Thursday, November 8, 2007

26 October, 2007

Uggh! Getting into Madrid and settled into the hotel at 10pm knowing that I have to leave at 3:30am is not a great feeling. I could’ve just slept at the airport until the gate opened and then slept on the plane, but I have to clean up from the day of traveling from Barcelona before I can get on a plane. I smelled of little girl vomit and am certain that after sitting so close to that older odiferous couple that it rubbed off on me. I just have a hard time justifying a 5 hour stay in a hotel that cost over $100. Sure, it was a nice hotel and the shower rocked. I just hate having little choice when you stay near the airport. I was also too tired to care at the time.

I am so irritated with the airline that I have most of my miles with. I was just told that even though there are plenty of seats in business that I cannot upgrade because they do not use Northwest’s system in Amsterdam. I was told that if I were to go the other way, I could use them, but not anywhere in Europe. That’s funny because when I tried to use them in the US, I was shut down. What is the benefit?

So I sit here in coach (she did offer to leave the seat next to me open in lieu of the upgrade) with a seat open and enough room to type this out. I do suppose that this is better than wasting the miles on the upgrade.

Coming home from vacation or work overseas always gives me a feeling of completion. This trip is no exception. I suppose that I have the same feeling that I did when I was coming back to Iraq from R&R. I know that I have something else planned after this trip in Spain and that there are some things that I have to sort out before I leave to Mexico, Central America and South America next summer. This is akin to knowing that I had 4 month of work before I could leave on my next holiday and get out of Iraq for a couple of weeks.

Riding through Spain was a good test. It showed me that I need to take a Spanish immersion course so I can be conversational. I understand almost everything that was said to me, but a lot of it could have been body language as much as it was the amount of Spanish that I know. I also want to take a few motorcycle maintenance courses so I can get more comfortable with my bike. I could take my Honda and Kawasaki apart and put it back together, but I think that I will need to change the road tires for knobby tires so certain legs of the trip are safer. There are a lot of places that are dirt roads instead of paved interstates/roads. I also think that I need to get stronger. Seven years ago I may not have said that, but (after having a desk job in Iraq and not aspiring to much more since I have been back in Denver) I don’t want to be exhausted after longer rides that have a lot of wind or rough roads. I also need to sort out my chiropractic issues. If I can’t sort it out by Feb with my current doc, I need to drop him for a different doc.

There are a few things on the list, but only one pressing thing right now…sleep.

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