Two train tickets to Paris......50 euros
Boutique hotel in trendy Paris neighborhood.......200 euros
Waking up knowing you can eat Parisian pastries for breakfast........priceless!

We spent Friday and Saturday in Paris -----  It is the land of the fashionable, beautiful people.  Oh yes, and women with the skinniest legs in the world!  I seriously think my calf is bigger than most of their thighs.  Oh well, pass that pastry anyway!

The weather was unseasonable warm in Paris with sunny skies.  We visited the Orangerie museum ( and ate at several good restaurants. 
Unfortunately we do not have any photos because of the malfunction that occurred in Madrid......someone had too many Sangrias and tried to download the photos from the day (which included the Paris photos),
but she deleted them instead.  Yes, the Paris photos and one
day of Madrid - deleted!    She was oh so happy, yet oh so sad.


We arrived home late Saturday night from Paris and turned around Sunday morning for an early flight out to Madrid, Spain.  Donald was in business, me slumming in the back of the plane.  He was the ONLY one in the first 6 rows.  And they would NOT let me sit with him.  Nor would they let D switch with the man next to me.  But hey, my ticket was only $10!  He was very sweet and shared his breakfast with me ( I did not get any food). 

This is our hotel, Room Mate Laura. 
It was very large (especially for a city) with two bathrooms.  One was up the stairs on the 2nd floor in a glass cube.  The head board was quite unique.  It had a cool lobby as well. 
Cool things about Madrid:

* it is the capital of Spain
* the city never sleeps
* people are very friendly
* great tapas & sangrias
* great art museums
* stores are open on Sunday
* the cherry blossoms were blooming!

We were there for 5 nights and ate at 13 different Tapas bars.  Most restaurants do not open until 9 and people do not eat until 10.  This was too late for us so we ate at the Tapas Bars - hopping from one to another.

The most popular tapas are: grilled or pickled sardines, papas bravas, calamari - grilled, fried or as sandwiches, olives, and the biggest one......Iberico
ham (hanging behind D's head).  We ate at down and dirty dives to upscale Tapas.  We never quite figured out when they were open and closed.  But Sunday was by far the most crowded day.  Unfortunately, Spain is not a smoke free country yet.  We were lucky and were able to find bars that were not too smoky or had their doors open.  About half were standing only - meaning they did not have tables. 

Yes, Tammy, we do spend time doing things other than eating and drinking.  We hit many art museums on this trip.  The Prado Museum,(, the ReinaSofia  ( where there was an excellent Picasso exhibit, and the Thyssen-BorneMisza (  There was a very good exhibit on Modigliana. 

Madrid is not as fashionable or as cosmopolitan as Paris, Rome, or Barcelona, but it did have interesting buildings with very colorful pictures and tiles.

Children peeking through the gate at the royal Palace.

Okay, back to food.  A typical afternoon snack in Spain is very thick hot chocolate and churros.  Need I say more?

And last but not least, we would like to address the question in many of your minds, many of you have even asked.....does donald really work?  He would like everyone to know, that last week, he traveled on a sunday, worked all day monday and tuesday, got off at noon on wednesday, had off on thursday, traveled on Friday...oh yes, and he did take a conference call at 7 pm on Friday night.  Here is a photo of him checking his blackberry in the main square, Plaza Mayor.  So, mystery solved...he works {occassionally}!

We are home this week and off to Amsterdam for 7 days on Sunday!

Almost forgot.....Wednesday, March 5th will be our 6 month anniversary in Brussels.  Hard to believe!  We are going to dinner to celebrate.


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