Sunday, June 23, 2013

Professional Travelers

I'm officially back in the United States and back in my house in MN. It was so weird to wake up in Spain and go to bed in Minnesota. The miracles of air travel.

I had to get up really early on Saturday morning to get to the 6AM bus. It was really sad to see my room and bathroom completely empty and it looked like I'd never even been there. My dad drove me (and my friend Allison) to the bus with our bags and we got all loaded up. I wish I would have taken a picture of us all. There were about 10 of us in this bus/van thing, and our suitcases were taking up over half of the seats so we were squished in there with giant suitcases. Haha. I said goodbye to my host dad and was all settled in on the bus. Then Rico came up on the bus and walked over to me and gave me a big hug and said goodbye and wished me well for the future. I wasn't expecting that from him at all but it was so sweet of him. We told him he has to come visit us at UND in the fall. Haha.

We got to Madrid smoothly and everything went well at the airport. I was flying home with Ceceli, and at the airport we realized that Susan and Kassy were on our flight as well, but not sitting by us. Unlike my last long flight where I didn't sleep at all, I slept for almost all of this flight! I've been so sleep deprived I was just ready to pass out on that plane and I sure did! I slept about 6 hours out of the 7.5 hour flight.

Ceceli and I had some quality bonding during our traveling time!

One last look at the beautiful mountains in Spain!

We landed in New York and then had to deal with US Customs. The US is so strict about everything and it really gets kind of annoying. We actually had to go through an additional security check in Madrid because we were flying to the US. In New York we had to go down, pick up our baggage, take it through customs, re-check our baggage, and then go through security again. So dumb. It took forever, but we made it through just in time for our next flight to Detroit!

The flight to Detroit was only about 2 hours, but when we got close to Detroit we had to hold in the air because there was a really nasty thunderstorm over Detroit. We were up in the air for about 40 extra minutes and were about to be sent to land in Lansing instead, but then they cleared another plane to land and it landed successfully so we got to go down. Luckily I had about a 2.5 hour layover in Detroit so the late landing didn't affect me much at all. It was really freaky flying through those dark clouds and lightning!

Then I finally got to my last flight--Detroit to Minneapolis. We left a little bit late because we waited for some people that were coming off of another flight that couldn't land because of the storm. On the flight to Minneapolis I was by myself and just planning to sleep some more, but I ended up sitting by a really nice guy and we chatted the whole way. He's the assistant basketball coach at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock and has done a lot of traveling because of his coaching and other things so we talked for most of the 1.5 hour flight. I landed in Minneapolis, just 15 minutes late, and then grabbed my baggage and found my mom outside in the car waiting for me. That all went smoothly and we went back to my Grandma's house for the night. I was super tired and ready to SLEEP some more! My body really didn't know what time it was as far as sleeping or eating, and I ended up waking up wide awake and starving at 4:00am. Haha. Ugh. We stayed there with her and had lunch Sunday and then drove back to good old Brooten this afternoon. (With a stop for ice cream at Red Onion of course!)

Hard to believe I'm back at home after being in Spain just a day ago. I texted my host parents through WhatsApp and they were happy to hear I'm back safe at home, but said they miss me already! Haha. I'll have to Skype with them to keep my Spanish skills intact.

I have done so much traveling in the past few weeks on so many different types of transportation! My passport has 6 stamps now and I've done a lot of things for the first time. I've really enjoyed all of the traveling and sight-seeing and can't wait until my next big fun trip! :)

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