A Spanish Wedding (Spain Part 2)
Congratulations to Kendrick and Paula on their new marriage! We were so thankful that you let us be a part of your big day.
The wedding festivities began shortly after we arrived in Madrid. The bride picked us up at the airport on Thursday morning to take us to our hotel. We stayed at the Husa Paseo del Arte, which is very close to the train station, major art museums, the Botanical Gardens, and Retiro park. The location couldn’t have been better.
got settled took a long nap, we went out for our first Spanish meal. Kristin’s Spanish was very rusty, but we got some food and managed to pay for it successfully.
After lunch, Kristin, Krister, Kasen, and Prudence went for a stroll through Retiro Park. Fresh air is a nice way to fight jet lag and recover from too long on an airplane.
From the minute we arrived, Kasen attracted a lot of attention. People came up to him from everywhere to tell him how handsome (guapo) he was. He loved it. Here’s one of those random strangers:
Then, the wedding festivities began. Paula’s family hosted all of us (Kendrick’s family) for a traditional Spanish meal: paella and gazpacho! It was great fun to watch Paula’s sister make the paella while we all enjoyed the beautiful weather. Kasen even got to go for a swim with his soon-to-be cousin Zoe!
The next day, Paula – on the day before her wedding! – took all of the Americans for a tour of Madrid. She was a great tour guide – we even had tapas for lunch overlooking the palace.
We weren’t the only ones enjoying Madrid. The Catholic youths of the world (yes, that’s right, the whole world) gathered in Madrid the same weekend. Groups from the same country marched and sang hymns while others set up prayer groups. It was quite a sight! Flags waved and teenagers everywhere travelled by parade.
In the evening, we met up with a few late-comers while Paula finalized wedding details. While Krister enjoyed some quality time with is brother while Kristin and Kasen went to the Botanical Gardens, the Crystal Palace in Retiro Park, and a small garden in the train station. Kasen got his first souvenir here: a Spanish board book entitled “Animales”! Here’s a picture of Kasen at the Botanical Gardens and Kristin at the Crystal Palace:
We had a special evening too – Prudence, Kristin, and Krister went out for a baby-free meal (such a relief from a baby adjusting to jet lag) while Ken and Priscilla played with Kasen.
Notice the french fries covered with egg. So delicious. Also the Spanish tortilla. And the croquettes. (Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.)
Finally, it was the wedding day. We set off for El Escorial, the wedding site, around 5. Paula and Kendrick got married in El Escorial at an old monastery that Fodor’s lists as a great day-trip from Madrid. And it is gorgeous. The monastery and surrounding gardens were built in the 1500s. As soon as we stepped off the bus, we could feel the history. We weren’t the only ones – the Pope himself was there the day before the wedding to give a mass!
After the ceremony ended, we moved to the reception site, which was a beautiful golf course overlooking the mountains. We didn’t have long to enjoy the view because the rain came pouring down (bringing lots of good luck to the newlyweds) and the hors d’oeuvres came out.
And these wasn’t your average cocktail hour: in addition to cones filled with fish and shot glasses of gazpacho, a chef carved plate after plate of the best ham we’ve ever eaten. Kristin, Krister, and Kasen ate almost a whole leg themselves. Kasen is now addicted to ham.
Once we were completely stuffed, dinner started and the rain stopped. We feasted. We can’t even describe how delicious the food was, so we’ll let it speak for itself:
We finally stopped eating around midnight and the dancing began! We danced all night long (even Kasen!). Well, eventually Kasen got tired, so we walked him in his stroller under the night sky. And brought the party out with us!
We set off for the hotel around 4am. We were all exhausted. Krister
watched napped with Kasen while Kristin packed for our flight to the Canary Islands – departing only a few hours later. But more on that in Part 3!