Hola - From Spain

We just passed the halfway mark of our six-week trip to Spain -- time really does fly way too fast when you're having fun. And it has been fun! There have been a lot of challenges too, but like childbirth, hopefully as we look back, all we’ll remember is the amazing experience. 

The first fortnight of our trip was in Madrid and like most of the world those two weeks there was a heat wave and each day we dealt with 90 something degree weather.   Unlike New York, it's pretty cool in the mornings before the sun really gets going and after the sun says Adios in the evenings around 9:30 -- which is why Spanish culture is about socializing late at night. Restaurants, bars and every plaza is filled with young and old alike, gathering to hang out in the relief of the cool night air.
Everything is closed from 1-4pm, when Spaniards take long leisurely lunches and siestas.

This was our first big challenge because we were still on New York time and getting up around 11am. By the time we had breakfast and got our act together to get out the door, it was lunch and siesta time. Throughout our stay, it was easy to stay up late, but managing that middle part of the day was a conundrum.  We never totally figured it out as my kids haven't taken a nap since they were in diapers, so we just adapted and did the best we could.  

I feel like a broken record as I talk about how my life feels like one big balancing act at home; and here in Spain, it's exactly the same.  In Madrid we had to balance our collective agenda to adapt to five different people and three different generations: a high energy I don't like art galleries and museums 10-year-old boy; a sassy, moody, bored, excited, sarcastic, loving, hormonal teenager; a menopausal, hot flashing, trying to please everyone Mama; an exasperated Dad desperately trying to figure out how to work and party at the same time and a culture-seeking Grandma with more energy than us all.  

With all that said, between the five of us, we saw Flamenco, went to an amusement park, visited the ancient towns of Toledo and Segovia, explored the whole city of Madrid on foot (didn't take the subway once), spent a day visiting the beautiful Retiro Park, played tennis, visited the Royal Palace of Madrid, several museums, monuments and art galleries. Admittedly Grandma was the only one who managed to get to the Prado.  The kids had checked out at that point and a visit to a water park outside of Madrid was much needed for those young spirits.

Without a doubt the highlight of our trip was eating the most amazing food -- we basically ate our way through Madrid and it was the one thing we ALL loved doing together.  

Eli and Jules in Crystal Palace, Retiro Park
Playing Charades in Retiro Park

Flamenco shoes for all sizes
The amazing Aquaduct in Segovia
Another yummy meal

Beautiful, passionate, intense flamenco dancer

Beautiful old buildings in Segovia

Roasted Garlic and baked Camembert with rosemary - delicious

Very tired after a long hot day walking around Toledo

We're now in Figueres, a small city famous for being the birthplace of Salvador Dali. Our schedule has been turned upside down yet again since we’re now getting up at 7:30am to get the kids to tennis camp. Elliott and I are both working when they're gone which is not an easy task when we’re itching to plunge in the clear Mediterranean sea in the spectacular Costa Brava beaches down the road, visit the Dali museums and sites and meander around ancient hilltop towns nearby.  We just had our first weekend here and managed to do some of that, but more in my next blog, as time is ticking and my Spain tennis Mom duties are about to begin.

I hope you're all having a fabulous summer so far and managing to tolerate this intense heat.

Much love,


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