[Previous Chapter Here] So now I have left the agency, performed best man and dj duties at Jon and Diane’s wedding and am now set to spend the entire summer in Spain with Denise and Noah. It really does not get much better than this. We are packed, the arrangement with my brother to water the plants is in place, the arrangement for my dad to hound my brother about watering the plants has also in place, Denise’s five week intensive Spanish lessons are complete and rent cheques are all prepaid. Let’s get the f*ck out of dodge.
We get to the airport in plenty of time and perform the great security dance. Belt off, shoes off etc. I am for the first time not put off by this ridiculous security charade. It’s a bright sunny day and have started this fantastic journey. And what better way to kick off this bad mamajama of a trip than with a sit down meal at the White Spot at the end of the terminal platform. One more triple O burger to send us on our way. Besides last time I was in Spain the hamburguesa was not so good and made into the hotel garbage can, after I had eaten it if ya know what I mean…
The first leg of the trip from Vancouver to Toronto went well for the exception of the super cell that is now above Toronto and pummelling YYZ with a crazy deluge of rain and hail. The plane flew into the storm and touches down to the applause of the passengers. After touchdown the we are held on the tarmac for for what seems to be for ever and that nice buffer that I had planned between connecting flights is evaporating fast. I feel an episode Airline headed our way now for sure.
The plane disembarks and the flight crew tell us that we have to run as fast as we can to make our connecting flight. “That’s cool, Is the gate close by?” I ask. “No it’s not so you better run” She wasn’t kidding on how far the gate was. The distance that we had to run up stairs, down hallways and though gates all with a 5 year old and fully loaded Pokémon suitcase in tow was insane. We ran for no less than ten hard minutes to get to the connecting gate. Looking around I see that the holding pen for our flight is still completely full of people waiting to board. “What the hell is this?” I thought. I ask super helpful Air Canada attendant if this was gate for flight number “Get me the f*ck out of dodge for the summer” and “I thought we had to run across half the airport to in order to make it on time.” She answered in a wicked mix of Torontonian with a heavy dose Air Canadian “Yes it is and no you didn’t need to because there have been delays due to the heave rain. This flight will not be going anywhere for an hour or so.” she says with as little feeling as possible. Sweet Jesus we ran that 10k sprint for nothing? It’s a good thing that we are not in Toronto and it’s not f’n humid…OK enough time for beer and some snacks then.
We finally board our flight from Toronto to Madrid and are almost ready to leave the jetway when all of a sudden there is a bit of a hubbub at the front of the plane. A bunch of pysdo punk’esc types sprint onto the plan all sweaty and rushed. Sound familiar? The flight staff were all in a tizzy and there was one flight attendant in particular that was more attentive to the boys than I have ever seen on an Air Canada flight. She was flirting up a storm with the guys and everyone else on the flight was being nicely ignored as side effect. We had dressed up extra nice for the flights and I had requested that “If there was room that an upgrade to first class would be really appreciated.”. The staff told us that they would put our name on the list. When we did get on the plane we couldn’t help but notice that there were enough seats for a well dressed family of three likes ours and quietly held our breath for the upgrade;) Well now with all the commotion going on over the ‘cute’ punkers that had been mistakenly placed in the back with the rest of the common folk I new that our chances were now slim to none. It turns out that the band was “A Simple Plan” and they where going to Madrid for an European awards show and that they had been seated in economy by mistake. So ya we got f’d on the seats. Oh well it was only the first day and there wasn’t many things that would get me down today and besides the sweat from the 10k dash had finally subsided to a clammy glow.
We where exhausted and pretty much slept entire flight anyway. Still it would have been a sweet way to kick off the trip. On the decent into Madrid I grew more and more excited. The reality of this crazy idea was starting to sink in. I had not been to Madrid since 1991 and the memories I had were becoming more and more vivid with every kilometre of decent. I could not wait to explore the city again. This time as a father, husband and man on the run from the reality of this thing called a job! The countryside looked so hot and dry as I pressed my nose against the window. Just think an entire summer without the rain…it would be heaven I thought. When we arrived at the jetway the cabin door opened and hot arid air pushed through the cabin and it was at that point that the trip felt very very real.
To be continued…
Photo copyright JP Holecka0