Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Madrido with the Kiddos

This here is the Madrid leg of our Spanish/Portuguese road trip.  Let me start by saying Madrid was especially kid friendly.  It was a great walking / stroller-friendly city.  There were well designed and well kept playgrounds stationed near or along the way to all the big sights and everyone we encountered was very kind and patient with the kids. 
The Royal Palace (Palacio Real) in Madrid is ranked third in the list of swankiest European palaces, right behind Versailles France and Schönbrunn.   These kids of ours (and I suspect most kids) don't care too much for palaces, so we didn't spend too much time there.  
Here is the symbol of the city, a bear and the Madroño tree in Puerta del Sol.



Plaza Mayor.  Now it is a great plaza to rest, play, eat and watch street performers.  Over the course of it's long life, it has played host to street markets, soccer games, bull fights and, during the Spanish Inquisition period, even public executions.   Now its a great place to get tapas, trinkets, baked goods, cured ham and churros con chocolate. 




Siesta time... sitting upright at the table, with her face in my hand.  The waiter was so great.  He got her blankets to support her hand and wanted to make her a bed made of chairs.  The waiters everywhere were especially helpful with the kids... making sure the tapas for them were out quick and even entertaining them while we ate.  Amazing.

Here is a sweet girl in a bakery at the Mercado de San Miguel passing Claudia a bag full of churros through a secret door into her bakery.  


There was really no shortage of sweets consumed on this trip.  It's really how we survive any trip.  Just through ice cream at any problem you encounter.  Sixty percent of the time it works every time.    (I'm so excited about the Anchorman sequel).


Again, I have to brag on Madrid and it's superior network of abundant, clean and cheerful playgrounds.   They made this girl so happy.





The Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid was my favorite spot.   Since 1774, it has been situated on the Paseo del Prado and under King Charles III, beautiful, rare planets were collected from all over the world and brought to this beautiful garden.




My favorite was this Agave plant that towered above all our heads, brought here from Mexico.

The skies were the bluest of the blue in Madrid. I thought this place was a cathedral until I consulted my guidebook and discovered it is a colossal museum dedicated to the  Spanish Armada.  
The children's favorite spot was the beautiful Retiro Park, another hot spot for playgrounds, but also had this beautiful lake, complete with rowboats for rent.
They sold ice cream there too.  =) 

7 comments:

  1. Wow - Madrid looks so beautiful! I have been to Spain so many times, but never Madrid, but I would love to go. And once again you have shown me that these trips can be done with little ones. How cute is Claudia falling asleep on your hand! Thanks for sharing your trip with us, Meryl, you are making me want a holiday so bad! Ha ha. X

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  2. Claudia's dresses are so beautiful (hmmm you are making me so clucky for another girl). Love the images bringing back so many good memories of my trip there.

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  3. bahahaha! that last photo made me laugh out loud. gotta love patient dads, right? also, Claudia's black and white dress! i love it! i want one for my Roo... and maybe a matching one for me too

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  4. i love claudia's little cat eye glasses - so stinking cute!

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  5. Madrid looks gooorgeous- I loved looking at all the architecture through your photos! Oh how I wish I didn't live so far away, so I can just hop on a plane and go for a week ;) And Claudia's sunglasses- amazing. Haha she's a stylish little girl!

    Also, you saying I have Audrey Hepburn's hair made my life. Haha, thank you!

    xo Marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  6. so cute! I love that the waiter brought blankets for her when she fell asleep.

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  7. Claudias hair and sunglasses! And then falling asleep in the chair! I wish Americans were as accommodating to children. I love the serious look on your husbands face in the last picture with icecream all over the place haha!

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