This is my second to last post so let’s get right into it!
Dia Once: Madrid to Las Montañas
Today we toured Estadio Santiago Bernabéu before heading to the mountains. The stadium is in downtown Madrid and is where Real Madrid plays. As an American, I don’t see many stadiums dedicated to soccer only, so this was a very special experience for me and one of my favorite things I did on the trip. The stadium was open for self-guided tours that included a panoramic view from the top, a walk through three separate rooms filled with trophies, gear and history, photo opportunities with trophies and photo-shopped-in players (I have a picture with Sergio Ramos!), a walk through the locker rooms, and a walk onto the field to sit on the benches. It was truly an amazing to walk through a stadium that houses one of the best clubs in the world.
After the tour Perla, Javier (Carmen’s padre), Javi and Coco picked me and Carmen up and we headed to their abuelo’s house in las montañas. The house was very big with a pool and a large yard. The temperature is on average 7 degrees Celsius lower in the mountains than the city (according to Perla) and this really made the house a nice escape from the heat. Their abuelo was harder to understand because of his strong accent, but he was very kind and sweet. For lunch we had a traditional flan and it was different from what I was expecting, but still very good! We swam in the pool, played cards and watched Portugal beat Croatia in the Euro Cup. For dinner we had gazpacho and A LOT of jamón (their abuelo owns a butcher/meat shop) and the cookies and Betty Crocker cake I brought for them. They loved it!
After dinner we were able to get a little wifi, and it was nice to lay down and reconnect for a little bit (Carmen and Javi didn’t have service either so we all crashed in one room to share our social media posts and what we missed out on for the half-day we didn’t have wifi). It was a nice vacation away from my vacation!
Dia Doce: Las Montañas to Madrid
Today we slept in and had churros for breakfast (they were awesome). We hung out all morning and I was able to shower, read, write, and listen to music before lunch. Lunch was one of the best meals I had while in Spain. Perla found out that paella was my favorite Spanish meal and decided to make it for me (I’m not kidding when I say she is a saint)! They let me eat almost all of the shrimp and kept feeding it to me, but of course I didn’t mind! It was sooooo good, better than the restaurant. After lunch we hung out more and packed to head back into the city for the fiesta we had with the entire Live N’ Learn group!
We showed up early and Eduardo met us at the bar, so we played cards again while we waited for everyone else to show up. Once everyone got there we had a great time! Everyone loved Javi and his dance moves (he even got me to dance) and Carmen was able to meet some of the Spanish girls she would be traveling with when she went to America later in the summer. It was so nice to see everyone again before our long trip home.
We had jamón sandwiches for dinner and just relaxed after the fiesta. We all were excited to meet Gary (Javi’s exchange student from Boston) the next day! Today was my last day of being the only American in the house!
Click on images below to enlarge and view as a slideshow.