Europe Spain Travel Guides

New Years celebrations in Spain

Spanish New Years Party

Let’s start this entry by briefly describing how the trip to Spain went.

There were 4 of us traveling together the whole way there. A small flight would get us to Chicago and there we would connect to a flight to Madrid.

Our flight form Michigan does not leave until the afternoon, so Maxwell and I are leisurely getting packed and ready. It is winter in Michigan which means that our weather is unpredictable. Our group was not worried because another friend had already flown to Chicago not but 3 hours earlier.

2 hours before we needed to be at the airport- Maxwell gets a notification from a 3rd party flight tracking app (NOT our airline) that let’s him know our flight is canceled to Chicago.

Chaos ensues.

The other two travel mates are ready to go (they are much more organized and procrastinate less). We quickly get together and get an Uber to go to the airport. American Airlines canceled our flight FOR NO REASON. It was not snowing- it wasn’t even that cold. But they canceled for weather purposes. They are not willing to help us get to Chicago (despite offering an earlier flight that was canceled a FREE bus service). American Airlines¬†did not offer our flight this and their solution was to put us on a plane in 3 days to Chicago. They said they might be able to get us to Spain in 4 days.


(As you can see, the weather from Grand Rapids to Chicago was FINE)

We needed to get to Spain for New Years Eve so that was not an option. Luckily, Chicago is a 3 hour drive so we rented a car. (6 weeks later and we still have not heard anything back from American Airlines. Terrible customer service!)

Our other friend was already at the Chicago airport and had to hold the plane for us. It was a scene out of some romantic comedy, where there is a car chase, a lot of running through the airport, racing against the clock, and chasing after the plane. In summary- a total mess.

As we sat down in our seats and I began crying. So happy. Max began crying because he hates flying but it is a necessary evil.

New Years Eve in Sotogrande, Spain

Airport crew in Madrid!

^ The (glasses?) group after landing in Madrid! ^

Christian was waiting for us in Madrid and we were so excited to see him! He was a saint and drove 6.5 hours to get us. We drove through beautiful Spanish countryside to get to his house and saw so many olive trees along the way!

After the drive and a 3 hour nap, it was time for New Years Eve. More of our friends who were traveling through Spain made it to Christian’s house, so in total there were 7 of us from the US! We decided to stay at Christian’s family home because there were not many bars around and it was better for accommodating all of us.

New Years Eve in Sotogrande, Spain

The core four in Spain!

New Years Eve in Sotogrande, Spain

Towards the end of the night

New Years Eve in Sotogrande, Spain

First NYE as a married couple!

There was a ton of food and drink to go around. An eventful but relaxing evening was what we needed.

We could have chosen to stay in Madrid for NYE, but the thought of tackling a new city all while not having slept much for over 24 hours sounded less that appealing.

Between the jet lag, lack of sleep, and celebratory drinks- it was a rough New Years Day. For myself, it was a Hangover¬†movie moment; we all clinked glasses at midnight and the rest gets fuzzy. The next day, it was as if people got different pieces to the puzzle and we had to complete the evening’s events as a group.

Despite the shaky New Years Day, we are so happy and thankful that we got to ring in the New Year with some of our best friends in a foreign country!



You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    castillo de castellar de la frontera
    February 19, 2016 at 1:01 am

    […] The hike to the Castillo de Castellar was a beautiful one. The day was great, opting outside was ideal, and the company was even better. We did it on New Years Day, which was necessary because of the evening we had the night before. […]

  • Reply
    The Journey – The Passport Pair
    October 27, 2016 at 9:20 am

    […] We lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which does have an airport, but it continues to be absurdly expensive to fly out of. Chicago is only a 3-hour drive so we opted for that. Our 4 checked bags, 2 carry-ons, and 2 personal items stuffed in a rental car and we were off! (This gave us flashbacks to our terrible drive to Chicago on our Spain trip!) […]

  • Reply
    Madrid, Spain – The Passport Pair
    January 30, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    […] to go to the Plaza Mayor! Its the central square and it was still decorated with lights from the New Years celebration. It was a huge space that I could barely imagine being filled with people, but on all major […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.