For those of you who don’t want to waddle through the long version, here’s a short sum-up:
Last minute flight change; flight delayed; connection made; VBers on the plane; bus is a no-show; hotel is okay; hotel knows nothing about DC tickets; @AnaTennisGirl rocks; strolling on La Rambla; GRAPES; Xisca; rampaging geese; poopers.
I wasn’t going to blog non-tennis days, but there’s a few tangentially tennis related items here, so…
Got a call 3 hours before I was going to go to the airport from the airline asking me to come in right away – Atlanta was backed up and they thought I’d miss my connection to Barcelona. Panic. Call ride – COME GET ME NOW! Throw all last-minute items into suitcase and hope I haven’t pushed it over the weight limit. Know I’m missing tons of things I need to do (like make my list of phone numbers), but feed the cats and run out of the house when the ride arrives. He takes the “we gotta get there ASAP” thing a bit too seriously and gets pulled over for a speeding ticket. Get to the airport minutes before the cut-off time only to find that this early flight has now been delayed too. Three delays later (two in the terminal and one on the plane), we take off…about 15 minutes before I was scheduled to take off in the first place.
Land, scurry over to other side of the airport, board and see….two ladies from VamosBrigade boarding. Say hi. The plane is nearly empty. Woot! We take off and…I can’t sleep. I get maybe an hour or two of sleep.
Land early, customs is a breeze, but no one seems to know where the “Hotel Bus” picks up. I’m told to wait for the tourist office to open. I do. She says, “Parking/G”. All righty. Off I go. I see Hotel Bus listed on the sign, so I park my tush on a bench. It’s way before I’d scheduled my pre-paid ride since I’d left oodles of extra time to allow for delays and lines at customs. On one driver’s third time through the pick-up and drop-off routine, he’s worried about me and asks who I’m waiting for. I tell him. He’s never heard of it. I show him my print-out. No help. He talks to another lady there. Nope, she’s never heard of it either. He tries to tell me something in Spanish…I’m confused. He very kindly tries again (much gesticulating), but I’m still confused. He offers to call them for me, but I have no phone number since I didn’t have time to make my list. He shrugs and goes back to his job.
I call @AnaTennisGirl to see if she can look up the number for me, she does, but no one’s picking up. Hmmm. By now, it’s past time that they were supposed to pick me up, so I go back in side and get a freaking cab. *sigh* Saw many Copa Davis signs along the street on the way to the hotel. Yay!
Check in, the hotel is nice, but nothing fancy and my room is on a lower floor so the view isn’t good. They also know nothing about my DC tickets. I do, however, want to marry the HUGE tub in the bathroom. It’s perfect. I settle in, wash up and by then @AnaTennisGirl is here. I write a few emails (stupid bus company and tour/tickets company) and we go off.
We were going to go to Park Guell, but the weather was bad and I was tired, so we walked La Rambla a bit and went to the market where I got an intense craving for grapes. Nice fresh grapes. Yummy juicy grapes. Yay, grapes! After roaming around a bit, we stop for a bite to eat at an Italian place that @AnaTennisGirl likes. We have a very tasty meal and then something odd happened. To explain why this is extra funny, I need to back peddle a bit.
A few times in the course of the afternoon, @AnaTennisGirl had said, “Oh! There’s Rafa!” The first time, it meant his picture was in the Nike store front. The second time was when we were in the restaurant and it meant he was on the TV. So, we are sitting there and she says, “There’s Xisca!” I turn around to look at the TV set and see Xisca passing our table heading to the restroom. We were both trying very hard not to laugh and figure out how we could get our check ASAP so we could so a slow walk through the front of the restaurant to see who else might be there. She comes out, we pay our bill and…she was there with some female friends, no hot boyfriend in sight.
Next up, more strolling. I squeeed over all the narrow roads and took pictures. We went to a Cathedral which contained a nativity scene and geese that stampeded when they thought food was imminent. The more wandering about and I see a Christmas market. Hmmm…we walk through looking at all the shiny stuff for sale and I was just about to give up when….Caganers! Heee! Bon Nadal!
So, my day started with a rush and ended with poop and me being pooped. Blister count on feet: 3 (they blister easily). I need sleep and I better wake up to DC tickets!