05.11.2011 by Andrea
After trotting around Barcelona E and I had a morning flight to catch to Madrid. I would love to say it went smoothly since we had the foresight to not catch the earliest flight of the morning but still mindful of wanting to maximize time in Madrid. It would have gone without a hiccup had I booked the correct date. Yup, you got it. This travel maven booked the correct time and the wrong day. How hard should it have been considering I knew all along that I was headed to Madrid on Mother’s Day and already had a reminder in my phone to contact my mother at an appropriate time stateside? Oops. We will look at that debit card charge – never.
So I sucked it up, bought a ticket, managed to get through the crowds of security, sank into my seat on the flight, closed my eyes, wished the gentleman next to me had taken the time to shower, and was bound for Madrid in no time. Considering I had traveled on miles to get here, on Tour de Europe, in the big picture a full fare ticket could’ve been a whole lot worse. Fixing it with a delicious tapas spread? Even a better idea.
As we were trudging to our hostel we passed an eatery that had a line out the door, people standing shoulder to shoulder, two or three deep. I knew instantly it was going to have to be a stop on the food tour. And what a stop it became. I should say it became our watering hole because in less than 24 hours E and I had stood at the counter eating no less than three times. Museo del Jamon. Write it down. Whether it was the olives, the chorizo, the combo platters, or the beverages. It kept beckoning us for more. Full belly, happy gal.
We took a quick siesta, embracing the culture – naturally, and then awoke to get our Hemingway on. I had just read For Whom the Bell Tolls and was immersed in It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium both of which both describe bullfighting as a strong tradition in Spain.
I went to get changed for my evening outing and after eating a lunch full of salt, salt, and more salt I was bloated. Not just airplane bloated. I felt like a 8 month old pregnant waddler. Liz Lange for Target and Old Navy Maternity to the rescue. Yep, I said it. It’s a bit of a running joke but now I will put it out there. I embrace, actively purchase, and unabashedly wear maternity apparel. It started as an accident at Target. Merely a simple item in the sale section that was longer than the average top. Then I found another piece that was also trendy. Slowly I started circulating the maternity sale section and the next thing I knew I was scoping out Gap and Old Navy for their maternity items. I mean who doesn’t feel good rocking an extra-small? As long as it has an empire waist I’m golden.
So with that I pulled out my preggo gear and plodded out to the bullfighting arena. It has been romanticized by Hemingway and regardless of your stance about it, I’m glad I attended. I thought I knew what I was getting into, and it was an experience. Enough said.
Finished the night reading outside and sipping mojitos. The intent was to see a few museums on Monday, but since they are closed on Mondays, instead we roamed around town on a scooter, as well as stopped and ate at a few cafes. The most beautiful pic my phone has taken to date was a cheese, duck, fruit plate we sampled that was out of this world. It was called magret de pato and it was duck with berries and a beer cream sauce. Wow. Best bite of the trip thus far.
A trip to Spain wouldn’t be complete without some paella, Spanish wine, and of course Sangria. Hit a home run by hitting all three of those before hitting the sack and amping up for Paris.
Madrid, you did well.
till the next bite, goodnight.