Off to Spain…

I can’t remember the last time I went on a flight for fun.  Almost every flight I’ve ever been on has been for some kind of significant reason, or major life change.  When I travelled it England as a child it was because my mother wanted to die there, I just didn’t know it. When I bicycled across Canada I flew from Toronto to Vancouver and officially started my life with Gillian.  I flew to teach English in Tokyo, I flew to live and work in London.

Gillian, on the other hand, has taken several flights since we’ve been together just for fun.  She flew to Mexico and Las Vegas.  While we lived in Tokyo and London she flew back to visit her parents.  I never did.  As a result she doesn’t view flying as a big deal like I do.  For days before the flight I grew more and more morose because I had come to associate a flight with a life changing experience, and I didn’t exactly feel like one right now, thank you very much.  It
wasn’t until I reached the airport and I remembered all the other times that I checked in that this became clear to me.

It also occurred to me that this time I was taking a hell of a lot less luggage.  In fact, if I had been better informed about the carry on policy of EasyJet, Gillian and I wouldn’t even had to have checked a bag in.  Could have saved a few pounds. (Oh, yeah, that reminds me, I’m never more aware of how much of a Scrooge I am than when I’m on vacation.  That’s why I’m glad this trip is all inclusive.)

Gill and I don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to vacations.  When we first tried to go to Amsterdam, Gillian lost her passport, and as a result we not only were unable to go, we couldn’t even get a refund.  The second time we tried to go I fell down the stairs the day before and suffered great pain the whole trip, as well as having screwed up our reservations in Amsterdamnit and having to pay for our room twice.  The THIRD time we went to Amsterdam was on our honeymoon, and that worked out all right – right up until the point where my brother and Jen left.  That was when we missed our water taxi that we had prepaid for and almost missed our return ferry back to England because the luggage check-in at the train station got locked down by police for several hours.

So I’m not completely unjustified in having some degree of apprehension when it comes to our trip to Spain.  For one thing travel agencies have been shutting down due to the credit crunch, leaving people stranded overseas.  For another there is the old saying “you get what you paid for” and Gill and I chose the cheapest all-inclusive vacation we could find.  Lastly, we’re flying on EasyJet, and it’s impossible to take an airline seriously when their planes look like
oversized Tonka Toys and are painted like a generic No-Name supermarket brand.

I should point out that I left all the arrangements in Gillian’s loving and capable hands.  This has the twin benefits of empowering her by letting her choose the vacation she wants, while at the same time leaving me blame free if it all goes tits up.  I’m a genius that way.

Now usually this is the point where I go off and explain in painful detail all the little things that went wrong, but for the most part nothing did.  We left with twice the time we needed to spare, caught a shuttle bus at Victoria Station (saved a few pounds buying return tickets instead of single – dammit, Scrooge, get back in your hole!). Got to the airport, hung around, checked in, had dinner, got on board the plane, and am currently in flight as I write this.  Weather reports for Costa Brava are split, half say there will be lots of rain, half says lots of sun.  The reviews of the hotel/resort we’re staying at are equally split, some loving it, some hating it.  So really from this point on it’s a bit of a craps game.  Roll the bones and take your chances.  I’m willing to believe that we’re due for a
bit of good luck.

HOLY CRAP WE JUST HAD A NEAR MISS WITH A FIGHTER JET!

I’m not joking.  Just saw a small single engine jet, presumably a fighter, trailing black exhaust flying away from us on an angle at the same altitude as us less than 500 meters away.  Judging from its distance from us and its direction based on its exhaust, we were a LOT closer than that before I saw it.  Nobody else noticed, though.  The hell?

Yeah, this bodes really well.

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