to get off :-)
And so we RAN, I mean HAULED ASSES to the gate! The kids were awesome & luckily had scooters that got them there faster. Luckily, there were 16 people on our flight & they had waited a few minutes long enough to at least get one of our group to the gate. One of the ladies on the plane said she wasn't worried because of how many people were on the connecting flight & that they would wait for us. I saw her running behind us & had taken off her shoes to run faster...A previous experience left 8 of us behind when we were 10 mins late for a flight...so take caution my friends.
We showed our passports at the gate because were heading to Paris.
We got on this huge plane of the usual seated rows of 3 on the left & 3 on the right now having a middle row of 4 or 5 seats. The plane was nice & clean, the female flight attendants were lovely in their light blue & white print on a 3/4 sleeve blouse. As I got to my seat, I apologized to the plane about our plane delay & the girls I'm sitting next to because of course, I had the window seat. They seemed interested in what I had to say & they nodded/smiled. Oh good, they understood. I didn't want them to think I was late to get on plane because of something I did. Little did I know that an announcement had been made about holding the plane for a delayed connecting flight. I ramble on to these girls about running as fast as possible & they nodded/smiled, then I realize French is being spoken because oh yeah, we are headed to Paris. So I ask the girls if they spoke English & they both nodded. I ask where they're from; Kansas City & Alabama! Ha! One was headed to Paris to study French while the other was headed to Spain to study Spanish. We didn't take off for what seemed like 1/2 hour past us sitting down, I was convinced that was to allot for our late luggage from Atlanta. After we took off, I notice that there was a menu for dinner & that they would serve breakfast. Wonderful, because I was starving! Menu was a card similar to a thank-you card design & we had a choice of Beef w/ mushrooms & mashed potatoes or Penne pasta of some kind. Also included w/ dinner was cheese, entremet (which means something in between servings, in French) & a Strawberry-lemon cake slice for dessert. Before dinner was served, I was already anxious about wanting to eat something & then I saw they were serving bread! Yes, I got excited about having bread. Hopefully it was soft, delicious & French bread...I love bread, what can I say? Bread basket came & I grabbed 2 rolls, yes I know everyone else probably grabbed 1...dinner came & I got served Beef option because they ran out of pasta. Beef looked like dog food but I didn't care, it tasted fine. Soooo I proceeded to eat everything like I was going away to prison including (the entremet which was a Lentil garbanzo salad w/ spices & a container of applesauce). I don't even like applesauce... along w/ another bread roll since they kindly went around again w/ bread basket. So good :-)
Now since I had to put my carryon bag up & it happened so fast, didn't have anything to read for the long flight- luckily Ithere was a monitor where you could watch tv, movies or listen to music OR watch the live video of the plane flying...
I challenged myself to not watch a something I had seen before but instead to watch a foreign movie. I watched an Argentinean romantic drama in Spanish. And so it was an early bedtime for me but in the morning we would be in Paris for a bit & then Spain...ah! I mean España. That's right people, you guys are also gonna learn some Spanish with the rest of us! I slept 4-5 hrs while we time traveled 6 hrs forward from Charleston time. When I woke up, breakfast was on my tray- what a great way to wake up! I inhaled ANOTHER bread roll, fruit cup & a muffin washed down w/ juice. Went back to sleep for 30 mins until we landed in Paris.
Off plane to customs, which means take your carryon through security again & then wait in line for an intimidating looking man to stamp your passport. Because of my love of languages, I have dabbled in the French language & wanted to try it out. But then would also be afraid that they'd ramble on in French & didn't want to have to tell them I didn't understand a lot & to slow down. Ah, what a relief to have enough time to get to our gate. Due to jet lag or time travel as I like to call it, first thing we wanted was coffee! Ooh a coffee stand is right near our gate, what a perfect opportunity to speak some Francais! I order a coffee & a chocolate croissant a la Francais:-) Delicious!
Off to the 2 1/2 hr plane ride to Malaga. I was able to switch seats on this to sit next to Caroline & time flew by...Interestingly they charged for beverages on this flight & unlike snacks that could be purchased on US flights, they offered whole baguette sandwiches.
We land in Malaga! Interestingly enough 1st language on signs is German due to their important & heavy presence in Spain. We split up into a "Get the rental car" group consisting of me & Corrie & the "Get our bags" group consisting of Andy, Joe & Caroline. We discover that there's a shuttle to take to the rental car office, luckily that was easy to do via text. But a little off putting because I wasn't 100% about using my phone appropriately due to certain price rules. As we are getting our rental cars, Andy was finding out that our luggage didn't make it along with us...bumpbump buum (dramatic music playing). As I am at the rental car place I find out they mostly carry cars that drive stick! Luckily, they have one that's automatic. Yay!! So we go to our cars & I had to push Corrie's car backwards while it was in neutral so it could make it out of the tiny spot it was in. Thanks CFX for my muscles! My car won't start, sounds like its not on even though I turned the key for a few secs. After I get some help, turns out I have to turn key longer & also release emergency brake as we know it; regular parking brake here. And so I reversed & got out of the lot & proceeded to wait to follow Andy to our destination house about 45 mins away. I tried to get comfy & familiar w/ car. Found an A which i thought meant park, 1 & 2 which i assumed was Drive 1 & 2. As we all know the airport is usually located near main highways but now we're in a different country...So we are immediately on route & am driving fine. I noticed as we started accelerating on the highway my car sounded like it was working to hard & not going fast enough. It quickly hit me to shift but of course I pulled to the shoulder which was frightening since there is some serious aggressive driving here. I realize I can shift from 1-4 going faster through each #. Did I mention I have never driven stick?! Okay, I can do this, you just survived your heart stopping, you can get to the house. And then we started driving up hills, mountainsides, which mostly don't have a rail & are full of dangerous rocks. OMG! We reached the top of a street on a hill & I notice they are starting to roll backwards in front of me, a little too much for my comfort- Andy gets to go forward thought the street. He had been waiting for a car to pass & in the mean time I am learning that I need to manually shift this car to go up & down hills & to go faster. I started rolling back & then skidded forward (heart stops beating) I was headed backwards down a hill but I never looked back...
Now don't get me wrong, heading up the mountain wasn't just scary, it was exciting & AMAZINGLY beautiful w/ valleys & trees as far as the eye could see w/ goats, sheep & horses! It was liberating AND. breathtaking to get to the top & see the cottage atop this beauty. So grateful to Corrie for finding this slice of heaven on the mountain & to be surrounded by such peace...