Saturday, June 27, 2009

My Love/ Hate Relationship with Travel

As I was getting ready to fly to Barcelona last week, the title to this blog popped into my head and I started taking multiple mental notes on what to chronicle. Little did I know how much the chasm between loving and hating traveling would grow.

Take the airport for instance. I love the easy access to fly any where and everywhere. Yet it is also a point of major stress. It drives me nuts when different people at the counter let things slide while others dont (ie weight limit). I have found a trick- put Kayden on the counter and with one smile, my grossly overweight bag travels free of charge. The securtity line. Do I take my shoes off or leave them on? On this past trip to Barcelona, the security people made me try the Benadryl I was traveling with because it was 4 oz, but let a full bottle of water pass through. Make sense? Nope. You got to love the people who stand in line an hour before the flight takes off, even when they have assigned seats. Typically, even if their seat assignments are the last to be called, they stand blocking the line, creating mass chaos to get on the plane.
Lets not forget about the crazy priced airport food. You practically have to take money out of saving to feed our small little family at the airport. At the same time, the Pizza Hut guy at the Brussels airport made sure my pregnant cousin had the last box of pizza before closing and through in free chicken wings.
Once one boards the airplane, a whole other dynamic of extremes is explored. For instance, who are the people who think it is ok to yell and jump over seats the WHOLE ENTIRE 2 HOUR FLIGHT. It drives me nuts when travelers act like they are 5 instead of 35. How hard is it to understand- electronics off, seat up, safety belts fastened, tray tables away. This apparently seems to be an incredible difficult concept for some to grasp.
As you can tell, our trip getting to Spain was a bit of a headache. It was actually the worst flight I had ever been on due to the incredibly small seating fit only for Barbie size people, and even then, they would not have been able to stretch their legs. As well as the insanely loud people surrounding us who thought is was a great idea to clap and yell and hit each other at various moments on the flight. Grrr.

Once in Spain, we stayed in an amazing apartment in the heart of Barcelona. It was a beautiful city, with many incredible sights. Gaudi' apartments and park were some of my favorite for their originality and beauty. Tapas and sangria were a common craving as well as anything cold (ice cream!) as it was much warmer than any of were used to. The trip definately ranked Barcelona up there with my top cities in the world. The people were super friendly and the whole place was easy to navigate by foot or metro. An true highlight was that there was a Starbucks at the bottom of our apartment. A glorious sight!!!

One damper of the trip was that my purse was stolen our first day out. I had set it at my feet while eating at an outdoor cafe and then next thing I knew it, the purse and its contents (video camera, wallet, credit cards, cell, passports) had vanished. We reported it to the police and got new passports at the American Consulate. Apparenlty purse snatching is a HUGE problem in Barcelona. If I had only known before... No money was lost b/c Shane had the cash and nothing was put on our credit cards. The heart breaking part was more just loosing the camera and the memories of Kayden. I was reminded that the important things in life are really my family and friends and the God has truly blessed me with incredible sets of both.