My theme this year is Places in my Heart, all about the places I've been and loved and that have mattered to me in a lasting sense.
For my regular readers, you'll see more than the usual once-a-week posts from me this month. I'm having a great time writing them, so I hope you enjoy reading them, too.
P is for Plaza Mayor
Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Spain is the most exciting city place I have ever seen.
First the plaza itself is beautiful! Ornate and impressive both in scale and style. There's a definite "wow factor" just in stepping food into the plaza.
It's such a center of activity as well. Music, dance, street artists, markets, shopping, and, of course, food!
I ate my first tapas there. Drank my first Spanish wine there. Bought my first flower from a street vending gypsy there. Heard my first live flamenco music there.
I've been to Madrid twice now. In 1992, as an undergraduate student and in 1999, as a teacher with a group of students from Nome, Alaska. Showing those kids from a tiny town in rural Alaska this gorgeous city attraction was a thrill. That's part of why I teach: the thrill that comes from seeing a kid "get" something for the first time. And even the most well-traveled student in my group had never seen anything like this plaza.
If you're a people-watcher looking to get a sense of what madrileños are all about, this is your spot.