We are back home in Santa Fe!
Our trip to Spain had plenty of highlights and we are glad we went, despite cutting the trip short. We are sorry for the suffering and inconvenience this situation is bringing to Spain and the rest of the world.
We had to buy new one-way tickets to get back from Madrid a week earlier than planned. For our last 3 days in Madrid, we mostly stayed inside our apartment. Our Airbnb host extended our stay for a couple of extra days and would not accept any payment.
By Friday, the 13th, nearly everything in Madrid was closed and by Sunday afternoon the streets were practically deserted. We did fine while we stayed in our Airbnb apartment.
Monday morning, the airport was not as badly crowded as we had anticipated. When we first got to the American Airlines check-in desks, the line snaked around for a couple of hundred feet. It seemed to be moving, though. While we were standing in line an American Airlines representative came up to us and asked where we were going and we said Dallas. Then she told us to follow her and she took us to the priority area where we waited about 5 seconds to get a desk agent. I didn’t see anyone else pulled out of line for such treatment, and no one else came behind us. I hope they didn’t select us because we looked pathetic!
The desk agent was very nice and even knew about the Albuquerque flamenco festival. He said he would like to attend it. He also said that he and his co-workers would probably be out of work on March 19th, when American was going to stop operations in Madrid.
Our plane left on time and was about 90% full. I had expected it to be completely full based on the difficulty I had getting tickets. The crew kept us informed every step of the way.
Processing at the Dallas airport was far smoother than we anticipated, based on the weekend reports. It did not add more than half-an-hour to getting through Customs and Immigration. That meant we were able to make our connection to Albuquerque.
The flight to Albuquerque was less than half full. We left early and arrived 47 minutes early.
I had done a one-way car rental from Albuquerque to Santa Fe because I anticipated that might be the only way to get home if our schedule was disrupted. We ended up with a Dodge Charger, a muscle car. It sounded really good, and Patricia seriously considered not getting in until I showed her that the alternative was a pickup truck. It was far more responsive to the gas pedal than I anticipated, but it was fun to drive.
We are supposed to self-isolate for the next two weeks and I think we will probably do that. We went out to return the car and for groceries this morning and should not have to go out again for quite a while.