Wave #2

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Jul 04, 2008

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Where I stayed

Flag of Spain and Canary Islands  , Madrid,
Saturday, June 14, 2008

My flight unfortunately was late coming into Madrid, but I knew that in advance. AirFrance was nice enough to call me before the flight to tell me that due to mechanical issues, they will be late.  However, because I delayed going to the airport, I actually was given the last boarding pass to the plane and thus was not able to select my seat.  Since the aircraft changed, they were not able to keep all the previous seats that I had chosen. That made things worse because I was stuck in the absolute middle and thus was not able to get any sleep during the flight and my body ached. Anyway, my mom waited an extra hour for me at the hotel because she did not know the extent of the delay. But when I got in she was elated and it was about six months since we last saw each other. However, she did not see me right away because I was wearing a trilby and a suitcoat and did not recognize me. I appeared just like all the other guests that were coming to the hotel, I guess.

We took that time right afterward to go shopping, one of our favorite pasttimes. She wanted to take advantage of the rebates and sales that were going on at the moment, and I wanted to take advantage of her hospitality and generosity. She was able to go to Zara, her favorite store and get some sale items. We also got an amazing coffee chocolate cheese cake and some sorbetes y helados. It was nice to go back to Madrid and just fall back right into the language. And my mom and aunt were completely happy to let me do the talking and get us along on our way. Even though I don't speak French, I'm still the de-facto translator for the group.

For dinner, we decided to go to Plaza Mayor and get some nice tapas.  We had some calamares, croquetas y paella.  It was nice to sit at the plaza and just watch all the people nearby and listen to the music of the buskers. After dinner, we only took two steps when the Chinese masseuses came up to us and guided us to their chairs in the plaza for their street-side massages.  We all took advantage of their business because we had done so much walking during the day.

So far in Madrid, everything's been lovely and the exchange rate is poor, but the prices in Spain are fair. It's been lovely to be back in Madrid for the fourth time and it was great to show my family around town. Soon when we go to Paris, we'll be a part of the bigger group because the third wave will come in. It was good to just be only three people in the travelling.
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