The morning began quite uneventfully. I woke up in my hotel in Madrid, showered, put my pack together, checked out of the hotel and waited for the 8:45 shuttle bus to the Madrid Barajas Airport.
Upon boarding the bus, the driver asked what terminal. Oh, crap, I hadn’t checked to see what terminal. Last year I departed from Terminal 4, so I told him “I think terminal 4, United Airlines”. He replied “Yes”, so terminal 4 is where I got off. But when I got inside the terminal, it was evident United Airlines was not departing from that terminal.
Thankfully, I found Airport Information right away and was directed to Terminal 1. Now it was the dash to the airport shuttle bus for the ride to the correct terminal.
Once inside the correct Terminal, I entered the proper que for my flight and all proceeded as should be. As is with all air terminals, the walk from the check-in counter to the security screening area was miles long. Surprisingly, I got through security without buzzing but this time I didn’t have the clip in my hair, as the other times I did – I’ll have to check that out when I return to Arizona on Sunday.
Now the 7 minute walk to the departure gate. I just had enough time to run into the Duty Free Shop to pick up some Toblerone candy for my grandchildren. Mission accomplished!
I boarded the plane, found my seat and hunkered down for the 8.5 hour flight. The flight was fine, we arrived slightly ahead of schedule, I flew through Customs and Immigration, texted my daughter-in-law and waited for her and my grandchildren to collect me at the Airport.
New York is my hometown, I was born and raised there, and lived most of my life in one borough or the other. I always say I’m from New York because Arizona is only where I live now and after all I love New York, it’s in my blood.
But New Jersey is where my children live and it’s close enough for government work anyway. So I will say I’m home and it feels so good!