So, we are here. We have arrived in Spain. And yes I do mean we, not just I, because I have traveled here with my entire family. College students decide to study abroad for a variety of reasons, and I am fairly certain a significant motivator is the promise of spending an entire semester legally consuming substantial amounts of alcohol while separated from parents (if not all family members) by a large body of water. My family’s foolproof plan, however, was to ease me into my semester in Spain by converting the voyage to my homestay into an elaborate family vacation... because everyone knows family vacations are inherently stress-free, right? And c’mon, who doesn’t love sharing beds, as well as every waking moment, with the very people that know exactly how to push all your buttons?!
I’m going to glaze over the majority of the catastrophe that was our trip over here because I don’t want to throw you all into a *plot twist* where this blog post becomes a tragedy novel. Just please know, sparing all the painful details, that getting to Spain was absolute hell. A few highlights include spending 12+ hours in Logan airport due to delays, a plane with faulty electricity (safety first!), and a nail-biting episode of Hunger Games: Airport Edition (rebooking the cancelled flight of 200+ passengers was first-come-first-serve at the booths on the opposite side of the airport). Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the pleasant appearance of State Troopers to keep the angry mob away from the frightened Iberia re-ticketing ladies. I’m not sure which is more formidable, a group of very angry Bostonians or a group of very angry Spaniards. I'll keep you posted on that. Basically, in so few words, it was no bueno.
I kind of blacked out the part where we actually got to Barcelona, I think my mind will be actively suppressing those memories for quite some time. I do remember quite vividly, however, arriving at the rental-car lot to find that my dad had managed to reserve for us, without exaggeration, a bus. Not a car, a bus. A large, shiny, silver, stick-shift bus. It was his clever little surprise for the family, so that we would all have, I quote, “leg room”. Unfortunately, this turned out to be not quite as ingenious as imagined. Keep in mind the roads in Spain, if not in all of Europe, are designed suitably for Fiats and Smart cars, not for a 10-seater driven by a severely jetlagged American. If any of you have ever played MarioKart to some extent, this 2-hour drive up to the coast was reminiscent of the "Moonview Highway" level, if the creators of the game had shot up steroids before creating a bonus lap in a foreign language.
Anyways, we barreled into the Hotel Vistabella entrance, an extremely narrow, coiling, cliff-edged driveway, at about 100 mph. My dad fiendishly slammed down the brakes of the bus just seconds, literal inches, before careening us into the massive glass French-door entrance of the resort. The parking attendant looked quite rattled. (I have a feeling they are much more accustomed to suave French and German couples in sports cars, not boisterous American families). He shuffled over to us in a distressed manner and asked in crisp English if we needed help parking the “vehicle”. My father, swelling with pride, began attempting to jam the stick back into reverse while muttering “I’ll just do it, just let me try ONE more time, I’ve got her now, c’mon baby” as the bus sputtered angrily and teetered ever-more precariously towards the thousand-dollar foyer. After a few uncomfortable moments of shift-jamming and muttering-turned-shouting at the gears, my dad delicately and gracefully accepted defeat: “I WOULD BE ABLE TO DO IT IF IT WASN’T FOR MY GOD-DAMN SHOULDER PAINS!!!” The valet attendant smiled a knowing, deferential smile, although his eyes blatantly conveyed a combination of fear and distaste at our arrival. He slid behind the wheel and effortlessly reversed into a flawless parking job, safely distancing the steel elephant from anything expensive.
Alas, after that hot mess of a traveling adventure, the week went incredibly smoothly. Staying at a five star resort on the sun-kissed shores of the Mediterranean tends to guarantee, at minimum, a decently enjoyable time. Check out some of the pictures I took on the Photography || Lifestyle page if you don’t believe my words, because this place was absolute perfection. Adios for now, hope at least a few of you made it halfway through this post without deeply questioning my sense of humor, if not my sanity.