May 27 - June 4 through Mandy’s eyes:
Four years ago, Derek and Olivia flew to me in Barcelona for a two-week adventure through France, Switzerland and Italy. Last week, Olivia flew to Derek and me in Madrid for a week-long adventure in Madrid and Mallorca. Although this trip didn’t include as many destinations as our trip four years ago, it was just as fun and beautiful.
Olivia’s trip started on Sunday, May 27 and ended on Monday, June 4, including five days in Madrid, three days in Mallorca and probably over 100,000 steps recorded on Olivia’s Fitbit. Between Derek's client and daily Spanish classes and the last month of my master’s program, Derek and I were pretty busy during the week, so Olivia took it upon herself to walk the entire city in one day. And then repeat it multiple days in a row. I couldn’t even show her anything because she had seen it already. She was glad to do it, but her feet weren’t as thrilled.
On her first night here, Olivia was able to see the full Real Madrid team. If you were unaware, Real Madrid won the Champions League that weekend. After big wins, the Real Madrid players join pretty much every Madrid resident at the Cibeles Fountain to celebrate, as they did on May 27. Luckily, our restaurant was on one of the roads the bus of Real Madrid players took to get to the fountain. I swear Ronaldo, Marcelo and Bale looked at me. I was freaking out for the rest of the night. Olivia kept her cool.
Our trip to Mallorca started bright and early with an 8:25 am flight. Surprisingly, we were only mildly cranky and had an easy, quick flight to the island. Although the weather predicted rain Saturday and Sunday, we got lucky and only had to deal with about 5 hours of rain on Sunday morning and afternoon. Friday, we arrived at our Airbnb in the early afternoon, had lunch and then took a city bus about 30 minutes west to Playa de Illetes. The beaches were packed, but there was entertainment thanks to threee middle-aged American women loudly divulging their personal… “achievements” …For some juicy gossip on what divorced women do on their trips to Mallorca, text me. We ate by the beach and then headed back to the beautiful Airbnb to shower and relax.
Saturday, we enjoyed sleeping in a bit and then took the tren de Sóller from Palma to Sóller, a city in the north of Mallorca. We "splurged" for the train because it is from the 1900’s and takes a longer, more scenic route through the mountains rather than the 3-euro bus that takes less than 30 minutes. Worth it? The train – I guess. The 7€ tram that brought us to see the port of Sóller – yes. We spent the afternoon and early evening soaking up as much of the beautiful mountains and sun as we could before the rain we knew was coming on Sunday.
I booked our flight on Sunday for 11:25 PM thinking that having the entire day of Sunday would mean a whole additional beach day! Whoops. Rain is apparently very rare there and if it ever does rain, it only lasts an hour or so. Well, they said that about Madrid too and it rained the entire month of March. The rain on Sunday lasted from about 9 am until 1 pm, during which we checked out of our Airbnb (we were allowed to keep our suitcases there thankfully) and walked from a café for breakfast to a restaurant for lunch. I also completely wiped out in between the two thanks to horrible grip on my Puma’s and slippery streets. When the rain cleared up we walked around the port and down to Palma’s beach, which was extremely disappointing. Maybe it was the weather, but as expected, it was the not the place for a calm, scenic beach day. Palma is a charming city and perfect for a short weekend like ours, but if our trip had been any longer we would have definitely stayed somewhere else on the island.
May 27 - June 4 through Olivia's eyes:
Going to Spain was the perfect way to start my summer vacation. Madrid was beautiful and it was great to see Amanda and Derek again. Although, I definitely am glad that I don’t have to live in that tiny apartment with them for more than a week. I spent the beginning of the week wandering around Madrid (and walking 46 miles!) while Amanda was in class and Derek was tutoring. I saw all of the different parts of the city and was able to really immerse myself in the culture as much as I could in one week. The hardest thing about my week in Madrid was getting used to eating dinner at 9pm. That is when I usually go to bed so eating dinner that late was very strange. What can I say, I’m my father’s daughter.
Madrid was an awesome city, but Mallorca was paradise. It’s not a vacation for me unless there is a beach, and Mallorca had many different beaches to choose from. Even though it wasn’t warm enough to go swimming, we were still about to spend two days at the beach. One day I’ll have to go back to Mallorca to explore more of the beaches because two days wasn’t enough to see everything.
All in all, my trip was so much fun and I am sad it went so fast! Now I’m back in Nashville, and luckily for me, as TJ puts it, “we don’t need to go on a vacation because life is a vacation”. Thanks for hosting me Amanda and Derek!
May 27 - June 4 through Derek’s eyes:
See video below: