Madrid Diary Day 1: Just Getting Started

Madrid, Spain – Saturday October 12, 2019

Well, our magical mystery tour begins… and we actually made it! Jeff and I are safe and sound in sunny Madrid – a world away from Osaka, Japan our intended destination for the past 6 months.

But, then there was Typhoon Hagibis … and suddenly, here we are.

If we can count 23 hours of travelling – plus experiencing an airline miracle – as “suddenly”. Our flight departing from Salt Lake City on Friday was delayed over and over and yes, FIVE times over … while we sat in the airport wondering if our new adventure would end before it ever got started.

WAITING . . .

Ironically, trying to escape the typhoon in Japan we were now being blocked by a severe storm in our connecting city of Dallas Texas, which was preventing the plane from flying to SLC that we needed to take us back to Dallas. So, by the time we touched down in DFW my app alerted that we literally had 8 minutes to board our flight to Spain… and of course it was located in a completely different terminal – requiring a Skytrain ride. We ran… we caught the train … my app alerted us our Madrid flight had been delayed 20 more minutes … there was hope! But, when we arrived at the departure gate, we were met with a screen displaying the flight to Madrid was BOARDED.

It appeared we were now stuck in Texas.

As we stood there out of breath and feeling dejected, an airline employee appeared. We asked her if there was any hope left for us to get on our flight to Madrid. She told us that the plane had already boarded and the door was closed. But, then she made a call, printed out some new boarding passes, and opened the door to the gangway; “Okay, This never happens, but there’s some kind of maintenance issue and the plane was re-opened. So, if you go quickly, they will let you on”

As we hustled past the maintenance crew we overheard someone say “Wow. They were lucky.” …

It was obvious the woman who had claimed Jeff’s aisle seat didn’t feel very lucky when we somehow managed to show up. But, we let her keep the seat and took a happy selfie instead!

Heaven intervened in the form of a broken microwave oven!

It was a very warm 80 degree Fahrenheit on our 3:00 PM arrival to Madrid, but it cooled to a delightful 70 degrees by 7:00 PM for the perfect late summer evening stroll through the historic cobblestone streets of downtown. We are forcing ourselves to stay awake to get synced to this time zone, so we feel a bit like zombies.

There’s a festival atmosphere. It turns out, its Spain’s National Holiday today! (Like our 4th of July) so, thousands of extra people are in the Capitol city this weekend to celebrate. Spain’s holiday commemorates the day Christopher Columbus discovered America.

We have the BEST little private AirBnB apartment! It’s SPOTLESS clean and includes a fully stocked kitchen, with a small modern washing machine, and a bedroom with a private bath and even a queen size bed. The footprint of the apartment is miniature, but perfectly laid out so it seems much larger. (like an IKEA dollhouse). The place was a true miracle since the city is at 95% booking capacity – and this was only available for our exact dates. All other weeks before and after are already booked. So, it seems it was waiting just for us.

Our cute home away from home in Madrid

Our host Andres went the extra mile and sent a driver to pick us up at the airport. He gave us a little tour. Super nice! Andres has all kinds of goodies in the apartment plus maps, and lists of fave places. The LOCATION is PRIMO. We are in walking distance of EVERYTHING!!! The Royal palace is just 3 blocks away. Plaza Mayor is 5 blocks away. There are so many Cathedrals, plazas, shops, parks, museums…. all here to explore.

AND… Drumroll. We discovered we happen to be staying in a Vegan restaurant district!!🎉👏 😮 Jeff and I won’t have to sacrifice our whole food plant based eating after all. We discovered a place called VIVA BURGER tonight … ohmigosh!! Everything 100% sustainable organic vegan. The most incredibly delicious meal.

Well, So far, this unexpected Spanish adventure is turning out great! We are too tired to stay up for the holiday fireworks, but looking forward to see what happens next! ~ Holly🤗 #SpontaneousSpain #win #MadridRocks #sotired

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