I feel like I should take this one as it's so close to my heart.
Madrid is where I did my most growing.
To some, it might just be a big city, but to me, it's like a sibling. It's like a brother. It's part of my family.
Madrid taught me independence, creativity, flexibility, persistence, and further cultivated my international-mindedness.
It was in Madrid that I watched on TV the start of the Iraq invasion. I was down the street when the subway bombings of March 11th happened. My dad, my mom, both sisters, and 2 good friends visited me there.
I learned a whole new language. I met friends that I continue to keep in touch with even though they're spread out all over the world.
When I took Chris to the Plaza Mayor, I stood in his arms and cried.
I couldn't tell you why exactly. I felt really old for one. It's been 5 years since I left Spain. Also, I wish Chris could have experienced those years with me. I realize I wouldn't be the same person had he been there, but it's like a little piece of me that he'll never fully know, and that makes me a little sad.
There were high points of course. I ran into my old landlord. Chris and I were visiting my old building and I was explaining to him that Pedro, my landlord, use to own the fruit stand, when lo and behold, out came Pedro. I went over to say hi and we had a chat. This is Pedro 6 years ago...
And video of us both today!
It was fun taking Chris through all the old neighborhoods and telling his as much as I could remember about my old life in Madrid.
Me on the streets of Madrid 6 years ago
Chris and I at the Royal Palace
Chris trying to figure out how this lady was staying afloat
The Chinese store - never a shortage of fun here (it's like a dollar store in the states, except with the most bizarre stuff you could ever not think of)
And this, that really you have to watch to get the appropriate amount of laugher for.
Besides touring Chris around, maybe the best part of all was staying with my old friends Ana y Ricardo. They are some of the funnest, most interesting, nicest people I've had the pleasure of knowing.
When I was in their house 5 years ago it was dust and devoid of walls. Now they have turned it into a beautiful, colorful home, with most importantly, a room for Chris and I!
We returned their generosity by making a fajita dinner complete with chips, salsa, and Corona. It was funny watching them try to keep their tortillas closed. Ana's was eventually made into a salad. No problem with that!
I know there are more beautiful, maybe more interesting cities in the world. But Madrid will always have a special place in my heart.