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Hi Ladies,

I was a bit reluctant to do this, but so many of you emailed me asking to record my experiences so I decide to give it a shot.  Keep in mind that I'm not a big fan of cameras or videos, nor do I like making a fool of myself, but I figured I'm old enough and young enough to do so and have fun with it.  

So here it is- my European Vacation that I am gladly sharing with you.

Madrid Experience        

With museums, monuments, surrounding history and great scenery, one can lose themselves in the culture that wraps this city and makes a visiting experience one to remember.

Visiting Madrid for only three days was not merely enough for me to experience all that I so craved for, but it was enough to sense the flavor of this amazing city and to know that I would love to return soon.

Food

I love to eat. Spanish food is not my favorite, however, because of the variety of tapas (Small sandwiches) that are available at almost every corner, it makes it impossible for anyone to stay hungry. Eating in restaurants turned out to be an experience that my daughter and I will remember for a long time. At one of our meals after ordering several plates that were not very tasty, we decided to opt for something that we knew you can not go wrong with - mashed potatoes. What we got was something that tasted interesting, (as my daughter would say) it didn't taste like meat, chicken or fish, and it was definitely not potatoes or vegetables.  After several bites and a 10 minute conversation with a waitress that didn't speak any English, the waitress brought out her barman to explain what it is that we were eating. I almost fell of my chair as my daughter's dark olive skin turned white, when the barman casually announced: "the stomach."  

In amazement I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or run for the bathroom. The waitress apologized for mixing up our order and came back with the order of "broken potatoes," another local delicacy. After having a tiny bite Sasha and I decided to forgo dinner and go to bed full of the nights experiences.

As we walked to the plaza we heard a woman screaming at the top of her lungs as she was chasing a man, followed by five additional people. After a few minutes the man was apprehended.  He appeared to be homeless and hungry. Walking around an open-air restaurant, he grabbed fifty euros off the table where the woman was dining with her friend.

What was unusual and funny for us to witness, was when he was caught he was instructed to pull down his jeans and stay in the middle of the plaza until the police arrived. Since my Spanish is at a first grade level, I couldn't get the details of what really transpired.  I could only imagine that this was a punishment that was suppose to cause embarrassment as well as keep him from running away.    

After my husband got home late that night, I made him promise us that we would dine the next evening in one of the Italian Restaurants and reserve a table inside.

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In the morning we took the city tour, driving in the red double story bus that runs all around Madrid, and stops at every tourist place imaginable. The bus was equipped with earphones that allow you to listen and enjoy the history in eight different languages. In my opinion it is truly the best way to visit any city. While many bus tours of the same caliber in different cities of Europe operate between 8 a.m. - 8 p.m., in Madrid the red buses retire at midnight. This allows you to sleep in as well as explore the city at night.

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For me the most enjoyable experience was at the Prado Museum, followed by the botanical gardens centrally located in the heart of Madrid.

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Dinning begins extremely late, and no one besides tourists eat earlier than ten at night. Afterwards the streets are full of young lovers and teenagers boisterously letting everyone know of their presence. We strolled the streets enjoying the architecture, warm summer nights, and each other's company until early into the morning.

On the second night my husband kept his promise and took us to a fantastic Italian Restaurant. Eating pasta and drinking Sangria I enjoyed myself immensely.

After drinking three glasses of Sangria I decided to get the recipe. I swear I experienced the placebo effect as soon as I found out of the ingredients. I wasn't sure what did me in. Was it the bourbon, the gin, the liqueur, or the combination of the three with a splash of wine. I do have to warn you that the hang over the next day was not worth it. Here is the recipe, keep in mind it tastes like juice but has a numbing effect on your brain.  

This is what happens to you after one toooo many glasses of Sangria.

This is what it looks like

Try This Recipe At Your Own Risk:

Equal Amounts of the following ingredients to be mixed in a bowl:

Brandy
Vermouth
Cointreau
Red Wine
Lemonade
Gin

Add some fruits such as oranges and apples, and serve

Limit yourself to one glass

Fashion

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Every time I visit Europe I come back to the U.S. and make it a point to color coordinate my closet, and get dressed up, pretending I live in a city bursting with life, energy and culture.

It's truly a pleasure to watch women of all ages' parade the streets fashionably dressed adorned in jewelry and high heels. Custom jewelry is in, hats are out, scarves are everywhere and shoes still steal the show.

 

Now we are off to Basil Switzerland.



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