Monday, June 17, 2013

The Amazing Spain Adventures-Madrid

Grandma, Papa, Jake, David, Ben and Rachel with our BIG van.
We spent Saturday traveling and then celebrated Father's Day by eating in the world's oldest restaurant, Botin,(as deemed by the Guinness Book of World's Records) located in Madrid, Spain.

We feasted on suckling pig, baby lamb and chicken fricassee.  Delicious.  The caramel and chocolate ice creams were fabulous, too.  

We toured the Royal Palace, not all 2500 rooms, but A LOT of them.  Jake decided he'd like to be invited to a gala event there....who knew Jake likes galas?

And then we checked something off David's bucket list:  attend a bullfight.  It was interesting and unusual and quite formulaic once you got over the initial shock and horror of the bloody bull.  The bullfighters do have their own style and flair but the "fight" is conducted in three "acts" each time and you start to be able to anticipate the moves.  I am sure it will never be popular in the United States, but the history of it and the tradition make it a fascinating event if you're here for one.  Ben was much more upset about the cigarette and cigar smokers surrounding him than the blood and Rachel is still not too sure she likes that event.  I will certainly always remember it.

What's the deal with the hot pink socks on all the matadors?  I'll have to find out the significance.

 All in all, it was a whirlwind of a day to start our adventures.  Day two, we were able to visit the Stadium Bernabeu, home to the professional soccer team, Real Madrid, before we left the city.  It was a cool tour and one Ben will always remember.  Hopefully, he will appreciate us all taking it in to honor him.  We like soccer, but we LOVE Ben. 

On the pitch where the players sit.
We are on to another city and more adventures....until tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The "Future" is Coming

You know the first time in December when you buy milk and the "use by" date is after Christmas and it gives you a little fright?  You think, "That's just around the corner.  I better get moving."  Well, today I had a frightening moment. 

 I went to make some frozen fish for dinner and the "use by" date said June 10, 2014.  It occurred to me that Jake will have graduated from high school by that time!  Holy smokes.  I know it's not milk and it's more than a year away but it shook me up a bit nonetheless.  "That's just around the corner and there's A LOT to be done between now and then..."

What lessons do I need to teach before then?  What values have I missed imparting?  Will he know where to turn when things are complicated?  Will I know how to help an "adult"?  Almost scarier than a room full of unwrapped presents in the middle of December...

Just my thoughts this cold January the thought that I need to find some vegetables to serve with these fish and chips.