Hi everyone!! Bruce McCay and Jan Rogers are ready for another big adventure, so I hope you're ready to follow along. Last time it was the wonderful trip to Australia. You can read all about that in my blog "Adventures Down Under". This time we're venturing off to Europe for the first time, Spain to be exact.
We learned A LOT on our last trip. We got our flu shots way in advance this time. We're better prepared for the long flight, too. Since we'll be in Spain for 6 days before we board the ship, we even purchased Euros so we wouldn't have to hassle with it there. The packing is about to begin with real earnest today. And I'll defintely be taking my little umbrella - just to be sure that the rain in Spain stays - far away from us!
Our itinerary goes like this: Sunday we fly from Denver to the island of Mallorca (via Dallas and Madrid), spend from Monday-Thursday exploring Mallorca, on Thursday we fly to Barcelona where we stay until Saturday when we board the Royal Caribbean ship Liberty of the Seas for a 14-night Transatlantic crossing ending in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. We'll be calling on Cartagena, Malaga, and Cadiz in Spain, as well as two of the Canary Islands, along the way. Three full weeks of excitement.
Why the attraction to Mallorca, you ask? It's two-fold. When Bruce was in the 3rd grade, he drew a picture of Mallorca - and even called it that. He had no idea where it was, or why he knew anything about it. But he knew he wanted to go there someday. He still doesn't know why. For me it's the love of Chopin and his music. Chopin and his lover George Sand (female author who penned under a man's name) spent the winter of 1838-39 there in the hope that the island climate would improve Chopin's health (he had consumption). If you're not familiar with them - it's one of the greatest love stories of all time. The movie "Impromptu", my favorite movie, describes it well. She wrote two novels and he wrote all of the Preludes there. His piano is still there in the place where they stayed. It's now a museum. They don't allow anyone to play the piano, but they do allow you to touch it. I can't wait!! Maybe someday we'll make it to Paris where most of his relics are, as well as his grave site which is near Jim Morrison's (of The Doors).
In my research, the main thing I learned about Spain is that it's "Pick-Pocket Heaven". The crime rate is very high and they prey on tourists. So we have a plan for that. First - don't look like a tourist. Second - don't put anything in our pockets (unless it's razor blades, ha ha). Third - put on our "Don't F*** With Me" face. Fourth - don't look like a tourist. So the first thing I did was make some money belts which will be worn under our tucked-in shirts. These will hold our passport, credit cards, and Euros. We plan to load them up after we clear TSA and before we board our first flight. That way no one can get these items while we're sleeping on the plane. The top is a zipper over the passport and cash, and a button over the credit card so everything stays secure. The back is wide elastic for our comfort. Here's a picture:
I feel like we're as informed and prepared as we can be. We're both interested in the architecture and culture of Spain and speak enough Spanish to get by. I promise to take lots of pictures to share here over the course of the trip. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do writing. And speaking of writing... we're going to be collaborating on a new screenplay that we've been discussing for about 6 months. It's a very scary psychological thriller on the level of "Silence of the Lambs". Stay tuned....