GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN?
Well I thought I would start this and write as we go so I don't forget details. We started off well enough, driving form our home in the four corners to Albuquerque (great lunch at El Bruno's in Cuba, but that is for another forum), checked into the doubletree and enjoyed a great Indian dinner with our son and his girlfriend and her father. Hotel was so so, but who cares - we're off to Spain, right? or so we thought. Got to the airport in plenty of time, through security like a breeze, boarded on time, and then the fun began. There was a "hold" on flights into and out of Dallas where our connecting flight to Madrid was (no problem I thought, we left almost 3 hours changeover), left 20 minutes late, but when we got to Dallas we circled and circled and circled, until the gas ran low and they had to take us to San Antonio where they let us off the plane (American airlines by the way) and basically said good luck. Almost everyone had connections they'd missed - we all got in line, the agents were overwhelmed, and handling (really) one person an hour. Eventually they rebooked us on something I knew wasn't going to work, but we hadn't eaten all day and I was too tired to argue so we went to another airport Doubletree, ate some pretty bad food and then got creative. Steve got on the phone with limo companies, I got on the phone with the airline and was able to book something out of Houston through Heathrow, we got picked up the next morning and were able to rest in the car, made it to Houston with time to spare, train to Heathrow was only 1 hour late on British Airways (fantastic flight - best overseas flight ever), made our connection and landed in Madrid today basically on time. So we only missed one day of vacation -c'est la vie.
we are staying at the Hotel Catalonia Atocha (luckily I remembered last night to call them and let them know we would miss our first night). The room is large and comfy and the staff has been very nice. We found coffee and tapas at a place around the corner (the waiter was grumpy, I think he didn't really want people yet but the food was good and better than airport food for sure). Now we are resting so we can keep the dinner reservation we made a week ago. Tomorrow we will jettison the plan to go to Toledo and stick with the Prado and other museums as it will be our only true day in Madrid. Guess we shall have to plan to return another time to see what we missed. More later.
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GETTING THERE IS HALF THE FUN?