My first "day" wasn't so much a day as several days of fatigue and uncomfortable sleeping positions.
25.06.2015 - 27.06.2015
My adventure began Thursday, June 25th, at 10:30am when my 16-year-old sister and I loaded my nearly-oversized suitcase, a backpack near explosion, and a dainty purse into our mother's Prius. I had said my goodbyes to both my parents the previous two nights. We made the 2 ½ hour drive from Puyallup to Bellingham, where I'd later catch a train to Vancouver, Canada. We rolled into Bellingham around 1pm and I took the opportunity to power nap at Will's new apartment before he returned from his lab. We spent the afternoon relaxing before an early dinner (I got a burger- very American- had to get a last dosing) and a power nap.
My train left at 9pm and we chugged, slower than I expected, across the US-Canada border to arrive in Vancouver by 11pm. After some panic about not having any Canadian cash, I was able to board two sky trains to make the connection to the Vancouver airport. I flew out of the Vancouver airport because it cost nearly half as much as it would to fly out of SeaTac. When I finally got to the airport, around 12:15am to my dismay everything was shut down, save for a heaven-sent 24-hour Starbucks. I settled into a row of chairs with a tall Chai Tea Latte and set about to charge my phone. Also occupying my row was a young couple from Germany, returning home, and a young Indian man from the Vancouver area also setting out abroad. The four of us talked and slept until 5 am when check-ins finally opened.
I was shuffled through check-in, baggage, security, and customs at a surprisingly efficient rate, and was able to find a hash brown and parfait for breakfast- before attempting another hour of sleep at my gate. My plane to Dallas loaded quickly, and by a beautiful miracle I was able to exchange my aisle seat for a window seat on an empty row. We took off at 8am sharp and for the next four hours I slept comfortably.
My layover in Dallas was more of a 30-minute boarding wait onto the most crowded, uncomfortable plane I'd ever been on. We proceeded to sit on the runway for over an hour while they performed "necessary maintenance." Who tells hundreds of passengers that they're performing maintenance on a plane that's about to traverse the Atlantic ocean? The 9 ½ hour flight was straight from hell. I had to do acrobatics to merely squeeze out of my seat. We did get pillows, blankets, and plenty of drinks though. We arrived in Madrid at 8am June 27th- nearly a full two days after my travels began. Unfortunately, my travel companions weren't to arrive in Madrid until 2:30 and 4pm, so I found myself attempting another seven hours of sleep in the airport. And the worst part? No iced coffee.