Busy Bee

4 Apr

Last week was a tough one but I was grateful that I was able to stay busy, really busy in fact.  On Wednesday, I had lunch with a sweet Carleton friend at Vips and on Thursday I took three trains across the city to meet Santi at his office for lunch (we ate at Lateral and I think I could eat their Berenjenas every single day for the rest of my life–seriously).  Friday afternoon we took advantage of the gorgeous weather and enjoyed a picnic and a lazy, long walk through Chamberí

I bravely ventured into a corner of Madrid I had never been for a lunch date on Thursday.

I also spent time with the three beans–I thought that Inés was looking especially adorable on Saturday morning so I snapped a few photos of her while her brother was at rugby practice and her sister at painting class.

Inésita on Saturday morning.

And completely engrossed by the television.

On Saturday we took a day trip to the Sierra.  We stopped for lunch at La Petit Raclette in Navacerrada (the restaurant resembles a cozy little cabin).  We ordered tomato and mozzarella salad and fondue with baked potatoes and jamón serrano–and it was the best food I have tasted in a long, long time.

The dam at Navacerrada looked enough like a lake to make me homesick for Minneapolis.

Me, all bundled up on our walk before lunch.

After lunch we drove to San Lorenzo del Escorial.

El Escorial.

The palace and the pond (that is filled with fat gold fish)!

Another photo of the royal residence.

Me, enjoying our visit of the summer palace.

I liked the neatly manicured hedges.

Me, posing in one of the courtyards.

Santi, climbing around in one of the niches that line the courtyard.

The countryside below the estate.

After participating in a bit of tourism–strolling through the beautiful gardens outside the palace–we stopped for Cokes at a small cafe before heading back to the city.

Two sodas and one super mobile.

Santi pulled over so I could snap a final photo of San Lorenzo.

And on Sunday morning I crawled out of bed at 8 o’clock and trotted down to Retiro to meet my running club at the start of the Madrid Half Marathon.  I fulfilled my goal and completed my first half marathon abroad!  I spent the rest of the rainy day curled up in bed napping, watching trashy television, and eating McDonald’s hamburgers and french fries (I had just run 20 kilometers so I reasoned that I could indulge myself).

16,000 runners at the start of Sunday's race.

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