This is the first long-haul trip I’ve been on in a long time that I didn’t just about die from jet lag. Tom and I landed in Madrid in the morning and napped for a few hours in the hotel before heading out for what passes for an early dinner in Spain at 9:00pm. (Tom is in heaven. Nine o’clock dinners and lunch at 4 pm.) We went to bed at about 11 and woke at 6 am. I felt wonderful, and we were now attuned to the Spanish timetable. Absolute magic, especially since the trip lasted approximately 20+ hours in all, and I was awake for the entire time. plus travel to and from airports, because I don’t sleep on airplanes. Please don’t send me your sleep remedy–I’ve tried them all. This time I drank three glasses of wine and took two Xanax and DID NOT GO TO SLEEP. (Also please do not send me warnings about mixing pills and alcohol. I normally would not, but I was desperate–and yet I still didn’t conk out.) It’s been this way since I started flying at the age of two. I am not anxious about flying or tense during a flight. I just Do. Not. Sleep. It’s a major frustration, and sometimes leads to up to three vacation days just recovering from jet lag.
But this morning I was bright eyed and bushy tailed. we rented a car and Tom headed to Granada with no maps or GPs and got us there without any problem. Andalucia reminds me a lot of California, except instead of miles and miles of grape vines, there are kilometers and kilometers of olive trees.
We are staying at the Parador de Granada, which is actually inside the Alhambra Palace complex. We had a bit of trouble figuring out where to go and how to get there without buying a ticket to the palace (we are getting these through the parador). So we parked in one of the paid lots, which is a long way from the parador. As we were walking, we saw a woman sitting sideways in the open driver’s seat of her car with her legs spread wide, peeing on the asphalt. Well, they say travel broadens the mind, and that certainly was a completely new sight in my experience.
The parador is gorgeous, and everything here is amazing. There are nightingales singing in the trees! We couldn’t be happier with the room(s) (yeah, it’s pretty swank, but Tom tells me not to get used to it), and tomorrow we tour the palace.
Oh, and I have been able to navigate in Spanish and make myself understood, which thrills me because I never studied it. I probably owe this to my mother, who was bilingual English/Spanish, but who for some reason wanted me to take French. (French speakers in California are extremely thin on the ground.) Thanks, Mom! Your blessings continue to enrich my life.