Annnnnnnnnnnd we're off!!!
June 7th, Day One of the trip, took me to Toronto on a fairly calm flight. We landed, I got my suitcase and caught a shuttle to a hotel so far off the beaten path that I was STUNNED the shuttle bus driver knew where to go!!
I got there in the early afternoon, checked in, scanned the room and dropped onto the bed.
Some college friends and I had decided months ago to have a mini-reunion dinner at the hotel. I was somewhat trepidacious, but I remembered that grace grows, whereas memories fade. It was a fantastic time of story-telling and getting caught up with old friends, seeing how God has shaped them and hearing about theri families was great. And so was remembering that who I was in 1982 bears only a genetic similarity to who I am now.
Mom was due to arrive at 6:30 ish, so I hovered between conversation in the dining room and looking way over at the front desk and seeing if she'd arrived. I hadn't seen her in two years, so when I saw her at the front desk, I hopped up from my chair and flew to her! It was SO great to see her !!
I got her set up in our room and left her there to chill a bit before she joined us for not bad food, HOURS of lively conversation and lots of laughter.
That night after finally saying our goodbyes to almost everyone at the table, I said to Mom "It feels like we've come to Toronto to visit, and now we're going home."
"I know, dear, it does feel like that, doesn't it?"
It was kind of hard to get to sleep. So I read quite a bit of Beth Vogt's "Catch A Falling Star". Hmmmm. That girl can WRITE!!!
We joined a few of the friends who'd stayed at the hotel overnight, for breakfast, then sent them on their merry ways. Mom and I had a late check out of 2pm, so we hung out in our room, then packed our bags and took a shuttle to the airport.
Our flight was due to leave at 8:45pm, so we wandered around, then FINALLY went through security and left the real world behind.
After a fairly easy flight and a great time chatting with Vanessa, the awesomest flight attendant EVER, we landed in Spain.
Spain? Say it with me, "SPAIN".
Thanks to my Kindergarten Spanish, we found a cab and learned that there are honourable cab drivers in Barcelona. Our driver, Juan Carlos, was livid that another cab driver had tried to charge some tourists 100 Euros for a drive into town. The standard rate was 45 Euros. Mom was rather concerned until I explained everything. Score one for Jennifer's very basic Spanish!!
The Hotel Dante was lovely, as was the city. But Jennifer and Mom were WASTED. So instead of touring around on Sunday afternoon, we slept. The hotel dinner was umm, pricey, but what could we do? Nada, that's what. So we ciao'd down on fairly good food that cost an eyeball and used the free Wifi to update our hubbies.
It wasn't too hard to get to sleep, even though we were GIDDY with excitement!!
We had a delicious breakfast and then headed for our ship, the Equinox.
Okay, look in the middle, where the balconies jut out, go up 3 decks and then go over to the 2nd lifeboat from the right. We were in suite 8227. I highly recommend the middle of the ship for avoiding sea-sickness.
We found the restaurant and had an unbelievable lunch!!
Which did not include this.
And guess where our first stop was?
(yes, it technically WAS the washroom at a gas station along the "motorway"...)
But think again...
That's right...The Eternal City herself...