Saturday, April 4, 2009
The Julie Chronicles
¡Hola! This is Julie. I’m borrowing Stephie’s blog so that I don’t have to make my own! We arrived Friday morning after a long plane ride, highlighted by no sleep and a long layover in tacky JFK airport that clearly has had little done to it since Kennedy was shot. Somewhere along the line, we lost Thursday night and flew into Spain as the sun was rising. I had a window seat, and as I looked out on the terrain, my thought was “gee, those clouds are pokey clouds” and then I realized that I was looking at mountains. Ok. Apparently, I’ve never flown over mountains. As we approached Madrid, we saw perfect squares of little green dots, which reminded me of polka-dot swiss fabric, and then realized that these were groves of olive trees. They were very cool looking. I also remarked that as you fly into Madrid, you realize that there are NO houses. None. All that you see are lots and lots of apartment houses intermingled with other buildings. Anyway, we arrived safely on the ground around 9 AM and happily greeted Stephie, who was waiting patiently for us. We then got a taxi and somehow found the one taxi in Madrid who did not have a GPS system and did not have any idea where our hotel was. We finally found it (and he graciously turned off the meter while he figured out where he was going), and checked ourselves into our home-away-from-home for the next ten days.
I had gotten a burst of energy by this time, so Stephie, Jerry and I headed out to see her school and pick up her clothes from the apartment. We found a place to eat that had great food! Apparently, Franco was this poopy, mean dictator that everyone hated, but one thing that he did was declare that the restaurants had to make a daily menu that included for one low price an entree, a drink and a dessert to save people money! So, for that alone, Franco deserves a gold star. Anyway, I got a dinner with veal, Russian potatoes, and some other good stuff, dessert and a Coke! Now, if you are a Pepsi person, you won’t like Madrid, because they serve Coke. Considering that I think that Pepsi is awful, I’m pretty dang happy that when I order a Coke, I get a Coke. PLUS, it’s served in a bottle! I was so happy. It took me back to when I was a little girl and would go to the mill on a Saturday morning, and have Daddy pull out a Coke from his machine. Jerry and I decided that something happens to the taste when it is canned. They serve it cold in the bottle with a tall glass of ice and a lemon slice. Delicious!! Then, a yummy dessert! The downside is that you are pretty dang stuffed, and you really don’t need that dessert, but you’ve paid for it, so you feel obliged to eat it. Plus, you walk it off hoofing it everywhere. So, it’s like not even eating dessert, calorie-wise.
Today, the three of us headed to Plaza Major, the Royal Palace and other cool places. We shopped and just generally wandered around. Another wonderful meal, which we all three got Paella and then the second course was a leg of lamb, followed by flan for dessert. All for about $15 each. A country that loves carbohydrates, lamb and dessert! And the pastries!! Clearly, my goal of returning to Metamora fatter and more broke is coming true!
I wish that you were all here with us enjoying this trip, but since you aren’t, I’ll eat a pastry for each of you! Stephie will write more soon. Adios!