I arrived in Leon, Spain on Sunday evening. I am here on business for two weeks, which is kind of nice as I will have one weekend to goof off before heading home. The last time I was in Spain I didn’t have any time to goof off except in the evenings where my gracious hosts tried to wine and dine me nearly to death. Well, I am having none of that this time! I am going to do all my wine and dining on the weekend! That’ll show ‘em
The last time I was in Spain I received the call that every parent fears when traveling. Last year my son was critically injured in while in basic training in Texas. I couldn’t race to his side as fast as I wanted. Being stuck in airports delayed by some volcano that I can’t pronounce, and having to spend a night in New Jersey was just the beginning. Then I had to drive to Texas. I think it is an interesting coincidence that I was staying at the AC hotel Leon San Antonio, Spain, and my son was injured in San Antonio Texas. It was last April when I got the call; it was a nightmare that I do not ever wish to repeat…
I am staying in the same hotel as my last visit. For some reason the pain and frustration from my previous visit seems to lurk around the corner, like a little gray cloud that reminds me of the events of last year. I keep expecting to receive another phone call. I have to find a way to let it go.
Being that just last just weekend I spent the night in a “fancy” hotel in Wendover Nevada, I find the contrast to the AC hotel in Leon Spain to be quite striking. I guess it is difficult to compare a hotel casino to a European hotel, so I won’t try.
But I will say that this place has everything that most American hotels lack. For example there is a refrigerator with glass bottled coke at no charge, fast internet, no casino, no kids (yet) and a bed that is relatively confortable. The room also has an interesting feature. The lights are controlled by inserting your room key in a slot by the door. At first I thought this was kind of childish, but it is really an ingenious idea. It is nearly impossible to lose your room key (card) it’s always stuck in the slot by the door. Also you never forget to turn off the lights in your room, they turn off as soon as you leave, if you don’t forget to pull it from the slot on your way out that is. The television is appropriately sized for the room; there is just no need for a small room to have a 42” TV. I haven’t turned it on yet as I don’t watch television very often, even at home. At home I flip past the Spanish channels; I figure it would just save time if I left it off.
Speaking of Spanish, I find it amusing that people in the States bitch and complain how signs and such are in English and in Spanish. The people who bitch about it generally complain about illegal immigration from Mexico. Here in Spain the signs are in Spanish and in English, it’s really convenient. I doubt that there is an illegal immigration of issue in Spain. I could be wrong.
When I lived in California I thought that California drivers were the worst in the world. Then I got to explore a bit of Europe, England, Germany, Egypt, etc… At each location I would re-evaluate my assessment. Over my travels I have found that every place has bad drivers, just bad in different ways. In California the drivers don’t stop completely at stop signs, in Denver they tailgate and drive too fast on the freeways, in England they park by brail, in Spain they use the horn as much as the brake. Once you get used to driving in one place, all the others are crazy. In short, quite bitching and get used to the craziness.