Up early, quick breakfast and a kiss on each cheek for Mercedes - and we (Steve, Maria and I) were off in the taxi headed to the San Fernando train station to catch the 9:47 train to Madrid. We all napped a little on the train - a quick 4 hours later we were pulling into the Madrid train station (which is bigger than many airports I have been in!). Then through the crowd we went to find a taxi with enough space for the three of us and all our luggage - there were at least 75 cabs parked 4 rows deep outside the train station - we eyed them all before a young female cabbie hailed us over to her cab - the male cabbies snickered, but she managed to fit us and the luggage in the cab! She did have a bit of trouble picking up Maria's bag though - it had the "heavy" tag of shame on it - LOL.
Then off to our hotel, near the airport but still with a place to walk and a square with restaurants around it. We checked in around 2:45 and agreed to meet Maria back downstairs at 4:30. That gave us time to relax for a bit. At 4:30, Steve and I were downstairs waiting on Maria.....until 4:50 when I went back up to her room. Silly girl had fallen asleep! But she did say that she had talked to Eva (her niece that we met at Mercedes' house) and Eva was on her way to the hotel to join us for dinner! I headed back downstairs while Maria finished getting ready. I ran into Eva in the hallway and she had already seen Steve down in the lobby.
After Maria and Eva came back downstairs, we walked a couple blocks down the street to a square and began to check out the restaurant scene - which at 5:00 is more likely to serve coffee than food. We managed to find a restaurant that had meatballs on the menu, so Steve voted for that one - meatballs are his all-time favorite food! I ordered some sort of pork kebab, and Maria and Eva (after a lengthy discussion in Spanish) got grilled chicken and a tomato/cheese sandwich. A couple of beers for us and coffee for them and our meal was complete. The food was good, but paying for it turned out to be a hassle. Of course the waiter brought the check all combined together and we needed it split in two. I swear he rolled his eyes. So I paid with Euros to get rid of what I had left but Maria wanted to pay with her card - next issue was that the waiter said their card machine didn't work (my turn to roll my eyes). So the waiter goes back inside and doesn't come back out! I gave Maria 20 euros so we could get the heck out of there. Eva took the money inside to pay, and did not leave him a tip - geez - that was the first experience with rude service from anybody on our entire trip! So, to make ourselves feel better, we stopped at a pastry shop for dessert - and they were very nice - LOL.
Back to the room and I was able to take a bath in a full-size bathtub for the first time in two weeks - maybe TMI, but I am a tub person rather than a shower person. Spain, like Italy, prefers showers as they take up less space in a bathroom. I feel much better now, thanks for asking! :)
We left a wake up call for 4am so we can catch the 5am shuttle to the airport. Clothes are all laid out, everything else is packed except for morning toiletry items. I really don't need to be thinking about a whole lot at that time of the day/night! Steve is fiddling with the TV in the room and I will have to give a shout out to the staff here at this hotel... Steve is only able to get two stations to show up on the tv no matter how hard he tries. So he called the front desk, and with his slow Southern drawl, tried to explain the situation to the young gentleman at the front desk. The desk clerk said he would come up to the room - probably easier than trying to understand what Steve was trying to tell him! So the desk clerk comes to the room, fiddles with the tv and remote, and he can't get it to work either. So he says he will go get a tv out of another room and bring it to our room. He isn't back yet, but it at least gave me something else to blog about. I'm going to upload a few pictures I took on my cell phone at dinner and then will be shutting down the blogging for this trip...unless we have something extremely blog-worthy happen to us on our travels tomorrow - personally, I am hoping it is all smooth sailing, or flying as the case may be! Good night from Madrid, and farewell Spain - til we see you again!
PS. The guy never could get the TV fixed so we hit the hay early to await the 4am wake up call! Downstairs at 4:50 to catch the shuttle to the airport - and guess what was playing on the bus radio? Sweet Home Alabama! It was a sign - yes, Alabama, we are coming home to you!