Thursday, May 18th
Going Home

May 18th was the day I'd been dreading since we'd started planning the trip. We both woke up, I got all my stuff packed up, and we headed out to get me to the Barcelona airport. We stopped for breakfast at the McDonald's on Plaša de Catalunya, where I had a Big Mac for breakfast.

Workers were hard at work cleaning off the previous night's graffiti

Hard to believe that just 8 hours earlier, this area was filled with hundreds of thousands of people!

Kevin walked me over to the bus stop at the edge of the plaza, and I said a teary goodbye as he saw me off.

I made it through the airport just fine, with just enough time to spare to get a fountain drink (the self serve kind, so I filled the glass with ice!)

The flight back home was *much* more comfortable than the first flight. Primarily, no one was in the seat beside me, so I could spread out a bit, and cross my legs comfortably. It was also cool enough that I needed a blanket for my legs...

...and the meal was great! I didn't sleep any on the way home since, honestly, I was too upset to do much of anything. I did manage to take in Big Momma's House 2, Fun with Dick and Jane, a Tom Hanks biography, a House Hunters episode as well as a couple of other things they showed.

When I arrived in Philadelphia, the plane was late, which left me with 30 minutes to get to my connecting flight.

[RANT] WHY WHY WHY do people wait until the second that the plane is unloading to shuffle around things in their bags?!?! This man in the front of the plane sat on that damn plane for NINE HOURS, yet decided to wait until everyone behind him needed out of the plane to start shuffling around papers in his carry on!!! It took us FOREVER to get off the plane because of that ignorant, selfish moron!!![/RANT]

So I finally make it off the plane, retrieve my luggage, make my way through the maze that is the international arrivals terminal in Philly, only to be stopped at another security checkpoint. By this time, my plane was taking off in 10 minutes, so I knew I was pretty much screwed and was just hoping for the best. Then, glory be to God, another moron decided to duck under a rope and cut in front of most of the security line. You guessed it. Security breach. Alarms go off, people have to back up, and everyone who just went through had to back up and be searched again. The overall delay was actually pretty minimal, but when you are already late, it seemed like forever. And of course, no one took their shoes of before getting up to the x-ray machine, which caused us to wait even more.

I finally get out of the security line, and am hoping against hope that my flight might be delayed, so I start booking it. It was only then that I realized that my arrival and departure gates were on exact opposite ends of the airport! There could not have been two gates that were further apart in the entire airport! Lucky me! At that point, I pretty much gave up, and decided to just take my time in getting there since my plane was already supposed to be airborne.

Once I arrived at my gate, I saw that my flight had been delayed!!! My plane wasn't even there yet! Yay! So the first thing I did was run for the bathroom, then grab a sandwich at a nearby counter. While the meal on the plane had been great, it didn't stay with me very long, so I was very glad to have time to get another meal.

After a little while, they announced that the flight was oversold by one, and that they needed someone to volunteer to be bumped to the next flight two hours later, and they would receive a free round trip ticket anywhere US Air flies. Without even thinking, I shoved my boarding pass into the hostess' hand and said that I wanted to be first on the list! And I was! Another half hour or so goes by, and once everyone is boarded, they concluded that they did want to bump me! The lady who was taking my seat was ecstatic to be getting to leave right then, and she kept saying "Thank you so much for being willing to wait!" I just told her "No, thank *you*! Now I don't have to pay for my trip to California this summer!!!"

Seeing that the next flight to Nashville was only two hours away, I thought I got the greatest deal ever! Sleep in the terminal for two hours and we'll give you a free flight. Ok! I felt like a living stereotype of the benefits of traveling light with just a carry on. Had I had to worry about my luggage, I wouldn't have considered volunteering to be bumped. But I had everything I was traveling with right there with me, so I didn't have to worry! I seriously doubt if I will ever travel with checked luggage again! The next flight was in the next terminal over, so I walked over there, then promptly sat on the floor, propped by back against my backpack and fell asleep.

The flight from Philadelphia to Nashville was pretty grueling since I was so tired, but couldn't get comfortable. Plus, I was on the left side of the plane, which I really dislike. I prefer the right side of the plane for whatever reason. I just wanted to be home at that point.

When I arrived back in Nashville, I called my parents and they picked me up. We stopped at a Taco Bell on the way home, where I ordered the best meal I'd had in the last 10 days! hahaha I gave my parents their gifts from my trip, then I transferred all my pics from my camera to my computer. I was too tired to look through them all, so I just crashed.

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