May 26, 2011
5/26/11 - 5/27/11 75 °F
We arrived into Madrid at 5:30am and immediately headed to the hotel where we had left one of our bags. We quickly grabbed it and took the Metro directly to the airport. We were so proud of ourselves when we checked in for this last flight on our around the world trip. We had made it without having paid ANY excess or overweight baggage fees . . . that is until we got to security and realized we had forgotten to move the gourmet olive oil and marmalade we had bought for Jess and David into one of our checked bags!! Ruby was pretty upset and really didn’t want to have to throw these expensive things away so in her state of delirium she tried to give them away to fellow passengers—LUCKILY she didn’t escorted out by security! Instead she found a girl from Texas whose friend was seeing her off all the way to the security gates and Ruby happily handed the gifts off to her.
The security guards probably looked at our passports and decided we needed an extra security check—and on the x-ray machine they noticed that our alabaster vase from Luxor, Egypt had cracked Luckily these were the only two hiccups we had at the end of our trip. Our flight was pretty uneventful and we contentedly watched Gulliver’s Travels (the doll house scene is hilarious) and the new Karate Kid movie until the pilot said we would be landing at JFK in 30 minutes. . . and that’s when gravity started to have its effects (figuratively and literally) as we came back down to earth.
We were happy to see Tony’s dad Jeff as he picked us up at the airport. We immediately suffered through horrendous NY traffic on our way to Queens. You guys would never guess our first meal back in the states: White Castle. Yup, that’s right White Castle. Couldn’t have picked anything worse. We felt pretty ill eating that after all the delicious fresh, natural foods we had enjoyed on our trip. We thought we were dreaming when we saw a Chase Bank, Best Buy, Target, Radio Shack, and CVS all in the same block! Never has life been this convenient. It was like paradise. Funny how our perspective had changed.
That night we met Jeff’s friend Terri and her daughter Christine for a little bit and settled down at our friend Makeda’s house. She generously was allowing us to couch surf until we found our own place in Brooklyn. As usual, we weren’t ready to relax so we drove around researching the different neighborhoods in Brooklyn to figure out the parking situation at night! Ruby instantly wanted to go to her fave Italian spot in Park Slope so we ate dinner at Tutta Pasta. It was perfect but expensive (as we’re realizing most things are going to be after visiting so many third world countries). BTW, Happy Birthday Aunt Jackie!