by the Night Writer
Our flying start Wednesday afternoon quickly turned into a stall as our flight was delayed at take-off in Minneapolis and then later put into a holding pattern outside of New York as our two-hour lay-over margin was sucked out the jet turbines along with the jet fuel; we landed five minutes after our connecting flight was scheduled to leave but fortunately that flight was delayed for take-off as well and we made it to the gate with bare minutes to spare. Six hours and something later we were again put in a holding pattern over Madrid.
Finally we were on the ground and waved through Customs with barely a nod. They might be more thorough as we’re leaving, just in case we try to smuggle Ricky Rubio out of Spain in one of our suitcases. After that we barely made it to our hotel before it was time to figure out our route to where Tiger Lilly was to meet her teen group at 1 p.m. and then back to our hotel-base for the walk to where the Reverend Mother and I were to meet our group for the official paella welcome and Flamenco demonstration at 2 p.m. Fortunately the Madrid Metro is fairly easy to negotiate once you get used to the names. As mundane as metro riding may be, there is more than just a touch of the exotic to boarding the Number 1 line at Anton Martin and riding through Tirso de Molina, Sol and Gran Via before transferring at Tribunal (Tree-boon-all) to catch the Number 10 line through Alonso Martinez to Gregorio Marañon.
After dropping off TL (and reversing the trek) we enjoyed the lunch and musical demonstration even though we were well into our 24th hour of being up without sleep. After our session the Reverend Mother and I then ventured even farther afield on the Metro to visit a magic store she had found on-line a couple of weeks earlier where we could pick up crucial props for her planned presentation that would never have been allowed through the tightened TSA sphincter. For the latter trip we’d take the 6-line via Ruben Dario, Diego DeLeon, El Carmen and Quintana (sounds like the batting order for the Twins’ Dominican League team) to Ascoa. That mission accomplished I escorted my wife all the way back to the hotel before repeating the earlier itinerary to reclaim Tiger Lilly and bring her back to the hotel so we could get to bed before the 34th hour of wakefulness had passed – all so we could request an early wake-up call in order to return TL to the pick-up spot for a 7:10 a.m. bus ride to Els Avets.
Coming back from THAT, I eschewed the Burger King at Anton Martin in favor of ordering a roll, bottle of peach juice and a cup of espresso café at a real café bar to bolster myself for getting the Rev. Mum, two large suitcases and two smaller bags to our own bus pick-up spot.
We took a cab.