Madrid Metro Challenge · Uncategorized

Stop #13: Santiago Bernabeu: Linea 10


The number one thing most people associate with Madrid is the futbol team, Real Madrid. They are a top-ranking soccer team that, up until this season, had the most popular player in the sport, Cristiano Ronaldo, on the roster.

The stadium they play in is HUGE and modern and shares its name with the metro stop, Santiago Bernabeu.  It’s only natural then, that for this metro challenge, we visited Bernabeu stadium and watched a Real Madrid game.

There is nothing like a futbol game in Madrid.  This is our second one and the enthusiasm is electric.  The chanting is loud and contagious and the game is entertaining to watch too 🙂


The stadium is settled in a cute neighborhood with a lot of restaurants, beauty salons and shops. It is a busy neighborhood that has a certain American feel to it.  Maybe it’s because of the Tony Roma’s across the street or because English can be heard in the crowd.  Either way, there is something comforting about the area.

We ate dinner at a Japanese fusion restaurant, Yakitoro, which came recommended by a friend. We were told that the food was delicious, but odd. Food is served family style, so my adventurous husband and I were going to have to agree on what to order 🙂

We started the dinner with a tomato salad with ginger. I don’t typically like ginger, but this was unbelievable. Very mild and clean. We followed it with sea bass ceviche (my favorite), Japanese fish tartar with spinach tempura and asparagus ice cream. Yep, you read that correctly. Asparagus ice cream. 😳. Our dessert? Spicy citrus cotton candy, which was amazing.

The best part of the evening though? Yakitoro itself. The wait staff were as good as they could get. They loved Squirms and talked to her regularly.  They even called her by name! The restaurant was clean and the other patrons were chatty. It was a wonderful meal and atmosphere.

The only negative? The menu is extensive and we had to make sacrifices on what to sample 🙂



Okay…I’ll admit that we might have been a bit overzealous when we decided to take our 9 week old on a weekend getaway. :). Between unfamiliar beds, heavy traffic and an uncomfortable car seat, Squirms let us know that she was unhappy to be in Valencia.

We, however, were far from unhappy. The sun was shining, and there was enough of a breeze to make 80 degrees feel like the ideal temperature. Our AirBNB was on the beach in a little town about ten minutes from Valencia. So close to the Mediterranean Sea that we were able to hear the waves from the patio.

Squirms and me by the sea

Our Friday night plans had to be readjusted to accommodate Squirms and our late arrival. But Saturday morning, we hit the town with foolish optimism that a good night sleep made Squirms’ car seat comfortable. I’ll jump ahead enough to tell you that it did not. 🙂

Trying to keep Squirms in her car seat for as little of time as possible this weekend was in vain.  The traffic was heavy and it was because we once again failed to check our Spanish calendar before planning a trip.  Have I mentioned how much the Spanish love festivals? We don’t attend many because we always seem to know about them after the fact.  This weekend was no exception.  We arrived in Valencia on the Valencia Festival Las Fallas or Festival of Fire, the biggest festival of the year.  From what we understood, there were mini-carnivals going on throughout the city all weekend long.  Most of them had a parade with the participants dressed in traditional Spanish attire.  If you have any interest at all, this link tells you about Las Fallas.

Its confession time… Valencia was our choice destination this weekend because I was craving paella.  I still don’t care much for Spanish cuisine on the whole, but really good paella can’t be beat.  Valencia is the birthplace of this incredible rice dish, so surely I can find good paella here, right?  According to my favorite author and lover of all things Spain, Ernest Hemingway, the best place in the world to eat paella is a restaurant called La Pepica on the beach in Valencia.  As always, Hemingway didn’t disappoint.  The paella was absolutely the best HANDS DOWN.  They even peel the shrimp for you here.  So Delicious! 🙂


Sunday, after an awesome brunch, we headed to the Oceanografic.  The largest aquarium in Europe.  We watched sea lions wrestle, Beluga whales and met an ancient turtle who turned his head and smiled to every one’s phone, one at a time 🙂

There are still so many sights to see that we just didn’t get around to this time.  Or maybe its an excuse to eat another pan of Hemingway’s paella. 🙂  Either way, expect to see Valencia again.  A return trip is a must.