Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Med Cruise part 1

Quite honestly, I took so many pictures on our trip and we did so many fun things that blogging about it all is a bit overwhelming. However, this is a trip I want to remember so here goes:

The travel started off a bit rocky - one of the drawbacks of being able to fly standby. The price is right, the stress not so much. We planned to fly out on Friday which would put us in Barcelona on Saturday morning. This would give us a 24-hour cushion or 24-hours to roam around Barcelona. The flights looked great until the night before. Suddently, JFK to Barcelona looked too full (SLC to JFK looked fine). Then, I had to decide whether to try to make it on Friday or whether to just wait until Saturday and hope there were no hiccups. I cancelled our hotel in Barcelona and started praying. I felt like the answer to my prayer was that we should go on Friday. So, as soon as McKayla finished her Statistics final, we headed to the airport for the 11 am flight to JFK. Imagine our surprise when we didn't get on that flight - the one that had looked fine. This meant there was no way we were getting to Barcelona because now we'd miss our connection. Which was too bad because there ended up being room on that flight - go figure! Anyways, we took the 3 pm flight to JFK. Unfortunately, they were having a weather situation there so we circled the airport for an hour before the pilots announced that the fuel was low so we'd be forced to land in Newark. The plan was to refuel and head back to JFK. However, many passengers wanted to get off in Newark since that would be closer for them anyway. Initially they told everyone that they had to stay on the plane. After some time, they changed their minds and decided to let people off if they wanted. The passengers just had to check in with the flight attendants before deplaning. I debated getting off and just taking the metro to our hotel but didn't. Big mistake. We ended up sitting there forever because the count was now off. Somehow, the remaining passengers on board plus what they recorded as getting off did not jive. We couldn't go. Finally, the pilots announced that they had timed out so now they couldn't go on to JFK and everyone would have to deplane but busses would transport us to JFK. Ugh! To make matters worse, the busses took more than 90 minutes to arrive. By the time McKayla and I made it to our hotel (hurriedly reserved while still at the SLC airport), it was 3 am! The hotel was billed as a theme room place. Hmmm...not so much. It was a small place with only 12 rooms and no front desk. We had been emailed an entry door code and then a room code. The entry door code worked fine but our room code didn't. To make matters worse, the doors were horribly labeled and in no particular order (3 was by 11) so that we weren't even positive which one was supposed to be ours. Luckily, a couple rooms were wide open so we just picked one and made ourselves at home. I guess our theme was the great outdoors:
We decided to make the most of our time in NYC since McKayla had never been there so we got up early (despite our 3 am arrival) and headed out and about. We didn't have to be to the airport until 5:30 pm We went to 5th Avenue. I had McKayla go into Tiffany's. We went to a store more my style - FAO Schwarz. I always love the enormous stuffed animals and the wonderful characters made from Legos.
Then we walked through part of Central Park followed by a walk to Times Square. Then, a peek into Toys R Us to see the giant indoor Ferris Wheel with the fun cars (Mr. Potato Head, the yellow school bus, Barbie mobile, etc). Then we took the metro downtown where we saw Wall Street and rode the Staten Island Ferry so we could see the Statue of Liberty. After all that it was time to head to the airport.

We were able to get on the flight to Barcelona where McKayla slept but I spent the flight watching movies (and sleeping a little). Upon arriving in Barcelona, we took a bus to Placa de Catalunya. It is the central square/plaza there. Here's some views:
We had to take a picture of the side of the building where there was a huge picture of a soccer player. We thought Brakston would appreciate that!
I loved the architecture! The buildings were so gorgeous! We enjoyed them as we walked down Las Ramblas (the main thoroughfare for tourists). We also enjoyed the street lamps.
At the port end of Las Ramblas stands a very tall statue of Colombus. From here, we took a taxi to our ship.
This is the base of the Colombus statue.

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