Madeira Island: Part 1

A couple days before our Madeira trip, I got nervous about the travel. We had so many layovers, we were flying overnight and were going to be exhausted before we even got there, and ... we were flying standby. STANDBY! So many things needed to go right for us to make it to Madeira on our schedule. If you haven't flown standby before, you should know that it can be really, really great ... or really, really bad. Nathan's dad is a pilot for Delta and we've used his perks quite a few times (thanks, Tim!) to get where we wanted to go at a fraction of the cost. Sooo great, right?? Not if you get stuck in Atlanta and opt to DRIVE back to Cincinnati because it will be faster than waiting to get on a plane.

Basically, you get a "seat request" and if the plane isn't full, you get on! And the best part is that if first class isn't full, you get the seats. I had never gotten that lucky but this trip? My luck changed!

Oh yes, Nathan and I nabbed first-class seats on our overnight flight. As soon as we found out we were sitting in front of that blue curtain, we tried to act cool. Like we sat in first class all the time. Like I knew exactly what to do with that hot towel they gave me when I sat down. Like I knew exactly how to pick my three-course meal (seriously...) without even looking at the menu.

But then we discovered the chairs. Ohhh baby, those CHAIRS. They recline to sleeping position. They have a foot stool. They come with a down pillow and comforter. I can guarantee that as soon as our fellow passengers took one look at us playing with the chairs, they knew we weren't regular first-class riders.

And, if for some reason THAT didn't tip them off, I'm sure the fact that I snapped 23 pictures of my chair ... my hot towel ... my complimentary wine ... my leg room ... did me in. :)

There's that leg room!

We stayed at the Golden Residence, not too far from my brother's apartment and right on the water!

I can't believe I'm showing you that fish picture (I'm sorry). Very ugly, but scabbard fish is a huge part of Madeira's cuisine and they were selling it at the market. Photo op, right?

And, of course, the reason we were in Madeira in the first place ... my little brother (back there with the ball. Hey, I'm not a sports photographer. :))

The perks of being a professional basketball player. ;) In case you can't read those neon letters on the side of the car, they say "BE BOP." So funny!

Best.dessert.ever. Profiteroles!

This pretty much sums up my relationship with these guys. Love them both. :) (P.S. Do I look 2 feet tall next to Barry? Please tell me I don't.)

That's a real, live swan! It was posing for us.

My whole family was lucky enough to go on the trip together.

My sweet grandma. And some Madeira wine and pop (soda?) on the right. Along with scabbard fish, Madeira is very well known for its wine.