|Our trip to Spain - May, 2002|
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In celebration of our ten year anniversary...
Pre TripMay 2, 2002
We flew from Greenville, SC back to Dallas on a puddle jumper first thing in the morning and then, after a brief lay over, flew on to Miami, where we had a six hour lay over. So we rented a car and drove over to Miami Beach for the afternoon. We had lunch on the strip and enjoyed the warm temperatures...had we only known.
We caught AA flight 002 at 7pm that night and settled right in to our clipper class seats - the ones that fold nearly all the way down to sleep. Paula really like the personal video players they handed out and she must have watched three movies back to back, only stopping to have some dinner and drink some champagne! We both slept some on the flight over, which is saying a lot and we were fairly fresh when we landed in Madrid the next morning.
Madrid, SpainMay 3, 2002
They say good things come to those that wait, so we were expecting a pretty good thing when we finally found our hotel, after a 30 minute drive from the airport and nearly 2 hours of searching the general area for the hotel - which was tucked into a funky side street, not listed on the map. We parked and then began the check in process - it was Sunday morning in Madrid - and Clayton forgot the vouchers for ALL of the hotels we were to stay at - ALL of them. (emits Homer like Doh!) I did bring our itinerary, which listed all the hotels we were staying at and showed that we had paid. And, luckily, the travel agency uses the hotel all the time and were expecting us.
After freshening up we set out for a walk of the town and ended up walking all the way to the Prado museum, which opened in 1819. The Prado, is a huge museum, not mean to be walked in a single day. The Prado has quite a collection of paintings from both Spanish painters as well as many others such as Italian, Flemish, Dutch, German, and French. King Charles III approved the project for the Natural History Museum in 1785 and the construction began shortly afterwards. 45 years later, after war and endless delay the Prado was finished, it served as another museum, barracks, and other uses over the years until it was finished. Even more enjoyed than the Museo de Prado, was the Museo del Jamon across the main road from the Prado. This was Paula's favorite place of the day, the shop was basically a deli focused on ham and cheeses, serving coffee and beer and wine. They had Spanish hams hanging everywhere you could see - the walls were covered as were the ceiling. A simple ham sandwich never tasted so good.
Later that night we went out for dinner, tapas, and visited three or four places in a part of town that was pretty shut down during the day. We tried all sorts of different treats, including Pulpo (octopus) and other tapas. On the way back home that night we were stopped by some enterprising individuals that wanted to separate us from our money, showed us a badge, asked for our passport, etc. After flashing my 11-99 license holder, they ran off very quickly and we laughed heartily, until we realized we were nearly ripped off. We were happy to get on the road out of town the next morning.
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