Day 8:Year 8

We are now in our 2nd week of the journey. Day 8 was our first full day in Madrid. We changed our original plans to include a few days in Madrid to juxtapose the cosmopolitan nature of a mega city verses the rest of our trip. Madrid did not disappoint. Our hotel was square in the middle of the city center, allowing us to see a lot of different vantage points, the architecture, the shopping districts and the cultural arts/museums.

The best unplanned event was witnessing the gatherings and ultimately the march for International Women’s Day. Plus, the women of Spain were also striking on their own accord for equality in pay, among other important topics. Deb got the complete lowdown from a local female on the significance of the day. #metoo and #enoughisenough narratives were very present!

Based on news reports, it was estimated that over 1M people marched in Madrid. And over 5M marched across Spain. For perspective, Madrid’s population is ~8M. The evening march went down Gran Via - the main boulevard in front our hotel for at least 5 hours straight. We literally could not leave our hotel because the flow of people took over the entire street.

Our planned “Anthony Bourdain” showcased restaurant was not going to happen. So, we improvised and found a gem around the corner. And, as our pictures will attest…we found food everywhere we looked. Urban delights abound.

The biggest takeaway from Madrid was again the architecture, the rehabilitation of the beautiful old world buildings and the cleanliness of the city. And, yes…it rained again. Old hat for this trip.

Our hotel in Madrid
Our hotel in Madrid

A full day of curiosity took hold. We broke the pedometer and I had to take a little nappy to recover from the miles logged. It was a brisk day. We started to take the “on-and-off bus”, but realized the Women’s Day activities were causing massive traffic issues. So…you go with the flow.

Madrid > Women’s Day Strike
Madrid > Mercado de San Miguel (OMG)

This was the most incredible market experience ever. The Ferry Building in SF is pretty cool, but this place wins hands down. We could not leave. All of our senses were overwhelmed. And our stomach bulging from curious experimentation. The displays. The packaging. The tastes. OMG!

The winner of the day.  Olives with Anchovy and with Mussel.
The winner of the day. Olives with Anchovy and with Mussel.
Meanwhile in Plaza Mayor
Eight Year Reflections

Three babies - 20 months apart - living the life of parents with triplets. We received many looks of empathy as we carted (3:1 stroller/jogger), rode (now with a bike seat on one bike and a dual carriage on the other) and expanded our vehicle choice to a Suburban. The Explorer was too small.

Summer vacation to Zion National Park was one for the ages. Three kids in a stroller. Yeah. That was ambitious. We just did it. The Nike slogan became our rally cry.

Then a very fond memory of both girls getting the flu at the same time. It was horrific in the moment, like a scene out of “I Love Lucy”, when we just kept cleaning up one girl and passing the clean girl over, when the other girl would erupt. We can laugh now. But, seriously gross then!

There was also Christmas in Santa Ynez with the entire family. My mom flew in. We rented a house on a horse farm for a week. Beautiful countryside and our first real holiday with our kids and the family gathered in one place. Jack Daniels played a prominent role as we toasted the season.

Another funny moment, albeit not funny at the time, was when I went to light the gas fireplace (which obviously had not been lit in a while). Needless to say, we had a little gas explosion, throwing me across the room - eyebrows and arm hair signed. I was a bit shaken, but okay. And the famous quote, that still rings out every Christmas, was from Grandma Jerry, “The perils of Alcohol”. Not, are you okay? Are you hurt? And for the record, that incident had nothing to do with alcohol. Albeit, it did help afterward.

Madrid > Later that Evening. The March.

We found the ultimate restaurant to close out our Madrid experience. The wine pairing with steak tartare is something we would never order, but…

A tasty starter.
A tasty starter.
Steak Tartare
Steak Tartare
Outside our Front Door. They marched for 5 hours.
Outside our Front Door. They marched for 5 hours.