I started my adventure off in sunny Chicago. But rewind before that to earlier in the morning when I received a text from a friend saying that our flight had been cancelled. Not good. Omen for the day? Then I couldn't find my European outlet converter. Then I was informed that I couldn't take two carry-ons as I had anticipated. Shoot. Needless to say, I managed to get everything into one carry-on because I'm just that determined. Everything went smoothly at O'hare, both bags were under 23 kg thank goodness, and I even managed to make it through security in under 10 minutes. Little did I know what waited ahead.
The plane ride over wasn't too bad. I wanted to watch Harry Potter, since after all, I was going to the UK. However it wasn't on at the time when I wanted to watch a movie, so I settled for Love Happens. Not a great film, but I did manage to watch a film about penguins for about 2 minutes and it was awesome. After getting off the plane in Heathrow, I discovered that my next flight had a "gate closing" next to it on the big board. What? So my friend and I sprinted through the airport, passing all the Burberry, Gucci, and Duty Free shops, in order to get to the flight. Upon getting to the gate, we were told that the plane wouldn't leave for another 25 minutes. 25 minutes turned into 5 hours later, 2 of which were spent sitting on a plane waiting on the runway. We did manage to get food vouchers for 5 pounds, which I spent on a bagel with cream cheese, an orange, and a water. And I used all 5 pounds. Also, I had to find a way of contacting the program director to let her know that our travel plans had changed, so I had to pay for wifi to e-mail her.
So we did finally manage to make it to Madrid, where surprise surprise no one speaks English. Struggling with all my baggage and trying to find Terminal T1 because that is where our contact would be picking us up, I'm sure I looked pretty dumb. I will laugh about it in a week but my friends and I seriously rode a bus in circles for probably an hour and literally lifted our 50 pound bags in and out of the bus probably 5 times hoping that we would be at T1. Thank God for sending two other girls to have this experience with me! Finally found T1 and no contact lady, so that meant getting a taxi and we tried to fit all of our suitcases into one taxi. Epic fail.
So many Euros later, we finally arrived at our hotel which Gracios a Dios has free wireless. Our director greeted us at the dor and I have never been so happy to hug a stranger! Literally 4 minutes after arriving at the hotel, we were informed that we would be taking a "short" walk around the city of Alcalá. 2 hours later, my toes are frozen but I am so grateful to be alive and here. So all in all a pretty good start to my trip. But on the plus side, I've already made a couple of friends and the first meal wasn't bad. Well I need to get to bed since I've had over 24 hours of travel plus city tour, so I'm pretty beat for one day. Promise that I won't make the blog posts this long in the future. All my love to everyone back home! Besos!