We woke up on Friday with a few hours before we had to get ready for the train ride back to Madrid. Kevin was still a bit under the weather, so Michael and I decided to go to the grocery store for some last-minute items that would make great reminders of the trip. In those cases, I always head to the spice aisles. I picked up Spanish saffron, paella seasoning mix, and some chocolate bars that would be appreciated. Michael headed to other aisles to look for breakfast food that we could eat in our hotel, and I decided to buy some yogurt, too. One thing to say about European yogurt: delicious. It’s not the sweetened foolishness that we buy here, laced with gelatin, food colorings, and who-knows-what, and the texture and flavor were a perfect way to start the day.

We hailed a taxi to transport us and our luggage to the train station, because walking just wasn’t an option and it only cost a few euros. We also had a bite to eat because we knew the train ride, the metro journey, and the van ride back to our hotel in Madrid was going to be several hours ahead. Train stations in Europe are often peppered with stores where you can buy surprisingly-reasonable last-minute items, and Michael and I wandered while Kevin protected the luggage heap.

Once in Madrid, we had to successfully renegotiate three metro lines to get back to the airport. Since it was a Friday afternoon, most trains were fairly full, and we had to do some clever human origami to get on a couple of the cars. From the blue line to the gray line to the pink line, we eventually ended up in the Madrid Barajas airport. (Note to future travelers: be prepared to pay an additional €1 to escape the train station and enter the airport. Still, it beats the €10 that a taxi charges you to enter or exit the airport grounds.)

Upon entering the hotel, we rested for a bit, and then struck out to visit the nearby mall (Centro Comercial Plenilunio) for dinner and a take-away meal for Kevin. It was a very large mall, and extremely busy. However, when we did find a restaurant, it was an American diner-type place decorated in the style of the 1950s called Tommy Mel’s. Lots of turquoise and chrome, and they even served an incredibly delicious veggie burger. Almost a little shocking, as vegetarian food per se is not a typical Spanish food to eat. Michael had a cheeseburger, and we got Kevin the “I Love Lucy” roast beef sandwich.

Very fitting for our last night in Spain… ordering American food in Spanish.