Bags packed, tickets printed, passport stamped, let's go to Morocco. The excitement of traveling never ceases to diminish every time I take my first steps in an airport. It reminds me of my childhood, being glued to the window, watching planes take off, wondering where each one is going or coming from. That sense of wonder and excitement has never faded, and keeps me going on all of my trips.
I have 30 mins to write this (Madrid has 30 minutes of free WiFi), so it will be short. I am currently in Madrid, after 8 long and painful hours on the plane. The plane itself was nice, a brand new A333, but the padding for the butt area, was not. Add a few screaming kids, and you got yourself a fun ride.
The day started in St. Pete, Florida. I got little to no sleep at all, finishing up work projects and packing kept me up till 2am. The excitement and nerves never subsided and woke me up at 430am. Realizing that was all the rest I would get, it was time to get started. I haven't been this nervous in a while. Nervous about the unknown, flying across the ocean to a continent I have only read and seen pictures about. Nervous about not planning everything out, but I wanted it that way. After triple checking my bags, and double checking them again after that, we headed to the airport.
It never ceases to amaze me how all common sense flies out the window when most people set foot in an airport. Their sense of self-entitlement increases, as if everyone in the airport, the airport itself and the airlines own them something (other than the services that was paid for). A lady seemed appalled that I cut in front of her in the security line. She managed to fill 4 bins of crap. I wasn't about to let her hold everyone up. I unloaded my pockets, slipped off my boots and went ahead. How people seem surprised at the security check always astounds me. Off to Miami for a lay over.
Nerves struck again as we took off. I'm usually asleep for most take offs, but Morocco was on my mind, and kept me awake. This is it, I am really leaving for Africa. Adventure time starts now.
We had a short layover in Miami. We had some food to kill some time and ordered my traditional Manhattan drink for international flights. Time quickly passed as we soon found ourselves at our gate. Our flight was delayed about an hour, which I found fitting for an Iberia Airlines flight. Tension was high as people were anxious to board the plane, take up all the overhead bin space and sit back down. Again, common sense is hard to find in the common folk.
Why do people insist on crowding the boarding area when they know that they are group 3 and 4 and they are only pre-boarding families with babies. They make no effort to move and push you along, knowing that others come before them in the boarding process.
I was disappointed to see that instead of a 777 that the original itinerary mentioned, an A333 pulled into the gate (777 is my favorite plane), unloaded its passengers, and was ready to return back to Madrid with eager passengers. Regardless of the plane switch, larger planes usually equate to an easier time on long hauls. I've forgotten how fun international flights can be. Big planes, with ample room to wander and stretch. Free booze. Great in-flight entertainment. The ever elusive meal that American domestic flights fail to provide. The meal was actually very tasty, complete with a small bottle of red wine, or maybe that was my food deprived body thought.
After the lights dimmed and appetites satisfied, I looked out the window, gazed at the endless amount of stars, closed my eyes, and tried to sleep. The new ninja turtles movie made sure that I fell asleep promptly.
The Madrid Airport has fantastic architecture. Its high ceilings, colorful post, and massive glass windows was a nice relief from the flying metal tube that I just spend the past 8 hours in.
Next stop, Casablanca.