Luckily, American Airlines didn't disappoint; they were on time. The first leg of my journey was to Madrid.
It was eight and a half hours long, and my seat wouldn't recline. I did sit by a nice ex-pat who lives the good life in Madrid. He'd been visiting family in Dallas. I usually sleep amazingly well when I fly overseas, but sleep eluded me this time. I finally got about two hours in before they started waltzing down the aisle with breakfast trays. The time difference is seven hours later here, so we landed at 9 a.m. or 10 a.m., I think. Forgive me...the details are a little fuzzy at this point. Unfortunately, I had a long layover in Madrid: six hours, and the plane to Toulouse was almost two hours late. Boo on Iberia Airlines! I did have plenty of time to wander around the terminal. The Madrid airport is very modern looking.
I met a nice woman named Mary who lives two hours outside of Toulouse. She and her husband were returning from vacationing in New York and Pennsylvania. The plane to Toulouse was a little small one, but it was smooth, and got us here in less than an hour. It was cloudy, so I couldn't see much out the window until the last few minutes of the flight. That said, the countryside is magnificent! I can't wait to see more of it. Toulouse is called "the pink town" as most of the buildings are of a rose/pink/terra cotta hue. From the air, it looked very striking. The Toulouse airport is very small, so it also didn't take very long to get my luggage, and find the taxi stand. It's warm and humid here this evening. I finally got to our hotel about 6:30 pm on Friday, and I'm pretty beat. Nancy and John should be here in a couple of hours, as they flew Seattle to Iceland to Paris to Toulouse! Hopefully, we can grab a bite to eat, as the airplane food is nothing to write home about (or write about, period).
Tomorrow, we rent our car, and drive one hour south to Carcassonne. This is where we've rented a house for a week, and we'll use it as (a) a base camp to take some good drives; and (b) pretend we live there. I'll check in again tomorrow evening, and I hope to have some much better photographs than these!