Hello Hannah, Maxwell, Norah and Truman! We miss you guys so much and hope you are doing great!
Luckily, our flight out here was uneventful. We landed in Madrid around 9:00am and immediately went to our hotel.  It is an awesome hotel right in the heart of the city. We have great views onto a public square where there are all kinds of entertainers like Mickey Mouse, Bart Simpson, Chucky and a group of old women who did Tai Chi and would then beat a drum and dance under a Chinese Dragon. There have also been really cool bands. The later it gets, the more Spaniards party. It was hard to sleep last night because they were partying well into the night.
On our first day, we went to The Royal Palace and an adjacent cathedral. The buildings were old and awesome. We then went to a museum called the Prado. It is full of Renaissance paintings and other amazing classic works. Near the entry of the Prado was a dude playing traditional Spanish guitar.  He sounded amazing and Mom said he had good technique. Mom really wanted to show you his right hand!

After the Prado we went to eat some traditional Spanish Tappas. It is basically an array of appetizers. The Spanish take great pride in their tappas, especially their hams. Then we went to a place you would have loved–The Chocolateria, built in 1897. There we dipped Spanish churros into melted dark chocolate. Yes, it was delicious (interestingly, the churros were small and were not coated in sugar. Leave it to Americans to supersize and coat churros in sugar).

Earlier in the day, Mom saw an opera house and thought it would be super cool to attend an opera in Spain. Your mom really enjoyed it (the opera was Robert Devereaux),but I fell asleep almost immediately because by this point we were running on almost no sleep.

Last night was kinda rough. I was awake from 2-6am (still suffering from the 8 hour time change). This morning as we started to rustle in the bed we realized it was almost noon! Whoa, we were surprised. We hopped out of bed and hit the streets of Madrid in search of cool things to see and do. We first went to an amazing botanical park and then another cool park with really amazing architecture. We then sat on the patio of a cafe and enjoyed some yummy smoothies while we people watched and listened to a very talented street performer sing.

One of the more memorable, yet sad events from Madrid was the bull fight. A friend recently told me how brutal and bloody it is and she was right. Nevertheless, it gave us a deep dive into Spanish culture and tradition. The stadium was packed, mostly with old men in suit coats smoking big ol’ fat cigars. They were all really nice.

The ceremony and tradition was fascinating and when the bull entered the stadium he was angry and raging! He was so awesomely cool. That’s when we started to loose interest. Essentially, there are a bunch of dudes who meticulously slice the bull’s arteries and tease him until he bleeds out. The bull then drops and they stab him in the head to put him out of his misery. At this point, we got up to leave and a very cool Spanish guy told me that there were 5 more to go! What?! They kill 5 bulls per day. I was amazed. While I respect the Spanish and their culture, this is a part that should probably be replaced.

As the day came to an end, I wanted to make certain we at the traditional Spanish plate, Pailles. This is a variety of seafood on seasoned rice. We enjoyed these plates while watching amazing people from all over the world walk around the town square (right next to our hotel).

Picture of the Sol Square from our hotel room