Thursday, August 30, 2007

Going to Spain!

This past Sunday one of the members of my church, a guy who has taught elementary students for nearly 30 years, leaned over and made a joke during class. I reciprocated and it just kept right on throughout the entire class. We both love the English language, the double-meanings, the puns, and of course, the jokes that hardly anyone else would get - unless they were word nerds like we are. During the course of my fun someone said out loud "Hey Jude! So you've never been to Spain, but you've been to Oklahoma?" To which (or to wit) I answered "Well, they tell me I was born there, but I really don't remember - in Oklahoma, not Arizona, but what does it matter?" If you're old enough you'll get that.

It's true - I was born in Oklahoma, not Arizona, but now I won't be able to state that I've never been to Spain. That is, I won't be able to say it after September 15, because that's when I'm suppose to be flying over to that beautiful country with my dog Faith. We've been invited to be guests on a television show, do a few interviews, promote the books, that sort of thing. I can't wait. It's not been easy getting the tickets, the passport, the contract, the deposits, or any of it. I have to get Faith microchipped this weekend - before the GAME, but she'll be fine I'm sure. It's not expensive and it could save her life in the future too. She'll be properly spoiled for days afterwards too, I'm sure. She's such a baby when she gets her shots. Matrix just takes it...snarls a little when he sees the nail clippers, but shots he's OK with. Faith just whines like a brat for either really - and we end up distracting her with cheese and/or gummi bears.

SPAIN....the food should be out of this world. I'm told I'll be in a 4 or 5 star hotel. That scares me, will I have the clothes to wear? I can't see myself wearing my ragged out torn Levis in the ritzy ritz hotels in the streets of ancient Madrid. I will remember to bring something flowing and white - that's always good for Europe! I told myself I didn't want to be the fat American stepping off the plane in Europe my first time. I'm down to 155 now, perhaps I can get 10 more off before touchdown. I sincerely don't want to be a stereotypical American. I'll also remember to thank everyone, listen intently, not ask people to say things in English - but then again, I don't speak any other language, so I may have to see pictures. I think I'll try to refrain from ordering dessert too - and fatty foods. Just the salads, the chicken dishes, and no thanks on the snails - seriously, no thanks. I like my slugs on the beach where they belong, not on my table!

Faith, for her part, will be flying in the cabin - or we don't go. At first we were told that Spain doesn't allow dogs in the cabin of their planes, but Faith isn't just a dog, she's a celebrity, and she's a U.S. Army soldier, and she's a goodwill ambassador. The fact that she has to fly in cargo in America is loathsome, but the airlines insists on booking us at First Class rates ONLY if we fly so it's cost prohibitive....however, traveling overseas - they can either pay it, or we stay home. I don't want my puppy in the cargo for more than a few hours at most. She always seems so interested in seeing me after just a short jog from Dallas to Chicago. It must be rather lonely in the suitcase section! Then again, when she's in the cabin she just curls up and goes to sleep in her chair, and not a single passenger realizes she is even in First Class until we land. Barking at the landing gear seems to make her happy - so she does it. No, she never partakes in the champagne, and I don't usually ask that she have her meal served with finger napkins either. She has no fingers to wipe! She just wolfs it down like a dog - imagine that!

Hopefully we'll be in the air soon and being a little giddy for the vacation, for the fun, for the experience. I look forward to seeing my passport too. I took the pictures today - I didn't like them. I'll redo them tomorrow - hey, it's my first! I have to carry it around for years, and I want it to be just right. If you have any tips for me about traveling in Europe, please e-mail, I need to become educated I'm sure!

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