Madrid: Day I
A great hotel - totally impressed so far. Now, I know that I have a propensity towards being over excited about things - and this behaviour has led me down many prickly paths in the past ('I really love felafels, of course I will try it with chips'), but the basics are in place and the little extras are making my stay quite manageable.
After bemoaning my lack of hot water to concoct a meagre oatmeal oasis, I travelled downstairs to encounter a dinning room capable of holding over 2000 guests. The buffet table (sssss) in the middle of the room were laden with an assortment of fresh fruit (though I think much of it traveled a ways to reach not so warm Madrid), brown toast (rick - it was TEXAS toast. Big and chunky; memories of Sunday mornings on Francis Road came roaring back to me), an assortment of meat and cheese, pastries, a cereal table that could not be beat and some tea and coffee that only occasionally found itself refreshed. In addition to the food, I found my bright eyed and busy tailed mates, who managed to keep the party going until after one (you would never peg Geoffery as a party animal), sitting in the middle of the room.
I really enjoyed the melons and granola (despite a lack of soymilk I still gave it the ol' college try), but it was the pomegranate seeds that captured my vegan heart. They were amazing. The coffee was...ok - not Brussels-Saturday-morning-with soymilk-at-Coffee Club kind of good, but it passed in place of my desired green tea.
Lunch rolled around (a welcome break from what is turning out to be a rather boring institute), and I found myself dinning with an interesting group of women - one from Scotland/Seattle, another from Munich/Australia. Great conversation. The food wasn't quite as yummy as the morning, but I managed to make myself a pretty good salad of corn, wilty looking lettuce, WHITE asparagus, olives (with pits), roasted red and green pepper (which weren't as good as they looked) and some shredded carrot. Needless to say, I am pumped about heading out for dinner tonight.
Sorry about the blurry picture. My photographer isn't arriving until tonight.After my afternoon session, I headed to the good-sized gym and had a really good run with Allen and an excellent strength training session.
My room seemed to have miraculously recovered from the tornado that went through it this morning. My jeans had even been folded and my argyle sockies had been rolled into a ball. I have to say that it made me feel a bit shame filled. It has been a long time since I lived in China - having someone pick up after me isn't really my thing. Something I just don't think I could ever get used to. My mom did a great job (usually by threatening to throw away my stuffed rabbit and piles of clothes if I didn't put them away) of instilling in me a sense of self preservation and responsibility around the house. Thanks mom. Did I mention that my mom rocks? I think I need to have an I LOVE MY MOM post. She can do some pretty amazing vegan dishes (not to mention her PUMPKIN BREAD) and she is a wonderful person to boot.
Well, I am off to experience the massive tub in my bathroom (which I think may be larger than my entire flat in Brussels).