snapshot of Louise napping

At ricksteves.com, Louise’s favorite travel guide says, “On arrival, stay awake until an early local bedtime.” Yeah, but Rick isn’t turning 70 in thirteen months.

Jet lag. It gets worse every time I travel, in spite of elaborate preparations. For this trip I purchased a butt pillow, and that helped. (I lament having no butt – women tell me I’ll never qualify as a hunk without it – and feel exquisite pain after an hour of sitting.) I researched inflatable neck pillows until I found The Perfect One (davidsbeenhere.com). I avoided alcohol, even though Condor offered it for free. I even surreptitiously swallowed half a Seroquel on the plane while I thought no one was looking. Nonetheless, when we checked into our Barcelona hotel at 1:00 PM last Sunday, I was asleep by 1:10.

So much for Rick Steves.

But wait! It doesn’t make any difference! In Spain, everything except the bars shuts down around 2:00 PM.  No groceries. No shoe shopping (a moment of pity for Louise). No banking or dentistry or museums. People just flee the city and don’t return until 5:00, when everything reopens – and stays open until nine or so in the evening.

Thus, without even a dollop of compromise, Louise and I sleep four hours at night, visit the park or the museum or the bank in the morning, nap until four or five, then carouse in the evening – often until past midnight. No jet lag!

Spain is such a civilized place…

(Photo: Yes, Louise brought Scraps, her favorite stuffed animal. There’s a limit to practicality, after all.)