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Title: Great adventures Location: Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain I got up at 8AM and got ready to head to Starbucks with Brittany; this is where UND students wanted to meet in the morning. We had a very American cup of coffee and a pastry. Although disappointed with the choice of meeting/breakfast place, it was a beautiful morning - warm and sunny with a light breeze. After breakfast, we headed towards the Royal Palace. Truly a beautiful structure and it was fun to think we were walking the same steps as Christopher Columbus walked when he asked Isabella and Ferdinan for money to find a shorter route to the East Indies.
Throughout the Palace, I told Brittany of my adventures with the Count. I described the pink silk gown I wore, where we danced, ate, stole kisses, and then I showed her the courtyard where he was mistakenly killed by palace guards. Finally, as we left the Palace, I showed her my final decent down the grand staircase where I fled the Palace after the death of my lover, never to return again - until today. It was fun to reminisce about the past.
We then headed to Casa Edwards for lunch. Brittany and I shared a delicious ensalada and pizza with beer (Paulander Hefe-weissen -German!). We ate outside with the group and had a good time highlighting different group members to find out more about them. After lunch, Brittany and I toured the city on foot - we went through the financial district and explored many side streets (aka. got little lost). After walking for 1 1/2 hours, we decided to pick up some more Coke light and head to the hotel to get the computer going. Unfortunately, again, no luck with the Internet. Yikes!
For dinner, we had sangria and tapas in the square with our professor, Clara and other doctoral students. Brittany and I split a plate of fried anchovies - which were scary looking but super delicious. After dinner Brittany and I went back and changed into jeans and long sleeves to head out the clubs.
We walked around the city a bit. As we passed a bar called the "Dubliner," a very cute man said "2-for-1." We looked at each other and then headed in. That was at 9PM. We won´t emerge from that bar until 3:30AM.
We sat in the back where it was quiet and dark. Soon we made friends with the barmaid and DJ. The barmaid was from Romainia and the DJ was from Transylvania. We ordered Mojitos and started chatting. We ordered two more Mojitos and a cute boy from Connecticut came over to talk. Two more Mojitos and a whole group of college students from the South came over. Soon the ex-DJ of the club was sitting on the bar next to us and playing tunes. Brittany was dancing with Andre (I just watched, really). After a dance, I grabbed Brittany´s hand and we headed out the door at 3:30AM.
We stopped some Manchego cheese, bread and water at some diner. The water and food came and so Mr. Abdul from Morocco. Mr. Abdul sat at our table and was telling us to come to Morocco with him for "no fee, no fee, no cost for you." He told us how Morocco is a very liberal Muslim country where women can go to the beach and not cover their heads. He then asked me to sing. When he asked us why we were in Spain, he was surprised to find out that Ph.D.´s could be earned in nursing. He then challenged me to a statistical problem. Of course, I was unable to answer it (drunk and not good at math). The next thing we know, Mr. Abdul is asking for my phone number. I told him I was married and showed him my wedding ring. He didn´t believe me; I couldn´t be in school, be traveling to Spain, and be married with children - it´s just not done. Liberal Muslim? I don´t think so!
At this point, Brittany paid the bill and we headed back to the hotel sans 1 travel Spanish dictionary (damn you, Mr. Abdul!). On the way home we asked some youth how to get to the hotel, they were so fun! They gave us explicit directions and we were back at the hotel in no time. And 4:30AM.