Wednesday, February 15, 2023


So for years Phil and I have referred to the experience of getting somewhere when you travel overseas as a visit to Airportland. It is the place you must traverse to get to where you want to be- a hazing in so many ways, but an evil that appears to be necessary in today's world - maybe some point in the future it will be different but for now- a visit to Airportland brings much waiting, much walking, some rushing, a lot more waiting, lines for every part of the process, and as mediocre food as possible LOL

So we tried to ameliorate the mediocre food a tiny bit by eating right before getting to the airport at a nearby mall franchised restaurant. It was decent if not memorable- 

Then we were off to TPA for the first leg of our journey to Spain via London Gatwick.

I admit to fascination with all things maps and most things airplanes. If I ever flew BA business before it's been years. Despite doing business in London for two decades I can only recall flying United Business or First.  These seats (they call them suites ) are well designed with all sorts of cubby storage and easy access to in seat power (no ab twists required) the tray table has multi settings for eating, working, snacking etc. The map (which is my flight entertainment of choice) is a new weirdly 3D motion that also gives tours of the cities you came from and are going to.... Not liking the frenetic pace so I think I'll change to the aerial tour of Britain.

We flew on British Airways in Club World class (read Business class with a fancy name LOL) The service was great, the meal fell off a steep cliff after the appetizer but hey- it's airplane food... we could not check our bags all the way through (yes we - who NEVER check bags, had bags to check as we are gone for 2 months)  so we had to exit security in London Gatwick and pick up our bags and recheck them to Sevilla.  A process I would not recommend to anyone... enough said. 

Then we had booked a day use room at the onsite BLOC (weirdly mini rooms) hotel. Our layover was eight hours.... so we went to the hotel and the best thing about it was - we paid for an upgrade to a room with a window LOL - so we didn't feel like we were in a cave but - well the view was... well it speaks for itself.

Then it was more waiting, after leaving the hotel and going through a horrific security check... There's something about "Airportland" that creates zombie like behavior - especially for those early AM arrivals from the States into Europe for transit passengers. No amount of caffeine makes up for the lack of sleep overnight. For years my boss Lew and I used to ride around on a HOHO bus and eat a few times while waiting for our rooms to be readied in London. Here we wait at London Gatwick for a flight to Sevilla dehydrated and desperate for sleep. But as every traveler knows. You forget the horror of Airportland when you arrive at your destination and are sitting - say for example, overlooking the Grand Canal in Venezia sipping an Aperol Spritz. So, onward we go.... #mykingdomforapillow

A tale of two hotels in one day. Or: A Room With/Out a View. Our first view (shown above) could perhaps be titled "post nuclear winter". On the other hand when we arrived in Seville around 8pm and when I opened the balcony doors of hotel room two ("2 for Tuesday") I found an orange tree and a lovely street below. Gotta love travel. It builds character. 

Here's a funny one- our bathroom at the day room was a toilet and small sink INSIDE a small shower stall - our second hotel has a very very spacious bathroom with a separate toilet room down the hall way. NOT "lo mismo" (Spainsh for "la même chose")

After a good night's sleep and a lovely breakfast at the hotel we tried to check in to our rental but were told we couldn't check in for a couple of hours - while they cleaned - so we went to a park, and then went for a lunch a nearby restaurant where we had sodas and then a lunch and made a dinner reservation.  We have arrived in Spain.! 

We checked into the apartment and went to the grocery for a few items to tide us over until we really got a chance to settle in... the unpacking took a long long time.... LOL I committed the crime (in our family) of overpacking.- next year I will do better- I am out of practice on long long long trips...  so stay tuned.... hasta la vista! 

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