The morning of the day we were to travel to Barcelona seemed to take forever. We weren't leaving until kinda late afternoon and I was so anxious to travel the whole day. I was nervous about traveling with two young kids for the first time in Europe, I was nervous and excited for myself because this is the first time I have even traveled in Europe, I was also so excited to visit Spain, a place I have always wanted to go since a young teenager. I was so full of so many emotions that morning.
Luckily, we arrived to the airport with no problems and checked-in with no problems. Whew! We flew on RyanAir out of the Stanstead airport which is not the nearest airport to us, but it is usually where the crazy cheap flights fly out of with RyanAir. You can find flights as cheap as $30 round trip to various countries. Crazy, huh?
One of our first 'Live and Learn' lessons happened in queue while checking our baggage in.
Tim said, "Look around. We are the only ones with big suitcases."
If you were to take a picture of the inside of the airport at that moment and say, "Find the Americans", you would have easily pointed us out.
Our suitcases, I'm not kidding you, were so MASSIVE compared to everyone else. We were the only ones with suitcases that can fit both our children in each one. In fact, I have never seen anyone else in London, Spain, France, or Andorra with suitcases the same size as ours. Mind you, these are normal sized suitcases in America.
Everyone either had carry-on sized suitcases or these small/medium bags just slighty bigger than a carry-on. It was kinda funny because we totally stood out, but I felt kinda stupid too. Lesson learned.
We flew RyanAir, which, like I said, is a cheap airline here. We flew to Zaragoza which is nearby city to Barcelona. It was interesting to find out what these cheap airlines were like. In the states, we all fly with assigned seating so it was to our surprise as we walked up the stairs to enter the plane that seating is on a first come first serve basis!
It was chaotic.
People trying to save seats, people scrambling to put their carry-ons somewhere, people blocking the aisle, people coming from the front and back and all different directions, everyone speaking in all different languages, stewardesses trying to help all sorts of people! Man! Luckily, we all got to sit next to each other on the same row.
Another tidbit, the seats do not recline either on these airlines and the space between you and the seat in front of you is even smaller than the states. No fat person could ever fly these airlines. Seriously. I'm 5'2'' and 98 pounds and I was like, whoa...claustraphobic.
The flight was only 2 hours long. Can you believe it? Only 2 hours and I'm in a different country!
Marisa was so excited to be at customs and show her passport to the man as they stamp her first passport with her second country stamp of Spain!
We arrived late at night so we took a taxi to a nearby hostel that we booked ahead of time. And I guess you can say this is where bad luck started creeping in ever so slowly. That night this small hostel was housing 100 high school french students. The room right next to us held 8 male teenagers. Do you think we got sleep that night?
I had promised myself before hand that I was going to have a positive attitude about things abroad so I didn't let it get to me. I just told Tim absolutely no more hostels from now on. :)
Because it was late the girls immediately crashed despite the very, very thin walls and echoing noise in the hallway until the wee hours of the night. I'm glad they got to sleep well even though Tim and I didn't.
I made Tim get us a private room so no strangers were with us, (that is just so weird and creepy), so we had 4 bunk beds to ourselves in our room. The girls loved sleeping in their own top bunk.
The next morning we woke up and headed straight to the bus station to take us to Barcelona!
The bus was practically empty so it was great for the girls to lay around and have space than having to sit still in one spot like on an airplane.