Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Long travel day today – I am absolutely sure it will all be worth it for the prize at the end. Rich dumps me at the airport and I say goodbye knowing that I am leaving him to handle all the loose ends and crises there will surely be during this phase of our kitchen remodel. I will stay in touch by email, but it will be up to him to solve all the last minute “problems.” Maybe it will all be over by the time I return…
Thanks to my careful hoarding and use of airline points, I am able to fly first class and plan to enjoy every minute. I begin by checking into “The Club” at Sky Harbor where grab a glass of cava (have to prepare for Spain) and a small dish of popcorn. I make my way into a busy seating section where I proceed not only to overturn the popcorn but to have it actually fly up into the air thereby raining kernels amongst my fellow travelers. They are all good sports.
The first leg to Atlanta is without incident. I am trying to budget my appetite and fight upcoming jet lag so I pick at the salad we are served and choose to consume only water (at this point). A pleasant 3.5 hours were spent reading and watching John Travolta in Staying Alive on my iPad.
After a quick stay in The Club at ATL I make my way to the gate to board the British Airways flight to London. It is so nice to board and immediately be greeted with “Good afternoon, Ms. Torkington. Let me show you to your seat.” I have chosen seat 2K which is probably the most private of the 15 or so first class seats.
I am the only passenger in the front for a bit and the flight attendant dotes on me. I am given my jammies, slippers, and goodie bag. I know this drill and head into the lav to change into my “sleep suit.” As soon as I return to my seat I am offered champagne – they serve the good stuff here. Looks like there are only about 6 seats occupied in First tonight. Perfect.
Soon enough we take off and meal service is offered after more champagne and warm nuts. My dinner was a beef filet and a nice salad accompanied by a lovely white Vioginier wine. I sat back and watched an awesome movie – The Danish Girl. Time for shut-eye. My seat is made into a lovely bed and it is lights out for several hours. The ride was a bit bumpy so sleep was fitful, but it was great to be able to lie down nevertheless.
Before I knew it the sun was up and breakfast was being served. I chose a cappucino and some fresh fruit. Nice way to start the morning. We arrive in Heathrow and I easily navigate my way from Terminal 5 to Terminal 3 by bus. When I booked this flight I was a bit disappointed to learn that since I would be leaving for Barcelona from Terminal 3 that I could not use the British Airways signature Concorde Room lounge as I had in past travels. However, when I reached the Terminal 3 Galleries First Lounge that disappointment quickly went away.
I made my spa appointment for facial/massage before doing anything else. Seasoned travelers know the drill. The Galleries lounge is not large as the Concorde Room, but is beautiful. It’s centerpiece is a Champagne Bar. I think I can handle it.
I kick back in the lounge and catch up on email etc. Finally it is time for my facial/massage – awesome. I feel refreshed and renewed. Maybe I can make it through this last flight. When I get to the gate for Barcelona they are just starting to check documents to allow passengers into the actual boarding area. However, there seems to be a problem. The computers in the entire terminal (and in other terminals as well, I think) have gone on the fritz! Nobody is going anywhere. We wait and wait. They finally tell us that if we have lounge access we might as well go back and watch the monitors. So I do.(it is well worth noting that is at this time that I ran directly into Cate Blanchet coming out of the lounge|) After an hour the flight shows up on the monitor again so I head back to the boarding area. During this time I am constantly texting with Janel that I will be LATE. What a mess
Of course we finally manage to take off almost 2 hours late. The flight to Barcelona is about 1.5 hours and I manage to sneek in a little nap. As we make our approach into BCN I realize that we have flown past Barcelona and are swinging out over the ocean to come into the airport. I never realized that the airport was right on the coast!
After what seems like an enternity waiting for my bags (and thinking that they might not arrive), I get to walk through the doors to see a happy sight:
I can’t even express how great it is to be with Janel again. She looks amazing and we are both grinning from ear to ear. We head to her apartment to dump my bags. While there she discovers that Isam has left us a beautiful little treat.
and a fridge note:
By now it is definitely cava time. Tonight we will hit up a favorite spot that I have been to before – la Xula (“chew-la”). It is very close to her apartment and is super cute. We snag a couple seats at the bar since we are a teeny bit early for dinner (8:00). Cava is promptly ordered followed by a selection of tapas that sounded interesting – fried artichokes, foie with truffles and a bikini sandwich. I remember having the bikini here before. It is a thin, grilled sandwich with jamon, cheese and truffles (just because.) Yummy.
How wonderful it is tod be here with our girl. We sit munching and talking and just generally enjoying being together. She won’t budge on telling me where we are going tomorrow for my Secret Trip. I tell her I think I already know… Back at Janel’s apartment she packs while I arrange some of my items in preparation for our early (9:00am) flight. I hope I can sleep fast. Dreams of exotic places will be with me tonight.