It is crazy to think that I have lived in Spain for around three months now. And although it has been three months, I am still amazed at how many new places I encounter whenever I walk the streets of Madrid.
I do not like to stay within a zone of familiarity when it comes to the streets of Madrid. I like to explore, but I realize that my friends tend to travel where they know: Puerta del Sol y Gran Via. I practically force them to venture out onto new streets and into new restaurants and bars with me. It excites me. Knowing how big the city is and how many streets there are that I have yet to walk down.
Now, I won’t lie. I am not the biggest fan of Spanish food, which is why I am so thankful that Madrid has such a wide variety of ethnicities represented throughout the city. From Mexican (bless), to Chinese, to Japanese, to Italian, to American, to Argentine, you can find anything on the streets of Madrid.
But as Malu came to visit before we headed to Paris for a week, I struggled on picking places for her to visit. Of course I took her to Takos Al Pastor, and of course everyone knows how much I recommend that place to ANYONE, but other than that I was at a lose of where to take Malu. I wasn’t sure if she would be down to walk from one side of the city to the other in order to see all my favorite locations enriched in history. And she was, thank God.
As I began to walk towards Palacio Real I realized that I hadn’t been there since my mother left to go back to America, three months ago. Seeing it again, and this time with Malu, I developed a deeper appreciation for how beautiful it truly is (and prettier than Buckingham Palace, but that’s MY opinion).
Walking with her through the gardens and fountains, at first I felt like it was any other location, “I’d been here before, come on Malu, let’s go to the next location” you know? But Malu was admiring every piece of it, and I realized how lucky I am to be living in Spain. Not many people I know from back home have this opportunity, and here I am. It really is a dream come true.
I wanted to show Malu my favorite bar in Madrid thus far, their Mojitos are to die for, but of course, with my luck, it was closed. So along the streets we went. I noticed a cereal bar, and we decided, “hey, it’s still a bar,” and made our way in.
Stepping inside, the first thing I noticed was that the walls were covered in any type of cereal that I can think of. From cinnabon to reese’s, this place was cereal heaven. Now, one might think to themselves, why have a restaurant solely dedicated to cereal? Well, in Europe (or at least in Spain from my experience) it is hard to find the cereal that the states have. All I have ever found while here are multi-grained cereal with fruits and chocolate chips, but never something as “out of this world” like fruit loops. Coming from the states I never realized this is something that Spaniards don’t get to experience, and as soon as I saw the apple jacks box, I knew I needed to have it right away.
Not only was the cereal the only thing that was fascinating about this location, they had different colored MILK. Pink, blue, orange, green. They were all there. So once Malu and I got out cereal, and our colored milk, we sat down and ate. I looked around and saw a family eating their cereal as a meal, a meal!! And yeah, I get it, so do we, but for breakfast. This family was having cereal for DINNER. I couldn’t believe it. It was not satisfying enough for a dinner. So Malu and I continued to randomly walk the streets some more.
It’s incredible to see an Asian restaurant next door to an Israeli restaurant, across the street from an American diner, but yet it is possible. And so Malu and I did the most American thing we know how to do, and went to get cheese sticks and fries from the American Diner. But it wasn’t any normal American diner, it was a retro American diner, even better. And it was aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. We shared a strawberry shake, caught up on our adventures and experiences since we last saw each other in Texas, and made our way to our airbnb to get what little sleep we could before our plane ride to Paris the next morning. Au revoir Madrid, and Bon Jour Paris!!