Hello from my flight to LAX! It’s 7:49 pm where I left Paris. It’s 10:50 am where I’m going to land in LAX. It’s so hard to manage your time when you’re flying west. Do you sleep now or not? Do you act like it’s the time where you flew from or where you’re going? Very strange.
Well, the only thing we did at the end of day 12 was go to the hotel bar for un tapa de patatas bravas which were extremely good!
Sandy and I again left for an early morning walk, but we went straight to a larger Forns del Pi for breakfast that was right next to Placa Reial. I had a ham and cheese croissant which was great. We made the mistake of walking down a smaller, alley-like street right next to our hotel to get there. Let’s just say there was some non-animal excrement on the way, and you just can’t unsee that! Thankfully, the good people of the city of Barcelona were readying to street-sweep the street and make it nice again.
After breakfast, we headed for a ‘smaller’ church, Sant Just, to take its picture. (Pictures to come later)
When we got back to the hotel, our little trio headed to La Boqueria to acquire some jamon to take back with us (Mom) and some cones of jamon y queso (for all of us) to enjoy right then. Yum!!
The rest of that day was all about packing our bags! I was packing both Mom’s and my bags. After I finished Mom’s bag and Sandy was nearly done, we went down to the hotel bar and had some cava sangria, patatas bravas, and a ham board. Delicious!
We went back to the room and finished packing as much as we could. Sandy took a nap, and then we thought we’d go for a last walk around the Gothic Quarter, But when we got downstairs, we discovered that it was raining quite a bit! Since all of our stuff was packed, we decided to go back to the room rather than get what we had on wet. We did head out a bit later around 7:45 pm as we anticipated Sonia and Nicole’s arrival. We decided to just grab a table at a nearby cafe/bar to wait for them. We selected a place called Taller de Tapas. Sandy went to meet them at the hotel since they didn’t know where it was. After they arrived, we enjoyed some delicious tapas. I had gambas al ajillo, which were delicious. We also shared some croquettas and una tortilla de patatas. And of course a couple canas.
After that, we went to the hotel bar and had another drink. Mom and Sonia got into some more serious discussions as Sandy, Nicole, and I talked about them going to Utah in October and looking at the pictures on our phones as some Norwegians at another table starting singing very loudly.
Soon, it was time for Sonia and Nicole to get going. We said our goodbyes to Nicole and Sonia. We’d see Sonia the next day, but that was it for Nicole 😦 We went back to the room, then Sandy & I returned for a last cana to reminisce about the trip and contemplate the highs and the very few lows.
Back in the room, I finished up the packing I could for the night, and finally went to bed after 1 am. The pre-flight anxiety was in full effect.
Day 14 (so far)
We were up early to get ourselves all situated and ready to go. Sonia was early but was okay waiting until we were ready at 7 am. How kind of her to volunteer to take us to the airport. Barcelona is not an early morning city. This was to our advantage most days. It was so amazing to walk around without a throng of people around us. And this morning, it made for a supremely easy drive around the city and out to the airport. She dropped us off, and I only shed a couple tears, then it was time to navigate the airport.
On the way to Europe I learned that you have to request accommodations ahead of time, e.g., getting a wheelchair or other assistance around the airport for Mom, so when we were in LA waiting to come over, I requested special assistance for Mom on the way back. At BCN airport, they were great. She got her ride, and we met her at the gate.
When we arrived in Paris after a short 1 1/2 hour flight, we disembarked and just started walking, all of us, off the plane. We didn’t know we needed to wait for someone. But Sandy went back to the gate and someone finally arrived and asked where Mom was, and she told her, and Sandy was admonished that Mom was supposed to wait there, but it was never made clear. So they came and got her, and we figured we’d meet her at the gate to head to LAX, and we assumed she’d be there when we got there. We had to go through passport control and take a bus to another terminal and walk long stretches. But when we got to the gate, Mom wasn’t there! We weren’t sure what to do, so we waited a while. Finally, we see an assistance vehicle approaching, and there’s Mom on the back, yay! Turns out it was a terrible experience for her. They had to take different people to different gates, she ended up walking quite a bit anyway, no one was very communicative about what was going on, she took trains and buses, and was basically all over the airport. They didn’t stop to let her use the bathroom or shop at duty free, and it was just bad. Boo to Air France for all of that!
Once we were all together again, we grabbed a sandwich, got our passports scanned in preparation for the flight, and soon we were boarding.
I’ll just say this: the Delta experience on Premium Economy is superior to that of Air France Premium Economy. On the flight over, there were four seats in the middle, of which we had three. On this flight, there are only three seats in the middle, which we occupy. Nice. The amenities bag is nicer. There’s a remote for the entertainment screen. They provided little tablecloths for our tray tables, and the sparkling wine kept flowing. I may never fly economy again.
So now you’re caught up. I will try to publish this from the air, but it may not take, in which case, I’ll publish it when I’m on the ground in LA. It will be the same day that I left Barcelona which is just a mindfuck, really. But maybe tonight I’ll be able to have a delicious taco, and I’ll definitely be able to sleep in my own bed. On Monday, we’ll pick up Lulu the dog, and that will be a sweet reunion. It was a fabulous trip and only reinforces my desire to continue traveling and seeing the big world that’s out there.
One Comment Add yours
Thanks Lizzie for the great blogging of our trip . It was truy amazing to relive some great moments. I wanted this trip to Europe with my girls before I turned 80 and I’m so happy everything went well and we emjoyed a great time in Paris and Barcelona, and got to see my sister and family. Till next time. Adeu!