The first leg of the trip is just getting to Barcelona. We left San Diego at 7:30 am headed for New York. About an hour out from JFK we learned that to ensure an on time arrival we had to beat the Pope's plane. Our pilot got us to the gate in record time thanks to some very fast flying. We boarded our Barcelona flight and before taking off we saw the Pope's plane land to a flurry of dignitaries shuttling out to meet him. Very cool to see such an impressive reception for him. We took off for Barcelona at 6:30 pm. I was pleased to learn that going east it is only a 6 hour flight and we are due to taxi up to the gate by 8:00 am. Signing off now from 37,000 cruising feet.