Friday, September 30, 2022

Adventures in Portugal & Spain

Brian and I had the wonderful blessing of being able to travel together on his latest business trip to Barcelona, Spain! We extended the trip to see a bit of Portugal and Madrid along the way, and had such an amazing time exploring a little more of Europe together. Thank you to Nannie & Grandpa for watching the kids, and thank you Amazon for encouraging us to go together! I love each and every memory we made together, and I'm excited to be able to share a lot of them with y'all! Enjoy! 

Check out all of our adventures by city!

Stop #3: Madrid, Spain

Enjoy a look into our journey!

Sunday, September 25, 2022

Our 2022 European Adventure: Stop #3: Madrid, Spain

The last leg of our journey began with a morning high speed train ride from Barcelona to Madrid.

The landscape was not quite what we had expected...

We quickly found our hotel, and it was a pleasantly surprising normal hotel room with a separate bathroom and a fun view of the party deck!

We were even given special traditional violet candies that are common in Madrid.

Brian found a beer garden in Madrid, so since we hadn't had anything other than a "small or large" beer this week, we figured we would check it out. The beer was actually not too bad, but the cheeseburger was most definitely undercooked... we decided we should stick to our regular seafood dishes for the rest of the trip!

After lunch, we decided to have some down time at the hotel pool (the only one that had one on this trip)... It was on the rooftop with a beautiful view, and we enjoyed a few hours up there both days we were in Madrid! It was nice to find a little time to relax among our busyness... 

After some relaxing pool time, we got ready to brave the very confusing subway system and make our way downtown for a traditional Flamenco dance and dinner.

The place we chose to go watch a Flamenco Dance was known for their very authentic experience. They had this say about their performance:

"Since its beginnings, Flamenco has evolved in hidden places. It is danced and sung in private, in the presence of a select group of friends, without any amplification. Often, a brick cellar would be chosen, due to its wonderful acoustics. This is the authentic, unvarnished performance that we seek to recreate: a man and a woman dancing, a singer, a guitarist, a violinist and percussion, sounds and shadows on ancient brick-lined cellar walls, all in a show lasting an hour. Welcome to Essential Flamenco."


Check out the video clip I took from our show, and experience the art of Flamenco:

After dinner, we finally found some delicious gelato that Brian had been wanting all week!

After trying to find some speakeasy bars without success on this trip, Brian found this fun cocktail bar, with a wait out the door, awesome drinks, wonderful tapas and such fun memories for the night!

The next morning, we woke up and headed straight out to see Madrid for our one full day of exploring before heading home.

We decided to spend some time in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which most notably highlights the collections of the famous Spanish artists, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. We were able to find the most famous masterpiece in the museum- Picasso's 1937 painting Guernica, which is regarded by many art critics as the most moving and powerful anti-war painting in history.


We drove by the Puerta de Toledo archway which was built in 1813...

We walked through Plaza Mayor- the grand central square in the oldest part of the city, filled with more shops & restaurants...

We experienced beautiful and interesting architecture throughout the city...


... and of course the Madrid Dr. Martens store was located and photographed to add to our collection!

We found an interesting art bookstore for Abby...

We went by to see and photograph "Sobrino de Botin", the oldest restaurant in the world, according to the Guiness book of World Records. It was founded in 1725 and is still a fully functioning restaurant today (although you have to book reservations MANY months in advance if you want to eat there)!

We found a great little restaurant outside of this stone archway, where we had wine and paella and watched people walk through the square for hours!

After our exploring in the afternoon, I think traveling finally caught up with me, and I began not feeling great, so we went back to the hotel for me to take a Covid test (which was negative). We decided to stick closeby to the hotel so we could go to bed early after packing and having some delicious sangria and tapas for dinner... 

Our adventures in Portugal, Barcelona & Madrid were amazing, but all good things must come to a close. We had a long day of travel ahead of us...

... and a not-so-surprising- surprise on our layover in Atlanta. My first positive Covid test...

... It's unfortunate that the trip ended this way, but I am so thankful that we felt well enough to enjoy all of it, and make the amazing memories that we did. I pray I didn't pass the virus on to others along the way in our travels, and so far Brian seems to have been able to stay away from it. It's been a rough & pretty sick 5 days for me so far after getting home and having to quarantine in the basement, and it's been hard just wanting to hug the family and share our adventures... We've had some sweet time masked in the backyard to share pictures on the TV and some souvenirs along the way, and I've definitely had some downtime to write down my memories and blog so I can share the joy of our adventures with everyone!

I hope everyone enjoys a glimpse into our travels, and stays healthy and safe out there until the next big adventure!

Solar Eclipse time!

How did YOU enjoy the 2024 solar eclipse?!?!?!?! We were all prepared with our approved glasses! It was hard to get a good shot this time, b...