Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Plaza Mayor

We got up Thursday morning feeling like we were missing something (1 whole day) and decided to find some breakfast. Linda had the Rick Stevens guide book, I would recommend this anywhere you go- my guide book had better pictures but Linda's was much more informative and had better trivia!! So off to the Plaza Mayor, this is where all the civic and social stuff went on several hundred years ago, like executions etc. It was a complete square with several ways to get in, so we walk up and the really charming waitress snags us for her patio, it was fairly early say 9am and a little chilly, but alas no indoor restaurants in the Plaza Mayor. We are trying to order breakfast, needless to say it was nothing any of us had ever eaten for breakfast - Linda and Mom wanted to try churros (rick was wrong about this) they were cold and small, Dad and I ended up with the big roll and a huge hunk of cheese - the cheese was really good (except for all the burping about 1 hour later, 40 is not all pretty). Mostly this was our worst breakfast except the waitress was really fun and we learned how expensive breakfast can be - I think we spent about 12 euros each - for bread and cheese!!!


The buildings were really pretty - the upper floors are still apartments that people live in and the bottom floors are shops and a tourist info place with 15 minutes of free Internet.
One side was painted with pretty murals and a big clock.

I do not now who the statue is and if I did I do not remember - lots of statues to remember!!

I will have to get Ken to translate the sign.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Archeology Museum





Here we are at the Museum, like my buddy? I felt like Harry Potter! Luckily she did not ask me a riddle! This museum was neat - lots of Roman influence and some of the things they left behind.







This statue is of a very famous Spanish artist - Velazquez - one of the things we noticed was how much they revere their artists. Very Proud of them, as we should be.














This guy looked very uncomfortable, but holy!! The carving on the coffin was very detailed, I wondered how long after he was dead did they finish? Or did they start before you died and it waited for you?













Ken was fascinated by the old Roman coins, money always attracts the men. Some of the things in the cases dated before Christ. WOW!!!








This museum is where we figured out that in Spain all elevators start at 0 which is the ground floor, after that you get -1 for the basement. Most of the things in this museum was presented in Spanish with no English subtitles, most of the others had Spanish, English and Arabic.

We walked and walked on this trip. I was happy to see that I could keep up and enjoyed the buildings and fountains. I did figure out the big traffic circles, most had some sort of monument in the middle and fountains also.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The Prado








We are at the Prado - My good friend Jenny, who loves art, told me how amazing it would be, but I truly had no idea. It was almost over load, some of the paintings were so large I could not figure out how they could keep the perspective and still paint these masterpieces. Most were really old - some painted in the 1300 and 1400's. I think I am old or that some of the things my grandparents have kept were old, but these just do not compare. My favorite were painted my Murillo. These were less graphic and more loving. Most of the paintings were religious in nature, some mythology, and some portraits. This was the propaganda of the day, I wonder what they would think of People magazine and the like.






It took us about 3 hours and I am not sure we saw it all. When we left it was dark and the statue was lit up so pretty. We walked back to the metro and then found some dinner. Most restaurants do not open for dinner until 8:30pm or 9pm, we were usually ready to eat by 7pm so this did present a few problems but since I did not lose 1 lb. we must have done alright.

Sightseeing is more important than Sleep!!






We dropped off our suitcases - filled our bottles of water (yes we are cheap) and went to find something Spain like to eat. We had the most problem finding food in general - most restaurants post a menu outside of the door with prices, most are in Spanish of course, but since the euro is worth about $1.50 we were trying to be careful since we had 2 full weeks of eating to do. But finding somewhere everyone wants and deciphering the menu was at times very time consuming. This restaurant was nice, the waiter was patient, there are two prices one for inside the restaurant, and one for on the patio, we ate inside and enjoyed it. Mom and Dad ordered chicken - how can you go wrong with chicken? It was really good but it was literally 1/2 of a chicken.




Our first foray into the Metro - what a way to travel!! I became the navigator and off we went to find the Prado. I have never been on a subway and I found it to be very convenient and easy way to get around. The Metro was clean and felt very safe, we never waited more than a few minutes for a train. We got off and came up the stairs and these buildings were just so beautiful.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Madrid











We left Arizona about 10am on Tuesday the 26th and arrived in Madrid about 10am on the 27th!! We flew all night, but we slept some - especially since Ken and I got to sit together (flying standby is always exciting!!) so I was able to lean up against him to sleep. We did stop over in Philly for a few hours, but mostly we flew. Arriving in Madrid we needed to meet up with the Grubbs in the airport, since they took a different flight. We had walkie talkies to help do this but after going thru immigration (I got my first stamp in my passport) we went to get our luggage and there across the baggage claim were the Grubbs. So we gathered out 1 suitcase apiece and multiple carry-ons to find our shuttle bus. It is a good thing Ken speaks Spanish, even tho he is somewhat rusty, he was fabulous. We tried to get some Euros from the cash machine but it did not work, but Linda had some Euros left over from Italy sooo... we find the shuttle, load our stuff, and show the driver our hotel name and address, sit back and watch the crazy driving all around us plus what the driver was doing. The shuttle set us down and we walk in to this really nice hotel - Linda had been a little worried about hotels because how can you tell from the Internet? - I was impressed, until we found out this was not our hotel!! But the shuttle driver was gone with our 66 euros and we were no where close to our real hotel - so now we find 2 taxis, because with 6 people and all the luggage only 2 will do. We then take another ride across town to our real hotel.
Here is Linda at the right place!! It was a nice hotel on the 3rd floor, of course they start with 0, so it was really 4 flights of stairs or 1 really tiny elevator. The room was not really big but we had a nice bathroom (Linda and Jerry's was a little slim) and 2 twin beds. No dryers in Spain so clotheslines and scratchy towels!!
I thought this would be a good place to keep an account of our great trip to Spain. We spent 2 weeks going all over and enjoying time with my Parents and my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jerry. We left on the 26th of Feb. 2008 and came home on March 11th. My Aunt Jan and Uncle Dave Flory stayed with my kids, Grandma and the dogs, we really appreciate their willingness to let us go for 2 weeks and not worry about anything.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Karen the Copycat!

I'm Jealous - I will admit it. After getting emails from some of my favorite people about their new blogs, enjoying the updates and the photos, and peeking at some the the blogs created from my ward I thought I would give it a shot!!

Plus, who would believe the things that happen at our house or to us if it was not published?

AND... I can count this a journal writing for my posterity(sp). I am all about combining things and multi-tasking with little (I hope) work.

Here I go!!!