It’s become our family tradition to take a fun trip over Memorial Day weekend. Last year we went to Portugal and this year we headed up north to Madrid and Toledo, Spain. Good friends of ours, Joey and Rena, just moved to Madrid so we decided to go see their new place and tour around Madrid and Toledo for a few days. We drove up on Fri. afternoon with 4 of our other friends.
This was Tripp’s first long car ride and he did quite well. Our friend, Mike drove up with us and sat in the front with Joe so I could sit in back with Tripp. He slept on and off and we stopped twice for me to nurse him and let him stretch out of his carseat.
Tripp with his blankie and musical seahorse – he knows these things signify sleeptime and went right to sleep when I pulled them out of my bag.
Rena and Joey have a little girl, Adriana, who is 3 months older than Tripp. They love to play and coo at each other every time we see them and this weekend was no exception.
For a full photo commentary on this couple’s interaction, head over here.
This weekend was also Tripp’s first train ride and he loved looking out the window as we rode into downtown Madrid. Most military kids are well traveled and Tripp is no exception. He is happy as a clam wherever we take him, as long as there is milk and a sling involved he barely makes a fuss.
Our first full day in Madrid the weather was quite nasty, rainy and cold. The men headed out to golf about an hour outside the city so the girls took the kiddos to TGI Friday’s and IKEA. Anyone with children knows that lunch and shopping isn’t the same when you have 3 kids under 2 years old with you.
Celina and Austin, Rena and Adriana and Tripp and Me. It was a fun day but as you can imagine the mommies were exhausted from wandering the mall and IKEA all day with strollers, shopping carts and little ones in slings.
Sunday found us heading into downtown Madrid to see El Palacio Real or the Royal Palace.
This grand palace was the home to most of Spain’s kings and was the place where Spain signed themselves into the European Union in the 1980s.
Our rather large group traveling throughout Madrid. 8 adults and 3 babies!
From the Palace we headed down to Plaza Mayor, a short 15 minute walk away.
Thousands of tourists gather in the Plaza Mayor, sitting and talking, taking photos and enjoying the warm Spanish weather. We wanted to eat at a restaurant that Joey and Rena love but they were closed since it was a Sunday afternoon so we headed to a restaurant off the square called Esquininna.
Our lunch spot is just down the stairs and on the right side of the photo, with the black sign.
A typical tourist spot, the menu was overpriced and the food was nothing to write home about but I did have some delicious Pulpo de Gallega (Galcian Octopus) which was soft and seasoned perfectly.
In the Plaza Mayor there is a bar called El Torre del Oro, which is a famous bullfighter bar. The inside is lined with bull heads and photos of famous bull fighters. It was packed so we didn’t eat there but the guys did head inside for some photos.
The Plaza Mayor is littered with crazy characters posing for photos and trying to make a few Euros from the tourists. We stumbled upon a few sorry looking Pooh bears, a weird looking angel, and some scary looking human statues. Kane hit the jackpot when we spotted Spiderman.
Kane and Spiderman posed for a few photos and, more than likely, became life-long friends after their short interaction.
Tripp was such a good baby, despite the long day and overstimulation from all that we were seeing and doing. He’s a very light sleeper and cannot fall asleep in the stroller when there is a lot going on around him. Thank goodness for the baby sling so he could get a few good naps in. Here he is, having just woken up from a nap in the sling. Since I, obviously, didn’t drag his blankie along to the city I tricked him by giving him a bib to snuggle.
From Plaza Mayor, we headed to the Gran Via. The Champs Elysees of Madrid, this is the shop-lined street full of tourists, traffic and coffee shops. The Dads sat outside Starbucks with the babies for an hour while the Moms headed into a few shops for a little quiet shopping time.
After an exhausting day of walking, eating, shopping and picture taking we headed back to Joey and Rena’s on the train.
On Monday we headed to Toledo, which is 45 minutes south of Madrid. As soon as we drove into the city we knew this was going to be a fun day. Toledo is a gorgeous old Spanish town with a walled city full of quaint shops and cafes. Toledo is famed for its iron production and boasts the manufacturing of beautiful swords, many of which are used for famous movies. The guys had to shop for some swords, gladiator helmets, and spears.
The ladies found some nice pottery and jewelry in the many shops and we enjoyed lunch in the square.
Toledo also has an amazing Cathedral, which was built between 1226-1493.
We had great weather for the day, sunshine and mild temperatures. The town of Toledo is so fun to wander around, and if it wasn’t for Joey we would have easily gotten lost in the quaint side streeets.
After about 4 hours of wandering Toledo we found our way out of the walled city and headed back home to Moron de la Frontera. It was a great weekend with our friends!