From Mexico to Madrid
It’s always hard to pick a travel destination, there are just so many variables. Who am I going with? Do I want sun and waves? Something more cultural? Natural wonders? Comfort? Adventure? And then there is always the matter of budget…
On my latest trip, I happened to be with someone who’s a huge fan of Spain. And indeed, Spain has a very unique personality: with its rich history and culture, with its breathtaking art and yummy food, and with its endless collection of wonderful sights, there is enough to keep visitors entertained for as long as they wish! Furthermore, I am lucky enough to have some great connections over there, including my ex sister-in-law and a couple of old flames with their heart-melting accent… 😉
When I travel to Europe, the outbound flight is always a little sweeter than the return one. First of all, it’s “just” 9 hours as opposed to 11 or 12 coming back. And then there’s that magical feeling of excitement and anticipation you get at the start of a vacation… I should also mention that I got to fly on Aeromexico’s new Dreamliner for the first time, and it really is a beauty! The use of space is way better than on older planes, the restrooms are much less claustrophobic, privacy is improved, and the best thing of all is you can go completely horizontal: finally, some serious napping! The tinted windows in different shades of blue are also a nice touch, and make the sunsets look that much prettier.
We started out in the capital, Madrid, which has the best nightlife you could possibly imagine. The tree-lined boulevards sparkling with lights, restaurants, shops and hotels are truly a sight! And although it was winter, the weather wasn’t too bad… I never even had to wear the gloves I’d brought!
One of the highlights of my stay was grabbing lunch with my new friend Mar Saura. She is an actress and a fellow fashion blogger, so not only did we gossip about some common friends, we also got to “talk shop” 😉 Incidentally, Mar recently wrapped up a very successful ad campaign in Mexico for GNP, with the truly inspirational message “Living is Incredible!” Have you seen it?
I also had a blast with my buddies Frank Ariza and Chris Sanchez, respectively the producer and lead actor of the Dirty Dancing musical! Now, I’m a huge fan of the show, so I knew all of the songs by heart and I couldn’t resist giving a little performance… These two gentlemen are a real pleasure to be around, and I wish I could have spent more time with them. Happily, Frank will be coming to Mexico soon for his new movie. I got to see a sneak preview of it and I have a feeling it’ll be a hit, but I’m sure I’ll get to tell you more about it in the future.
I grew up in a family who loves Spanish culture, and we even have some distant relatives out there. So even if my Madrid friends made fun of me, I decided I needed an extra taste of tradition, and I booked a table at Casa Patas, a renowned flamenco bar… What intensity! What expressiveness! Those vibes literally get into your veins and make your soul vibrate with passion. Besides, I studied Sevillanas and Spanish dance for years, so when I heard that rhythm something went off for me… and I ended up busting a few moves myself!
Then there were the restaurants… the unforgettable restaurants! Ten con Ten, Amazonico, Quintin and, last but not least, Casa Benigna, where I tasted some of the best rice dishes ever. And as far as tapas, the Bocaito in the heart of the Chueca neighborhood was an absolute treat! But I must confess that after a while I was craving a nice easy bowl of sopita de pasta, like I eat at home, because the food in Madrid is way heavier than what I’m used to. Make no mistake, it’s delicious, but sometimes it feels like it’s so fat that every single rice grain is glistening with cholesterol!
My favorite museum in Madrid is the Reina Sofía. And this time, besides the classics like Picasso and Dalí, I also got to enjoy the Richard Serra exhibit as well as an amazing piece by Alexander Calder, located in the inner courtyard of this spectacular building. Calder is one of my favorite contemporary artists and, in case you don’t know, he is regarded as the creator of the mobile, a special kind of “kinetic” sculpture where elements are not fixed, but rather fluctuate freely or, as in this case, can be set in motion by the wind. Absolutely brilliant!
Before I go I should at least mention Buen Retiro Park, the green heart of the city. This enormous park is a spectacular array of lakes, fountains, sculptures, waterfalls and architectural wonders, all framed by lush, ever-changing greenery. You can find all kinds of people there, from families paddling on the lake to couples holding hands in the rose garden, to magicians, musicians and other performance artists entertaining the passers-by. And if you’re like me – in other words a pic-addict – you will not find a better place than this one, with its countless breathtaking backdrops and its endless options for a memorable photo shoot 😉
Well, that’s it for now! Remember that you can leave me your comment below and I will personally respond to each of you. Bye 🙂