Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sentimental Sunday

Wanna see my vacation pictures? Most people run in the other direction when their friends pull out their vacation photos. That's the main reason I haven't posted too many from our recent trip to Spain. However, a couple of you (Anita and Gail) have asked to see more. Really? Are you sure? I took 302 pictures. Still want to see them? Since I usually post sentimental memories along with photos on Sundays (a slow blog day), I thought I would share my Spain pictures in the next few Sentimental Sunday posts. Today I'll share a few from Madrid - our homebase for the first 10 days of our trip.

This first picture is of the Prado Museum - a fabulous art museum chock full of amazing paintings by all the important Spanish artists. The museum was right across the street from our hotel! Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE art museums? Mr. and Mrs. S took us on a quick tour of the most important galleries. We saw fabulous paintings by Velasquez, Goya and El Greco. My favorite was a pair of portraits by Goya of his mistress - both in the exact same pose. One clothed and one nude. The story is that Goya kept them in his bedroom - the nude one underneath the clothed one. He was able to somehow switch them at will. For some reason I find this fascinating.

This next picture was taken in the Puerta del Sol - the public square considered to be the city center of Madrid. This statue of the Bear and The Strawberry Tree is the symbol of the city of Madrid. And a photo op for tourists. Some even climb it! LOL! I figure any girl who can wear horizontal stripes across her behind deserves to be in my family vacation photos!

The Rastro flea market has been held every Sunday in Madrid - since the 16th century! Isn't that amazing? Needless to say, Katie and Madeleine were in all their glory during our morning spent shopping in this gigantic outdoor market. (I wasn't too disappointed either). I bought a lovely tablecloth for my Dining Room table, Katie got a lovely sundress and Madeleine bought a great bohemian tote bag/pocketbook.

Believe it or not, this is the Post Office in Madrid! Not to shabby, huh?

No trip would be complete without a picture of me in front of the local library (I'm such a dork). This is the National Library in Madrid and it was a short walk from our hotel. It's a research library and we were not allowed to go inside, but we did peak inside the foyer. Pretty impressive!

The next series of pictures highlight one of our food adventures in Madrid. Geoff and I are both pretty open to new food experiences and one evening while we were at a bar enjoying one of Mr. S's favorite Spanish dishes (patatas bravas - spicy potatoes), there was a steaming octopus sitting on the counter right next to me.

Mr. S assured us that "pulpo" is actually quite good. The more he talked about it, the braver we got. Eventually, we broke down and ordered the pulpo. Guess what? It wasn't bad. It tasted like lobster! Imagine that!

No one was brave enough to eat the tentacle that still looked like a tentacle, but we did get a picture of me pretending to eat it! (Now here's an example of me being unphotogenic. But it's just so funny I had to post it).

OK, are you bored out of your mind yet with my vacation pictures? Luckily, I'm done with the pictures of Madrid. Next Sunday I'll have some from our day trips to Segovia, El Escorial and Toledo. I know you can hardly wait! LOL!


Andrea (ace1028) said...

Oh my goodness. You just gave me the hugest of flashbacks. First of all, I had no idea you were in Spain on your vacation *not that I should have known or anything like that* but I just had to add that when commenting on your great pics!!

Anyway, I went to Madrid back in 1997, and saw many of these things in person. LOVE the shots and I SO want to get back to Spain one of these days. Thanks for sharing!

Oh ... and we did a day trip to Toledo, so I'm in for the long haul when it comes to your flashbacks! ;)

Renee said...

These pics are great. I have always wanted to go to Spain. I have been watching the Mario Batali special with him and Gweneth Paltrow driving around Spain. Looks amazing there...

C said...

Wow, you guys are MUCH braver than I am! Of course that may have more to do with my seafood allergy than actual courage, but since I'm now officially thankful for my seafood allergy for giving me the perfect excuse not to eat Octopus the next time I'm in Spain, maybe it does have a little to do with a lack of courage! Looks like you guys had a ball!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Not bored at all. I want to see Spain. I think I might hang at the post office. What an incredible building.

Tammy Howard said...

What beautiful pics - keep sharing! some of us live vicariously through you!

As for the octopus - my hubs and sister would've probably fought over the tentacle. That's their favorite part of calamari and they delight in squicking me out!

Sandy said...

The photos are great! I might eventually ask to sit through all 302 but for now I'll wait for the weekly posts.

Gamma Sharon said...

Wow you are brave to eat that but it did kind of look like lobster in the picture (if you couldn't see the end). Lol
I just have to comment on how your whole family towers over you... I am a short girl too but my girls didn't get taller than me... all my nieces and nephews did and I think my grandson will too.
Looks like a wonderful vacation!

Bethany said...

Great photos! That post office is pretty awesome-- and wow, octopus, hmm? I'd probably try it...once!

Esther said...

Those are great! I like looking at other people's vacation pictures and hearing about their trips. And I'd love to go to Spain someday.


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