Three years ago today, I checked into the resort on Ibiza — Destino Pacha. I went to attend my son’s and now-daughter-in-law’s wedding.
Spain was a very good vacation. One of my best, but I’m not sure it was the best. That might have been Hawaii in 2017.
The Spanish Notebook
Spain, however, was my most unusual vacation. I went alone. To a foreign country with very little grasp of Spanish. I went to attend my son’s destination wedding. I also used the occasion to celebrate my 60th birthday.
I had never traveled alone for a vacation. There have been business trips and solo sojourns in hotel rooms, but never a whole vacation. I was giddy. I was excited. I was scared. I wasn’t sure how I was going to pay for it all. Usually, I had someone to share costs with.
I was alone.
My mother could not attend my son’s wedding due to failing health. It’s a long trip and she was just not up to it. My ex-husband was in the process of being diagnosed with a debilitating disease and was physically incapable of making the trip.
For the Hawaii vacation in 2017, I thought I had pulled out all the stops. I took my mom to places we hadn’t seen since 1970 when we lived there. We had a full list of things to revisit and see again. I made a notebook itinerary with detailed plans, flight schedules, hotel reservations, daily agendas, etc. It was pretty OCD. It saved our butts a few times.
That notebook was so successful that there was no question I would have one for Spain.
The Spanish Notebook ended up being more than 100 pages and was spiral bound for me by a friend. I mapped out everything. I had only two weeks in Spain, and I was determined to do and see as much as possible. The wedding was only going to occupy me for about 2 days before the happy couple went about their honeymoon. (And who wants their mom/mother-in-law on their honeymoon with them?)
I’m in the Madrid international airport. There is a cacophony of languages. Very little of it is in English.
I’ve been chilling in the VIP lounge which is very quiet. (For 34 euros you too can be a VIP!). I kept checking the monitor for my gate assignment. Nothing. I called the airline. It hasn’t been assigned yet.
This airport is huge. Lots of people. Lots of languages. I have no idea what terminal to be in much less which hallway. The woman at customs indicated she thought Terminal 4 gates in area J or K. I’m getting a wee bit anxious. I leave the tranquil lounge for teeming crowds, nonstop PA announcements and crying children. I fight my way through. Pardone me, por favor. I check monitor after monitor. Finally I found it. I’m in the right terminal, wrong hallway. I head for Gate K 80. Finally I get there. Here. I am here. I collapse into an empty bank of seats. I’m the first one here.
Then. Out of nowhere. Off in the distance somewhere someone is loudly whistling Camp Town Ladies. Stephen Foster in the Madrid Airport. I have an instant ear worm. (and now you do too!). Doodah indeed.