Julie and I keep getting asked: are we glad we spent 3 months abroad? What was our favorite part? Would we do it again?

Granada and Alhambra Granada and Alhambra

I’m definitely the one that pushed for the longer trip. Julie was always on board with the idea, but I think it would be unlikely for her to advocate for a trip like this unprompted. In the end we both appreciated the depth and breadth of exploration this timeframe allowed.

Streets of Madrid Streets of Madrid

We both remain in love with Madrid. For me my favorite memories are the daily routine of a 3 mile early morning walk by the Prado, through Retiro, to Spanish class. This was always followed by the excitement of adventure after class. Where would we eat? Would we visit a museum or just wander a new neighborhood? Once Julie sank her teeth into the planning and found a concept she loved (Christmas lights! Sorolla!) we were guarnteed to have a full docket of options.

One benefit we did not expect: meeting so many locals, and being invited into their homes. From Spanish class friend (and local) Elinor we got amazing restaurant recommendations that helped turn around our opinions on Spanish cuisine.

Dinner feast with our Madrid friends Dinner feast with our Madrid friends

Gamer friend Ángel invited me into his wargaming club to play Advanced Squad Leader (ASL). Likewise, gamer friend Toni invited me into his home for lunch and ASL, and afterwards the three couples went out for an epic suburban Spanish feast.

Our new Madrid family Our new Madrid family

Best of all, we’ve made lifelong friends with Eddy and family. Julie and I had four different adventures with Eddy, including two classically long and engaging Spanish lunches in his home. Eddy and his wife Irene will be coming to the states this summer and I’ll be attempting to return the favor by playing NY tour guide.

Will we do this again? We don’t normally repeat trips, but we will definitely return to Madrid and look forward to exploring more of the north of Spain. Plus we have to keep working on our Spanish language.

Trip Summary