¡Adios Madrid!

8:30 a.m.  Today is our last day in Madrid, and we again chose to have a more lazy start to our day.  Even though we have taken a more relaxed pace to this trip (compared to what we normally do), we both have felt a bit ready for a day of doing nothing (or at least our version of nothing).

8:45 a.m.  While I stayed in my pj’s and pulled out our laptop to do some work, the hubby sweetly got suited up to brave the cold and bring us home some coffee.

enjoying views of Jardines de Sabatini while I worked

10:45 a.m.  I finally finished up the work that I needed to do, but honestly, it felt good for both of us to just be quiet and lazy this morning.  Work done, we spent a good chunk of time looking up restaurants for tonight and a place to go get a couples massage.  We weren’t planning on spending so much time looking up restaurants, but having had so many average experiences in Madrid, we felt like we needed to put in the extra effort.  And apparently we aren’t the only people having this problem.  We read a bunch of things online where people wrote, “…great food in Barcelona…can’t find traditional food in Madrid,” or “…are there any restaurants that aren’t tourist traps??”  Well, we hoped that what we had lined up for the day would prove us, and all of the other travelers, wrong.

1:00 p.m.  We left our apartment with the heading of, generally, Plaza Mayor, where we planned to collect some different food items to make a picnic lunch.

1:15 p.m.  We stopped in Quadra Panis, a little bakery that looked interesting to us.  Beyond just the typical breads, they were selling loads of different kinds of homemade crackers.  We picked up a few different varieties to try with our lunch and have for a snack on our upcoming plane ride.

1:25 p.m.  Shortly up the street, we saw some people pouring into a little storefront for La Dispensa de Carmen, a shop selling some home cooked goodies for takeaway – and that was exactly what we were looking for.  Immediately we smelled roasted chicken, and also noticed that everyone was ordering the chicken, so we figured that that was a must for our lunch.

After looking over all of our options, we decided on a half chicken, some paella, stewed beef, albondigas, and a small loaf of bread.  We took our satchel of deliciousness and headed up the street a little bit to Mercado di San Miguel, where we knew that we would be able to order some wine and enjoy our food.

As we walked into the Mercado, we noticed a little counter selling different cheeses, so we picked up a small cheese plate to add to our lunch mix.  Wine poured, food out, we were ready for our little Madrid picnic.

And it was delicious.  We both agreed that this was easily the best food we have had in Madrid; not our best in Spain, but by far our best in Madrid.

After finishing lunch, but nowhere close to finishing our bread and chicken, we debated what to do with our leftovers.  And then it hit us.  Although we had spent some time earlier in the day researching a delicious restaurant for dinner tonight, we still didn’t feel wowed by our choice.  So, it may sound silly, but to us this was the perfect solution – we packed up our chicken and bread and planned to stop back at La Dispensa de Carmen to pick up some more goodies, and cart it all home where we were fully equipped for an at home picnic in our apartment.

3:00 p.m.  We stopped back at La Dispensa de Carmen and picked up some extra stewed beef, and were also pleasantly surprised to find some fresh fried empanadillas, so we grabbed the last three.

3:20 p.m.  We swung by our apartment to drop off our food for dinner and relax a little before leaving again for our couples massage.

4:15 p.m.  Completely bundled up, and almost unrecognizable due to all of my layers (not my husband though, he looked completely normal), we left for our massage.

4:55 p.m.  We arrived at Rak Saeng and were kindly greeted and ushered into our private room to prepare for our massage.

5:00 p.m.  Total relaxation.

5:30 p.m.  Complete relaxation.

6:15 p.m.  Massages done and we were both totally and completely in relaxation heaven.  Having had many a massage in Thailand, we can both vouch that we had absolutely wonderful and traditional Thai massages (in Madrid).

6:30 p.m.  Post massage cinnamon tea, we left Rak Saeng kind of feeling like we were walking on clouds.  Our plan for our walk home was simple tonight – since we already had dinner at home, all we needed to do was pick up some fruit for the morning, a bottle of wine and a couple of ice cream bars for dessert (we’ve really fallen in love with Magnum bars in Europe).

7:15 p.m.  I found a shoe store.  The end.  (Insert roaring laughter.)  I am only joking of course, not about the shoe store part, just the the end, nights over part.  Unfortunately though, the shoes didn’t fit properly and therefore didn’t make it out the door with me. (Insert sad face here.)

8:15 p.m.  We stopped in a little supermercado and picked up some extra waters, fruits, wine and ice cream, and then we were on our way home.  (And I promise, no more stops this time.)

passing through the Christmas market at Plaza Mayor one last time

8:30 p.m.  Home, finally home.  We opened our wine, poured and toasted to our beyond amazing travels in Spain.  We heated up our dinner, and laid everything out on our bed to enjoy an “at home” picnic, all cuddled up in our jammies.

Spain, you have been beyond what either one of us could have imagined.  You wined and dined us, you dazzled us with your historic and modern sites, you impressed us with your overflowing of Christmas decorations, but most of all you gave us a beautiful backdrop to spend some time together.

¡Hasta luego España!