We'd been talking about doing a big trip for my 40th birthday for years. Technically we should have done it in 2017 rather than 2018, but for various reasons it got delayed for a year.

I've always been fascinated with Spain - I don't know why, I have no Spanish ancestry - so I decided early on that that's where we were going. Originally I had targeted Barcelona, but I kept hearing how crowded with tourists it was. So I decided we'd go to Valencia instead. I haven't yet been to Barcelona so I can't compare them directly, but I absolutely loved Valencia.

Saturday, 2018 April 14

I was pretty nervous before we left - the usual little things (did I pack everything, are my bags going to get lost, etc), but my big concern was the connection in Frankfurt. If was pretty tight on paper, and if we missed it we'd have to wait quite a few hours for the next flight to Valencia.

The taxi arrived quite early to take us to Seatac Airport, which only increased my anxiety about whether or not I remembered everything. The taxi driver also drove like a bat out of hell, which didn't help.

I felt better once we got the airport. As is becoming our custom we stopped at Seattle Taproom for lunch and drinks.

We'd never flow Lufthansa before, so their militant enforcement of carry-on weight limits took us by surprise. Krista ended up having to repack her carry-ons and handing stuff to me. Very oddly they never weighed my backpack, which is good - it was massively overweight.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2 PM and left right on time. We hit some mild turbulence but never anything major. We flew business class and this was spectacular; Krista remarked that this was a big mistake because she was now spoiled and would expect nothing less on international trips. I felt similarly.

With one exception - the salmon tartare was absolutely delicious - the food was mediocre; the meat in particular was massively overcooked. The wine flowed freely, though, which kept me in a good mood.

We did eventually try to get some sleep. I think I dozed a bit but not as much as I might have hoped.

Happy birthday, Mom.

Monday, 2017 January 02 Sunday, 2018 April 15