This summer we spent some time in Spain and the kids fell in love with the history and heritage of my dad’s family. Speaking Spanish at home has become a priority as the kids grow older. As we contemplated what to do over the MLK holiday the kids quickly decided that they wanted to explore Madrid.
Our first day was rainy and as many old cities – pouring rain and poor drainage are not conducive walking (but we did it anyway). Tapas for lunch at Estado Puro from Chef Paco Roncero (the same guy who runs the most expensive restaurant in the world), a walk to Plaza Mayor and into Mercado San Miguel (where we got a top notch glass of Rioja for €3.50!!), Belinda’s Spanish tradition of a shopping trip at Zara, and then just trying to stay awake for Spanish dinner times! Belinda passed out waiting for the restaurants to open for dinner at 8:30…and by the end of dinner, Fern was about asleep with her at the table! We stayed at my all time favorite Westin Palace Hotel at one of the oldest hotels in Spain, opened in 1912. Supposedly, the corridors are haunted by the ghost of Mata Hari, who was executed in this hotel during WWI.
On day two we steeped the kids in Spanish history, tradition, and culture (which is, essentially, half their culture). We started our day at the Palacio Real (the Royal Palace), the King’s official residence. They didn’t allow many photos, but let me say that the Spanish royals don’t disappoint. It was beautiful and beat all the English/Irish palaces we’ve toured. Then, we happened into mass at the Almudeña Cathedral accidentally. Had lunch at Mercado San Miguel. We ended our day with an amazing flamenco show at Corral de la Morería.
Our last day in Madrid. We visited the Museo del Prado to see the works of Goya and many other masters. After, we spent time in Buen Retiro Park, and visited the Crystal Palace. Had some tapas at La Entretenida (the kids even ate the grilled octopus!). Walked to a late dinner (nothing opens for dinner until 8:00 or later) at Ten con Ten which unbeknown to us it’s the place to be seen in Madrid and the hostess was a bit surprised of us bring our kids.
Overall we had a wonderful trip, and are all looking forward to coming back to Spain very soon!