Wednesday, July 11, 2012


First, I need to warn you, this is a very long post, so get a cup of coffee and get "comfy". LOL
I hope you don't find my post too boring.

As you all know, I just got back from Spain a couple of weeks ago.
This is a trip that was very long overdue for me and was not meant as a vacation.
My primary goal was to visit my family, especially my elderly parents, 
that have been having some serious health issues lately.

My husband and I have been wanting to make this trip together for a while now, but trying to schedule such a big trip between work, kids and just life, has not been easy, so my husband convinced me, it was time for me to just take this trip by myself and not wait any longer to see my parents.

I left home on June 12th and as I sat inside the plane on the runway still here in San Antonio, on my way to Atlanta, where I was supposed to catch my connecting flight to Europe, I had huge second thoughts about the whole thing! LOL

I couldn't believe I was about to go across the world by myself!
Oh, boy! Thank Goodness, the plane started moving as I had those thoughts or I think I would of run back out into the terminal!!! LOL That was a really scary moment! LOL

My layover in Atlanta went very well, the airport is just a little overwhelming, to say the least, but I have to say that everybody that I talked to while I was there were so nice, friendly and helpful. 
That sure was a plus while I waited for four hours to catch my next flight.

I arrived in my beloved Madrid the next morning at 8:30 AM

Oh, the feeling when that plane touched down! 
I was finally home!
Did I cry? You know I did! But mostly from exhaustion! LOL

This is the city where I was born and raised by two wonderful parents,
the place where I grew up.
The city where I met and married my husband.
So many good times and memories.
Being back after so long was all a little overwhelming!

Nothing has changed. 
It is just as beautiful as it has always been.
A little more crowed, I would say!









After I had been there for a few days, my brothers and sister-in-law, took me out
for a little evening stroll through the city and out to dinner.

This has been a very special time for us, because the last time we were 
all three together was 11 years ago. 
Although we talk on the phone and Skype all the time, it is just not the same.

Spending time with them was extremely special to me!
My parents live in the suburbs of Madrid, so here we are
waiting to take the train to go into the city. 

Madrid has one of the best Subway systems in the world.
You can travel from one corner of the city to the other just by changing subway lines.
It is one of the most used methods of transportation. 
So, we took the subway!



As we got into the city, we just walked the streets.
I was like a little kid in a candy store. Every building is so beautiful.
The stores are just gorgeous. So much history and culture!

I used to run through these streets as a teenager to go meet my friends for a Saturday night movie. 
I never paid any attention to the buildings.....



We just happened to be close by to where one of my brothers works, so he took me to show me the building and the surrounding area. Lots of history behind this building. 
In the old times, this building was used as stables to house the horses that belonged to the police department. 

 Look at that entrance!
 When the city remodeled the whole building to convert it into office space, they kept the big doors and all the original outside structure.

 Did you notice the street lamps?
They were huge and gorgeous!
I told my brother a pair of those would look beautiful outside my home! LOL
He said he could already see me on the airplane holding one on my lap! He knows me well! LOL

And you can find them all over the city.


After, we took a stroll by the Plaza Mayor, one of the most visited places in Madrid.
The origins of the Plaza go back to 1576, but, the Plaza Mayor as we know it today,was not finished until 1790. 

The Plaza Mayor is surrounded by three-story residential buildings( yes, people actually live in those homes today) having 237 balconies facing the Plaza.


Right behind the Plaza, we visited the
Mercado de San Miguel.
It is one of the older markets in the city and it was built in 1916. 
Although some upgrades have been made to the interior, the outside of the building is pretty much the same as it was 96 years ago.

The food stands inside were so gorgeous, I just had to take pictures of everything. Look at the fruit stand!

Had to take pictures of the cherries!
Somebody had to spent a lot of time on this display!

Every kind of legume you can think off.

Freshly made potato chips.

Every kind of olive you may want.

Oooh! And the bakery was amazing!

