After London and Oxford, to finish a great birthday weekend, we went to Valencia (Spain).

We visited family and friends (the whole purpose of the trip) including the studio of Claudio Zirotti, went to the office to work more than we wanted to, chose wedding venue, and as always, had a lot of rice dishes.

The anecdote of the trip was on the way out. Once in Madrid, before boarding the Madrid-New York Iberia flight, the “extra security” at the gate asked me if I had a flight ticket back to Spain.

– No I don’t – I replied.

– Then we can’t let you board the plane.

– WTF??!! I have an office and an apartment in New York, and spend there most of my time. I have entered and exited the country a lot of times. I have had a visa, and I am now traveling with the Visa Waiver Program, I have ESTA authorization… what is the problem? 

– If we let you board that plane without a return ticket we would be fined $6,000. So you either get a return ticket or can’t board the plane.

At that point I understood there was no point in arguing, and the plane had already started boarding, so there was only one thing left to do: get the damned ticket.

Luckly my travel agent is awesome, and with a laptop, 3G connection via my phone (no WiFi in Barajas MAD airport, thank you), and a credit card, I was able to get a return ticket, and board the plane.

Of course, once I landed, I voided the ticket, and without charge (I told you my travel agent IS awesome). Rules are mostly made to be broken and are too often for the lazy to hide behind (Douglas MacArthur)  😉