Monday, June 16, 2014


View of the Madrid Cathedral from the main royal palace.

Five year anniversaries are a little bit of a deal, right?  Especially when they include three trans-Atlantic moves, one degree a piece, one charming baby, and another on the way.

Thanks to some thoughtful planning on Lance's part, we celebrated by heading to Madrid last weekend. 

Lance travels to Madrid quite frequently for work, but has never stayed long enough to enjoy much than the small radius from his hotel room to his office.  I had never been.  So we tacked on a little getaway onto a day of meetings for Lance.  The result was discovering a new city (for me) and actually being able to enjoy a more familiar city for Lance.

I was pleasantly surprised by Madrid - beautiful town much less squeezed than other European cities, wonderful food (and no chain restaurants - not one!), remnants of an Arabic influence, beautiful people, world-class parks, museums, and sights, and lots of sunshine.  I'm convinced Madrid is much  under-rated and rivals even Paris for its beauty and sense of style, certainly exceeding Paris for its friendliness.  Spanish culture is a proud one, but they don't pretend not to know English.

Special thanks to the Colvins for expanding their brood to four for the weekend - looking forward to returning the favor!

Madrid's Cathedral, Spain's largest church

I thought the ceiling the most spectacular part

Palace from the outside - no pics permitted inside.  I saw the palace and cathedral while Lance worked before shopping for
Spanish baby clothes (Romany old-style from Gocco is a new favorite in baby fashion) and doing a bit of work myself.

View of the surrounding Madrid countryside from the palace courtyard.

Saturday morning we took a jaunt in Madrid's equivalent to Central Park.  The church pictured here is quite typical for
Madrid churches - Arabic influences are clear.

Beautifully-manicured pleasure gardens within the bigger garden
And peacocks - maybe a dozen of them! - inside the pleasure garden.  I'm definitely looking pregnant here.  Five and a half months and counting.
We stumbled on a small choir of Mormon missionaries.

Our entire weekend was serenaded by musicians of all types along the way.

Most children are dressed to the nines for every day.

Taking a short break after visiting the Prado. 
Loved seeing Al Greco's library there and that it looks like I have a double chin in this photo!

Every shop in London should have this.  Someone could make a killing!

It was amazing to be there just the two of us, but w missed this little dude.  Here is at church with
Dolly, who is a regular attendee at our congregation.

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