Tuesday, May 5, 2009

April showers bring May flowers...but there's only sunshine in Madrid!!

Well, so starts my last full month here in sunny warm Madrid. I am amazed at how time has gone by so fast. I still feel like I just arrived! But, alas I will be home in a month and 5 days...I will try to bring the sun home too!! (but no promises!)

My Mom and my sister Emily came to visit me April 5-17th. We spent one week in Madrid and the other in Paris. The first day they arrived they managed to stay up till 7pm which is 10am Seattle time. I recommended that they stay up as close to nighttime as possible in order to try to adjust to the time difference as quickly as possible. Here they are the first night, as you can see it is still light out. (P.S. If you click on the pics they will appear bigger, but you have to click the back button to return to the blog, not X)

Oh, and we got lucky because my host family was out of town the whole week, so my Mom and sis got to stay with me cost free!
The first full day(April 6th) was Emilys 25th birthday. We spent the day at the Madrid zoo.

More from Madrid....

We wore our sunglasses on the Metro to avoid the people who have staring problems!

People watching at Retiro Park.

We took a day trip to Segovia. They wanted to see the castle.

And here we are(without sunglasses!!) being our usual dorky selves, and taking advantage of our big eyes! :)

PARIS! :) The best part of the two weeks!
WE stayed in a hotel on Rue Cler, about two blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Rue Cler is a funky street full of great restaurants, fruit markets, wine shops and no traffic!

While in Paris we saw many things including the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Père Lachaise Cemetery(where Jim Morrison is buried), Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral, and the best of all was our trip to Versailles. I could have spent days there! Here are some pics of these places...

Jim Morrison's grave in the Père Lachaise Cemetery. We also saw the graves of Oscar Wilde and the famous composer Chopin. It's the biggest cemetery in France.

The Notre Dame.

The Louvre museum, standing in front of the Pyramid.

Arc de Triomphe.

Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral(known to have the most light of any cathedral because of it's many stained glass windows)

Saved the best for last...Versailles! This was the best part! I will go there again one day. This is the palace where Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette resided. Here are pictures of the Palace, the massive Gardens and the Peasant Village that Marie had built on the grounds for her own imaginary pleasure in the 1700's.

As you can see the gardens stretch on forever.....

The best part, the peasant village. It was like being in a storybook.

So, that is about it. The rest of April I have kept busy taking care of the kids and enjoying my weekends in Madrid with my friends.

Now I have a trip to Portugal to look forward to. I am going with my friend Cynthia(from Tennesee y'all). We are flying into Lisbon May 30th, spending 3 days there, then heading up the coast. We will spend a couple days exploring and will spend our last three days in Porto before returning to Madrid June 7th. Then I will be back in Seattle June 10th!! I can't believe it!!

Countdown Clocks, Fun Countdowns at WishAFriend.com

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