I’m Bored Can We Go to Madrid?

I really don’t like summer travel…flights are full, airports crazy and I would much rather relax by a pool with a glass of wine.  When my kids were little I would always plan off season travel, pull them out of school for a few days and include an activity they would enjoy.  Running around the Piazza del Campo in Siena Italy, chasing the pigeons, while sipping espresso at an outdoor cafe nearby was an optimal way to spend an afternoon. The year the kids were reading The Diary of Anne Frank at school it worked out that we were able to visit Amsterdam and the Anne Frank Haus.  Then, of course, the obligatory trip to Disney.  I also plan our vacations around the flights with the most open seats, necessary when you fly standby.  The excitement back then was I was never really sure where we were going until the last minute. There was always a destination and a back up destination, often, it changes back and forth during the planning process! For me all part of the fun, however, I don’t think the kids inherited the same sense of adventure that I have.  “Can we stay home this year for school break?..sleep in, hang with friends, do nothing!”.  What? I’m crushed! Enter the teenage years when a grumpy teen could easily turn a fun family vacation into a nightmare and High School sports takes over your life. The vacations became limited and everyone had to agree on the destination… Sigh!

Mid July and it’s been a hot summer in New Jersey.  We have been to the pool (a lot), kids did their mission trip, camps are completed and I have been on vacation so now everyone has been laying around the house.  It all came full circle when my 17 year old said “I’m bored can we go to Madrid”? I played it cool said I would check on the availability of the flights meanwhile I was jumping up and down in private finally the moment I have been waiting for. Twenty-four hours later I have booked the Hotel Wellington for two nights in the residential area of Salamanca within walking distance to Retiro Park.  Madrid is not a city that I travel to often so late night research was in order. Neighborhoods, restaurants, metro system, and how to see all the sights in about 36 hours was all part of my homework!  As usual it all came together.

The residential area where the Hotel Wellington is located is beautiful, safe and a great base. The hotel has a beautiful pool, necessary in Madrid during the summer months and also when traveling with a teenager.  I could spend all day at the Prado, but its all about balance. It all worked. Metro was close by and numerous restaurants and shops all within blocks of the hotel.  The buildings are stunning and you can walk around and not feel quite like a tourist.

First a 3 hour nap and then some tapas for lunch

and a delicious goat cheese salad!

Rent a row boat and check out all the corners of the Lake in Retiro Park!

Enter the park and walk along the path and loose yourself in the beauty that awaits you.

A must for all art lovers!

Food is always on the top of my list!  Mushrooms, truffle and egg, the best dish I had in Madrid! All you need to do is wander down the side streets off Puerta del Sol.

Yes please let me live here

Plaza Mayor for people watching and drinks before dinner is a must!

Cheers to my beautiful, energetic daughter for this last minute trip to Madrid!

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