Day 1- We took the overnight plane from JFK, and I was so excited that I could barely sleep. Here's the rub: two nights before I had woken up at 3 in the morning, excited about the trip and had a genius thought, "If I stayed up now, and went to bed early and did the same tomorrow, I could get myself on Barcelona time and avoid jetlag." And it worked...until that plane ride. It took off at 6, and they fed us dinner at about 8 (which would be much later in Barcelona), then there was a snack and excitement and discomfort and....very little sleep. Hence, jetlag. But who cares? My feet were about to touch European soil for the first time. And when we landed and saw the mountains in the distance and the Mediterranean, even in the rain, I sighed a sigh of joy and almost had to pinch myself.
So, in order to avoid luggage fees (which are apparently nonexistent on international flights if you only have one bag) and to facilitate easier travel throughout Barcelona as well as an indoctination by Rick Steves to believe that backpacking through Europe and packing light really is the only way to go, we both just brought one hiking backpack each. More on how that worked later...but, for now just know that we both have fairly easy access to our clothes and James changes into long pants and a pink shirt that I had convinced him to buy for the trip. Now, most of you do not know James, but if you did, you would know that he wears shorts EVERYWHERE. In the middle of winter North Dakota, James changed into shorts everyday upon returning from work. In 40 degree football James where everyone else is bundled up, James is in shorts. So this long pants thing was a huge departure for him, and one that actually worked and was useful in this trip. See, not only does James wear shorts, but he wears tube socks up almost to his knees. Our goal was to not stick out in Europe as American tourists if at all possible. Pretty sure that didn't happen, but I bet the pants kept us from being laughed at in Italy. Suffice to say, the shorts would have definitely been out of place as everyone in Europe wears, wait for it.........jeans. And not much pink, which I had been convinced that European men wore. Oh well.
So, the plans are to change in the airport bathrooms, and we are both a little iffy about being possibly pickpocketed and are concerned about exactly what the bathroom will be like and whether or not it will be our last free public restroom. But, no shady characters around and a perfectly modern, free restroom awaited us. I cannot begin to express the excitement at this point. We get our passports stamped for the first time (SQUEE!) and head out to find our train into Barcelona.