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We’re on a Trek Travel trip right now – a bicycle training camp in Mallorca.  And as much as we love our RV, Lance, he’s not amphibious, so we had to take a plane to get here.  We had exit row seating on the long transatlantic flight over here, which went from Salt Lake City nonstop to Paris.

The exit row seating was a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, there was plenty of legroom.  That’s a really good thing.  The unfortunate part is that the tray tables in the exit row come out of the armrests.  And they don’t slide very far away from the seat.  So you have to basically eat your airplane meals using only your wrists, with your forearms held tight to your chest.  Picture a Tyrannosaurus Rex trying to use a knife and fork, and you’ll get a pretty good mental picture of what that looks like.

Other than that, it was a good flight.  We arrived in Paris in the morning and had an hour or so to kill before our connecting flight to Mallorca.  There was a little café in the airport right near our gate.


They had smoothies on the menu.  That’s what we really wanted.  But when I got the counter, I choked under the pressure and wound up just getting a bottle of water from the case because it seemed to require the least communication. The embarrassing part about that is that I actually sort of speak French.  Just apparently not very confidently.  Enjoy your water, James.

Our connecting flight to Mallorca went just fine.  To get around on the island, I had decided to save money by renting a car at an off-airport location that was literally 500 Euro cheaper than Hertz.  (I’m not making that number up.)  The only problem was the complimentary shuttle, which became our first introduction to “Spanish time”.  The literature and the operator both indicated that the shuttle ran every 10 minutes.  We were unfamiliar with the temporal exchange rate and didn’t realize that 10 Spanish minutes are equal to 53 U.S. minutes.  We’ve learned our lesson, and we’ll be returning the rental car more than 90 minutes early (which may put us sometime back in Spanish 2017).

Also – when I reserved the car, we had requested a Fiat Panda.  I don’t know why, but both Stef and I were looking forward to the Panda.  We’ve never even seen a Fiat Panda before, but the name was just too cute to pass up.  Sadly they gave us a Fiat Punto instead.  Now, my Spanish isn’t very good, but I’ve quickly learned it’s important to PRONOUNCE ALL OF THE LETTERS in the name of the car.  I’ll leave it to your googling skills to figure that one out.

I’ll be driving this #($*&® all over the island!

Once in the Punto, we made our way to the Hotel Monnaber Nou, our base camp for the week.  The hotel is charming, and beautiful, and old, and quaint, and really the kind of place you’d probably rather hear about from Stef.  So what I want to tell you is that it’s surrounded by sheep.

I didn’t realize this, but sheep are very talkative.  And it’s practically impossible to resist talking back to them, so I don’t even try.  I’ve been baaaaa-ing back at them ever since we got here.  They don’t respond, or even seem to notice.  Which means that my sheep is about as good as my French.

And finally, there are cats.  Quite a few of them out and about the hotel.  Some of them are extremely friendly and aggressive about trying to get into our room.  This one kind of reminds me of Mel in his behavior, so I’ve been calling him “Mel con Pelotas”.    He’ll be the first one I interrogate if we wind up with any Euro missing

Tomorrow is our first day on the bikes, so I’m sure we’ll have a lot to say about that.  I’m looking forward to a fantastic week of riding!