Monday, May 27, 2013

Day 11: Madrid --> Dublin --> Chicago --> Kansas City

Well it was a rough night, but some time after 2am I finally fell asleep.  I woke up every hour until the alarm went off at 6am.  I was tired, but so happy that I felt better (and hadn't been in the bathroom for awhile) that I didnt' care about the lack of sleep.  Decided to hop through the shower again since I had sweat a lot last night, and it was my last chance before the 15 hours of traveling we had ahead of us.

Packed up again and we were out the door by 7am.  My stomach was still rumbling but I felt 8,000 times better than I did last night.  Had the front desk call a cab for us.  Yea, with all the drama last night, we forgot to look in to the subway or bus schedule too much.  Plus with me still not feeling well, we decided  cab would just be easiest.  Another 30 minutes and 40 Euros.  Ouch.

In the elevator at Posada del Dragon.  Sad to be leaving.

So we got to the airport, and looked at the board to figure out where we needed to go to check in.  All of the check in counters have numbers for each flight.  So we looked and looked...and then found it.  Our flight wasn't at 9:30 like we thought.  It was at 10:30!  Ugh.  No idea how we screwed that one up.  I didn't even look at my itinerary I had printed out.  I thought Matt had looked on his phone last night and told me 9:30 and we did the math backwards to get to the 6am alarm.  I don't know.  Who knows.  Either way, we were at the airport at 7-freaking-30 for a 10:30 flight.  The check in counter wasn't even open yet.  So we sat on the ground in front of the counter.  And waited...

Matt was NOT happy about being there so early and missing another hour of sleep.
The workers finally came to check people in after 8:30.  That was alot of sitting around time, and me fighting the urge to go to the bathroom.  My stomach wasn't happy, but I was scared to go, haha. 

Anyways, I made it, and we got checked in.  Except the guy working was obviously new / training and on top of that, he barely spoke any English.  So frustrating.  We asked him about where our seats were - if they were together.  They were for the first 2.5 hour flight to Dublin, but that's as far as we got with him.  We asked about or bags that we were checking in - if we needed to pick them up in Dublin or in Chicago?  He eventually said we needed to pick them up in Dublin, which we thought was really weird.  But then as he put Matt's bag on the thing to send it off, he put a bright orange "TRANSFER IN DUBLIN" sticker on it.  What the heck?  My bag had already gone through without one of those.  So now we were thoroughly confused and decided to just go to baggage claim in Dublin no matter what to figure out if our bags were transferred on or not...

Made it through security and found something to eat for breakfast.  I was scared of how my stomach was going to react, but some yogurt and a croissant from Starbucks really hit the spot.  We had so much time to kill still that I just laid down on the bench there (at Starbucks) and sleep for almost an hour before we boarded the plane.

Pretty easy 2.5 hour flight from Madrid in to cloudy and cold Dublin.  I slept for most of it.  We had originally thought about maybe leaving the airport to go see Dublin since we had over 3 hours, but with the whole bag thing, we had to go through the immigration stuff and customs, and then wait in line to re-check in and go through security again. 

Our bags were NOT on the carousel after the flight.  They had both been checked through after all, just like we thought.  We asked an Aer Lingus guy at the customer service desk by the baggage about it, and he said we wouldn't have to pick them up until Kansas City. They were checked all the way through!  But we had to go re-check in for the flight now since the guy in Madrid didn't give us boarding passes.  It was all a mess, but we waited in the long line out front.  When we got called, we just happened to get the most non-helpful girl ever.  She was rude and had no interest in helping us at all.  We asked her if our seats were together twice, and she pretty much ignored us.  We got stuck in the middle section again, but at least we weren't the middle of the middle.  We had an aisle seat this time. Oh, and then she said we did have to pick up our bags in Chicago and re-check them.  What the heck, people.  Which is it!?

So we got all re-checked in, went through security again, and then went to find our gate and see if someone there would be more helpful with moving our seats.  No such luck.  Full flight and no other two seats together.  I guess that's what we get for not checking in ahead of time.

Found some food back out in lobby area.  Bananas and a pizza.  My stomach still wasn't right but at least I had kept everything down / in so far.  Bought some coconut juice which we thought was supposed to re-hydrate you - but it tasted awful.  Neither of us had had it before, so we weren't sure what it was supposed to taste like, but we both thought it tasted old/spoiled, so we tossed it after one sip. 

Walked around and tried to kill some time.  Bought snacks and waters for the 8 hour flight from Dublin to Chicago.  Our seats really weren't that bad after all, and the plane was pretty spacious.  We had plenty of room and had tvs at our seats to watch some movies on.  I slept for the first couple of hours, then watched Broken City... and then the last Twilight movie (which I thought was awful).  Slept a little more, ate some airplane food, and then landed at 6pm in Chicago.

Went through the immigration line, grabbed our bags from baggage claim - they were actually there this time, and then decided to just keep them with us rather than re-check them in to save some time in KC. 

We actually didn't have that much time until our next flight, so we grabbed some healthy-ish food and waited at our gate. 

Chicken and quinoa / vegetables and brown rice

The flight from Chicago to KC was freezing cold.  Seriously.  I put Matt's coat completely over my head and body and curled up in a little ball.  And it was super bumpy from the storms, too.  I just wanted to be home!  And to top it off, our ride was about 20 minutes late coming to get us.  Sitting outside the airport was not what I wanted to do after traveling for so long.

Looking pretty rough, I know.

I'm not going to lie, I was pretty pumped when I got home.  I washed my face, changed out of my dirty clothes, and immediately crawled in to my big comfy bed. Matt, on the other hand, went home and watched the entire Spurs basketball game.  And since they won, he also watched all the post-game stuff (they made it to the NBA finals).  Crazy, I tell you.   

It really was an awesome trip, despite the last night in Madrid.  There isn't anything better than traveling and exploring foreign cities with my favorite person. :)

We were talking on the drive home about all the stuff we did and had already forgot about!  That's why I take so many pictures and try to write when I can.  When you cram so much in to a short amount of time, it's hard to remember everything! (My posts/picture taking seemed to get progressively worse as the trip went on...)

Big winners for the trip are Barcelona and Portugal.  Barcelona might be my new favorite city, and Portugal is cheap and awesome.  I don't know why more people don't go there!  Oh, and Vegas.  Biggest dissapoinent from the trip was definitely the clubs in Ibiza.  Vegas for the win.  It is so much bigger, better, cleaner, safer...and cheaper. :)

Next big adventure for me is India in August with my friend, Angie.  

Already thinking about Chile and Argentina for 2014 or 2015...

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