Thursday, December 13, 2012

Madrid: Holiday Tour Trip 1

Nicole's sister Alicia is visiting and we have a crazy Holiday Tour planned for the next few weeks. The decision to begin said tour in Madrid was made long ago in order to properly set the tone from the beginning.  Nicole and I have both been once before on a legendary excurision with Mason and Mel, but this was Alicia's first time in Spain so she didn't really know what to expect.  We had a rocky travel start and finish but everything in between was simply awesome.  I will sum up the travel pain quickly so I can move on to the good stuff: Two hour snow delay/ultimate taxi bamboozlement/plane delayed just long enough for us to miss the last train home/100 franc taxi ride at 2 am.......aaand on to Madrid....whoooo! We finally arrived at our apartment at 11 PM and after checking in we were immediately ready to begin the rock fest.  I will add that I spent the next several hours day dreaming about running into our taxi driver alone down a dark alley....anyway.....We started off the night properly with a few glasses of Spanish red wine and some meat and cheese plates (by far my favorite activity in Spain) before meeting up with my friend Sam and some of his friends at a local bar.  Sam lived in Madrid for five years and it was great hanging out with someone who really new the city. Touristy spots officially avoided! A few rum and Cokes, a lot of dance party, a delicious breakfast of churros with a cup of melted chocolate for dipping..... and the next thing we knew it was 6:30 in the morning and we were headed back to the apartment. Night one...check. Saturday during the day we covered miles by foot just exploring the city and eating and drinking in the different plazas.  The city was ridiculously crowded for this time of year as you will probably see in the pics but during the holidays it almost makes it better giving all the plazas a very festive feel. After the ladies power napped/passed out (I was not happy about this decision), we met back up with Sam and he took us to some of his favorite places. We started off with delicious gin and tonics at a jazz bar before heading to a packed food spot that served a Madrid speciality, amazing calamari sandwichs with wine in paper cups.  I couldn't stop thinking about it all night, it was so good! From there we proceeded to go to a bar that serves Minis.  What is a Mini you ask? Ironically, a Mini is a one liter plastic cup filled halfway with the alcohol of your choice and then topped off with a mixer for seven Euros.  After living in Switzerland for a while, this was so impressive to me I actually took a video of the bartender making our drinks.  We obviously did not need many of these (and probably just as obviously had one too many) before setting out to shake it till the early morn.  Night two...check. Sunday proved to be more difficult to some than others (cue the sisters taking turns deciding whether they will make it through the day evidenced by periods of silence, then the ocassional grunting noises for communication and at best stringing together sentences which, well could you call them sentences?) but we still managed to get out and see a little more of this great city.   As I said at the beginning, this trip was meant to be a tone setter.  The tone is now set to seemingly unattainable levels but we will continue to power on with aspirations to never disappoint. Thank you Madrid, next stop...Rome. 
Me and Alicia's walk to the train station.

Celebrating our first glass of Wine in Madrid.

Plaza Mayor was packed!

The picture of Nicole was taken last Saturday, the picture of me was taken in 2011.  This was our second trip to Madrid and Nicole was describing (in detail) my drunken state to Alicia. Luckily I still have the picture! 

One of our many meat plates of the weekend!
The Palace
This is actually a side of a building.
Huge X-Mas tree in Sol
Sisterly love over breakfast Sangria's and some weird "meat" stew.
There are so many delicious things on the menu....let's get the "mystery meat" stew.
Cerveceria frequented on multiple occasions in 2011.


Double mint Twins.

Sequence of Alicia's tantrum believing her lost lipstick was in Nicole's wasn't.
   day drinking/tantrum crash.

Sweet alien street performers!

Tree Hugger
Sam supervising the pour of the "Minis"
Cheers to the first round of "Minis" with Sam.
Hmmm...I wonder how long it will be before the ladies are going to want another gin and tonic?
6 AM.....Success, on our way to eat churro's with chocolate with Sam!











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