We stayed four nights in Madrid at the Palace Hotel. Here is the famous atrium where stars and heads of state have noshed. A couple of days that we were there, there was a great deal of police presence and secret service type people. We never did figure out who the bigwig was staying there. Everytime I came in or out of the hotel though, I thought, "Serious looking men in suits." The place was crawling with them.
Of course we toured the Prado which was right across the street. We weren't supposed to take any photos, but I just had to sneak one of this. It's famous. Also, as museums and clothes shopping tend to have that effect on me, I pooped at the Prado.
There was lots of free art around the city and in the parks too. This was called something like upside down elephant on its trunk.
The glass palace in Retiro park was a nice opportunity for pics. Doesn't Serge look European?
Here we are in Plaza Mayor. It's a nice place for a stroll, but beware of sitting down for a drink, as you'll be reamed. Mom and I split a calamari and had two diet cokes there and it was thirty bucks!
We also dined at the oldest restaurant in the world, Botin, and as we were leaving I got this shot of all the little dead suckling pigs. We didn't order that here because we had had it already in Segovia.
In front of the Post Office building. Madrid has changed a lot since I was there 27 years ago (I suppose that could be said of any place) and the changes are mostly positive. There was far less poverty on display and Serge kept commenting on how clean it was.
One night, our family friend Jose invited us to dinner at his place. He was an exchange student and stayed with us one summer when I was 15. Now he's got the most charming 7 children you'd ever meet. Honestly, it was right out of the Sound of Music. We were so stuffed when we left!
It was also great to hook up with one of my old coworkers from Southern California who now lives in Madrid. Similar to what I did, she packed up and moved to Spain, married Francisco (pictured) and now teaches English. It was really fun hanging out with them and touring the city.
Our last big meal together at Casa Paco, a steak joint. What a fabulous way to end a fabulous trip. Now we are at home and must face reality. First up is going to get Georgie. I hope he will be as excited to see me as I am him. Have a great weekend!