Bartenders and servers try their English when I stumble through Spanish or look to Rich for translation, but they remember us when we return. Dressed in loose cotton pants and T-shirt, I walk early morning streets crowded with other abuelas dressed in skirts, jackets, nice shoes and always scarves and shopping bags, purses swinging on crooked elbows. Vegetable and fruit markets teem with customers mornings and evenings and shutter their produce for afternoon siesta.
|Palacio de Comunicaciones at Plaza de la Cibeles|
|Plaza Santa Ana|
My mind returns to DC at night, still packing boxes and shifting through lists of what's left to empty our lives of house and possessions and free ourselves for this venture in Spain. Days, Rich and I walk our neighborhood, which grows with each foray. We go in search of sites not yet visited, cigar shops, plazas, English language bookstores and explore other neighborhoods. We ride buses and Metro, sleep late, eat at odd hours, take siesta, wait to order food with a drink or coffee until we consume the free tapa Madrileños expect. We live without cell phones, but for now are always together, have not turned on the TV or the Celsius-only oven, and instead, play cribbage. Chess awaits. The living room is littered with guide books, dictionaries, grammar books and electronics in need of charging. Somethings don't change.
|Rich and the Bear at Puerta del Sol|