After all that was said and done, we stopped at a street just like this one for a late dinner.
The sun doesn't go down in Spain this time of the year until 11:00 PM, so the streets stay full of people 
until very late at night.

They say Madrid is the city that never sleeps and I think that pretty much says it all.
The picture I took of the place we ate at came out very blurry, so I am posting another one so you can see how Spaniards like to spend their summer evenings. 


I hope you enjoyed this little tour of my hometown.
 I am trying to go through the rest of the pictures and put together a very special part 2 post of my trip, a train ride I took through Estremadura, on my way to meet a very special little angel.  
You'll see what I mean when I post the pictures.

Thank you all for stopping by!


  1. What a wonderful trip this must have been for you, Mariaelena. The pictures you took are simply beautiful! The architecture is amazing. Thank you for sharing with us!

  2. Madrid is so beautiful, Mariaelena! I'm really sorry we didn't get to see Madrid when we were there, but Seville was very pretty, too! The Mercado was a wonderful place. So glad you had such a wonderful time.

  3. What a wonderful trip and a wonderful post here. Your town is beautiful and 12 years is a long time away. Skyping and talking are just not the same as face-to-face. I can't wait to see your special little angel. Hope you are caught up on your rest- xo Diana

  4. The architecture is beautiful in Madrid. And the food stands in the market are to die for. Thanks for taking us on the tour.

  5. Madrid is stunningly beautiful! I have never been, but looking at your post I see I have been missing out. The food shops look very impressive, traditional shops at their best. How long must it have taken someone to arrange those cherries?! The last picture, with everyone sitting outside eating, is my favourite way to spend an evening. I'm so glad you had a good time, it must have been brilliant seeing your family again after such a long time. I can't wait for your next post, after you have done the hoovering, of course!!!

  6. No wonder you miss your native Spain so much; Madrid is just incredibly beautiful. Your photos of the architecture and city life are amazing! I loved your tour!

  7. It reminds me so much about Italy! Everytime I go back I look at every building in "awe", as if I had never looked at it before. What a special time you had!

  8. Maria, you made me feel as if you were the tour guide and you were! I felt as if I had been there with you. It is gorgeous and I'm sure your family was as thrilled to see you as you were to see them. Thanks for sharing....Madrid is on my bucket list now for sure!

  9. Without a doubt, the best place to see a bullfight! It can be gory though. Incredible photos btw!

  10. What a wonderful post! I would so love to travel there some day! The home made potato chips really got my attention...I've never seen them for sale like that! I'm enjoying your blog! Can't wait to look around some more! Enjoy your weekend!

  11. Maria Elena, this post is wonderful! I really feel like I was right there with you. I would have been just as frightened to go that far alone, but you look so happy with your brothers, I'm sure it was worth it. The three of you look so much alike! I had to show the photos of the fruit to my husband. Everything is so beautifully presented. I have never been to Spain, but certainly hope to one day! Thanks so much for sharing this with us, and I can't wait to see Part 2!

  12. Maria, that was a lovely tour yet the best part was seeing Marta. What a beauty! I'm so happy that you had a wonderful visit with your family. Thank you for the great pictures :)

  13. Maria, thank you for the wonderful pictures. Marta is a beauty! What great memories you made with your family :)

  14. This is a fabulous post I love all the pics. Spain is so beautiful, My husband and I plan to return for another visit next summer.Looks like a fun time is being had by all.

  15. Nice photos, it makes me want to head down to Lavapies right now.

  16. WOW the pictures looks great! I have also heard that people say the subway system is very good of Spain.

  17. What a wonderful trip home you had! Madrid is so beautiful -I would love to visit one day and see all these sights. I never knew Madrid had an extensive subway system! I know I'd also love the food there. It was nice to visit you today through "Oh the Palces I've Been"!

  18. Oh my goodness, so many awesome photographs! I can understand why this was such an emotional and amazing trip.

    Great to have you be a part of "Oh, the PLACES I have been!"

    - The Tablescaper


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