La Puerta de Acala

La Puerta de Acala

Thursday, February 2, 2012

La llegada!

Bienvenidos a Madrid! And for all of you who don't know how to use Google Translate, welcome to Madrid! ;)

I meant to write this post as soon as I got here but I have been so...busy...with...stuff...haha. Yeah, I guess I just got sidetracked and didn't want to be at my computer writing. But here we go! I'll try to update this as often as I go somewhere or do something important. Or whenever else I feel like :) 

So first off. My luggage. Those of you who know me know that I am the WORST packer ever. I bring way too many clothes everywhere I go. And essentially moving to Spain for 6 months was no different. I spent 3 or 4 days packing to make sure the bag I was going to check was under the required weight (which may vary but for British Airways was 23kg/51lbs). That may seem like a lot but to me, it was not at all. I wanted to bring a carry-on bag with shoes and whatever didn't fit in the big bag but that didn't work out. I ended up paying the $60 to check them both (which I think is ridiculous for an international flight but thats just me) and it was very worth it. Below is all my stuff. Together, they weighed about 70lbs. Crazy.

After dealing with the luggage fiasco, my trip here actually went really well. My first piece of advice is try and fly on Saturday evenings. When my family and I got to Dulles, it was really empty and it made me a little nervous but I just realized that not many people fly on Saturday night. Which was awesome for me because I had a whole row of seats to myself!! I normally don't sleep on planes but since I had so much room, I slept almost the entire way.

Unfortunately when I got to London the idiots at Iberia told me that my flight was going to be delayed at least an hour, if not more. So, I took the time to type up a list of things I wanted to mention. So here it goes:
1. Do not text and walk! Its a bad idea in the US but when you're at an airport in England and you have to weave through tourists on the ride side of the path and Brits on the left, it makes it 10x more dangerous as I found out. 
2. All over Europe, soda is served almost entirely in bottles. This unfortunately means no free refills, which I am not used to at all. So when you order a soda (or pretty much any drink besides tap water) do not just chug it and expect your waiter to bring you another. 
3. On the topic of waiters in Europe, but especially in Spain, you have to be extra assertive (insert funny Spongebob reference here lol). They might get your order once you sit down but don't expect a check-up every few minutes to see how the food is. If you ever want to see them again, its your responsibility to get their attention. 
4. During my extended stay in London, I thought I would have some breakfast seeing as how British Airways was under the impression that a roll with some butter is a sufficient breakfast for a toddler let along a 20-year old man. I thought it was pretty awesome that the restaurant I went to actually served "American pancakes". I decided to get the French toast instead but I was sitting next to an American family and they all ordered pancakes. Baby steps haha. Also, another reason being in England is so great is that they don't normally judge you for ordering a pint at 11am! Here's a picture of my delicious French toast. 

6. In case you didn't know, Heathrow is actually not an airport but a luxury shopping mall. For those of you from NOVA, its very similar to Tysons II. I've been to Heathrow a couple times before but I guess I never noticed all the shops it has! I mean honestly, the shops and the airlines probably make around the same amount of money because each terminal pretty much has its own mall. Crazy stuff lol. Here's a picture of the Burberry store but there was also Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton and many more. 

Well thats all for now! Thanks for reading! :) Again, this was super late so my upcoming posts will be about my town (Villaviciosa de Odon), my day trip to Madrid today and then our school trip to Toledo tomorrow! Speaking of which, I have to catch the bus for that in like 8 hours so hasta luego!

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