Holy Cow! We Are Flying to Madrid!
After all of the planning, packing, and stress, the day is finally here! We are flying to Madrid!
Savings: I purchased our airline tickets a couple of months ago, and chose to fly out of Atlanta instead of Nashville since I ended up saving well over $1,000 for both Scarlett and I to fly. The flights from Nashville to Madrid were between $2000 and $2400, and I was able to purchase the flight from Atlanta to Madrid for $400. Including travel insurance, it was about $1000 for the purchase of the tickets for both of us.
I played around with different dates and times leaving from both cities until I found a rate I was happy with. I called American Airlines to ensure that I didn’t get a basic economy with no checked bags by accident, but the agent assured me that it was a normal ticket and added that it was indeed a wonderful rate for an international flight. He said he didn’t remember ever seeing such a good rate before. Yes! Things were starting to fall into place.
Realization: It was such a surreal feeling driving through both the downtown areas of Nashville and Atlanta, and saying goodbye, at least for awhile, to the city skylines that I have come to know for so many years. I grew up in the Atlanta area, and although I have lived in several different states, Nashville has been the city I have called home for a large majority of my life. I wasn’t expecting to feel anything but excitement since I was finally accomplishing a bucket list goal of mine and moving to Europe. I suppose even with the love/hate relationship I have come to have with the Southeast, the pleasant memories I have of friends and family overcome the negative. That twinge of sadness mixed with the realization that I am actually going to miss things about my “home” set in for a few minutes. This feeling was most likely elevated by the fact that I was going on about five hours of sleep within the span of two days. We had just finished packing up our apartment, loading the storage unit, and cleaning/clearing the apartment in order to turn in our keys.
Flight Day: This morning we left my mom’s house at 6 a.m. Eastern time to catch a 10 a.m. flight from Atlanta to Philadelphia. My ex-husband and middle son drove Scarlett and I to the airport in my van. (Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I am allowing my middle son to use my van while we are gone.)
I receive flight rewards via American Airlines, and I have used this airline ever since I flew to Costa Rica a few years ago. Why not continue to add up the miles, right? I decided to check out the Admirals Club after our arrival in Philadelphia since we had a six hour layover. I have never utilized this service because I always assumed it was for those who were already members, and that the price was astronomical. I was so wrong.
It is only $59 for a day pass! This is per person, but since Scarlett is under the age of 18, she gets to come in for free. They have complimentary snacks and drinks, including wine. The seating is more comfortable, they provide you with a free wifi password, and it is overall a much better experience. By the time I would have paid for coffee and food in the regular waiting area, the cost would have most likely been around $59 anyway, so I am very happy that we had this option!
We are scheduled to arrive in Madrid in a few hours. I have never been on an overnight flight, so the plan is to sleep if at all possible, in order to (hopefully) trick my body’s schedule into thinking we are magically on Madrid time by the time we arrive tomorrow morning. Hey, one can hope! 🙂
Considering all of the mixed emotions, I can say that I am both exhilarated and nervous about the start of this new adventure for both myself and my daughter!