Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spain, Part 2 - Madrid

On Monday, the boys had to work, so Miranda and I set off to explore Madrid. After poking around the shopping district, we headed to the Plaza Mayor. This ended up being one of my favorite spots in Madrid. We figured we would have to return with the boys that evening after they were done working.

The Plaza Mayor

Looking out one of the Plaza gates

After checking out the Plaza, we headed down the Gran Via to return to our hotel. This is considered to be Madrid's "Broadway". It was a very busy and active street with lots of shopping and cool buildings. But, it wasn't exactly Broadway. It was a great walk back to our hotel, though.

The Gran Via

We got back to the hotel and waited a little while until Mr. Frisby and Ryan were done working. Then we headed out for some more fun. We took them to the Plaza Mayor and decided to have dinner at one of the little cafes there. We decided that, since we were in Spain, we better eat some Tapas. So we did.

Back at the Plaza Mayor with Mr. Frisby

Tapas anyone?

My favorite tapas were probably the croquettes. They were like Mozzarella sticks, but with better, creamier cheese and with ham chunks, too. Mmmmm. Unfortunately, as it got later, the wind started picking up and it started to get really cold, so we were anxious to finish dinner and get moving. We left the Plaza Mayor and walked over to see the Palacio Real and the Cathedral. The cathedral had just closed for mass, so we couldn't go inside. And the Palace was closed for the day, but it was still fun to see them and we knew we would have plenty of time to tour them later.

Madrid's Cathedral - completed in 1994, which, according to Mr. Frisby, made it not as cool

The Palacio Real

Across the street from the Palace is the Plaza del Oriente which became another of my favorite spots in Madrid. We loved this plaza with its view of the Palace, pretty gardens, and super cute apartments.

Me in the Plaza del Oriente

Please note the H&M bag in my hand. I noticed very quickly that H&Ms are as plentiful in Spain as Dunkin' Donuts are in New York City (if you haven't been to NYC, they're everywhere). Miranda and I had probably gone into an H&M 4 or 5 times that day alone. And we had only been in Spain for 2 days. Anyway, that H&M bag happened to be filled with Mr. Frisby's treasures (because after realizing the sizes were not exactly the same as in the US, we had to have the boys actually try things on to figure out the right size). But, not to worry. I would later fill my own H&M goody bag in Barcelona.

Mr. Frisby in the Plaza del Oriente

Look at those cute apartment buildings. I told Mr. Frisby that if we were going to live in Madrid, it would have to be in one of those.

Next was one of my favorite activities of the trip. Before heading to Spain, I was really excited to get some Churros con Chocolate. For those of you who read my churro post from Barcelona, these were different than the churro relleno. Basically, they're little churros that you dip in hot chocolate. But, not regular hot chocolate. Tasty, rich, thick hot chocolate. So, we decided to hit up a little chocolateria recommended by our guidebook as the best place to get churros con chocolate. And, we were all the more excited given that we were freezing our butts off. So, we cracked open the guidebook and headed off to find the chocolateria.

That's me with the red backpack, looking for street signs. Notice the guidebook in my hand. And notice the man begging for money to my right. I paid him no attention as I could not be deterred from my mission of finding the tastiest churros con chocolate.

Found it! Chocolateria San Gines. I was so excited!

Just look at those tasty treats! Deliciousness. The hot chocolate was the consistency of soup and so tasty. And the churros - well they're churros. And then you dip them in the hot chocolate soup. Need I say more?

I am in heaven! I loved it so much that I made Mr. Frisby come back for Round 2 before we left Madrid.

And that was it for our first full day in Madrid. So far so good for our Spain vacation...


Kevin and Kristina said...

So jealous! You hit almost all of my favorite spots in Madrid in just this one post. Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. Makes me want to go back there to visit right now!

Trenda said...

Hey, I know that you live in California, but I thought I would pass on this info from Melissa (Vandyke) Mitchell anyway. She is planning a sister's reunion and quite a few sisters from our time in the mission will be there.

Hi Girls,

How are you all? Sorry it is taking me forever to get this thing planned! The reunion will be May 22nd, (Sat) at 5pm. Depending on how many are coming, we will either have it at my house (Midway) or possibly at the Zermatt Resort (I can only do that one if we only have 10 people, and it would be something like $8 a person :) If we have more than 10, (which would be awesome) then we will just do it here, probably dinner-I guess I'll work on that after I see who all is coming.

Trenda-you have Melissa Bohman's contact info? Could you forward this to her?

Cindy-you have Janel Holtry's contact info? Will you forward this to her?

Also-I am kind of scattered lately, so if I am forgetting someone, please let me know, or just send it to them.

My girls have a dance performance on the 22nd at 1pm, so that's why I'm doing evening-hope that works for everyone!

Please email me or reply and let me know if you will be able to attend, and then I can plan from there.

I can't wait to see you all!



Andrea said...

So is H&M a souvenir shop?

Very cool day.

Gordita said...

Those churros look amazing. Even more amazing? The hot chocolate. Oh my YUM!

Also, if you lived in Madrid, I agree that you'd have to live in one of those apartments. Beyond amazing!

The Mostess said...

I miss Europe. I know the volcanic cloud was a bummer, but if you have to be trapped somewhere...Europe isn't so bad.

Glad you made it home safely, and got some good food in along the way!

Miranda S. Murdock said...

haha oh how i miss the H&M's on every corner. such a great trip!