Ok, so the car had gone. Dog had gone. Just needed to plough through the work week and prep for the flight, early Sunday morning. A hire car had since been acquired locally now my license had arrived, all coming together nicely. Friday had arrived and I still needed to pack a case, it was weird there was no sense of urgency. Whatever the length of time away, it just felt like packing for a long holiday!
My wife meanwhile had everything in hand, an assortment of disposable masks, gloves and even foot coverings had been acquired. My job was to sort the hire car at the other side, I’d reviewed on-line and found a decent local company, so as not to be ripped off and nicely located (thanks google maps) for when we needed to exchange for our car that was being shipped over ready for pick-up Monday afternoon.
Our accommodation for the first 2 months of arrival had also been sorted (we were going to just go with 1 week and scope it out but thought, sod it), a lovely spot in the mountains 40 minutes from Malaga City, outside the village of Tolox.
The day of the flight came around quickly, we had to arrange to leave the house from 3AM Sunday, allowing plenty of time to get to airport following my experience earlier in the week. It was nice without the usual anxiety of whether our taxi driver would turn up, we were masters of our own destiny, with cases and car seat ready to roll.
My daughter was woken up last, put to bed in her outfit ready for travelling. She was transitioned to the car and remained asleep all the way to the airport. What a great start. We rocked up to airport not long after 4AM, with our flight not due to leave until 6AM. Just had to wait for the shuttle bus now that saw us arrive, but still left without anyone on, for us to stand with our 2 large cases, car seat, hand luggage, buggy and toddler that had now woken up. Masked up, we waited…
We had to ring for the shuttle bus to return, requiring use of a throwaway glove and hand sanitizer (known commonly in our house, simply as ‘tizer’, no reference to the fantastic illuminous orange drink of the 90s) following use.. The tone set for the flight. We were on our way. The only people on our bus, we arrive to a busy Manchester T1 – I’m always taken back at how busy the place is at this ungodly hour. Regardless, the check-in was as painful as ever with the insistence of the automated bag check-in, but with added pain of face mask. Our case was overweight (surprise, surprise), the option of take stuff out (no chance) or queue at the place where they could usually do everything then queue back again to use the automated machines… Blimey. 30 euros lighter we were on our way.
The handy thing with having a toddler is that you can get fast tracked, so check-in was reasonably smooth. My daughter was docile but cooperative. My wife’s OCD was in overdrive with insistence of anything touching the trays (more germs than a toilet seat apparently), were in their own plastic bags but we got through unscathed. All hand luggage through without need for further padding. Our various delays had meant we were straight through to boarding. Ideal.
The plane was relatively empty, and our Spanish adventure was finally underway… See you in Malaga!