Monday, September 26, 2011

The Despedida (Combo Bachelor / Bachelorette Party)

I got back to Spain on Wednesday morning after an interesting trip from California. When I arrived at the San Diego airport on Tuesday morning, the airline didn't have a record of my reservation. I had booked the ticket about two months prior using miles but somehow they had lost the information. The woman at the counter was terrific and was able to bump some unlucky person from my flights from San Diego to Houston and then my flight from Houston to Philadelphia. (Gold status has its perks for sure!) From Philadelphia the plan was to then connect to another airline for the final leg. That airline had my information and reservation so no problem there.

The flights were uneventful other than my layover in Philadelphia only ended up being about 15 minutes long due to a late departure from Houston. As I ran through the Philadelphia airport, stopping just long enough to buy a couple of pretzels (!!!) and a soda, I resigned myself that my luggage probably wouldn't be making my flight with me. No problem, I thought, because I had brought my suit with me in my carry-on and I figured that I still had two days before the wedding to get my stuff.

I arrived into Barcelona as scheduled and I patiently waited for my bags, which I knew weren't coming, in the baggage claim area. After everyone else had retrieved their bags and left I went over to the service counter and filed my claim. Problem was that there was no record of my bags anywhere in the computer system. The agent even asked my when the last time I saw them. :-o Diana met me outside the airport where we got to see each other for the first time in three months and we headed back to our apartment in Vall d'Hebron.

I waited a few hours and called the airline to see what was up but they still didn't know anything. Later that evening I finally got an answer. My bags had taken their own trip back to Spain via Newark, New Jersey. According to the agent, the bar code on my bags had my routing as SAN -> HOU -> PHL -> EWR -> BCN. My ticket and the bag labels mentioned nothing of this side trip but, either way, the bags made it by Thursday evening and all was good.

Later that night (Wednesday evening), after a quick nap and some errands, Diana and I went to a combo Bachelor / Bachelorette party (called a Despedida de Soltero / Soltera in Spanish) at Vladamir's recently remodeled apartment. Diana had already had her party but our friends wanted to do something nice for me (and her) so they put together a fun time for us. One of the activities organized by Pau was a "how-well-do-you-know-each-other" quiz where he asked us about our favorite foods, movies, families, (even some questions about WIDN) and so on and we each had to blindly answer by writing on a small blackboard. Results showed that Diana has a much better memory than I do, which should surprise no one, and now I understand the "forever" part where I'll have plenty of time during the rest of my life to learn (and remember) more about her!

The party was a hit! There was lots of wine and cocktails to loosen us up. We ate a bunch of different tapas and some delish chicken kebabs with a bunch of great friends. In other words, a great time. Thanks to Vladamir for christening the new apartment (and amazing roof-top deck) and everyone else for coming out to wish us mazel tov on the next phase of our lives.

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