Let’s skip to the smoking car. It was awesome.

May 17, 2012 § 13 Comments

I left off on Day 3 of the Farm Party adventure. On Day 3 my parents landed. You’ve met them before:

Granada, Spain

Day 3 was more walking, shopping and eating in Madrid. Just imagine 9 Americans traipsing around the city together. Do you have a visual? It was awesome.

But what I really want to do is skip to the smoking car.

Smoking Car. Day 4.

Friday, Day 4, was travel to the Farm day. We all rented cars. We were driving to the Farm!

Shear stress and exhaustion.

Picture again, now 10 Americans (Abbie arrived!), luggage in tow, walking single file through the city to the rental car garage. Do you have the visual? It was awesome.

10 people = 3 cars. 3 manual transmission cars.

Paperwork – Signatures – and 3 Key exchanges later – and we were off!

I believe we traveled 2.5 blocks in 15 minutes (oh Madrid traffic) when we started to smell something. Something foul. Road kill? Burnt rubber? Umm… stripped gears? Ding Ding Ding!

Driver #2, Mary (god bless her!), didn’t remember as well as she thought she would how to drive a manual car. I guess it isn’t just like riding a bike.

Picture this: 10 Americans, in 3 cars, in the busiest section of Madrid.

The middle car is smoking, the hood looks like a pack-a-day smoker. (Fits right in on the streets of Madrid.)

We play a game of musical cars. My dad running back and forth to see what is happening asDana joins our car to make room for theΒ good Spanish Samaritan. A complete strangerΒ leaves his work truck on the side of the road to drive the chimney car back to the garage. Do you have a visual? It was awesome.

To make an already long story a little shorter – we caravanned to the massive Hertz Garage in the south of the city – the manual car was traded for an automatic – and we once again tried to get on the road to the Farm.

This time – Success! With a huge thank you to Abbie!

Abbie joined us Friday morning from her pre-Farm vaca in Lisbon. Abbie is a master when it comes to European roadways. She calms me down and helps me think. 10 minutes after leaving the second Hertz (2 hours after the first departure) we were on our way!

We stopped midway for lunch. I love that Spanish rest stations are full-on restaurants.


Happy to be alive and well.

On the road again…

Sweet sweet relief – we made it – we made it!

All in one piece.

And still smiling.

It’s funny. Friday morning I was complete basket case. My stomach was in knots. I was completely overwhelmed with the responsibility of getting everyone safely to the farm … but as soon as the car started smoking all of the pressure was released. All I could do was laugh. Laughter is the best medicine.

Laughter and alcohol.

Everyone made a beeline to the hotel bar.

We enjoyed wine, olives and bar’s fantastic nut mix until dinner. (Who doesn’t love a good nut mix?)

Dinner was 4+ hours of food, wine… and more wine.

Maybe too much wine? The night ended with pillow hugs at the table. (Don’t even ask.) I’ll let you determine your thoughts on where wine consumption should have ended.

By the end of the night I could barely keep my eyes open. The stress. The physical exhaustion. The complete relief of a trip well traveled. I spent a whole 10 minutes with my groom – and then I crashed.

Friday night was the first time I laid eyes on the Spaniard. He left for the farm before I landed in Madrid. A perfect ending after a long day.

East to West. Madrid to Farm. Surrounded by the ones you can be you with… it was awesome.

Photos: Justin, Bryanna and my Momma. Documentation – one thing I wasn’t worried about.


§ 13 Responses to Let’s skip to the smoking car. It was awesome.

  • Chaaron says:

    Thank goodness something helped relieve your stress – even if it was a smoking car! It’s best to have a good laugh and relax – much better than a crying meltdown! I am loving the Farm Party recap. What an adventure!

    • K says:

      It could have gone either way Chaaron πŸ˜‰ Seriously… I could have easily been a crying, heap of a mess on the side of the road. So glad I somehow found the laughter instead…. as I am sure everyone else will agree πŸ™‚

  • Dana says:

    You left out 2 key elements! 1) As we all pulled out of the rental car place and up the big ramp….2 cars could not make it and the agent had to drive us up to the street….then STILL gave us the cars even after we could not prove our manual transmission hill skills! 2) We got the automatic car for an equal exchange! (vs the original 300 euro up charge! man did they feel bad for us πŸ™‚

    • K says:

      Good points, Dana. Good points. They didn’t even see what was coming! Really it all could have been part of our master plan to save a few hundred euros. πŸ˜‰ And get really good story. Success on BOTH fronts. Genius I tell ya!

  • Angie F says:

    D- do you think the agent had a foreboding sense that was going to happen? I feel like I could remember seeing it in her eyes. Even after the pep talks. πŸ™‚

  • Penny Kinsey says:

    I LOVED this story of Days 3 & 4. Pics really capture so much of it all.

  • Carly says:

    This is amazing. Events like this are always so fun in retrospect, and at least written down it comes off like nobody was too stressed about the whole ordeal. What do you do?!

    Also, have I told you before that you and your Dad look a lot alike? Even though I’ve never met your parents, your blog has made me just love them haha.

    • K says:

      You are totally allowed to love my parents, Carly. They are awesome. And someday when you stow away with Chris and come to FL we will all go to dinner! πŸ™‚

      And you are right… for the crazy adventure that the smoking car was… and for as stressful as it could have been… no one really freaked out. Right again… what do you do?! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole says:

    What an adventure! Driving in Spain completely stresses me out. I always have to get an automatic car. I can never get used to how aggressive people are when passing. When I’m behind the wheel I think about the morbid reporting that the tv stations always do about the road deaths during holidays and just getting from point A to B in one piece!!!

    • K says:

      So true Nicole. People are crazy! One thing that probably helps me is never listening to the Spanish news πŸ™‚ But I did retain my manual driving skills. My very first car was a manual. Who knew that knowledge would be so valuable living in Europe? If only there was an aggressive driving course too πŸ™‚

  • marie says:

    A four hour dinner with no kids, what a dream. Even with the mishaps it looks really fun, way to keep a smile on your face throughout it all. I am the worst driver in unfamiliar big cities, I get so nervous. Also, your jacket is very cute!

    • K says:

      How about a 4 hour dinner – that starts at 10 PM – then add the children like every other Spanish family. It’s crazy! πŸ™‚ The smile was pure delirium! And thanks for the jacket compliments. It’s from Zara. A Spanish company – ironically bought in the U.S. before I ever ever thought I’d be traveling (let alone, living) in Spain. Someone knew πŸ™‚

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