The Madrid trip was actually supposed to be about business - well at least for me. But luckily that business included my two favorite female team members. The thing is that they had been planning a weekend Madrid trip together with their boyfriends forever. But suddenly we realized that the only time we could do the "business" was the weekend before their fun couples weekend. So, I decided to crash it. Luckily, they kind of like me and let me join them. And we had A BLAST! The only terrible part about Madrid, was of course leaving Madrid and even worse, leaving Madrid a day earlier than my friends because I had to work on the bank holiday Monday. Boo!
But anyway, below you find the 11 (I can never stick to 10) best things about my trip to Madrid
- The TAPAS!!! If you are ever in Madrid, you must go to a tapas restaurant called Lateral - it's amazing! In fact, it was so amazing that we went there twice although to two different locations. My favorite is las croquetas! YUM. The problem is that I was so hungry every time I saw them I didn't manage to take a picture of them ever as I was too busy stuffing them into my mouth
- The crazy "hole-in-the-wall" autentico Gin and Tonic bar we found after work on Friday - Our Spanish hosts left A and I on our own for a few hours on Friday. Our idea was to participate in the amazing Madrid shopping scene... but we tired of that quickly as we found that we were incredibly thirsty (hey - it was Friday) so A decided to ask a girl on the street where we could go for a drink. She says "Do you like Gin and Tonics?" A amusingly replies "For example." The girl tells us to go up the street and look for a yellow sign and not to be put off by the look of the bar, but to go inside and have a gin and tonic. She also warned us that this place was not for tourists but surely had some of the best Gin and Tonics in all of Madrid. We were not disappointed! Not only were the gin and tonics amazing. The bar was full of characters in the form of interesting men! To our right was a group of a bit older gentlemen and to our left was a group of rather hot young men. It was however the group of the older gentlemen who began to chat us up first. And it was ok because they were totally amusing!
- Las canas* - small glasses of beer - preferably eaten with such small snacks like potato chips with oil (yum) or olives or of course TAPAS!
- The nightclub Joy where we partied the night away until 4 am on Saturday morning
- La movida - the lifestyle in Madrid where you move from bar to bar all day drinking cervezas and sampling various cervazas - after a few hours of sleep we hit la calle around 13:00 on Saturday and found the first tapas bar where we drank beer in the sunshine (and also witnessed an amazingly massive drunken screaming fight glass throwing battle at the table next to us of hard core partiers who had been at it all night and all morning - Ah.... Viva Espana). Then we moved on to about 4 other places and continued to sample amazing tapas, drink beer, manzanilla and finally MOJITOS!
- The MOJITOS deserve their own shout out because I do believe that I had some of the best Mojitos ever. The bar specialized in mojitos and the bar man mixed them up so fast it was impressive. The only problem was that being the tourist that I am... I took a picture of him in action (actually, I was trying more for a picture of the mojitos) and the guy went mental on me for some reason telling me that I had to ask his permission to take his picture and going off on how rude I was and couldn't I see he was working... It was a complete and total overeaction and was kind of a bummer since he continued to bitch about it to my friends and I (in Spanish by the way) for the next 5 mins. I mean seriously, if I could count the number of times people have taken pictures of me randomly without permission... It's not a big deal especially when you work in a bar that does cater to tourists in Spain. What in the world do you expect? So, just because he was such a jerk, I'm posting his picture below.
- The drunken poses we were doing in the Mojito bar - by the time we left the Mojito bar we had been drinking for around 6 hours, as you can imagine we were quite borracho by that time so we got a bit silly in the hour before we left and someone challenged everyone else to do a drunken pose where you stand on one foot and put the bottom of the other foot on your other foot on your opposite knee so it forms a triangle, then bend down and put your elbow on that knee and then put your hand to your nose and stick out your fingers (I dare you to try this right now) - the challenge was to see how long you could make that pose for and who could make it the longest - I won of course (which really didn't mean I was more sober than anyone else, just a bit more coordinated) - we made fools amusing ourselves with this for a VERY long time (isn't it funny the things that can amuse you when you are drunk) - and then when we got bored of that we started to sing and make up songs although finally settling on Dahhhh... dah dah dah dah dahhhhhh (C'mon you all have done this before) which we proceeded to sing the rest of the night (in a very mature way of course)
- The Penthouse - the amazing roof terrace club we partied at on Saturday night - it was over looking one of the plazas and the weather outside made for a fantastic roof terrace night
- The great weather - it was like 30 degrees both days and sunny with beautiful blue skies. What more could you ask for?
- The fact that I totally crashed a long planned couples trip and that everyone was completely ok with that. What a nice group of people I was with. The women I work with and really like but we hadn't hung out too much outside of work. And their boyfriends of course I had met on several occasions, but as I have found many times in the past, traveling can be a stressful thing and cause people you thought were perfectly nice and normal to show a whole scary side of them - so I'm always a bit weary to travel with new people. And although it is unfortunately often the case since I seem to be the last single person standing of all my friends, I don't particularly like hanging out with couples and being the one single person. But this group was amazing. Just good fun the whole time. Very relaxed. No drama. Perfect! And the fact that I was a single girl with two couples was not a big deal at all. They made me feel totally comfortable.
- Our amazing hosts B and C - Que buena gente son ellos! They showed us an amazing time in their city. It could not have been a better weekend and it was all thanks to them!
This week is a busy one for me. I have Chinese visitors here for work. Wednesday is the big SATC2 night and on Thursday night I'm off to Stockholm where I will work from the office there on Friday, have a birthday celebration with all the girls on Friday and then attend a wedding of a wonderful couple on Saturday.
So, if you do not hear from me much over the next couple days, never fear! I should be out and about collecting really fun stories to blog about. And vacation is just a couple weeks away and then I plan to blog A LOT!
*There is supposed to be a tilde here - you know the thing that little swirly thing that goes over the n, but since I do not know how to make them on my computer, I swear I am leaving them out on purpose (not because I don't know they are supposed to be there).
I leave you with some pictures of my amazing Madrid trip. Have a good week!
The mean bartender who makes a "mean" Mojito!
This picture is only significant in that it's just 14:30 in the afternoon and the bar is crowded despite it being a beautiful day outside! Gotta love it!
The best named Tapas bar ever! We unfortunately did not grace it with our presence -but we probably should have!