So let's see. . . the last three days have been ridiculously busy. I finished up my finals, picked Mom up from the airport, took her out to get bocatas at Bar Los Bocadillos (love them!) walked her around Madrid a bit that night, and finally dropped her off back at her hotel.
Friday was also really, really busy. I came by her hotel that morning with some lunchy food to drop off, and then we went out towards Sol. I wanted to hit up a chocolateria that's kind of a big deal, but it wasn't open yet, which was a little weird. We got chocolate and churros at a Cafe y Te instead, and it wasn't bad.
Then I took her on a really random tour. From Sol I wanted to find Plaza de Espana, which I've gotten to before from there, but only with other people. I was pretty sure we were going in the right direction, though, but we ran into some things I didn't expect- like the Palace. So that was pretty cool. And then from there, you just hang a right, maybe detour through the Sabatini Gardens, and you're at Plaza de Espana.
From there we strolled down Calle de la Princesa to Arguelles and beyond to Moncloa, and I gave her a little tour of Parque del Oeste and my school. Then we took buses (because the view is better) to Retiro, and took a brief walk through there (it would take days to see all of that park). We walked back towards Sol, stopping to get a snack. I am happy to see that my mother is now just as obsessed with tortilla espanola as I am.
After that I had to leave her for a brief while so I could go to my program's goodbye lunch. They served us wine, and I think I am now officially the most tacky person in the world for ordering Fanta limon on the side and mixing the two so I could stand the taste (I don't think I will ever like plain wine, be it red, pink, or white).
The whole thing was a little sad. I'm really going to miss a lot of those people, especially our exceptional office staff. Angel was named our single favorite thing about IES, and Diego, the new guy in the office, was one of the people we most wished was single (I couldn't agree more).
Eventually I made it back to my mom so we could get into the Prado during its free hours (oh, if you're ever in Madrid, the Prado is free for everyone from 6-8 Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 5-8 on Sundays. It's all closed on Mondays). We'd allotted both Friday and Saturday nights for this, which is good, because we only got an hour. We were up on the top floor Friday night and saw mostly Titian stuff.
Yesterday, Saturday, was primarily spent packing. That was so hard! I think I went slowly because I didn't want to leave our perfect little apartment. Now that I don't live there anymore I can tell you more about its location. Well, the boy who lived in an apartment three floors below us said his senora told him their property value (for a tiny little apartment) was 1.2 million! I'm not sure if that's in euros or dollars, but that's kind of a big deal! She said it was in the Salamanca district, but other maps I've seen puts it in the Rios Rosas area. So who knows. Either way, it was in a very safe, very nice neighborhood, and I'm really going to miss it.
So then we hit up the Reina Sofia, which is the big contemporary art museum. I've been there before, and it was just as painful the second time. (Just so I don't get any more of these rabid Spanish commenters telling me to stop discriminating against their people, all modern art makes me feel this way.) Basically what I told my mom was that modern art, like surrealism and cubism, makes me want to break the paintings' frames, take the shards of glass, and stab my eyes out with them. Yes, that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea. We did find some rooms that we both liked, though, with stuff that looked like it was probably from around the turn of the century (when it turned from the 19th to the 20th, to clarify), painted with much more pleasant color schemes.
The main reason we went was to see La Guernica, which is a really big deal. They've given it its own room. And they have postcards in the gift shop which say 'The Guernica exists- I have seen it!'
Then it was back to the Prado, where we saw pretty much everything else I wanted to show her. I gave her a chronological tour of the Spanish monarchs from the Carlos V of the Habsburg family through Fernando VII (one of the Bourbons, I think?). Then we dashed around in the last ten minutes trying to see Fra Angelico's Annunciation (look it up, it's beautiful), Hieronymous Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights, and all of that famous stuff. It was so hard to fit everything I've learned into 3 hours at the Prado, considering I'd spent 20 or 30 something hours in there with my class.
We chilled out at the hotel last night and made guac. Now: on to the Rastro!