Of course, I'd want to do it up right. Like paying the extra $20 on the flight over and back to secure the Emergency Row seat with the additional leg room on one of those big 757s. No sense eating my knees in a regular Coach seat on a trip that long.
And once I make it to Spain, I don't want to stay in just any old hotel. I'm thinking it has to be classy all the way. You know, the kind of place where they replace your soap bar every day even if you haven't totally used up the old one. And where there's always a free chocolate chip cookie in the lobby waiting for you when you come in late at night. (And the desk clerk doesn't even look at you funny if you take two or even three of them.)
I'm hoping to find a nice secluded stretch of beach for relaxing too. I wouldn't need much ... maybe a 100 feet of sand all to myself (and my friends, of course). I would certainly think the local Spanish police would try and accommodate the request of a free-spending American like me, wouldn't they? I wouldn't need the area all day anyhow. Maybe before 10 a.m. and after 3 p.m. The locals can use it any other time.
I wonder how much food costs over there? Rumor has it you can find some good seafood and a tasty bottle of wine for a reasonable amount. (Would it be rude to ask them to deep fry the fish, and do you think they'd know what I was talking about if I asked for a glass of "two-buck Chuck"?)
Certainly I'd like to take in the sights while I'm there. Find out all about the local history and culture. I'll bet I could find a good tour guide who would be happy to arrange a nice visit to all the really cool places.
Do you suppose the King and Queen are busy? From what I understand, most of Europe takes the month of August off. Surely royalty follows suit. If they're not busy, I'm thinking lunch. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. Tuna salad on one of their palace verandas would be just fine ... with a little cold Sangria. Maybe I could even ask the King if he needs a speech written for him. Then I could write the whole trip off as a business expense. (Just kidding, IRS, just kidding.)
Speaking of expense, I wonder how much all this would cost? Surely there's someone who could give me a ballpark figure.
Hey, wait a minute. Here's something in the paper right in front of me. I've been concentrating so much on the Braves being in the thick of a pennant race again that I've just been skimming the rest of the news. But it seems First Lady Michelle Obama has recently taken a trip very similar to the one I'm contemplating. Let's see, big plane, 40 friends, Spanish beach, King and Queen, sightseeing ... wow, it's as if we'd planned this trip together.
I wonder if it says anything about how much her trip cost? Here it is: Airfare, $150,000. Geez, everybody must have had an Exit row seat. Either that or she had a whole bunch of extra bags to check.
Hotel, $95,000. Oh, surely that's a misprint. She was only renting a room, not buying one. Staff and security, $135,000. Lots of postcards to dictate to folks back home, I guess.
So that's roughly $380,000 for the week, eh? My gosh, the presidential salary is only $400,000 per annum. Do you suppose Barack knows about this? I'm pretty sure my spouse would not like it if I spent a year's salary on one vacation ... without her.
Hmmm. Perhaps this whole Spain idea isn't so hot. Maybe I'll just think about visiting the U.S. Gulf Coast instead. The folks down there would probably welcome a few tourists. And what's a little oil among friends? Shoot, those people kept eating peanut butter when Georgia had that goober processing plant scare a couple of years ago.
And I wouldn't even have to ask them to fry the fish.
Bill Lewis is a free lance writer in Marietta.