Technically, this was not an organized reunion, at minimum we were lacking the colored shirts, but it has been rather difficult getting all of us in the same place for some time, so I am going to call it a reunion.
My parents and Andrew both separately started their journeys to Madrid on Friday May 24th and arrived mid morning on the 25th. I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from the start, but they did not fly into the same terminal (1 and 4) and my parents flight was late. So by the time we went to 1 to pick Andrew up he was nowhere to be found. We ran around for about an hour and then called off the search hoping that he was smart and could figure out how to get to my apartment. Fortunately, the little one has street smarts and within an half an hour of our arrival at my apartment he magically appeared outside.
Everyone changed their clothes and then we went to the local grocery store to get all of the goodies for a picnic in the park. It was the perfect way to introduce Madrid, which is more about the feeling and enjoying being outside and in the streets than running through all of the monuments.
We headed back to check Mom and Dad into their first hotel and then went to the Prado. Regardless if you spend all day at the Prado, you will never see the whole collection. I have been countless times and still there is always something new for me to see. And so I figured we could start the discovery of the Prado, see a few works, and when they return we can go back and see the rest of the art that interests them – either there or at the other main museums. Maybe I am cheap, but I love free hours at the museum. I think that you retain more of what you see in two hours then having spent many and well if you can see famous art for free, why not??
From here we started a little walking tour led by me to try to help them discover the city. We walked up past Santa Ana and into Sol. This gave me the opportunity to pass on much of the information that I had learned from my excursion two days prior. We stopped at San Miguel a famous Market and Dad and I shared oysters. I think if I remember correctly the other two were overwhelmed by all of the options… Then we traveled to the caves to rest our feet and get a drink before we started dinner. If you search online you will see them listed on every tour guide as a must see of Madrid. They used to be a local hotspot right underneath the Plaza Mayor; however, now they are more known for tourists occupying their tables. After one drink we met up with my roommates Thomas and Daniela and started a little tapas journey through Cava Baja, which happens to be around the corner from my first apartment and also a street where the best tapas in Madrid can be found. We had fun going to multiple different locations before heading home to rest.
It was a very busy first day, which I will take full credit for, but I was so excited to have people visiting and I knew we were leaving the next morning for Porto and think that I just wanted to make sure they got a full feeling of my city before they left. Fortunately, the next time they come, we can visit with a much calmer attitude.