News of the Cruise (Part 3: Let me ‘splain you…)

Free at last, free at last……… out of the oppressive airport – in which we had been cooped up for so long – into the sunlight of a late afternoon September day in Barcelona. Let’s get on the right bus and get out of here as fast as we can!

Weeks before we arrived, we were asked to assign ourselves for all the land tours to one of three buses, based upon our personal assessment of our mobility, as follows:

  • Let’s pretend we’re young and spry
  • We’re not as decrepit as we look
  • We are as decrepit as we look

Each bus would have an AACI staff person as group leader, and each bus would have a different tour guide. Our friends The Levines were a lock for bus #3, and Barbara and I wound up on #2. Which meant that our guide would be Christian (not his religion, his name!), and he almost (almost!) made up for what had occurred before by being cheerful, well-informed, and speaking good English (even though he sounded like Ricky Ricardo [Let me ‘splain you]).   Continue reading

News of the Cruise (Part2: 9/11 in Barcelona)

And keep your sunny side up, up,

Hide the side that gets blue.

If you have nine sons in a row,

Baseball teams make money, you know!

(Ray Henderson-Lew Brown-Buddy De Silva)


If you don’t care for that song, how about:

Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,

Keep on the sunny side of life.

It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way,

If we keep on the sunny side of life.

(lyrics by June Carter Cash)


Then there’s always:

Grab your coat and get your hat

Leave your worry on the doorstep

Just direct your feet

To the sunny side of the street.

(Dorothy Fields & Jimmy McHugh)


It’s pretty well known that I am an inveterate seeker for the sunny side of the street or of life or whatever. Still, there is little to be cheerful about when you’re leaving for the airport at 4AM – an hour which, in my book, should not exist. The only good thing I can say is that there is almost no traffic on the road at that absurd hour, and you can get to where you’re going lickety-split. Now you might expect – at least I did, foolish person that I am – that if there’s no one on the road, there surely would be no one on line in the airport. Perhaps they had all been camping out all night, but there were LOTS of people – hundreds of people, thousands of people – going through the very tedious procedure: get your boarding pass, go through security, check in your luggage, go through passport control – all the while, standing, standing, standing on one line or another, when all you want to do is curl up in some secluded spot and go back to sleep. Continue reading