Tuesday, February 25, 2014

When NOT to go to Madrid

As usual, I'm behind. No surprise there. In early December, I went away on a long weekend to Madrid. It was a great idea to go to Spain in the winter as the days were sunny and lovely and overnight it was nice and chilly to make you sit inside and enjoy tapas and beer. Unfortunately, we chose to go to Madrid on a big national holiday. I think it was 'everyone walk around in the streets aimlessly day'.

I honestly felt like I had just left Michigan stadium and 100,000 people were heading on to the streets at the end of a game. People were everywhere.

And I mean, everywhere. As far down the street you could see they were just packed. And there wasn't even a parade!!

Needless to say, we struggled to escape to somewhere quieter!

However, we did find a nice park near the hotel with lots of statues and a little breathing room.

I had to get my picture taken in front of Don Quixote. Look how teeny tiny I look!

Loved the entrance to this house/business. The wrought iron gates, the greenery and if you look closely....

Big elephant heads! I found it strange to see this in Spain, I would have expected it in India.

We also visited the Egyptian monuments that were plundered during one of the wars and carted over to Madrid.

A visit to one of the oldest mosques in Europe.

All this walking tired Neil out. We found a nice sun trap to have a beer.

I, on the other hand, kept searching for meat. Loving the imberico ham. So so so delicious and shaved off and served in minutes.

Another day found us wondering the park. The sun had everyone thinking it was spring. Notice the people in the boats and enjoying sitting on the steps? Considering the Spanish economy, they are quite good at resting.

Neil and I competed for who could eat the most churros. Fried goodness and chocolate sauce?
I believe I won.

Monday, February 3, 2014

More Famous People and A Sports Show

When I was at the event in the last post (the cycling charity dinner), I won at an auction a trip to watch the BT Sport short hosted by Claire Balding. I think she is pretty cool after seeing her commentate at the Olympics, and then read her book, I became a giant stalker fan. Well, maybe just a fan. So I jumped at the chance to meet her.

We went to the studio and got a tour of the set and the green room before the show started taping. We were part of the studio audience and you could see and hear us on tv. Well, only because Johannah screamed 'Go Luton!'

We also got to enjoy the green room. Here Janice and I take advantage of the free food and drink and try out the telephone booth sofa.

We got to meet all the guests - here we are pictured with David James - former England goal keeper. I wisely did not mention when England tied the United States in the last World Cup. Imagine me being good for a change...... The other guests were boxer Marvelous Marvin Haggler and tennis legend Ilie Nastase. It was quite good fun.

And finally, we got to meet Claire. She was great fun and very personable. I highly recommend watching her show and reading her book!