|The Senior Nomads outside our airbnb apartment in Madrid|
|The Blogger Breakfast of Champions. Churros and dipping chocolate!|
Last spring we spent two weeks in Barcelona and we couldn't get enough of that city. It inspired us to explore more of Spain and hopefully stay ahead of the winter weather. Mission accomplished.
After Bilboa our next stop was Madrid. A rather jarring transition from the gentility of Bilbao to this sprawling metropolis. We were back in the land of snarled traffic and graffiti. But also towering cathedrals, elaborate municipal buildings, imposing royal residences, huge parks, and magnificent fountains. And lots of very, very important men (and one queen) sculpted in bronze. Most were astride rearing stallions because if you gained statue-status, your effigy should and would be on the revered caballo. If you were particularly worthy, you would be center-stage, at the pinnacle of a large fountain overlooking a congested round-about.
|One of hundreds of important Spaniards astride their trusty stallions|
|Best host award goes to Enrique. He's also a talented photographer.|
|What graffiti? I don't see any graffiti.|
|Yes. This is a human being somehow suspended for hours above his bike.|
|My new 'Papa' Alasandro at his jamon stall|
|Just one corner of the Barcelo Market|
But then Divine intervention came in to play. I had a question that needed translation at a fruit and vegetable stall and the nicest young man offered to help. His English was very good, and as usual we got into a rapid discussion about Madrid, the economy, Spanish politics, etc.
It turned out that Andres was very familiar with Seattle because he spent his junior year of high school as a foreign exchange student in Shelton, Washington. Really? Odd but true. He went on to University in Madrid to study nuclear engineering - but his momories of the Pike Place Market never left him. His heart now belongs to his family produce distribution business - which turns out is the largest in Spain. As a labor of love, he owns the stall where met.
Eventually, the topic of Thanksgiving came up. His wife spent 15 of her formative years in St. Louis with her parents who were teaching Spanish and other courses at the University there. When they moved back to Madrid they brought Thanksgiving with them. Apparently Andres Mother-in-law lays out a full feast. Without even a hesitation I invited ourselves over for dinner. I would bring as many side dishes and beverages as I could carry! He only blinked for a few minutes before saying - sure, isn't that the spirit of Thanksgiving?! I was giddy and already thumbing through recipes in my mind.
|Sad to miss son Christopher's first Thanksgiving turkey. Looks like I trained him well!|
And NEW to these Senior Nomads postings are Michael's Football adventures. He's attended several matches so far including two in Madrid, so follow that ball!
|Michael has made some great connections at football matches. Here's Pablo!|
|Madrid getting dressed up for the holidays!|
Debbie and Michael