Guest Blogger: LuAnn
We left the house on Thursday, December 31, armed with a large umbrella borrowed from Gregorio in hopes of keeping the rain away. It was windy and blustery, but no rain for most of the day. Our first stop was Retiro Park, a large, grassy park where Rebecca plays frisbee when the weather is warmer. We saw the Puerta de Alcal--a very famous landmark in Madrid. Then we had a pastry "lunch" in a small cafe.
We rode the metro to Sol--a repeat visit to see things we didn't see the first time, like "el oso y el madroño," a bear statue in Puerta del Sol. It, too, is a famous landmark in Madrid. We hit the souvenir shops. Bernice found some Madrid dolls for her friend June. I picked up a few things and more post cards.
Then we went to Plaza Mayor. There is a "Plaza Mayor" in every town. In Madrid, there is a statue in the middle and various shops around it. We saw various characters, too. My favorite one was the fat Spiderman. There is definitely an American influence here.
We returned to Palacio Real to see the view of the mountains, as it was foggy the first time. We kept walking and saw Plaza de Espana and Gran Via. We looked in more shops. The people were beginning to look as if New Year's Eve was approaching. They were wearing colorful wigs and hats in preparation for the big party in Sol that night. Shops were beginning to close down, too, so we headed for home.
We stopped at the Corte Ingles Supermarcado to buy some ingredients for Rebecca' tortilla espanola. We were also looking for a few items needed to bake a cake from scratch. We found everything except vanilla! What's the matter with these people? Where was the baking aisle? I guess that people buy everything at the delicious bakeries instead of baking themselves. It was a madhouse at the store, as it was late and everyone was heading home from work before New Year's Eve celebrations.
When we did make it home, Rebecca cooked a delicious supper of tortilla espanola and cooked carrots. We were afraid to eat too much, though, because Gregorio informed us that he was cooking for us to eat again later!! We watched most of the movie Rebecca, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Just as the movie was nearing its end, Gregorio brought out a leg of lamb, potatoes, onions, and salad. Pause the video and dig in for more!
As midnight approached Gregorio brought us each a glass of twelve grapes. You're supposed to eat one grape each time the clock gongs on the TV, so we found the local station and watched the action live at Sol. There were tons of people and lots of fireworks which we could hear on TV and here at the apartment. We toasted with champaign and wished each other "Happy New Year!" I will certainly remember New Year's Eve 2010!